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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Review: Culture Warrior by Bill O'Reilly

"The world is filled with concern but also with hypocrisy. Hypocrisy on the part of people who see no evil and speak no evil to avoid becoming involved."

Marcello Pera

Bill O'Reilly, love him or hate him, has dedicated his life to "becoming involved" and championing what he believes good and just. As long as he champions for the innocent children, the soldiers who defend the land that I love and the countless other causes that make this country great and powerful, he will have my respect.

O'Reilly epitomizes the greatness of this country. A descendant of Irish immigrants, O'Reilly has studied, worked hard and dedicated his life to achieve success. When I look at the faces of the students who sit in my classes, many of them immigrants or descendants of immigrants themselves, I see the desire, the hope they carry with them. They too dream of success and deep down inside know that this great country provides that opportunity. Freedom paves the way...

Ideology does matter; what we believe matters. What and where we come from matters, for it helps to define us as a people and as a nation. The United States of America is far from perfect. O'Reilly and I agree on that. Traditional values remain essential to the preservation of this great nation. Without these values, could any of us have achieved all that we have achieved? Could we dream the dreams we dream?

In Culture Warrior published in 2006, Billy O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, explains the differences between secular progressives, a term he coined, and traditionalists.

Do you reject school voucher programs?
Do you support abortions of any kind and abortions without parental consent?
Diminishing parental authority?
Abolishing Christmas from schools and public places?
Do you support income re-distribution?
Legalization of drugs?
Restorative Justice( treating convicted criminals rather than punishing them)?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then you are a secular progressive.

Do you use fact based arguments?
Do you believe the USA is a good and noble country?
Do you believe the USA is founded on a Judeo-Christian philosophy?
Do you reject seizure of private property?
Do you believe in a disciplined society that distinguishes between right and wrong?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then you are a traditionalist.

In Culture Warrior O'Reilly provides numerous specific examples to support his premise that the media has tremendous power to influence people. He accuses many in the media as secular progressive leaning. He profiles some of the most important faces in the news industry and provides insight into their political and social inclinations. For instance, O'Reilly describes Tom Brokaw as the most liberal of the three major network anchors but refers to the late Peter Jennings with fondness and describes him as "advancing neither secularism or traditionalism on the air." (46) Ted Koppel is a "straight-shooter, but you don't know where his gun is holstered," says O'Reilly in a somewhat complimentary manner. (48) He outlines famous faces of late night talk shows and cable news networks. While he describes David Letterman as a "passionate advocate for the left," he spares the label for Jay Leno whom he describes as rarely confrontational and pretty much just in it for the laughs. (57)

Bill O'Reilly spends a considerable amount of time in his book illustrating the short comings of the ACLU and George Lakoff who he refers to countless times as a key figure in the secular progressive movement. In an attempt, I think, at being fair and balanced he even criticizes the Catholic Church for its short comings. He shares interesting personal stories, some filled with betrayal, others comical or life changing. If you read nothing else, I recommend you read chapter 10 entitled "The Color of Tradition." It is pithy but effective.

Numerous sections of the book contain specific stories involving children and the injustices committed against them by criminals and then by the justice system. Judges such as Edward Cashman from Vermont felt O'Reilly's wrath when the judge chose to sentence a child rapist to 60 days in jail because he felt sorry for the guy and thought he would benefit from treatment rather than punishment, an example of restorative justice. The judge felt sorry for the rapist. He felt nothing for the child.

Most Americans, according to O'Reilly, lean towards the traditional and resist drastic change. To win what O'Reilly describes as the culture war, traditional Americans must fight the battle with honor, avoid personal attacks and insults and focus on the issues by providing specific facts.

In essence secular progressives, according to O'Reilly, believe that the government must provide for their needs and wants. Traditionalists, on the other hand, try "to help others before pursuing personal gratification." (197) He goes on to explain this statement, but I can sum it up this way...

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Lao Tzu


  1. I don't know where I fall as I answered "yes" to some of both sets of questions.

  2. You have a very very very informative write up keep it up!Do You want to make money online?

  3. results are pretty clear.

    Do you reject school voucher programs? No. Options offer the poor alternatives.

    Do you support abortions of any kind and abortions without parental consent? No.
    I am person of faith.

    Diminishing parental authority? No. Listen to Bill Cosby for a detailed explanation.

    Abolishing Christmas from schools and public places? No. The USA was founded on Jedeo-Christian principles...God blesses America. Freedom of religion.

    Do you support income re-distribution? NO.
    Read Lao Tzu. Capitalism allows for competition, opportunity and greatness to flourish. The alternative leads to laziness. Keep in mind human nature.

    Euthanasia? No. God gives and takes life.

    Legalization of drugs? No. Walk the streets of the inner cities, speak to the young people there and tell them that more of what they have is coming their way.

    Restorative Justice(treating convicted criminals rather than punishing them)? No. Punishment encourages good behavior. No punishment encourages more of the same destructive behavior.

    I am a traditionalist...

  4. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of your own views without being bullied into someone's else views.
    My husband loves to listen to Bill O'Reilly. I respect his views but after 20 seconds I am ready to go outside and walk in the fresh air.

    I am a traditionalist. I believe in standing up for my rights and usually say what I think before thinking first.

    Great post.

  5. Very nice post. This book is very nice. I have one question .. what is price ?


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