News & Politics

Studies in Crap: The O’Reilly Factor For Kids

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Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from  basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

The O’Reilly Factor For Kids

Author: Bill O’Reilly and Charles Flowers

Publisher: Harper Collins

Date: 2004

Discovered at: DAV Thrift Store

The Cover Promises: Someone’s going to have to break the bad news about The O’Reilly Factor to America’s children, so it may as well the man himself. ALSO: Want to win over today’s youth? Pull on a sweater!

Representative Quotes:

“My father shamed me, and I got the message. Nobody should bully anyone, and no one should have to suffer through it either.” (page 16)

“I didn’t have sex until I was twenty years old! Can you believe it? I was kind of a shy guy around girls, and I had absolutely no ‘moves.'” (page 76)

The O’Reilly Factor For Kids offers many surprises.

Its very existence, for example. Or the way O’Reilly reconciles his belief that people shouldn’t “suffer through” bullying with his belief that people should watch his television program. Or his assumption that America’s children should have thought often enough about when he might have lost his virginity to have formed prior opinions on the matter.

Or that he makes creepy-uncle promises like this: “If you enjoy doing something that a friend thinks is ‘nerdy’ or ‘gay,’ know that your secret’s safe with me.”

All that’s surprising, but the biggest shock is how much this
book — despite the co-author — actually sounds like Bill O’Reilly. It’s written in
the barking, pugilistic style of his TV and radio shows. When he
writes “The bottom line is that this sex thing is big-time
serious,” he manages to drag the written word to his own spoken
level.

The O’Reilly Factor For Kids


He even pretends to send you some
Goofus & Gallant-style Instant Messages illustrating good and bad
behavior. He divides the world into “Pinhead”s and “Smart
Operator”s.

Here’s a sample
pairing:.
“A Pinhead is a kid who shoplifts.”
“A
Smart Operator remembers the birthdays of friends and family
members.”

And one more:


Next, I subjected my list to O’Reilly’s follow-up questions to see what I could learn.

He writes, “You should
reconsider any items on your list that make you uneasy. If you were
afraid to write them down, that says it all.”

So: It is unhealthy to engage in fun
things that you would be ashamed to admit to your imaginary friend,
Bill O’Reilly.

This excludes the following:

Highlight:

A preface titled “Direct
To You From Bill O’Reilly” promises a rare event: The chance to learn what’s on the mind of a man whose thoughts fill five hours of TV
a week.

In it, he makes a
case for this book’s existence. He quotes a couple letters
from [purportedly] real kids and then explains,

“I wish I’d had
this book when I was a teenager because, like Elizabeth, I had many
concerns. Unfortunately, no one had written a realistic book for
kids. So I made dumb mistakes, got into trouble because I was too
stubborn to know better, and did things I wish I could forget …
Maybe you’ll laugh at my boneheaded behavior, but that’s okay, as
long as you end up smarter than I was at you age.”

Think
about it.

If our youthful experiences shape the adults we eventually
grow to be, O’Reilly is, in this book, doing the world a great favor.
If our kids don’t make his mistakes, maybe they won’t grow into him.

Thanks, creepy uncle teenage-virgin Bill!

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