Sweet Jesus Rosa Brooks Loves Bill O’Reilly!

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Well, her recent column was titled: “Sweet Jesus I love Bill O’Reilly!” anyway! Below is an excerpt:

… Three University of Indiana scholars just released a “content analysis” of O’Reilly’s trademark “Talking Points Memo,” the brief commentary with which he opens his daily Fox News show, “The O’Reilly Factor.” The authors begin by informing us, with some consternation, that four in 10 Americans actually think O’Reilly is “a journalist.” But after many charts and numbers, they conclude that he’s really just a big right-wing bully.

No, those aren’t their words. Being scholarly types, they favor phrases such as “O’Reilly injects fear into his commentaries,” and they punctiliously compare O’Reilly’s rhetoric to that used by 1930s radio broadcaster Father Charles Coughlin, whose pro-fascist rants made him infamous.

But O’Reilly leaves Coughlin in the shade. When it comes to “name-calling,” for instance (which the study helpfully defines as giving “a person or idea a bad label to make the audience reject them without examining the evidence”), Coughlin’s radio broadcasts averaged 3.42 incidents per minute, while O’Reilly managed an impressive 8.88 name-calling incidents per minute : an insult every 6.8 seconds!

In sum, the report concludes, “It is fair to say that O’Reilly emerged as a name-caller.”

Well, color me crazy, but I think we need to give the guy a little credit here. Do you think it’s easy to engage in name-calling every 6.8 seconds? It’s not. To match O’Reilly’s performance, I would have to insult people 35.52 times in the course of this column.

You do the math. The average column is 800 words long. The average American’s reading speed, I am chagrined to report, is a mere 200 words per minute. At 200 words a minute, it will take you four minutes to read this column (though I’m equally chagrined to report, dear Average Reader, that experts say you generally comprehend only 60% of what you read, so don’t blame me if you can’t make any sense of this!). Anyway, four minutes with 8.88 insults/minute requires a total of 35.52 insults per column, or one insult every 22.52 words.

I’ll be honest: That’s a pace I just can’t hope to maintain, unless I cheat. So hats off to Bill O’Reilly, that shameless, deceitful, irresponsible, propagandizing right-wing bully!

Hey … not bad, huh? How’s my average looking now? …

Read the rest here!

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