My analysis of The Hollywood Reporter’s interview with Billo
by Larry Simons
March 31, 2009
I came across this story yesterday of Billo being interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond. It did not surprise me at all that it was chock full of lies, omissions and just plain O’ Reilly-style spin (the kind he claims he’s free of).
Let’s analyze, shall we? (my analysis in purple)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHY ARE ACTORS SUCH FREQUENT TARGETS OF "THE FACTOR"?:
O'Reilly: My job is to watch the powerful. A performer has a forum that other people do not, and all we ask is that they be fair. If they believe something and use their TV show, movie or concert to spout off about it, that's fine. But if we have some questions about their beliefs, I think they should answer them -- and not be drive-by people.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHO ARE THESE DRIVE-BY PEOPLE YOUSPEAK OF?:
O'Reilly: I take it case by case. We took on George Clooney over the 9/11 charities, and we were absolutely right, but Clooney does a good job with Darfur. We took on Bruce Springsteen for things he has done at concerts because we want to know what his frame of reference is. These are powerful people, and we're not going to give them a free ride. If there was somebody screaming right-wing stuff, we'd do the same thing.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHAT'S THE MOST FUN YOU'VE HAD ON THE AIR?:
O'Reilly: That's a tough one. I think it's the three interviews I did with President Bush. That's the hardest interview for any journalist, to interview a president, because you can't cross a certain line, and presidents all come in with what they want to say. To get them out of that rehearsed deal is very hard. The three interviews I did with Bush were instructive because I went up to that line.
(Can’t cross a certain line? You can’t? Not with a President? If it’s one person in the world that you should be holding their feet to the fire, it should be the President. You said that actors are powerful people and you’re not going to give them a free ride. Who’s more powerful than the President? You’re going to hold actors accountable but NOT the President? Cut the bullshit loofah boy, you didn’t cross any line with Bush because you were too busy shoving your big honker up his ass! Then you said [about actors], “If there was somebody screaming right-wing stuff, we'd do the same thing”. Oh really? You just said you can’t cross a certain line with a President! Who was more right wing than Bush?)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHAT'S THE ANGRIEST YOU'VE BEEN ON THE AIR?:
O'Reilly: There was an attorney for people who oppose Jessica's Law (to punish sex offenders) that really got me. If you can't protect little kids, we should just pack it up as a country. And after 9/11, a kid in his 20s whose father was killed at the Twin Towers. I was all set to do a sympathetic interview, but the kid started saying the USA attacked the towers and killed his father. I just said, "Oh my God. Do you realize how many other people are suffering tonight in addition to you? How could you possibly say that?" I was very angry at that kid. And the Barney Frank thing (in which O'Reilly called Frank a "coward" during an October debate over Fannie May and Freddie Mac). But I really wasn't angry; I just needed to scold him because he was blaming everyone else, even though some of this economic mess is his fault.
(Actually, if we are to judge anger by appearance alone, then you’re lying. You have NEVER been more angry at anyone on the air than you were with Geraldo Rivera on April 5, 2007 over an illegal immigrant issue. I thought Billo was going to literally rip Rivera’s head off and shit down his neck. I actually agreed with Billo on this topic but I’m quite sure Billo “didn’t mention it” because Geraldo is his fellow FOX News stooge.)
Here’s the clip:
(And let’s not forget this classic outburst!)
(I know, I know. He wasn’t “on the air” there. I know. I just wanted to show Billo really pissed off. Also, in Billo’s answer above he mentions “a kid in his 20’s whose father was killed in the Twin Towers”. That was Jeremy Glick, who completely kept his cool the entire time Billo shouted like a raving lunatic. Also, Glick happened to be right---and that was what pissed Billo off the most. Billo “forgot to mention” this fact. Also left out was the fact that Glick reported after that interview was over, Billo said to Glick [off air], “Get out of my studio before I fucking tear you to pieces.”)
Here’s the story of this:
(Billo also said he had been angry with an attorney for people who opposed Jessica’s Law [to punish sex offenders] and said, “If you can't protect little kids, we should just pack it up as a country.” Yeah Billo, we all know how much you “protected” 11-year-old kidnap victim Shawn Hornbeck by denying the Stockholm Syndrome when you said, “The situation here, for this kid, looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school, he could run around and do whatever he wanted…there was an element here that this kid liked about this circumstance.” Then he said he’d apologize if he was wrong. Seven months later, after the trial when the gruesome details were released about the sexual, abusive ordeal Hornbeck went through, O’ Reilly went on air telling his viewers the grisly details, but NEVER apologized.)
Then O’ Reilly was asked if there was any actors whose political views disturbed him so much that he wouldn’t see their movies. O ‘Reilly answered “Sean Penn”. Then was asked:
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: SOMEONE WILL READ THAT AND ACCUSE YOU OF ENCOURAGING A NEW BLACKLIST ERA:
O'Reilly: Not at all. He's a great actor, and if you hire him, you'll get a good performance. I'm just not going to give a guy who gives aid and comfort to people like (Iran president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein, when he was alive, my 10 bucks. That's my right as an American.
(No, Billo. Sean Penn has just badmouthed Bush very frequently and you equate being anti-Bush with supporting terrorists. Goodness Billo, if you were spinning any more, you could turn back time like Superman.)
I love these next three questions.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHAT'S THE REACTION YOU GET AT A RESTAURANT OR A STARBUCKS OR SOME OTHER PUBLIC PLACE?:
O'Reilly: I get preferential treatment, although I don't want that. I very rarely have problems. Look, I'm 6-foot-4, and I don't look like I'll be receptive to bad behavior.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: DO YOU NEED BODYGUARDS?:
O'Reilly: On occasion, if I have to go into a large crowd and be stationary.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHAT'S THE WORST REACTION YOU HAVE EVER HAD IN PUBLIC?:
O'Reilly: Nothing. Never in 12-and-a-half years of doing this. We have had death threats here, and Fox security people are excellent. We know that the far-left loons bait on the Internet and they would do damage if they could.
(Which is it, Billo? Are you safe from harm or are you in danger? Nothing has happened in 12 years and you get preferential treatment but you need bodyguards? You said you very rarely have problems. “Rarely” means that you have had problems, but you said “NEVER, in 12-and-a-half years" have you had a bad reaction in public. You have problems, you don’t have problems. This flip-flopping is giving me whiplash. Geesh!)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: ANY OF THOSE DEATH THREATS RESULT IN ARRESTS?:
O'Reilly: We've had a few people convicted of crimes. I'm not going to get into descriptions.
(Because there weren't any.)
(“far-left loons”---translation: people who disagree with Billo and quote him word for word)