I started watching his show the O’Reilly Factor about 8 years ago. At the time I was looking for answers to help justify my position politically while constantly being bombarded with a liberal outlook from my teachers at school. I remember having daily debates on whether we should even retaliate against Al Qaeda. What I found listening to Bill’s Radio Factor and watching his TV shows was a bold and independent thinker taking on all the toughest issues. I was drawn to his level-headed conclusions and appreciated how he always had in mind the best interest of the “folks”.
Over the years, I have witnessed all of Bill’s attributes. He is arrogant. He can be smug, rude, loud, and insensitive. But he is also sincere, honest, real, and unique. Most of all he has what you don’t see in the media anymore – cojones. When he feels passionately about a topic or an issue he won’t rest until he is to the bottom of it. This is when you see the funny youtube videos of him yelling at people. The incredible run of 107 consecutive of months of being the number 1 cable news show is more than just yelling and name calling. It has to be or Olbermann/Maddow or Hannity/Beck would be at least close in TV ratings.
But they’re not and there are three reasons I see for the big difference between their shows and the O’Reilly Factor. First, is the open debate and differing opinions that O’Reilly has on most segments. Second, is Bill’s understandable, respectable, and backed up opinion on every issue at hand, especially the ones that most people avoid. Third, and most important in my mind, is his knack for rooting out and confronting all types of evil and corruption in our country.
I know plenty of people who don’t like O’Reilly’s ambush journalism. But the fact is he ambushes people who have done something terribly wrong and refuse to comment on it. More times than I can count he has put cameras on judges in the parking lot or at store and asked them the uncomfortable questions. These judges make decisions that put people’s lives in jeopardy and Bill will make sure America knows about it.
This was the case in 2005 with the horrific rape and murder of nine year old Jessica Lunsford. John Couey had an extensive criminal record that included 24 arrests including a 10 year sentence for fondling a five year old but he was let out early on parole. Couey would eventually admit to the crime and the events that unfolded. He snuck into her house at three in the morning kidnapped her and raped her in his bedroom. Lunsford would be kept in Couey’s bed that evening, where he raped her again in the morning. Couey put her in his closet and ordered her to remain there, which she did as he reported for work. Three days after he abducted her, Couey tricked Jessica into getting into two garbage bags by saying he was going to ‘take her home’. He instead buried her alive as he decided he could do nothing else with the girl.
O’Reilly reported on this story daily and called out the judge, attorney general, and the governor for the lenient laws that allowed this to happen. He eventually got Florida Governor Bush to appear on the show and pushed him until Bush assured the arrests of Couey’s roommates who failed to act while the unspeakable acts were being committed in their trailer.
Since 2005, the O’Reilly Factor has continued the crusade to push for mandatory minimum sentences for child molesters in honor of Jessica Lunsford. He does this by relentlessly putting pressure on public officials to pass Jessica’s Law. His own website categorizes the progress and warns people of the predator friendly states and media.
This pursuit of justice for innocent victims has poured over into every issue, not just child abuse. He fights tirelessly against sanctuary cities, drug trafficking, and Human Rights violations. Monday he helped the public understand the events that led to the murder of four police officers in Washington State. He confronted the former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee on why he commuted the felon’s sentence. Finally he vowed to get answers from the judges who decided to give him 15,000$ dollar bail when charged with rape and assaulting an officer along with a long rap sheet.
He provides us the type of journalism/commentary that works for our country. The public gets the answers they need, the victims receive answers, the responsible are held accountable, and the viewers become alert to every problem uncovered. O’Reilly might not share the same opinion as everyone in America – but he should be applauded for allowing differing opinions on his show for fair debate, rather than censoring them. Most hatred for O’Reilly stems from his success on a right-wing cable news network. Unfortunately many people would rather spew liberal talking points that O’Reilly is evil rather than listen to the content. He has his conservative lean, but he is far from partisan. Opinion shows need to have a greater focus on debate so that every American gets a fair representation of national sentiment, and like him or not – Bill leads the way.