This summer was shaping up as one of the least enjoyable of my lifetime.
Reality shows, the only hope for summer TV, had let me down.
I took a shot at "The Two Cory's" on A&E, which I thought would be fun, but instead it was incredibly depressing. I tried a bit of "Scott Baio is 45," which isn't nearly as bad, but is really pathetic. I viewed a full episode of "Hey, Paula," in which Paula Abdul lets cameras actually show that she's a trainwreck.
I watched as Cory Haim pathetically clung to the notion of writing a sequel to a movie he made 20 years ago; I watched as Scott Baio visited his girlfriends from the '80s to talk about himself and why he cheated on them; I watched Paula Abdul yell at her assistant for not packing the right jeans for a trip. And, I stopped watching.
Movies, the dependable summer entertainment, were awful. I had such high hopes for so many of the blockbusters, and I left the theater dejected way too often. "Spider-Man 3" was beyond belief -- too long, too derivative of the previous movie, and just a big letdown.
Sports had let me down, too.
There's been Michael Vick and the hideous dog fighting scandal, the NBA and the cheating ref, baseball and the hated Barry Bonds; I used to watch ESPN for a respite, but now I can't stand it.
Even Captain America let me down.
I went to the comic book store, and thought I'd return to my youth by picking up a copy of the comic book about the World War II hero. Of course, I picked up the issue where he's assassinated.
So, what's left for me? Politics. My hope was that this summer, as the presidential campaigns gain steam, my politics -- center-left -- finds itself winning hearts and minds, so that positive change can finally come to this country.
And that's where Bill O'Reilly comes in.
The "O'Reilly Factor" has made my summer. It's provided me with an outlet for my anger, and hope for the future.
Disclosure: Just so you know, I've appeared on Fox (not on the O'Reilly Factor), and I have enjoyed it tremendously, and been treated fairly.
While I very often find myself disagreeing with O'Reilly, I enjoy getting angry at the television. Obviously, there's something wrong with me. There's probably a lot wrong with me. I can confirm that by telling you that I talk back to the TV during the Factor, as I do when I watch a football game. I also talk to my toaster oven when aliens tell me where they're going to land (I'm kidding).
I found myself berating my Sony recently when O'Reilly went off on the Daily Kos. The guest was Senator Chris Dodd, and O'Reilly could not believe that Senator Dodd was defending the site. At this point, the rage wasn't building in O'Reilly; the rage was building out of O'Reilly. As anger consumed him, his eyes began to bulge, to a size that made Marty Feldman's peepers look like Ellen Barkin's, and I thought his twisting head was going to extricate itself from the pesky neck that was keeping it down.
If Senator Dodd was sitting below him, instead of on video at a remote location, O'Reilly would have jumped on him like Superfly Snuka on Don "Rock" Muraco.
O'Reilly followed up his Senator Dodd interview with a Dennis Miller interview -- and he interviewed Miller about the interview he did with Senator Dodd. Follow that? Trust me, it's easier to follow than Miller's esoteric references. Miller went on to bash the Daily Kos, too.
Why were they bashing the Daily Kos? Because O'Reilly says it is a "hate site." But it isn't, and I don't know a single soul who believes O'Reilly is right. O'Reilly, though, challenged viewers to look on the Daily Kos themselves, and see the hate. So, I did.
For instance, just now I checked their top post -- "midday open thread" -- and I found one offensive comment, about Barney Frank, in the 31 comments. You can look for yourselves. I didn't bother to look on Bill O'Reilly's Web site for comments, because while some suggest that he has offensive comments on his site, I seriously doubt they exist in any great number.
The bottom line is, The Daily Kos serves an excellent purpose. It gives a voice to people who felt that the Democratic Party left them for the DLC. It gives a voice to people who don't have a TV forum. And I doubt that many of the people who write to the site have money or connections -- they're just people who care about the issues and want to be heard. More power to them.
This has been an awful summer for TV, the most disappointing summer for movies, and it's surely the worst summer in the history of sports. But O'Reilly's Kos cracks have cheered me up, because he wouldn't be angry at Kos if the liberals were losing and no one was paying attention to us.
O'Reilly's angry because Kos is winning. And, despite Cory Haim, Peter Parker, and Barry Bonds, the return of the liberals makes this a very good summer indeed.