Bill O’Reilly is definitely funny. He’s funnier than his sidekick, Dennis Miller, whose humor hasn’t aged well.
O’Reilly was especially hilarious, the other day, when attempting to illustrate the historically unprecedented venom toward Donald Trump and his presidency. Said Mr. O’Reilly, “As a historian … “
Bill O’Reilly is no historian. I suppose O’Reilly is an historian in the same way court historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is. If you treat O’Reilly’s books as works of history, you’re in deep intellectual trouble. (Join the nation.)
Recommended, in the context of O’Reilly’s “scholarship,” is Thomas DiLorenzo’s review of Killing Lincoln, O’Reilly’s “big, boring bag of nothingness” about the assassination”:
Over 100 books are already in print on the subject, and all O’Reilly and his coauthor do is cut and paste what others have written on the subject, but without including a single footnote! The authors also have the annoying habit of writing things like, “in his mind, he was thinking that . . ., ” as though they could know what Lincoln was thinking when he did this or that 150 years ago. This is a standard practice of the “Lincoln scholars,” who also constantly claim to know what was “in his heart” (nothing but love and kindness, of course) in their writings.
There is nothing at all in O’Reilly’s book about Lincoln’s policies and behavior in office. There is nothing about his statist economic policies, his trashing of the Constitution by illegally suspending Habeas Corpus and mass arresting thousands of Northern political dissenters, his intentionally waging war on Southern civilians in violation of all moral and legal codes regarding warfare, his lifelong obsession with deporting all black people, free or slave, from America, etc. In addition, it is apparently so full of historical errors that it has been banned from the bookstore at Ford’s Theater, the famous site of the assassination.
If you want to understand The Idea of America, read foundational books on American republican virtues (not least the title linked). Begin with the book The Power in The People by Felix Morley, and you’ll be able to watch or read Bill O’Reilly’s folderol, and such stuff, and assess it for the shallow nothingness that it is.
Truth is not about the penny plan, or the red line in Syria, or whether to beat up on Russia or not. It’s about grasping the foundational principles of liberty and the limits of government—the principles Jefferson, Madison, Mason, John Roanoke, John Calhoun held dear; grasping those core issues and applying them to the issues of the day.
The other exquisite text by Morley is Freedom and Federalism.
For starters, let’s see these texts on your coffee tables.