Once again, Bill O'Reilly used his weekly column to skewer Hollywood for not visiting our troops nor making the kind of movies the Folks want.
"...[M]ost [stars] whom will not even visit our troops in the field even though the USO will pay for the trip. Scarlett Johansson and Robin Williams are exceptions, but many movie people are roughing it in Malibu, happy not to think about Islamic fascism."
Oh, Bill-O's played this gambit before. Last year, preening that he visited the troops in Afghanistan, he felt it necessary to demean the USO .
"In the past year only a few people like Toby Keith, Tom Arnold and myself have showed up," said the modest and fact devoid reporter.
'Course, he was wrong. Among others, those who have participated in recent USO sanctioned tours and events include Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Tom Hanks, Cher, Dave Attell, Jaimie Kennedy, David Allen Grier, Aerosmith, Carrie Underwood, Henry Rollins, David Letterman, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson, Ludacris, James Gandolfini and Morgan Freeman. The late unofficial Mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant, made 50 USO tours. And Bill-O always seems to forget mentioning that his best bud, Al Franken, has been on six USO tours, including stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bill goes on to write of how these Hollywood types of today haven't signed up to defend this country.
"Perhaps, Hollywood people, you might want to examine some stars of the past. Did you know that James Stewart earned a chest full of medals for bombing the Germans? And Clark Gable flew B-17's in World War II as well. Charles Durning actually won a Silver Star at Normandy. Also, Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson both fought the Japanese in the vicious Saipan campaign. Contrast those men with the stars of today."
Perhaps, Bill O'Reilly person, you might want to examine some talk show hosts and anchors. Did you know Air America's Randi Rhodes served in the Air Force? Walter Conkite served in the U.S. Coast Guard and flew bombing raids over Germany. Jim Lehrer served three years in the Marines. These veterans, among other talk show hosts and anchors you've degraded in the past have served. Contrast those servicemen with, say, YOU, Bill, who didn't serve a day in your life (not including the combat you may have mentioned two or three thousand times that you faced as a journalist in South America).
Then Bill-O closes with another lecture on how Free Speech works: "There is a difference between loyal dissent, a good thing, and trying to make your country look bad. You, Hollywood people, often do the latter. And the Folks know it. So, please stop."
So, Bill, allow me to close on how people in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.
There is a difference between honest reporting, a good thing, and trying to make people look bad by demeaning to make you look better. You, Bill, often do the latter. And the Folks know it. So, please stop.
Award-winning television writer and author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful," Steve Young' s "All The News That's Fit To Spoof" appears in L.A. Daily News opeds every Sunday on the same page with Bill O'Reilly's...really.