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They just don't care

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Message Robert O'Connor
My biggest complaint about Bill O'Reilly is not his temper, or his warped priorities or his preachy arrogance that's there when he is in no place to lecture anyone else.

My biggest complaint is that he is so woefully uninformed about what he talks about, and that he doesn't care. He admits as much in his memoir, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," saying he doesn't spend his time learning the arguments of the other side, he just "leads a strenuous life."

And it really comes through when he talks about things like social justice. He's brought up this term a number of times since Barack Obama became President, most recently on Tuesday. Each time he has made it sound like something that someone from on high imposes like a commandment or law. (As an aside, why would anyone be against imposing justice of any kind?)

When blogging on O'Reilly's disparaging of social justice, Matthew Warner of the National Catholic Register at first criticises O'Reilly for not knowing what the word means (O'Reilly himself is a Catholic), but then defends his ignorance by blaming O'Reilly's favorite enemy, "the far left," for "reduc[ing] 'Social Justice' to being synonymous with the coerced redistribution of wealth."

Warner says that Jesus asked his followers to "give freely of ourselves", but I don't think that saves him from being called a hypocrite. Social Justice is absolutely about ordinary people helping each other out, not someone from on high helping everyone else. It also involves doing things that do not involve taking money from the rich and giving to the poor (at least that's what I think "redistributing wealth" is).

But even people who were lifelong advocates of social justice, who strived for it their entire lives have been criticized for it.

Saul Alinsky is one example. Saul Alinsky fought for better workplace conditions, better prison conditions, better wages for factory workers and a wide array of other causes. And his book, "Rules for Radicals" is a book that O'Reilly, and others, have condemned as a blueprint for what the Obama administration will do.

In condemning the book, O'Reilly sounded like he skimmed the book to find awful things in it, or had a staff member find those things and tell him about it. His ignorance of the book is summed up in one sentence, said in the middle of the piece: "According to Alinsky, in order to change America into a far-left bastion, traditional Americans must be marginalized."

Alinsky didn't want to change America into a "far-left bastion" and he didn't hate "traditional Americans." Alinsky didn't think of the world in terms of "left" and "right" he thought of it in terms of "haves" and "have-nots." As he wrote in the introduction to "Rules": "The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."

Bill O'Reilly didn't read the book, and he doesn't care what Alinsky had to say, nor what "social justice" really means. And he's taken to be a serious and intelligent commentator...why?
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Robert O'Connor is a journalist from St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has been published by the Chi-Town Daily News, Newcity Chicago, The New Indian Express, the Twin Cities Daily Planet and others. He's also worked in radio at Radio K (University of (more...)
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