Does the Left Need an O'Reilly?

by Robin Forman

I once had a remarkable professor who told us that one of the purposes of the news was to present all the truths available. It is up to the people to decide to which truth they should subscribe.

In the good ole days there was this law called the Fairness Doctrine that basically said if you let one side tell a story you had to hear the other side’s version.

Well, that law is gone now.

And what we have today is Bill O’Reilly.

Now, I’m all for having crazies like Bill O’Reilly loudly and annoyingly voice his thoughts and opinions but we’ve got to hear from the other side.

What do we have from the other side? Jon Stewart? Stephen T. Colbert? Well, of course Jon Stewart is brilliant but he’s not a real news person. And Colbert is just as brilliant but he’s pretending to be O’Reilly. And if the networks and radio are giving time to people like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh then someone needs to get out there with an equally loud voice and bitch and moan on the left hands’ behalf…and it should not be Al Sharpton, please.

I usually don’t mind O’Reilly. In fact I think he’s important in this whole concept of a market place of ideas. And with the exception of his show and the most horrid show FOX has every produced — besides King of the HillRed Eye, the FOX network as a whole doesn’t really paint everything in a conservative light as often as everybody seems to think. Although, yes, they certainly do paint just about everything like it were an episode of 24.

But where’s the other radical or even slightly radical side?

On National Public Radio (NPR)? They’re certainly not loud. And they’re more poetic then openly opinionated.

Is it on Hannity and Colmes? They’re both suffering from a bad case of mindless drivel.

How about Sean Penn? He did a nice job making a fool of himself trying to insult the president a few months back saying something about “soiled underpants.”

Isn’t there a smart liberal who can get air time out there?

Does anyone have a time slot open for me?

(Political graphic from Comandante Agi of California via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license; you can see more of the comandante's political graphics at his blogs, This Blog Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds and Guys from Area 51.)

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Anonymous said...

The phrase American Journalism has become an oxymoron. In the USA it's all about selling beer, Nike shoes, sugar water and various other consumable goods.

Those who manage the news business in the USA by and large have the first and primary concern not to offend the people who buy adverts.

Its astonishing how bad American journalism has become in such a short time but the fact is today one cannot hope to get a sliver of the truth relying on US journalist.

If you want to get something worth reading try the BBC or London Times. In the UK, journalists actually still try to tell both sides of the story!

Anonymous said...

Try watching Keith Olbermann on Countdown on MSNBC - he lampoons O'Reilly all the time and his Special Comments (basically tirades against the Administration) have boldly gone where few mainstream commentators dare to go.

On the radio there's always Thom Hartmann for a knowledgeable liberal approach, Randi Rhodes for a well-informed, often angry, reaction to the Adminstration, and Stephanie Miller and her humorous approach to the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Stephanie and her crew have built their show around exposing the lies and hypocrisy of conservative commentators.

Jeff Siegel said...

The reason there is no lefty like O'Reilly -- or, heaven forfend, his Limbaughness -- is that we are the good guys. We don't do stuff like that. We listen to both sides. We try to take the other person's point of view into account. We don't call anyone names because they disagree with us.

This is one reason why Air America has been such a flop. It tried to copy conservative talk radio, ignoring that the audience for liberal talk radio is completely different. We'd much rather listen to some good tunes, comment more or less politely at the latest outrage from Those People, and then listen to some more good tunes. (In other words, IvoryTowerz radio, if I can make a shameless plug.)

Robin, Daughter of the Desert and American Bad Ass said...

The truth is, the BBC has fallen pray the trend of crappy reporting as well. I believe they were all over the Paris Hilton and jail story. I flipped chanels to them hoping to find something of worth during that whole mess and found myself saying "Oh, come on, BBC! Not you too!"
I work in the news. I know it's about money. It always has been. The news is the cheapest programming to produce.
I have to be idealistic in hoping that the youngin's like me in the industry who know it's broken will set out to fix it....Oh, and when I run one of the news net works we're not wearing shoes. I honestly think that will help.

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