Book Review – Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly
This book is the New York Times number one bestseller for a reason.
I’ve read several of Bill O’Reilly’s previous books, including: The No Spin Zone, Who’s Looking Out For You, The O’Reilly Factor For Kids (I’m still a kid at heart), Culture Warrior, and A Bold Fresh Piece of humanity. I even read O’Reilly’s only novel: Those Who Pierce: A Murder TV Novel. And I watch the O’Reilly Factor almost every weekday night, either at 8pm. M. Or the replay at 11 p.m. M.
So you could say that I like the boy a bit. O’Reilly looks a lot like me; a right-to-middle person, not influenced by the pinheads that populate the far left or far right ends of the political spectrum. He’s certainly not quite as right as the man whose show follows his, Sean Hannity, who never gives Democrats, or Liberals, even a little praise, no matter how exemplary his actions may be.
In his No Spin Zone, O’Reilly tells it like it is, and woe to his guest who doesn’t answer the question he’s asking and goes off on a tangent or stupid talking point! I had drill sergeants on boot camp less intimidating than O’Reilly when it’s hot. Ask Barney Frank, whom O’Reilly filleted from throat to sternum and then down his flabby back.
Every night, O’Reilly ends his show with a segment called Pinheads and Patriots. Some nights, a person who had been a Pinhead in the past now does something that elevates her to the status of a Patriot. And vice versa.
O’Reilly begins “Pinheads and Patriots” with the definition of a pinhead from A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. “Pinhead – a simple guy, a fool. Such a small head contains but few brains.”
Then move on to the Urban Dictionary version. “One who lacks the intelligence of the ‘normal’ sector of the human population; one who cannot handle the most mundane tasks due to a lack of common sense and intelligence.”
Then name names.
Patriot: The late Tony Snow, who was a presenter for Fox News and later a chief spokesman for the Bush White House. Snow died after a two-year battle with cancer. O’Reilly wrote: “Tony Snow is the bravest man I have ever met.” Explain why.
Pinhead: Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, whom O’Reilly criticizes under the title “The Cowardly Lion.” Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services committee, was more responsible than anyone for the current mortgage crisis. Frank oversaw the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disaster, and even said months before the collapse that things were fine with those two mortgage giants. However, when he appeared on O’Reilly Factor, Frank refused to accept one iota of blame. He said he was a “victim of economic chaos.” Pinhead safe.
Given that President Obama is on the cover opposite O’Reilly, you’d think O’Reilly had him lined up for Pinhead-dom. Is not true. O’Reilly points to several cases in which Obama was a true patriot. He quotes the moment at a City Hall meeting on Father’s Day, when Obama told men who father children and leave them: “Just because your father wasn’t there for you, that’s not an excuse for you to be absent, too – it’s all the more reason for you to be present. You have an obligation to break the cycle and learn from those mistakes, and pick yourself up where your own parents fell short and do better than they did with your own children. “
Truly the words of a patriot.
Before the presidential election, Obama avoided any interview with Fox News, except with one person: Bill O’Reilly. In “Pinheads and Patriots,” O’Reilly gives us the full transcript of his interview with Obama, which lasted about 30 minutes. Then, at intervals, explain how the things Obama said in the interview did or did not work for the president. He also criticizes Obama for not admitting he was wrong about the surge in Iraq. Obama admits in the interview that the increase worked, but does not give President Bush any credit.
The round trip was like this:
Obama: What I have said is, I have already said that (the increase) has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.
O’Reilly: Well then why can’t you just say, “I was wrong about the surge”?
Obama complains, but not once did he say “I was wrong.” And as we’ve discovered in the 21 months of his presidency, he may be unable to say that he was wrong about anything, except perhaps that the White Sox won the World Series.
One of the best chapters in the book is titled “My Favorite P&P of All Time.” Without my revealing who is who and what, O’Reilly gives his opinion on, among others, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, US Grant, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Robert Kennedy, both Bush, César Chávez. John Edwards, Madonna, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and George Soros. Some of their conclusions may surprise you.
On O’Reilly’s website, the book retails for $ 27.95, but he throws out a nifty “Pinheads and Patriots” tote bag. I got mine from Amazon.com for less than $ 16, and since I have Amazon Prime, I got free shipping (but no tote bag).
“Pinheads and Patriots” is a must read for any O’Reilly fan. And even people who aren’t too crazy about O’Reilly should also enjoy reading this unbiased book.
Unless you’re a Pinhead. Then there is nothing I can do for you anyway.