Bill O’Reilly (pictured) hasn’t handled the results of this year’s presidential election well. If you tuned in to FOX News’s unintentional comedic coverage that night, you might’ve heard the popular conservative pundit bemoan the shift of the electorate with a big whiff of racism.
At the time, O’Reilly claimed:
The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore, and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President [Barack] Obama.
“The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart decoded “traditional voters” on his show for what it is — racism — and O’Reilly has now responded with more racism. Give yourself a few seconds to breathe if you’re overcome with great shock.
The talk show host said on Monday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor”:
If you look at the exit polling, you’ll see that a coalition of voters put the President back into the oval office. That coalition was non-tradition, which means it veered away from things like traditional marriage, robust capitalism, and self-reliance.
Instead, each constituency that voted for the President — whether it be single women, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, whatever — had very specific reasons for doing so. [...]
Traditional American voters generally want a smaller government in Washington, more local control, some oversight on abortion, and believe in American exceptionalism.
For such a stickler of tradition, you’d think O’Reilly would point out how White people often take up the lion’s share of welfare benefits, but that would take away from the primitive view of Black people that he holds near and dear to his heart.
If you recall, when O’Reilly once joined Al Sharpton for dinner in Harlem, he mentioned how he simply “couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by Blacks, primarily Black patronship.” To his surprise, “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘Motherf*cker, I want more iced tea!'”
So O’Reilly’s racist leanings aren’t surprising, though he is certainly becoming more overt with it. I could feign shock about this most-recent instance of his racial stereotyping by ranting and raving about how disgusting his comments are, but we already know that, so why bother helping him dig his own grave when he’s doing a fine job of doing it himself?
What is interesting is the fact that O’Reilly can’t fathom why certain groups — women, Blacks, Latinos, gays, the poor — wouldn’t quickly fall for the okey doke for his notion of “American exceptionalism.” O’Reilly fancies himself a part-time historian, yet can’t see to fathom why such a sentiment might not resonate with people who have long been ostracized in this country — or you know, people who can read things like statistics that show how far behind America is when compared to other industrialized nations on matters like education and health care.
Such is the joy of being a White man living in a bubble, and evidently, the pain of realizing that sooner rather than later, that bubble is going to bust.
In fact, I hope O’Reilly continues peddling his prejudices. Go on. Mobilize the troops. Allow what David Frum describes as the “conservative entertainment complex” to continue to soil any chances Republicans have at gaining the control they long yielded over national politics. Let O’Reilly throw all the fits he wants over the future. He’s not stopping it; he’s merely helping it come faster. And once these cultural and political shifts cement, perhaps America might finally be as exceptional as some purport it to be.