‘O’Reilly Factor’ costing Fox big bucks

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers

My coworkers have to hear me talk about TV and movies all the time. The way I figure, why deprive readers that same joy? With that in mind, here are four things I think about TV, movies and media:

1. The tit-for-tat continues with Fox News analyst Bill O’Reilly and political blog Daily Kos.

As I detailed two weeks ago, O’Reilly and his crew practiced bad journalism when they characterized Daily Kos, with 500,000 daily visits, as a group of hate-mongers and smear merchants based on four comments left on the blogs.

Since then, the bad journalism has continued, and it’s been expensive for Fox News. “The O’Reilly Factor” has yet to have Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas on to defend his site, and O’Reilly has cut microphones of guests who defend the site. Without the “Factor” as a sounding board, Kos members have decided to take their case to “Factor” sponsors. Last week, Lowe’s announced it would no longer sponsor the program.

It’s expensive for Fox News, and embarrassing for O’Reilly. Daily Kos, which has been getting 700,000 visits a day thanks to O’Reilly’s rant, welcomes “Factor” viewers to the site and gives them a link to a sexual harassment suit filed against O’Reilly.

2. Staying on Fox, I spent my Friday afternoon on “The Simpsons Movie.” As a devoted viewer who buys every season DVD the Tuesday it comes to stores, I had high expectations for this movie.

The movie opens with Homer Simpson telling you you’re a sucker to pay for the movie when you watch the sitcom for free. I never felt like I got suckered, and the only regret was that it wasn’t longer.

I will say it wasn’t worth all of the hype Fox put behind it, and I’m so upset I’ll only watch it three or four more times in the theater.

Also, big thanks to any movie theater that screened “Simpsons” early so night workers like me didn’t have to make excuses to leave work and see the movie.

3. It appears there will be a female president in 2008, but just on Monday nights.

Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones will play President Allison Taylor in the seventh season of “24,” the serial starring Kiefer Sutherland as terrorist-fighter Jack Bauer.

The nation might be ready to elect Hillary Clinton, but I’m not sure we should view “24” as a good frame of reference for our democracy. Keep in mind “24” has already had a president resign rather than run for a second term, another president removed from office after helping terrorists, another knocked out of office after Air Force One was shot down, another nearly assassinated inside the White House and one American city destroyed by a nuclear bomb.

We may elect Clinton if we feel she’s the best one for the job, but it shouldn’t be because we aspire to be in Jack Bauer’s America.

4. The next time somebody tells you all media is biased toward liberals, consider this: John Edwards has been called a hypocrite by countless media outlets because he buys expensive things while he runs on a campaign to fight poverty. Those same media outlets have been relatively silent as Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney campaigns about getting rid of pornography, yet conveniently forgets his near-decade as a board member for Marriott Hotels, which offer in-room pornographic movies to guests.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. He can be reached at 763-3431, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com