Posts Tagged ‘Bill O’Reilly’

Letter from Claverack 04 19 2017 A painful evening…

April 20, 2017

Outside, it is grey, drear, damp and dank.   Twilight is beginning to gather around the cottage; I have made myself a martini and am looking out at the still bare trees, thinking that tonight, I am screaming for real spring, real green, and real warmth.

Tonight, I did something that is going to make one of my friends very angry with me and it was something I had to do.  He sent me some suicidal texts and I couldn’t ignore them.  Since he had stopped communicating, I called the police and asked for a welfare check.  It will not endear me to him and I would not have slept tonight if I had not.

So bloody strange is life.  It would be great to say this was a night full of hygge.  It’s not; it will be a night of doing hygge sorts of things to get back to a hygge state.

Jazz is playing.

This morning I did my radio program and it went tolerably well, now three weeks in, I am beginning to get the hang of it.

Tomorrow, I am going into the city only to turn around and come back because tomorrow we are having a birthday party on the train for four of our Regulars, one of whom is making a birthday with a zero.

It will be fun; I will be playing bartender and am concocting a drink to celebrate the coming of summer – a “summertini.”

And, truthfully, I am looking forward to something fun after this afternoon.

Not probably having fun is Bill O’Reilly, who got booted this afternoon from Fox News, where he has been the cock of the walk for ever so long.  Truthfully, I was a little surprised it happened.  The allegations of sexual harassment had reached a fever pitch and name advertisers were leaving in the dozens but his ratings remained high.

It seemed to me they would send him off for a while, like Brian Williams, to do penance and then bring him back after a cooling off period.  But no.  Walking papers.

My suspicion:  James and Lachlan Murdoch apparently had had enough, convincing their father time was nigh after $13,000,000 in settlements by Fox News over 15 years for allegations of sexual misconduct by O’Reilly, with more coming in on a regular basis, including one by an African-American staffer that he referred to her as “hot chocolate.”

Don’t cry for his next meal.  He will, I’m sure, walk away with millions.

Fox News will suffer.  He was their highest rated star, making millions and millions for them.

Chief beneficiary:  the bow tied Tucker Carlson who will be getting his slot.  Wouldn’t want that pressure.

Jon Ossoff, a young, charismatic candidate in a special election in Georgia, failed to get the more than fifty percent he needed to win outright so there will be a run-off election in June but he came damn close.  It will be a fight to the finish.  The seat has been safely Republican for years and now an energized number of Democratic Georgians have put it in play.

Aaron Hernandez, once a rising star with the New England Patriots, was found dead in his cell in the prison where he was serving a life sentence for murder and everyone is asking how such a promising life went so far askew?

Venezuela is about, it seems, to explode.  Hundreds of thousands have been marching in the streets against Maduro, who succeeded Chavez when he died.  The country is in economic tatters and Maduro doesn’t seem to be able to fix it so he is blaming everyone and is threatening to bolster the militia he controls from tens of thousands to a half million.

This is an elected official on his way to dictatorship.  Which is what we must be aware of these days. Look at Erdogan in Turkey; elected and moving toward dictatorial powers.  Same in a dozen countries in Africa.

And I am looking at the pearl grey twilight of Claverack and am about to go on to some amusement as I need amusement while I wait to hear if my friend is okay.

Letter From New York 03 02 15 It pays to be polite…

March 2, 2015

It is mid-day and I am at the Acela Lounge in Penn Station, where I have been doing emails and catching up on the Season Finale of Downton Abbey, which I missed last night. It was cold this morning when I left the cottage but the predicted six inches of snow failed to materialize but my understanding is that more is set to come. My morning train was filled with folks bemoaning the length of this winter as well as the depth of its cold.

The world outside the Acela Lounge is more chaotic than it is in here.

Netanyahu seems to be striking a more conciliatory tone now that he is on American soil. Speaking this morning at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference he stated that similarities between the US and Israel are greater than their differences and that we would “weather the current disagreement.” He is also making a point of saying he means no disrespect to Obama.

It appears, according to reports from CNN that a growing number of Americans disapprove of the speech and of Speaker Boehner’s invitation. I am going to be fascinated to watch this play out.

In the meantime, Iran is being slow to cooperate with the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

In the Mideast, the attack on Tikrit has begun and there are reports that Iraqi forces are making some headway. What is interesting is that one of the leaders of the military operation appears to be an Iranian General. This is not the first attempt to re-take Tikrit. The others were rapidly aborted.

IS has also taken to social media to denounce Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey and to encourage jihadi to kill him and Twitter employees in the San Francisco area. They are upset that Twitter has taken down accounts that have been traced to them.

IS wannabes, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, have beheaded two men they accused of spying.

In Cairo and Aswan, two bombs exploded, killing two and injuring nearly a dozen.

In better news out of Africa, President Pohamba of Namibia has been awarded the $5,000,000 Mo Ibrahim Foundation prize for good governance. It is the first time the Award has been given since 2011 and only the fifth time in its history. Good governance in Africa is hard to find.

Eyes in America are turned toward the 2016 Presidential Election. Senator Marco Rubio is apparently about to announce he is throwing his hat into the ring, after calling Hillary Clinton so “yesterday.” He has also joined the illustrious list of Americans who have been declared by Venezuela asa “terrorists.”

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, once a frontrunner for the nomination, keeps slipping further and further behind in the race. Weighing him down this week is a New Jersey judge’s decision that it was illegal for him to withhold payments to a retirement fund.

The Bill O’Reilly saga continues. Today it is about his claim that he was just outside the door when George de Mohrenschildt, a figure in Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, blasted himself to kingdom come with a shotgun. There apparently exists a recording of O’Reilly calling in on the day of the suicide from Dallas, saying he would head down the next day.

If true, it still won’t hurt him at Fox News.

There was a break while writing today’s blog. I went out to see my doctor and get my shots, vaccines and drugs for India. I have a slightly sore left arm and pills in my knapsack. The typhoid vaccine comes in pill form these days and I start it tonight, every other day for eight days and I have Cipro in case I get a case of Delhi belly. I received a call, a text and an email from the visa service telling me I could come in and pick up my passport with visa. I didn’t have too much trouble after all; it only took three tries to fill out the forms correctly.

Let me end with my favorite story from this week’s The Week.

A Londoner, late for a job interview, pushed, shoved and cursed the man in front of him as he was exiting “the tube.” He arrived in time for the interview only to find that his interviewer was the man he had pushed, shoved and cursed.

He did not get the job.

Letter From New York 02 24 15 Contentious Times…

February 24, 2015

Waking in New York City this morning, I grabbed my mobile and checked the weather. There was a wind chill of 5 to 10 below zero. I wanted to curl back up and wait for the day to warm. Thankfully, despite the cold, it was brilliantly sunny and therefore I felt brighter if not warmer. After a couple of cups of coffee and a hot, hot shower I ventured out into the world; my cheeks were burning from the cold by the time I made it from Riverside to Broadway.

After a few errands and some work on my Indian Visa application, I headed south to the West Village where I met up with my friend Mick Kaczorowski, Executive Producer par excellence, recently departed from Discovery, for a long, good catch-up lunch.

After lunch, I headed to Staples and purchased a printer for the NY apartment and then sat down to blog.

There is the growing brouhaha over whether Bill O’Reilly of Fox News “embellished” his war reporting credentials. David Corn in the magazine Mother Jones wrote an article about Mr. O’Reilly having his own “Brian Williams Moment” and Mr. O’Reilly responded with what I gather is typical vitriol by calling Mr. Corn a “guttersnipe.”

I don’t watch Bill O’Reilly or Fox News. I don’t watch CNN either. I am a cord cutter so I don’t have cable in my home. But in the moments I have had exposure to Mr. O’Reilly, I have found him distasteful so I haven’t searched him out online either.

His efforts to quell the controversy don’t seem to be working. They just seem to put the spotlight more on a situation that would probably have gone away if he had ignored it. But that is not the O’Reilly style. He has gone on to threaten a reporter from the NY Times and has drawn the ire of several colleagues who were with him in Argentina during the Falkland War. One of them has called his version of events a “fabrication.”

O’Reilly covered the war from Buenos Aires. There was a riot while he was in Buenos Aires. He did cover that. One reporter described that riot as the “chummiest” riot he had ever seen but there is footage that O’Reilly showed on his program last night.

The video shows unrest and chaos but no shots being fired. One person reporting on the O’Reilly tempest said that O’Reilly had “yet to find the bodies.”

Nothing much will come of this. Fox News likes controversy and I’m sure it will give a boost to their ratings. Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News and master spinmeister, is thoroughly behind the consistently high rated O’Reilly. NBC launched an investigation into the Brian Williams story; Fox News will not look deeply at O’Reilly’s actions.

It says much about the organizations.

In other media news, Keith Olberman was suspended from ESPN for a few days over churlish tweets about Penn State.

Things continue to be tense in Ukraine and it is now being called this generation’s West Berlin.

There have been more suicide bombings in Nigeria and masked men kidnapped an 87-year-old American missionary, the Reverend Phyllis Sortor. Soldiers from Chad claim they have killed over 200 Boko Haram fighters.

The three British schoolgirls who flew on their own to Istanbul last week to apparently join IS have successfully managed to cross over into Syria. Also in the land of IS, dozens of Assyrian Christians have been abducted and taken from their villages. Thousands more have fled.

In less violent news today, Greece made more concessions and a four-month extension has been granted them to work out their future. Markets in New York and London ended up for the day.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell is working on a deal to keep the Department of Homeland Security from being defunded. It will be interesting to see if he can get the Republican Congressmen to go along with the scheme.

And, as widely expected, President Obama vetoed the Keystone Pipeline Bill, issuing in a new period of contentiousness between the White House and Congress.

What will be contentious for me is seeing if I can get the new printer printing tonight. I must remember to read the instruction book!