BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Settle down!

Oh, come on already ... when I started writing this, I could HEAR the undies of my more liberal readers already tightening up into knots! Yes, it's a book by the boogieman, get over it.


Actually, it's too bad that more folks won't read this book, as it is quite good, and the points being raised are important. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have read this myself (I'm not very likely to go buy a book by a "TV person"), but this was another of those that was passed along to me by my Mom, and it was sitting out in the front bathroom, and it got picked up out of sheer convenience. I'm not a huge fan of Bill O'Reilly, as I do try to keep myself on an even emotional keel, and watching "confrontational" TV (especially dealing with subjects on which I have a strong opinion) just gets me pointlessly worked up, but this book is a context where his clarity is not bogged down by his combativeness. However, in Who's Looking Out for You? O'Reilly pretty much deals with the stuff that gets him worked up (so there are bits that are somewhat "ranty"), based on a unifying theme of finding out who you can or can not trust to have your best interests at heart.

I was not expecting this book to be as autobiographical as it is. O'Reilly takes the theme and walks through a lot of his own life showing times when he was "stupid" about what he did or who he trusted. Along the way he tackles Race, Religion, the Media, Education, Government, and Lawyers (a quote: "The American justice system is a runaway money train where those without legal credentials are tied to the tracks."), among others, clearing the smokescreens that cover up ugly truths.

Now, as regular readers know, I'm a Libertarian, especially in the sense of being very conservative on most issues of governance, but rather liberal on individual rights issues. Part of my personal "spin" is that I'm somewhat "anti-theistic", holding that Religion in general is a Bad Thing. O'Reilly (like Ms. Coulter) comes from a diametrically opposite stance, holding that Religion is very important, and especially that one. As such, I find some of the places that O'Reilly goes in Who's Looking Out for You? are needlessly "preachy", although he is at least tolerant towards opinions on the subject dissenting from his.

Unfortunately, I doubt many folks of the liberal/left bent would even attempt to read this (and would likely bust blood vessels in the process were they to make the effort), and for the conservatives, it's pretty much what they already know. From where I sit, most of this book is no surprise, just a clear exposition of a lot of "what's wrong in the world". Frankly, the only "revelation" was that O'Reilly stands 6'4" tall (hard to gauge that when you've only seen him behind a desk on TV!) ... which leads to a lot of amusing thoughts of "Death Match" scenarios with various irritants from the Left!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading Who's Looking Out for You? and would certainly recommend it, with the caveats detailed above. Lucky for you, this is one of those which can be had for a steal. While it is still in print (so could be found in your local bookstore) and Amazon has it at 27% off cover price, the new/used vendors have lots of "very good" copies for a penny (plus the $3.99 shipping, of course) and there are "like new" copies for as low as fifty cents. Such a deal!

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Tags: book review
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