Thursday, February 19, 2009

There Are Two Kinds of People in the World...

If you've never seen The O'Reilly Factor, (1) keep up the good work, and (2) know that one of Bill O'Reilly's recurring segments is called "Cheers & Jeers" "Tip O' the Hat, Wag of the Finger" "Pinheads & Patriots." If you need a description of how the segment works, please go back and read the title again.

Anyway, on Wednesday night the "Patriot" half of the piece was about a fan at a Lakers game who hit a shot from half-court, winning an oversized novelty check. You may say to yourself, "Making that kind of a shot is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but does it really mean the guy is patriotic?" History, however, shows that you are mistaken. Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson were all known to enjoy a spirited game of HORSE in the revolutionary era, and the patriotism of these men is taken for granted. In fact, George Washington once so impressed his countrymen with a full-court buzzer-beater that he was immediately elected president.

Meanwhile, O'Reilly's pinheads of the night were Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton, earning the host's derision on the basis of a video in which Snoop listens to Paris freestyle for a few painful, painful bars. Hilton wasn't rhyming about how Fox News is racist or the president is black, so it would seem that Bill was objecting to Ms. Hilton's technique rather than her message. I never thought BillO was much of a hip-hop critic, but I guess it's possible that his recent tiffs with Nas and Jay-Z are really because he thinks it's been all downhill after Reasonable Doubt and Illmatic. Either that or he's trying to stir up a high-profile rap feud in order to boost sales of his latest mixtape, recorded under the name MC Bold Fresh.

O'Reilly's patriot/pinhead dichotomy seems straightforward enough, but I quickly discovered a problem with it: into which camp do we lump Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and other people who are very good basketball players but wack rappers? I certainly hope that the Factor will address this pressing issue soon so I can know whether these pro athletes love their country or lack intelligence.

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