Friday, February 22, 2008

Kazmierczak on O'Reilly


Bill O'Reilly (on the right) who only recently has thrown around the word "lynching" in conjunction to Michelle Obama, may allegedly have been part of the reason for the rage inside the man who turned his guns on the students at Northern Illinois University on Valentine's Day.

Apparently undiscovered by most investigators or even Bill O'Reilly observer Keith Olbermann (on the left, above) of MSNBC's "Countdown," the NIU shooter Steve Kazmierczak wrote a critique of O'Reilly's book Culture Warrior online, giving a clue as to things that set him off.

Kazmierczak did leave behind some Internet footprints, after all. He was a reviewer of a few items, such as the O'Reilly book, at

Here is what Kazmierczak wrote on January 1, 2008, about O'Reilly's tome, which campus shooter Kazmierczak gave just two stars out of five:

The main problem I have with Culture Warrior is that O'Reilly writes like he talks-in short talking points and with a harsh tone. This is not to say that this is a bad thing, but it can grow annoying at times, particularly since even though O'Reilly has several advanced degrees, he writes like a first year undergraduate.

O'Reilly starts off by claiming that the contemporary culture war in this country cannot be framed in terms of liberals and conservatives. He then proceeds to claim that there are many shade of gray, and that boiling down such a complex issue into two sides is essentially a misguided approach to understanding the underlying issues at stake here.

However, O'Reilly immediately begins to frame this 'battle' in terms of secular-progressives (or SP's, O'Reilly abbreviates them since he uses the term probably more than 100 times in this book) versus traditionalists. In other words, he apparently he has done the very thing that he claimed he wouldn't do in this book which is essentially to frame this issue in terms of mutually exclusive aims, goals, and categories. Rather than use liberal v. conservative, O'Reilly substitutes these categories with SP and traditionalists, respectively, despite his claims to the contrary. By the end of the book, he flatly states that one side is just and the other is not, which is quite bizarre. O'Reilly's success with this book and with his show is due to his mastery of the cardinal rule of politics... you have to pander to all sides, even while twisting the knife into the back of the side you wish to defeat. In more pragmatic terms, the use of smoke-screens to cloud your ambitions and allegiances is always the safe and most successful route to traverse.

Despite O'Reilly having earned two master's degrees from prestigious universities, he must have skipped out during his statistics and research methods courses, as his use of anecdotal evidence is appalling and dishonest. Refraining from footnotes or any type of citation format, O'Reilly attempts to portray isolated events as epidemics and anecdotal stories as the universal truth. The most disturbing thing of all is that O'Reilly understands the power he wields, and abuses it to further his sales and unclear and somewhat contradictory agenda.

Yes, it's an enjoyable read, but O'Reilly is quite devious and makes use ad-hominem attacks more often than not, often against the usual suspects, (i.e. the ACLU, Howard Dean, Vermont judges, socialists, etc.). Seriously, smear merchant this, smear merchant that--it gets old after the first few chapters. Truly, the genius is O'Reilly is that he is a captivating media figure, often distorting politics and social issues through his manipulative posturing on countless issues. The same can be said of this book.

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