Who runs the world? Tech.

Tours Travel

Book Review – Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly

This book is a New York Times best seller for a reason.

I have read several of Bill O’Reilly’s previous books including: The No Spin Zone, Who’s Looking Out For You, The O’Reilly Factor For Kids (I’m Still a Kid at Heart), Culture Warrior, and A Bold Fresh Piece Of Humanity. I even read O’Reilly’s only novel, Those Who Pierce: A Television Novel and Murder. And I watch the O’Reilly Factor almost every weekday night, either at 8pm or a replay at 11pm.

So you could say I kind of like the guy. O’Reilly is a lot like me; a middle-person right, uninfluenced by the pinheads who populate the far left or far-right ends of the political spectrum. He certainly isn’t quite as far to the right as the man whose program follows his, Sean Hannity, who never gives the Democrats or liberals even a little praise, no matter how exemplary his actions may be.

In his No Spin Zone, O’Reilly tells it like it is, and woe betide his guest who doesn’t answer the question he’s asking and goes off on a tangent, or a silly topic of conversation. I had drill sergeants in boot camp less intimidating than O’Reilly when he’s hot. Just ask Barney Frank, who O’Reilly filleted from throat to sternum and then down his flabby back.

Every night, O’Reilly ends his show with a segment called Pinheads and Patriots. Some nights, a person who had been a pinhead in the past now does something that elevates him to patriotic status. And vice versa.

O’Reilly begins “Pinheads and Patriots” with the definition of pinhead from A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. “Pinhead: a simple fellow, a fool. Such a small head contains very few brains.”

Then he continues with the Urban Dictionary version. “One who lacks the intelligence of the ‘normal’ sector of the human population; one who cannot handle the most mundane tasks due to a lack of common sense and intelligence.”

Then give names.

Patriot: The late Tony Snow, who was a Fox News anchor and later a senior spokesman for the Bush White House. Snow died after a two-year battle with cancer. O’Reilly wrote: “Tony Snow is the bravest man I have ever met.” He explains why.

Pinhead: Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, whom O’Reilly criticizes under the headline “The Cowardly Lion.” Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services committee, was more than anyone responsible for the current mortgage crisis. Frank glosses over the disaster at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even saying months before the collapse that things were going well with those two mortgage giants. However, when he appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, Frank refused to accept even an iota of blame. He said that he was a “victim of economic chaos.” He pinhead for sure.

Since President Obama is on the cover facing O’Reilly, you’d think O’Reilly had him lined up for Pinhead-dom. Is not true. O’Reilly points to several instances where Obama was a true patriot. He cites the moment at a Father’s Day town hall meeting when Obama told men who father children and leave them: “Just because your father wasn’t there for you, that’s not an excuse for you to be absent, it’s also one more reason for you to be there. You have an obligation to break the cycle and learn from those mistakes, and pick up where your own fathers fell short and do better than they did with their own children.”

Truly the words of a patriot.

Before the presidential election, Obama avoided any interview with Fox News, except with one person: Bill O’Reilly. In “Pinheads and Patriots,” O’Reilly gives us the full transcript of his interview with Obama, which lasted about 30 minutes. Then, at intervals, he explains how the things Obama said in the interview did or didn’t work out for the president. He also chides Obama for not admitting he was wrong about the troop surge in Iraq. Obama admits in the interview that the increase worked, but he stops short of giving then-President Bush any credit.

The back and forth went like this:

Obama: What I have said is that I have already said that (the surge) has been successful beyond our wildest dreams.

O’Reilly: Right, so why can’t you just say, “I was wrong about the raise?”

Obama hesitates, but never once did he say “I was wrong.” And as we’ve discovered in the 21 months of his presidency, he may be incapable of saying he was wrong about anything, except perhaps that the White Sox won the World Series.

One of the best chapters in the book is titled “My Favorite P&Ps of All Time.” Without revealing who is who and what is what, O’Reilly gives his opinion on, among others, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, US Grant, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Robert Kennedy, both from Bush, Cesar Chavez. John Edwards, Madonna, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and George Soros. Some of his conclusions may surprise you.

On O’Reilly’s website, the book sells for $27.95, but he throws in a nifty “Pinheads and Patriots” tote bag. I got mine on Amazon.com for under $16, and since I have Amazon Prime, I got free shipping (but not the tote bag).

“Pinheads and Patriots” is a must read for any O’Reilly fan. And even people who aren’t overly enthusiastic about O’Reilly should enjoy reading this even-tempered book, too.

Unless you’re a pinhead. So there’s nothing I can do for you anyway.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *