I love when Ebert does these little take-downs of nutballs like Bill O’Reilly. Here he compares O’Reilly to “right-wing polemicist” Conrad Black, the former owner of the Sun-Times who is serving an eight-year jail term for mail fraud and obstruction of justice:
There is a major difference between Conrad Black and you: Lord Black is a much better writer and thinker, and authored a respected biography about Roosevelt, who we were founded to defend. That newspapers continue to run your column is a mystery to me, since it is composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings.
Back when he had his column running in the Sun-Times, and I actually read the Sun-Times, I wrote to the editors wondering why they would print such a thing. It went along the lines of “I have no problem with you printing columns written people who think differently, as long as they are somewhat intelligent or well-written. That said, why would you continue to run a column by Mr. O’Reilly?”
Glad to see they finally came to their senses on that one.
P.S. – I know that it is a common meme on the right to correlate the “death of newspapers” with the content printed within. I would wager that O’Reilly’s response to this column will be along those lines: this is why no one reads them anymore! Liberal trash like Ebert! But sane people who aren’t red-faced and frothing know that it is nothing of the sort. I didn’t cancel my subscription because of O’Reilly’s column. The Internet, dummy. The Internet. That is what is killing the papers. Any idiot knows that.