20 Oct 2004 Bill O’Reilly a Conservative?
Right Journal makes a good point about Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.
I agree. If Bill O’Reilly were a conservative, I wouldn’t have had occasion to write this, nor this.
As O’Reilly himself makes clear — often — on his show, he has some views that are associated with conservatives and others that are associated with liberals. Environmental issues appear to be among those on which he generally sides with the left.
The environmentalists whose views O’Reilly parrots have an unreservedly pro-regulation agenda that is completely incompatible with the free-market economy under which this nation has prospered. Such an endorsement of socialism — however qualified it may be by O’Reilly’s more conservative views on other issues, such as tax rates or abortion — disqualifies one from the distinction of being called a true conservative.
Would we call an advocate of socialized medicine a conservative, even if the individual was pro-life? No. O’Reilly’s views on the environment likewise disqualify him.
Frankly, it is pretty clear that O’Reilly’s market positioning constrains him, at least at present and wholly within his own mind, from publicly adopting a consistent political ideology. O’Reilly doesn’t want to be too closely identified with either side. (What more proof is needed that O’Reilly is, first and foremost, a professional media personality?)
But, now that O’Reilly’s facing some legal challenges, expect the mainstream media to call him a conservative — nearly every time it mentions him.
Should O’Reilly ever throw himself in front of a bus to save a baby, however, the word “conservative” will never come up.