Saturday, January 20, 2007

O'Reilly Crossed the Line.

O'Reilly Crossed the Line

Everyone knows Bill O'Reilly's show is far from objective and mainly an hour of him rambling on about news issues in his own unique way. But, he went too far on January 15th. On that day on The O'Reilly Factor, Mr. O'Reilly rambled on about the abduction case of the two Missouri teenage boys. Obviously the country is interested in this case, especially with Shawn Horbeck. Everyone is wondering how he could have lived with his abductor for four years without trying to escape. But the boy has yet to explain. His counselors have told his parents to wait until he is ready to talk about it. The Hornbecks even went on Oprah this past week, but did not discuss the details.

Suprisingly though, without talking to boy or his family, O'Reilly claims to know why Hornbeck didn't try to escape.

"The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted," O'Reilly said. He continued..."there was an element here that this kid liked about this circumstances."

How does Bill O'Reilly know? How can he claim to know this? How dare he suggest this young boy liked his circumstances? A lot of the major broadcasting stations invited psychologists to come on the air to discuss the Stockholm Syndrome - roughly when someone is in an abusive relationship they act in abnormal ways.

O'Reilly said he doesn't buy that theory either.

I understand O'Reilly is paid the big bucks at Fox News for his opinions. I understand they are only his opinions and Fox News is not suggesting they are facts. But, I have a real problem with this broadcast.

Until Shawn Hornbeck talks about what happened to him and how he made his decisions, then Bill O'Reilly shouldn't assume anything. It is one thing to criticize the media for being too liberal, or to criticize elected public officials, it is quite another to criticize a young private citizen who was involved in a traumatic incident.



At Sunday, January 21, 2007, Anonymous TD said...

I agree JE. What O'Reilly said was distasteful and ignorant. How could he possibly imagine what Shawn Hornbeck went through? But I also thought that Shawn's parents should have waited until Shawn was ready before they went on this kind of media blitz, even telling Oprah that they believe he might have been sexually abused. Did that really have to be revealed for Shawn's sake?

At Sunday, January 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, JE. O'Reilly is being completely callous. But is he, as a person, really that insensitive? It seems to me he might be using the story, and his outrageous opinions, to provoke others into getting mad at him. I think O'Reilly thrives on people getting infuriated with his comments.


At Sunday, January 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree as well.

It also seemed to me, in a way, that his comments were similar to the interview and comments Nancy Grace made earlier this year - about the Florida woman whose son was missing (and who later killed herself). When journalists/commentators say things, they have to be accountable and also responsible for what they say.

Ethically, we have to first do no harm, and even if those are O'Reilly's comments to provoke and draw viewership and incite discussion, he has the responsibility of not doing harm to Shawn or his parents.


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