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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Bill O’Reilly

August 1, 2016 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

This edition of Douchebag of the Week is, by my count, issue number 104, which means that I’ve been writing this particular internets feature for two years. Two years? Has it really been that long?

2YearsCandleCupcake

To everyone who has commented over those two years, thanks (and, yes, I mean everyone, even the people who didn’t particularly care for what I wrote at the time or, well, ever). And to everyone who has just read the column over those two years, thanks to you, too. I continue to enjoy putting it together every week, and as long as the fine folks in charge at 411mania want it, I’ll keep doing it. I doubt I’ll ever run out of douchebags to comment on.

Go ahead and check out the very first issue of Douchebag of the Week here and see how much the column has changed since it started. Well, you know, if you want to. It’s okay to just keep reading.

And now, for everyone, onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.

Douchebag

BillOReilly

This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to Fox News host and Douchebag Hall of Famer Bill O’Reilly, for his “the slaves had it pretty good working on the White House” commentary last week. The night after First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention and remarked that she “woke up every morning in a house built by slaves” and that she “watched her two black daughters play with their dogs on the White House lawn.” It was a speech that, in essence, was all about how much America had changed over the years and how far America has come. The next night, on O’Reilly’s Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor O’Reilly decided to “fact check” the First Lady’s speech and said that, yes, slaves did build the White House, but they were “well fed,” they had “decent lodgings” provided by the government, and they worked alongside others who were not slaves. So, you know, it wasn’t as bad as the First Lady made it out to be.

Or something.

I really have no idea why O’Reilly felt it was necessary to “fact check” the First Lady’s speech since she didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. Slaves built the White House. The fact that maybe they weren’t the only ones building the White House doesn’t lessen the reality of what slaves were forced to do. And being “well fed” and “given decent lodgings” also doesn’t lessen the fact that slaves participated in building the White House. It’s what happened. So, again, what was the point of O’Reilly engaging in this “fact check?”

That all happened on a Tuesday. The next day, Wednesday, O’Reilly attempted to defend himself from critics who complained that he made it sound like slavery wasn’t all that bad. O’Reilly said “It’s a given that slavery is an abomination. But reporting the story behind Mrs. Obama’s very valid points does not diminish the horror of enslavement as these dishonest critics allege.”

Wait a second. It’s a given that slavery is an abomination? But the slaves at the White House were well fed and had nice rooms to sleep in. It couldn’t have been that bad, could it? What other conclusion am I meant to come to here? I’m confused about what Bill is trying to tell me.

And that’s the big, big problem here. No one seems to know what O’Reilly was trying to do with this “fact check.” And after reading this commentary from noted historian Tim Naftali, I’m even more confused. What the hell is going on here, Bill? What are you doing?

Is O’Reilly a racist? Is he trying to deliberately cause controversy? Is he just being a douchebag asshole?

Come on, Bill, explain yourself. Show some humility.

Yeah, I just don’t see that happening. It’s the “liberal” media out to get him. That must be it.

Jesus Christ.

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And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

The Democratic National Committee, for trying to change the subject regarding the WikiLeaks e-mail leak controversy. While it may be true that the Russian government hacked the DNC’s e-mail server and gave what it found to WikiLeaks, that’s really a separate issue. The e-mails show what anyone who had been paying attention to the primary election in the first place knew, that the Democratic machine was all in for Hillary Clinton. It can’t be denied. So own up to it. Explain how it was no big deal, that the plan from the beginning was to get behind Clinton, and that no one saw Sanders gaining as much support as he did.

At the same time, the Sanders side of the election needs to stop with the “the election was stolen” stuff. It wasn’t. Hillary Clinton won the most states, she won the most delegates, she’s the nominee. Accept it and move on.

-Douchebag Hall of Famer, former Douchebag of the Year, and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, for his denigration of a Gold Star mother. Just go ahead and read the story at the link and ask yourself why Trump, if he absolutely had to respond, couldn’t have just said “I disagree with her assessment, and I thank her son for serving his country” or something like that? What would have been wrong with doing that?

-Action legend Jean-Claude Van Damme, for storming out of a TV interview in Australia. I don’t like saying this, as Van Damme is one of my favorite action stars (I plan on reviewing his movie Pound of Flesh in The Gratuitous B-Movie Column soon), but he shouldn’t have walked out of that TV interview. Walking out of an interview never looks good. Just answer the questions as best you can, be polite, and don’t make news. It may be hard, yes, and Van Damme, like anyone else, is human and has bad days, etc., but at the same time he’s been an international celebrity for three decades. He knows how this stuff works. Just answer the questions.

MTV, for turning VH-1 Classic into MTV Classic. Because that’s exactly what the world of television needs, a third fucking MTV chock full of bullshit. And that’s what MTV Classic will be after about six months or so, total bullshit, like the other two MTV’s. There was nothing wrong with VH-1 Classic.

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