That memo I meant to send

I was catching up on blogs, and was happy to see that Dad sent the letter to Terry Gross that I'd been meaning to write for a few days, regarding her interview of Bill O'Reilly on Fresh Air. (As usual, I never would have gotten around to it.)

I'm no O'Reilly fan. I'm on the left side of the political spectrum, generally vote a straight Democratic ticket, and dislike conservative talk shows.

But when a guest is on a book tour, he is donating his time with the understanding that the interview will focus on the contents of his book. At the end of the show, the audience should have a general idea of the book's contents, and know whether it's worth walking over to the local bookstore for a closer look. (Or for you suburbanites, driving to the local mall.)

O'Reilly is a controversial figure, so a few questions asking him to respond to his critics are absolutely necessary. But in this case, the vast majority of the interview consisted of Gross reading critical remarks about O'Reilly from various books and magazine articles, and asking him to respond. "Joe says you're a big loser, is that fair?" ... "Well Bob says you lie all the time, how about that?" ... "Well Suzie says your show sucks. Does it suck?" ... and on, and on, and on.

O'Reilly's own book (Who's Looking Out For You) was quoted far less often than his critics' writing. When it was over, I had no idea whether or not I'd be interested in the book. All I learned was that lots of people don't like Bill O'Reilly. And I already knew that.