The Bryan Fischer award is given to those who display a staggering lack of self-awareness, accusing their opponents of displaying their own worst traits. It could just as easily be called the Bill O’Reilly Award given his penchant for psychological projection. Take a look at this statement from a recent show:
The protests of the 60s and early 70s brought about profound change and many of the radicals back then have become authority figures today especially in the media. But now we have a new anti-authority movement and it has been created by the grievance industry which President Obama and the Democratic Party have used very effectively to assume and maintain power.
The grievance industry basically says that America is not a fair nation that the deck is stacked against minorities, women, the poor, gays, atheists, Muslims — you name it. And the bad guys are white males, the Republican Party and anybody who doesn’t buy into the grievance industry.
Amanda Marcotte points out how O’Reilly’s entire TV persona and career is built on the airing of fake grievances:
Interestingly, while no one in the story that O’Reilly accuses of being a member of a “grievance industry” is profiting off expressing grievances, he himself makes an absolute fortune off expressing grievances. He attracts viewers by spouting an endless litany of grievances, and therefore gets handsomely paid to do it. Perusing his website, here’s a list of some recent grievances he was paid handsomely to utter:
- That Christians can’t impose their religions on non-Christians through public schools
- More phony outrage about Benghazi
- That stupid scientists keep insisting on the science of global warming even though it’s harshing O’Reilly’s fondness for inefficient gas guzzlers
- That he wants to use social welfare programs to harangue and humiliate poor people about their most private life choices
- Beyonce wrote a song about sex with her husband
Interestingly, none of the aggrieved people in O’Reilly’s world suffer even a fraction of the damage that actual targets of racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. endure. Hell, having to not go see “Noah” or feel slight pangs of doubt over your gas guzzling car might be inconvenient for conservatives, but even they aren’t suffering as much as people who got arrested by the cops for drunken rioting did. I mean, I’m not supporting drunken rioting, but in terms of “grievance”, getting arrested for it does count as measurable harm, unlike anything the “Noah” movie did to fundies. Which is to say that O’Reilly’s one-man grievance industry is all industry, and the grievance part is pure hustle. But, you know, it’s the liberals who are the bad guys here, with all their complaining about actual, measurable harm.
She leaves out one obvious example: This is a man who believes there’s a war on Christmas, for crying out loud. He is the loudest and most public advocate for the absurd claim that Christians are being persecuted when someone says “happy holidays” to them. And he makes millions of dollars for it. Grievance industry, indeed.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: