Book Review – Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly

This book is a #1 New York Times Best Seller for a reason.

I’ve read several of the previous books by Bill O’Reilly including: The No Spin Zone, Who’s Looking Out For You, The O’Reilly Factor For Kids (I’m still a kid at heart), Culture Warrior and A Bold Fresh Piece Of Humanity. I even read O’Reilly’s only novel — Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Television and Murder. And I watch the O’Reilly Factor almost every weekday night, either at 8pm, or the repeat showing at 11pm.

So you could say I like the guy a little bit. O’Reilly is a lot like me; a right of middle person, not influenced by the pinheads who populate the far left, or the far right ends of the political spectrum. Certainly he’s not as far right as the man whose show follows his, Sean Hannity, who never gives the Democrats, or liberals even one tiny accolade, no matter how exemplary their actions may be.

In his No Spin Zone, O’Reilly tells it like it is, and woe to his guest who doesn’t answer the question he asks and goes off on a tangent, or inane talking point. I had drill sergeants in boot camp less intimidating than O’Reilly when he’s hot. Just ask Barney Frank, who O’Reilly filleted from throat to sternum, then down his flabby back.

Every evening, O’Reilly ends his show with a segment called Pinheads and Patriots. Some nights a person who had been a Pinhead in the past, now does something that elevates them to Patriot status. And vice versa.

O’Reilly begins “Pinheads and Patriots” with the definition of a pinhead by A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. “Pinhead – a simple fellow, a fool. So small a head contain but few brains.”

Then he follows with the Urban Dictionary’s version. “One who lacks the intelligence of the ‘normal’ sector of the human population; one who cannot handle the most mundane tasks due to lack of common sense and intelligence.”

Then he names names.

Patriot — The late Tony Snow, who was a Fox News anchor, then later chief spokesman for the Bush White House. Snow died after a two-year battle with cancer. O’Reilly wrote, “Tony Snow is the bravest man I ever met.” He explains why.

Pinhead — Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, who O’Reilly lambastes under the heading “The Cowardly Lion.” Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services committee, more than anyone else was responsible for the present mortgage crisis. Frank oversaw the disaster of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and even said months before the collapse that things were fine and dandy with those two mortgage giants. Yet when he appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, Frank refused to accept even one iota of blame. He said he was a “victim of economic chaos.” Pinhead for sure.

Since President Obama is on the cover facing O’Reilly, you’d think O’Reilly had him lined up for Pinhead-dom. Not true. O’Reilly points out several instances where Obama was a true Patriot. He cites the time at a Town Hall meeting on Father’s Day, when Obama said to men who father children and leave them: “Just because your father wasn’t there for you, that’s not an excuse for you to be absent, also – it is all the more reason for you to be present. You have an obligation to break the cycle and learn from those mistakes, and to rise up where your own fathers fell short and to do better than they did with your own children.”

Truly the words of a Patriot.

Before the Presidential election, Obama shunned any interview with Fox News, except with one person — Bill O’Reilly. In “Pinheads and Patriots,” O’Reilly gives us the complete transcript of his interview with Obama, which lasted about 30 minutes. Then at intervals, he explains how things Obama said in the interview either panned out, or didn’t pan out for the President. He also takes Obama to task for not admitting he was wrong about the surge in Iraq. Obama admits in the interview that the surge worked, but stops short of giving then President Bush any credit at all.

The back and forth went like this:

Obama: What I have said is – I have already said it’s (the surge) has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

O’Reilly: Right, so why can’t you just say, “I was wrong about the surge?”

Obama hems and haws, but never once did he say “I was wrong.” And as we have found out in the 21 months of his Presidency, he may be incapable of saying he was wrong about anything, except maybe about the White Sox winning the World Series.

One of the best chapters in the book is entitled, “My All-Time Favorite P& Ps.” Without me giving away who’s-who and what’s-what, O’Reilly gives his opinion on, amongst others, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, U.S. Grant, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Robert Kennedy, both Bush’s, Cesar Chavez. John Edwards, Madonna, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and George Soros. Some of his conclusions may surprise you.

On O’Reilly’s website, the book sells for $27.95, but he throws in a nifty “Pinheads and Patriots” tote bag. I got mine at for less than 16 bucks, and because I have Amazon Prime, I got free shipping (but no tote bag).

“Pinheads and Patriots” is must reading for any O’Reilly fan. And even people who are not too crazy about O’Reilly, should enjoy reading this even-handed book too.

Unless you’re a Pinhead. Then there’s nothing I can do for you anyway.

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