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Looking Out for Bill
by Aaron Goldstein
09 January 2004Who's Looking Out For You

A review of Bill O'Reilly's book, Who's Looking Out For You?

Although Bill O’Reilly’s book, Who’s Looking Out for You?, has been at or near the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List for nonfiction, O’Reilly and others have lamented that the prestigious paper will not review his book.

OK, this may not be the New York Times but look out, Bill -- I am going to review your book.

Frankly, if you are a regular viewer of The O’Reilly Factor, a listener of the Radio Factor or regularly read his syndicated column, there is not much new here.   O’Reilly explores many of the themes that he explores on TV, radio and in print; namely, illegal immigration, the battle between traditionalism and secularism and excessive judicial activism.   

Of course, some stories are worth retelling.  O’Reilly does have a strong interest concerning the well being of children.  His account of the disappearance (and probable murder) of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson while she was in the care of  the Florida Department of Children and Families and the subsequent inaction of Florida Governor Jeb Bush is chilling, disconcerting and outrageous.     What is even more disturbing is that O’Reilly is virtually the only person in the American media to cover this story.  To paraphrase Rabbi Hillel, if we are not for our children than who will be for them?

The strongest chapters in Who’s Looking Out for You? are the final two -- particularly the chapter titled, “Errors in Judgment.”   Although O’Reilly is often criticized by the Left for never admitting that he is wrong, this chapter shatters that myth.  

When explaining his success he writes, “But here’s the truly shocking truth about my success.  I made so many stupid mistakes that I’d have to write three books to chronicle them.   So in the next few pages I will tell you what I did that you should never do.”

Anyone brave enough to put those two sentences to paper deserves a fair hearing.  O’Reilly admits that in confrontations with unpleasant people in his career in journalism he often gave his foes the tools they needed to defeat him.   “(M)y enemies there crushed me, and I supplied the boulders,” O’Reilly states candidly.   

In the best of times, it is difficult to know where one stands from one day to the next.  It is difficult because it is sometimes nearly impossible to distinguish friend from foe.  There are those in life who pretend to pat your back when all the while they are stabbing it.  In the final two chapters, O’Reilly writes about how he has been able to stay away from people who create and thrive on chaos and more importantly how he was able to build alliances with people that were truly looking out for him.   That alone is worth the price of admission.

If you are having trouble looking out for yourself, Who’s Looking Out for You? at least tries to provide the mirror.

Who's Looking Out For You is available on Amazon.com.

Aaron Goldstein, a former member of the socialist New Democratic Party, writes poetry and has a chapbook titled Oysters and the Newborn Child: Melancholy and Dead Musicians. His poetry can be viewed on www.poetsforthewar.org.

Email Aaron Goldstein

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