Bill O'Reilly vs. the Ipod People


News flash: Fox News ratings champeen Bill O'Reilly is putting on his best TJ Hooker and getting mad at hell at all those scuzzbuckets and low-life scum that stumble along with MP3 players, the post-Information Age's answer to soma, fer chrissakes:

So the USA is now entering an age of issue illiteracy. Older Americans still remember civics classes and geography tests and dinner table discussions about their country. Many younger Americans will never experience those things. Thus, as technology shrinks the globe, it is also providing an escape from the world. The iPod people can avoid real life constantly and entirely.

Our society is so intellectually undemanding that uninformed entertainers like the Dixie Chicks can comment negatively on foreign policy and be rewarded with a Time Magazine cover. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can have a baby and receive more attention than the Senate vote on illegal immigration. And Barry Bonds can cheat his way to home run records and still command standing ovations in San Francisco.

The USA used to be a nation that valued knowledge and rallied around national standards. Now we have become Balkanized–each of us can easily create individual electronic fantasy worlds. Why face a world full of terror and confusing angst when you can drift off into iPod land?

You know, we've become so Balkanized, we don't even know what Balkanized means anymore (wasn't he that fake foreign guy on Perfect Strangers? Or was he Andy Kauffman's character on Taxi? Isn't that where the the band Franz Ferdinand comes from?)

Sure, sez King Bill, the punks today may be getting "get the news online. Okay, fine. But those internet headlines barely skim the surface of complicated matters, and many websites have absolutely no editorial standards. They print rank propaganda and libel all day long." Whole rant–as fiber-filled and rib-sticking as a bowl of Grape Nuts–here.

Bill O can take heart that sometimes the Internet actually prints useful correctives to print and broadcast media bullshit. Like, say, Bill's bogus claims about a certain Ms. Hanoi Jane Fonda.