Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bill O'Reilly Continues To Lie About His "Humble" Roots


Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has long maintained that he came from humble, working-class roots.

In his interview Wednesday with Hillary Clinton, O'Reilly once again displayed his "I'm just a regular working stiff" persona and reminded viewers that he grew up in Levittown, a working-class suburb of New York City.

Indeed, O'Reilly's bio on the Fox News Web site continues to claim that O'Reilly came from "from humble beginnings" and that he "lived in a modest house with his father, mother and sister in the Westbury section of Levittown."

"You don't come from any lower than I came from on an economic scale," O'Reilly once claimed.

Indeed, in his interview with Clinton, O'Reilly regularly trotted out the phrase "the folks," as though he knows what's on the minds of ordinary working-class Americans. It's a gimmick often used by Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush, as well. Which is ironic, because all three men are immensely wealthy. For example, O'Reilly makes an eye-popping $9 million a year.

O'Reilly has previously pointed out that his father, who retired in 1978, never made more than $35,000 a year. It's a misleading and dishonest claim though that this made the O'Reilly family's circumstances "humble." As the media watch group FAIR has pointed out, O'Reilly's father's income is actually equivalent to over $90,000 today in inflation-adjusted dollars.

And as Media Matters has noted, the median income for a U.S. household today is $48,451. Which means O'Reilly's father earned almost double the nation's household median income. Hardly "working-class."

Of course, O'Reilly is hardly alone among millionaire media celebrities in being clueless about the lives of real ordinary working Americans these days. After all, during a Jan. 5 Democratic debate ABC's Charlie Gibson claimed that families making $200,000 a year are "middle-class."


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is really food for thought! Bill O'Reilley is obviously selfish and greedy and awful for keeping all of those millions for himself. At $9 million per year, his evilness is just so in your face. It's criminal, really, what say you? But I wonder...just how much is the right amount a person should make these days, adjusted for inflation of course, in order to have enough to get by but still not feel guilty? And if you cross the line and earn an obscene amount though no fault of your own, what should you do with the excess? Surely this stuff can be quantified, and the blogosphere is just the place to get the job done, what say you?

Anonymous said...

I have taken the liberty of linking to this article on my website,; it at the bottom of column 1 in the "Blogs" section (or, it is today [2008-05-01]; the sections move around). Hope this is ok; if not, e-mail me to delete

Lotus said...

So BO's father never made more than $35,000 a year? My, how poverty-stricken!

The figure you cite is for household income. The median individual income for those over 18 in 2005 was $25,149. Which makes those 35,000 1978 dollars nearly 40% above today's individual income.

BO's father made "only" $35,000 a year? I remember when my father was proud that he'd reached $10,000 and several years later was almost ecstatic that he made $20,000.

"Humble roots?" Just more BO BS.

Anonymous said...

And how about Hillary, the hypocritcal elitist finger pointer, on her staged I'm just a regular Joe trip to work for the cameras Tuesday they stopped at a conveience store or coffee. She didn't know how to use the self service dispenser. Yeah, she knows what it's like to be a "real" American.

Anonymous said...

You godless libruls jest don't understand nothin.' Back in them sinful Seventies, folks like Bill 'O's daddy were out there a sweatin' fer a real livin', not jest collectin' a relief check whilest their kids wuz sittin' around a Newark cold-water tenement house, a suckin' on paint chips. You jest don't git that there is some folks who counts, and others that don't. There's poor (pronounced "po"), but proud, and then there is gutter scum, not worth shootin'. Git it?