Roger Ebert Strikes Back at Bill O'Reilly ... Hard

If recent history is any guide, I suppose this means Bill O'Reilly will feel compelled to send strange men to Roger Ebert's home.

Bill O'Reilly recently lashed out at the Chicago Sun-Times, adding the paper to his "Hall of Shame," a list of media outlets that "have regularly helped distribute defamatory, false or non-newsworthy information supplied by far left websites" and O'Reilly "recommend[s] that you do not patronize or advertise with."

Roger Ebert, the Sun-Times' film critic was not only thrilled to learn of O'Reilly's criticism, he also sent him a thank-you note.

Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him. My grade-school teacher, wise Sister Nathan, would have called in your parents and recommended counseling with Father Hogben.

Yes, the Sun-Times is liberal, having recently endorsed our first Democrat for President since LBJ. We were founded by Marshall Field one week before Pearl Harbor to provide a liberal voice in Chicago to counter the Tribune, which opposed an American war against Hitler. I'm sure you would have sided with the Trib at the time.

Apparently, part of O'Reilly's beef with the paper is the Sun-Times' decision to drop O'Reilly's syndicated column. Ebert explained to the Fox News personality that the paper began running his column when the Sun-Times was "owned by the right-wing polemicists," and was dropped to save the paper money "after they looted the paper of millions." (Not that O'Reilly's column deserved consideration anyway -- Ebert described it as "knee-jerk frothings and ravings.")

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018