Bill O’Reilly

I was disappointed in what I saw on the web clip.

I have been trading emails back in forth with Woody, who is starting to rival my friend Farrell (International Man of Mystery) in miles traveled and places seen. We’ve been talking about oil speculation. Woody’s family business is home heating oil.

If you’re not in the Northeast, this may surprise you. We have trucks that drive around and deliver fuel oil (exactly the same as automobile diesel) to big basement tanks. Woody’s family has kept us warm for nearly twenty years.

I told him about a story on futures trading by speculators and the possible implications on the price of oil, that ran on MSNBC. I’ve watched three packages on this subject, and I still don’t totally understand.

Woody sent me a link. Bill O’Reilly was on and agreeing with the point made in the MSNBC report. I took a look.

I don’t watch Bill O’Reilly often. He is a very charismatic broadcaster. He’s a great reader whose inflection can sell a story. He has an extremely well developed on-air persona, which is more important to his success than whatever political point he’s currently making.

I was disappointed in what I saw on the web clip. To me, it seemed he was cold reading his Talking Points Memo. A few times, he read words, but used the wrong inflection. That’s the giveaway.

I know he doesn’t write everything he reads (maybe anything he reads) – that’s OK. But I expect him to do the broadcasting equivalent of basketball shootarounds and take a look at his copy before he’s in the studio.

It is only fair to note. I might have just caught him on a bad night. I have bad nights. Everyone does. The average of all your work, by definition, is average. Hopefully the excellent outweighs the mediocre.