Can We Learn From the O’Reilly Fiasco?
I have no idea whether Bill O’Reilly is guilty or innocent of the charges against him.
Either way, his fall — given that he topped the cable news programs for over 15 years — was incredibly swift.
I myself never much cared for him, for the exact reason that a lot of people liked him: he didn’t seem to have much of a philosophy, as opposed to a series of isolated, ad hoc positions.
Or he’d never get to the true heart of an issue. Like if he was criticizing Jesse Jackson, it would be for some obscure charge of financial corruption instead of what Jackson, Inc. represents: a systematic shakedown enterprise aimed at white America.
Not to mention his extreme naivete when it came to foreign policy. Official White House statements were good enough for him, and foreign intervention rarely if ever seemed like a bad idea with unpredictable consequences.
Anyway, I happened to see a blog post on the subject by Vox Day, who notes that the fact that a guy as successful and dominant as O’Reilly could be taken down so quickly is a reminder of the need to have your own platform. They can’t take that away from you.
Part of me agrees. The other part thinks of Glenn Beck: he was on top of the world before he started his own platform. Then he almost completely disappeared. No one debated what he had to say anymore, because he had become invisible.
Maybe there’s a happy medium here. I myself have my own platform, but if someone gave me a show with millions of potential viewers, I’d be an idiot to turn it down.
If I did that, though, I’d have certain requirements. I would want the email list I built to be my own property, that I could take with me if the network and I ever parted ways. Likewise for my social media accounts: those would have to follow me.
I would not want to build up something massively successful that could be yanked away from me with one pull.
With these ingredients at my disposal, I could always rebuild, at least to a degree.
Back to O’Reilly: I’m glad to see Tucker Carlson taking over his time slot. I think Tucker is the best thing going in cable news these days. He never loses his cool, yet he makes life very difficult and squirmy for guests who are wrong.
Incidentally, here’s my own platform, that The Man can’t take away. Would love to have you on it: