I am a big fan of The O’Reilly Factor. I think O’Reilly has done heroic work in taking on the media left, in speaking up for the little guy, in pursuing sex offenders and corrupt judges and being a stand up guy on a whole host of issues. I watch him regularly and regard him as a pioneer in honest television.
That said, I find his continued promotion of Professor Marc Lamont Hill an embarrassment to his own standards and an insult to the intelligence of African Americans particularly and his entire audience generally. Tonight he interviewed Hill for an entire segment on the subject of Iran, as though Hill had anything intelligent to say on the subject. Mr. Hill do you think we should give Iran three months or six months to let the UN inspectors in? How would Marc Lamont Hill know? How would he even be in a position to make an intelligent speculation? By his own account, Hill is an expert on “hip-hop culture,” i.e., rap music. His academic degree is in education. What are his views on foreign policy worth, unless putting him on was designed to show up the shallow views of the left? Hill is in fact a knee jerk leftist, a defender of ACORN and a man whose attitudes toward race are a throwback to the sixties. I wonder if O’Reilly understands that putting on such a lightweight feeds the racism of low expectations. There are very intelligent blacks (and leftists) who could provide an interesting foil for conservative views if that was the agenda. Having a Columbia professor of rap music comment on the foreign policy views of Karl Rove (who was featured in the preceding segment) is demeaning to Rove and embarrassing to every African American watching. First we have a figure involved in every major foreign policy decision of the Bush administration who happens to be white. Then we have an aficionado of rap music who happens to be black? What does that say to the television viewer?
If O’Reilly wants to bring Hill on to defend Ludacris or some other morally-challenged rapper then fine. If he is the best defender that ACORN can get, then fine too. But spectacles like tonight’s segment are like circus sideshows that reflect poorly on the judgment of the Factor’s producers and are unworthy of the Factor itself.
Editor’s note: Here are some of Professor Hill’s previous appearances on the Factor: