Category Archives: Politics

Why Does Bill O’Reilly Play Himself as a Geek Villain?

I’ve noticed this trend in two recent superhero/action movies: Iron Man 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In an effort to seem more realistic, as if they are part of the real world, both movies feature a scene where one character is watching TV and The O’Reilly Factor is playing. But instead of just being some random clip, it’s actually a small scene of political pundit Bill O’Reilly talking about the movie as if it were real life. He comments on the characters and the plot as if it were a real episode of his show.

And in both cases, Bill berates the heroes!

Why would he do that? If he’s playing himself (which he is, according to his IMDB page) and it’s supposed to be his own show, why would he so openly criticize the heroes? Why not fully support Iron Man and the Autobots?

I don’t have an answer, I’m just curious.

This isn’t about Bill O’Reilly’s politics. I’m a liberal-thinking sort of guy, he’s a conservative. It’s probably fair to say I disagree with most everything he says and the way he says those things. But I’ve never watched his show and don’t know enough about him or his politics to offer any sort of critique or argument against him. No doubt he himself believes in his beliefs and values his own opinion on the issues. Likewise, there are probably millions of fans that trust him and value his opinions.

So why come off as a jerk who openly opposes the actions of the heroes?

Obviously O’Reilly has a certain persona as a loud-mouthed, angry political pundit, but is that persona more important than his personal character? Is he playing this perceived persona for the sake of a cameo rather than saying nothing at all?

Let’s take a look at what he says in those two movies.

From Iron Man 2

Here is a transcript of what Bill O’Reilly says in his brief clip from Iron Man 2:

 “When Mr. Stark announced he was indeed Iron Man, he was making a promise to America. We trusted that he would look out for us. He obviously did not. And now we learn that his sectretary, a woman named Virginia ‘Pepper‘ Potts, has been appointed CEO of Stark Inudstries. WHAT ARE HER QUALIFICATIONS!? Miss Potts is doing nothing to manage–(mute)”

He berates Tony Stark/Iron Man and insults Pepper Potts and her ability to be CEO of Stark Enterprises. In that picture, he calls Pepper a “pinhead”. But they’re the heroes! By the end, Tony proves that he is awesome and still a superhero. And Pepper is beautiful and super nice, the viewers are supposed to be rooting for Pepper. By insulting them, he not only comes off as a big meany, but he’s proven wrong in the end because clearly it’s safe to believe in the heroic Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.

So why doesn’t Bill O’Reilly support Tony Stark or think Pepper Potts would be an awesome CEO? Why doesn’t he support Iron Man?

Now for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, O’Reilly interviews John Turturro’s Agent Simmons:

“Now Agent Simmons, you would have us believe that it would be in our best interests to take sides in this so-called ‘alien civil war’…But polls show half the world would feel safer with the Autobots completely gone. Get’em out of here! We don’t need’em here!…Now agent, here at the Factor we have obtained documents that you were fired by the Intelligence Committee. Your psych evaluations report severe delusional tendancies…You sounded like a pinhead agent, and I’ve got a suggestion for you: damage control.”

Now Agent Simmons may be a little nuts, but he’s only ever been 100% correct about everything. He’s only ever been heroic, especially in Transformers 2 and 3. Yet O’Reilly openly mocks him on the air. Once again he calls one of the heroes a “pinhead”. And “Get’em out of here! We don’t need’em here!”? O’Reilly may not be directly backing the Decepticons, but he’s anti-Autobots.

But why? Agent Simmons is only ever a good guy in Dark of the Moon, and the Autobots once again save the world. Why couldn’t Bill O’Reilly use his show to support the awesome Agent Simmons and help promote his book? Why take the side of ‘polls’ that are anti-Autobot?

Is he simply reading the lines given to him by the script-writers, and is therefore just banking on his name and perceived reputation to collect a little paycheck? Or did the writers want him so badly to make these little realistic cameos that they worked with him and these are actually O’Reilly’s opinions given the facts?

If the former is true, does this mean he acknowledges that his opinions are usually wrong and he’s just a mean blowhard? (OK, so I slipped a little bit of politics in there.)

And what do his fans think? If they value O’Reilly’s opinion on the issues, do they support his distrust of Tony Stark, Pepper Potts and Agent Simmons? I wouldn’t think so. Do his fans then have to accept that he’s being a jerk, and is wrong on the issues presented in the two movies?

Either way, I’m just kind of curious.

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