I have cut myself off from most television “news” programming. It’s too opinionated, there’s too much yelling and (most disturbingly) it’s often devoid of actual facts. Most of these shows have become nothing more than platforms for the hosts to build their careers on, and frankly the best example of this would be Bill O’Reilly.
Even as a conservative, I could never get on the O’Reilly train. The guy was an ego-maniac and a cocky, condescending blow-hard. I’m sure there were many times when his reporting was spot on, but I just couldn’t get past his in ‘your face’ sense of superiority. His rudeness was off the scale.
Did the man sexually harass women in the workplace ultimately leading to his release from the network yesterday? I guess we will never really know. But the problem with being a self-absorbed narcissist is that people can well imagine that he is guilty as accused. It’s not a leap at all to think he could have engaged in that kind of behavior because it’s just one stepping stone away from his usual, overbearing “schtick.”
Bill O’Reilly is 67 years old and no doubt a very rich man; he’ll be OK- financially speaking. But you have to admit this is an awful way to end a very successful career with your reputation shattered at your feet. There was another famous Bill (..Clinton) who was able to eventually redeem himself in the eyes of many after his disrespectful behavior towards women, so I guess there is a path forward if O’Reilly wraps himself in more and more and more charity work..
But the lessons about the dangers of an unchecked ego and the pursuit of greatness are always the same. It reminds me of a quote I once read and never forgot: