Bill O’Liely Gets His Comeuppance

Bill O’Reilly is a firm believer in the marketplace of ideas. That is, simply put, if you start spouting off at the mouth, and people find value in it, then you will be made rich beyond your wildest dreams.

To date, the market place of ideas has, indeed, been good to Billo; his highly rated news program and radio show a virtually irrefutable proof that the value of what comes out of your mouth can only be measured in dollars, cents, and sponsors.

Of course, one has no idea how he’ll react when the market place of ideas opts to bite Bill in the ass.

It began, with Bill waving his big, high up on a pedestal finger in the face of DailyKos, and those Democratic candidates that were planning on attending the annual convention associated with the blog. His concern was the negative hate speech that one could easily find on the site.

The problem, was the exact same kind of thing could be found on Bill’s very own site; thy name is Hypocrisy.

In retrospect, this is kind of funny. Kos, being a website, is not necessarily beholden to mass corporate sponsors. There are any number of advertising systems set up on the internet that will use your space regardless of content, so long as the traffic is there. Plus, with as wide a following as Kos gets, I’m sure the blog could get by with a little tightening of the belt, and living off of straight up donations.

Billo, being a television and radio personality primarily, has no such luck, and unfortunately for him, a tragic inability to see into the future. He should have known that when he pointed the finger at Kos, that very same finger would get shoved right back towards him and his site. If nothing else, bloggers are not known for pulling punches or playing nice.

Having researched enough to know that comments of this ilk were on Kos, he should have guessed that there might at least possibly be similar such comments on his own site as well. It’s not like he got Hillary death threats from authors, he got them from the free and open comment threads, threads that many websites have, and many don’t control, including his own.

And he should have known, especially following the Imus incident from earlier this year, that while internet sponsors are incredibly forgiving, corporations spending millions of dollars to buy air time on tv, aren’t. The first brick in the wall to come crumbling down was Lowes, and now, it would seem, has come Home Depot.

In the market place of ideas, what is supposed to happen is if an idea is put out that is odious, that idea will be punished with a lack of enterprise. Sponsors not will to accept the wrath of consumers against their own products, will not invest in the producer of unwanted ideas. Therefore, the producer has one of two options, come up with new ideas, or get exiled from the marketplace.

All of this is by no means a wholesale excising of Bill O’Liely from the market place of ideas. There will be new sponsors to replace the old. But unless Bill is very very stupid, this should come as a wake up call. The days of his hypocrisy and unwarranted high-mindedness are coming to an end.

The left is no longer a punching bag, and apparently, when we punch back, we can make it hurt.

Others blogging about this, courtesy memeorandum: Firedoglake, Taylor Marsh and The Democratic Daily

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