Papa Bear, as a certain Mr. Stephen Colbert calls our author, tends to bring out some intense emotions in people. His followers do so on a level comparable to zealotry while his detractors deride him as the figurehead of all that is evil from the right side of American politics. But whether you love him or hate him, Bill O’Reilly has carved out a place in the pantheon of political and cultural icons, playing a huge role in the media flow of last decade.
You would think that might make the guy’s autobiography interesting but it doesn’t.
For anyone looking for one of O’Reilly’s trademark rants or any level of political incisiveness, that kind of intensity is sorely missing from this book. It is, frankly and surprisingly, quite boring. Rather than discussing his motivations or inspirations in depth, O’Reilly spends most of the book giving himself back-handed compliments and congratulating himself for all of his successes.
This book could have been an opportunity for O’Reilly to take a huge step back from the politics, the hype and, if I may be so bold, the spin to show the nay-sayers what’s behind the curtain and maybe even score a few converts. Instead, we get a superficial look at man who is at worst reviled and at best misunderstood. Maybe next time, Bill. Maybe next time.