Witless commentary and breathtaking hypocrisy are no strangers to Fox News, but Bill O’Reilly was in rare form on June 1. Discussing Joe McGinniss, the journalist who moved next door to Sarah Palin’s family home in Alaska in order to write about her, O’Reilly declared the move “immoral” and maybe even unconstitutional: “He’s intruding upon them, all right? Their pursuit of happiness, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, basically has dropped 100 percent because he’s there.” (The “pursuit of happiness” phrase actually appears in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.)
About now, listeners who have followed O’Reilly’s sordid career are probably recalling the Fox host’s practice of having his camera crews ambush news subjects at their homes, on vacation, even when they are with their children–in other words, “intruding on them, all right?” Of course, by O’Reilly’s lights, only intrusions targeting those he cares about raise moral or “constitutional” questions. That is the beauty of an utter lack of self-awareness.
O’Reilly’s guest, dyspeptic former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg, who often engages O’Reilly in a sort of stupid competition, was a voice of reason on this segment. On the Constitution, Goldberg said McGinniss had the right to live anywhere he wanted. But Goldberg didn’t totally disappoint. While disagreeing that they were “immoral,” Goldberg did say these sorts of intrusions were “wrong” and “creepy”–referring, of course, to McGinniss’ intrusions, not O’Reilly’s.