January 25, 2008
It was one of the most repellent and revealing spectacles to hear multimillionaire conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly virtually deny the existence of large numbers of homeless vets.
In his scorched-earth attack on John Edwards for calling for help for the homeless veterans living on grates and in poverty, O’Reilly hit a new low that is almost impossible to fully comprehend.
Does O’Reilly not understand that the problem of homeless vets is very severe, and beginning to rise again with the return of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe psychological trauma and physical wounds?
Or is O’Reilly merely using homeless vets as the petty cash of another cheap-shot attack by a right-wing mouthpiece who doesn’t care whether his words are true, to make his point between commercials, from sponsors who should call him on the carpet for this?
Perhaps Mr. O’Reilly can take a first-class flight to Washington, and before he checks in to his four-star hotel, prior to his opining during dinner at a five-star restaurant, he might ask his limousine driver to give him a guided tour of this city, where he would easily find the homeless vets this homeless-vet denier does not know exist.
Let’s forget O’Reilly, part of the freak show cavalcade that now passes for entertainment and news in some outposts on cable television.
The issue is homeless vets, the problem is a moral and patriotic crisis for our generation, and the solution is to give these homeless heroes the love, attention and support they have earned.
In my column this past Tuesday in The Hill, I proposed a very modest profits tax on oil companies that would increase the size of the “stimulus” by adding, among other things, new support for homeless veterans.
At various times, on this site and in columns, I have proposed a Soldier Bond, or Patriot Bond, that would be modeled after the U.S. Savings Bond and raise capital that would support homeless and disabled vets, and wounded troops.
We should do these things. It would be swell if Mr. O’Reilly would lend his loud but not always wise voice to these efforts, but whether he does or not, we as a country and people must do this.
Every one of us should be part of this effort. It is a moral duty of our generation, and we must do so with words that are true, actions that are real, and a patriotic commitment that is shared.
Posted in full with author's permission.
Originally posted at pundits.thehill.com: http://pundits.thehill.com/2008/01/25/bill-oreilly-homeless-veteran-denier/