Bullies, Barbara and Bill O’Reilly

On the PBS web site there’s a a page on bullying.  Specifically, many of the tips on how to handle a bully are as follows:

  • Ignore the bully. Pretend you didn’t hear him. Don’t even look at him. Walk right past him if you can.
  • Don’t cry, get angry, or show that you’re upset. That’s the bully’s goal. Don’t give her the satisfaction. Even if you’re feeling really hurt, don’t let it show. You can talk about or write down your reactions later.
  • Respond to the bully evenly and firmly. Example: “No.” “That’s what you think.”
  • If you can, turn a comment into a joke. Example: The bully says, “Stupid outfit!” You say: “Thanks! I’m glad you noticed.”
  • Turn and walk away, or run if you have to. Remove yourself from the situation. Go to a place where an adult is present.

These all seem like smart, reasonable responses to being bullied.  Considering the bullying epidemic that appears to be going on in this country, these are the type of things our children need to know to stay safe and sane. Yet in light of the recent Bill O’Reilly Vs. The View nonsense, walking away from your bully is apparently not an option.

If you watch the clip, O’Reilly starts the downward spiral when he very condescendingly said to Behar, “Listen to me, and you’ll learn,” prompting Behar to react like a 13 year old, putting “rabbit ears” behind his head while calling him a “Pinhead”.  Then O’Reilly decides that bringing up the “Ground Zero Mosque” will somehow make the conversation run more smoothly.  Eventually Bill starts yelling.  Joy and Whoopie start walking, Barbara Walters starts scolding and Elizabeth Hasselbeck finds a way to blame Obama for the entire, idiotic, exchange.

It’s a daytime talk show, not a evening HBO show.  Joy was smart to cool off rather than continue fighting with the guy.  Whoopie was smart to follow rather than put the ABC censor through the paces bleeping out all of the cuss words that were sure to start spewing from her mouth had she stayed.  Both she and Joy decided that they needed to “remove themselves from the situation and go to a place where an actual adult was present”.

On Monday, Barbara yet again chastised Behar and Goldberg, stating that they had been rude to an invited guest.  I get Barbara Walter’s point and agree that guests deserve extra consideration when they’re in your home.   The problem with that analogy is…Bill wasn’t the invited guest.  He along with Whoopie, Joy, Elizabeth and Sherri are merely the help hired by Barbara to entertain us. We’re the guests invited to tune in each day and I’ve gotta say, I’m a little surprised that Barbara has forgotten that.

So as the guest, I say thank you Whoopie and Joy for walking away and forcing the topic and tone of the segment to change.  Next time, do me a favor and take O’Reilly with you.

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