Fox News commentator and human lightning rod Bill O'Reilly is considered one of the most polarizing and partisan talk-festers on TV – or at least that's been his reputation until now. All that may change on Sunday, when the combative conservative's Parade magazine piece carried in newspapers coast to coast hits front lawns and porches all over America.
Titled "What President Obama Can Teach America's Kids," O'Reilly prefaces his essay with an assertion that few reputable sociologists would quarrel with – that "the disruption of the American family" is adversely affecting millions of the nation's young people. "Our modern age presents vast challenges to children, and they need to learn lessons quickly in order to prosper," O'Reilly adds. "And who better to teach them than the President of the United States?"
O'Reilly takes note of Obama's own "tough" childhood, one characterized by a nomadic single parent and bouts of loneliness. He avers that Obama's ability to turn these constraints into a life of singular achievement provides a wonderful lesson for all of America's young people.
"His achievement presents five important lessons for all children," Reilly states. The five traits identified by O'Reilly – traits embodied in Obama's life story – are the following:
The idea that in America, anything is possible.
The last lesson is especially applicable. Indeed, the list of examples proving that "anything is possible" in this country might include a certain essay published on Aug. 9, 2009. That will go down as the date when Bill O'Reilly put down his boxing gloves, disarmed his critics, lauded a liberal Democratic president, and did Fox News proud in the process. And it wasn't even Father's Day.