Picks and Pans Review: Who's Looking Out for You?

UPDATED 10/06/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/06/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Bill O'Reilly
NONFICTION

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After I unfavorably reviewed the FOX News Channel star's last book, I turned on the TV to find I was O'Reilly's "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." The big guy said on The O'Reilly Factor, "Review the book, not me." Then he called me a "pinhead."

Consistency isn't his best feature. In this grab-bag of essays O'Reilly claims he belongs at "Burger King," then whines about not being given "first-class airline travel and a decent publicist" in those rough early years. Separating him from his writing would require sandblasting. The words "I," "me" and "my" appear more than 165 times—in the first 30 pages alone. The lessons of this bilious little book—you can sense him gasping and wheezing to make it to 212 padded, double-spaced pages—morph into tetchy personal stories. (He brags about how he ended a friendship over a parking lot fee.) His insights range from mastery of the obvious—"To have a friend, you have to be a friend"—to lots of his hero-martyr schtick: "No matter what, I will not surrender to the witch-hunters and the demagogues." After he compares the Koran to Mein Kampf he complains, "The next day, a number of Muslim Web sites wrote that I compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, the usual vile propaganda some of these sites spew out."

This review isn't personal, Bill. As you put it, "People like to think that if you disagree with someone's opinion you are attacking them. That is just dumb." Here's a scandal for you: Millionaire Harvard-educated titan of Manhattan media elite bilks ordinary folks out of $24.95.

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