Sunday, October 31, 2004

Hot Corner

Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

Bill O'Reilly's comeuppance

Suddenly, talk-show host Bill O'Reilly is imitating Greta Garbo ("I want to be left alone.").

O'Reilly is the hugely popular Fox News channel known for criticizing other people's immoral or distasteful behavior. He settled a harassment lawsuit against him by former producer Andrea Mackris, who accused him of graphically talking about sex with her over two years.

Often, O'Reilly's criticism comes in the name of protecting children from smut, and that's fine, but if the kids were in the room last week when the news about O'Reilly was on, parents were inclined to cover the kids' ears.

"All I can say to you is, please, do not believe everything you hear and read. ... This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again," O'Reilly told viewers on his show Thursday. Yet he is a ubiquitous media presence. He's a best-selling author, having just released a children's book, and also writes a column in addition to hosting the Fox TV show.

O'Reilly, who famously touts his "no spin zone," should know better. Many will find hypocrisy in his "never speak of it again" statement, especially the next time he skewers someone else.

The 'Precious' was not found

A stunning archaeological discovery was reported last week on a tiny island east of Bali. Scientists revealed in Nature they found the skeletal remains of new species of humans who stood less than 4 feet tall as adults and had brains the size of grapefruits, but they were intelligent. They hunted and used fire, scientists said. Invariably, news stories called them hobbits, the heroes in the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Lord of the Rings. Stone tools turned up with the skeletons, but the mind-altering "precious" ring apparently did not.

Going back to 'college'
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Issue 4 would hurt city, help taxpayers little
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