Bill O'Reilly's hard-hitting show is becoming bland

10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
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O'Reilly has forfeited his villain card. He calls Obama "a smart guy" and often gives him a pass despite the president's plunging poll numbers. He's losing his hard edge.

Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, a syndicated radio talk show host who frequently sits in for O'Reilly, noticed his softening and mentioned it to him. So has Dick Morris, the ex-Bill Clinton confidant-pollster turned Republican. And so have disappointed viewers according to emailed letters O'Reilly sometimes reads on camera.

I recall when watching O'Reilly was like being transfixed by flickering flames in a fireplace. Despite despising him, I couldn't stop, but he has punked out. I wish he'd return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when I tuned in for the same reason I read the New York Post: I need to know what the enemy is up to. Think about it.

If I want good, clean fun, I'll watch an Abbott and Costello movie or an Amos 'n' Andy or Three Stooges short subject-of which I have many in my collection of vintage cinema fare. The last thing I want from O'Reilly is plain vanilla platitudes like the minor league Obama sycophants, cheerleaders and Bush-bashers on MSNBC and CNN offer.

Of course, despite O'Reilly's seemingly softening persona, some things never change. For example, he continues his annoying interruptions of guests, which I can't abide. This often prompts me to scream at the TV, "Let him talk, will you?"

Ironically, one thing the able-bodied O'Reilly and the able-bodied Obama have in common is that neither served in the military. I simply cannot respect any American male who fails to serve our country in peace or war unless unfit physically or mentally.

This was a litmus test for O'Reilly, a big-mouth blowhard, and it's sacrilegious for Obama, the commander-in-chief. At least one year of military service-voluntary or otherwise-should be mandatory for every man, but that's a story for another day.

Finally, O'Reilly should stop dissing Harry Belafonte, whose recent HBO historical special, "Sing Your Song," was the most, to say the least. O'Reilly has savaged him for pointed anti-Cain remarks and for sounding on Bush, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Worse yet, O'Reilly called him "that Belafonte guy" and minimized the legendary singer-actor-civil rights activist's long career by saying "he had a hit record 40 years ago."

Bottom line: Get another TV life, O'Reilly. And that's the name of that tune.