04 April 2013

"Raise the bridge! I have an erection!"




To: Bill O'Reilly
From: Roger Ebert
Apil 7, 2009

Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him. My grade-school teacher, wise Sister Nathan, would have called in your parents and recommended counseling with Father Hogben.

Yes, the Sun-Times is liberal, having recently endorsed our first Democrat for President since LBJ. We were founded by Marshall Field one week before Pearl Harbor to provide a liberal voice in Chicago to counter the Tribune, which opposed an American war against Hitler. I'm sure you would have sided with the Trib at the time.

I understand you believe one of the Sun-Times misdemeanors was dropping your syndicated column. My editor informs me that "very few" readers complained about the disappearance of your column, adding, "many more complained about Nancy." I know I did. That was the famous Ernie Bushmiller comic strip in which Sluggo explained that "wow" was "mom" spelled upside-down.

Your column ran in our paper while it was owned by the right-wing polemicists Conrad Black (Baron Black of Coldharbour) and David Radler. We dropped it to save a little money after they looted the paper of millions. Now you call for an advertising boycott. It is unusual to observe a journalist cheering for a newspaper to fail. At present the Sun-Times has no bank debt, but labors under the weight of millions of dollars in tax penalties incurred by Lord Black, who is serving an eight-year stretch for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. We also had to pay for his legal expenses.

There is a major difference between Conrad Black and you: Lord Black is a much better writer and thinker, and authored a respected biography about Roosevelt, who we were founded to defend. That newspapers continue to run your column is a mystery to me, since it is composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings. If I were an editor searching for a conservative, I wouldn't choose a mad dog. My recommendation: The admirable Charles Krauthammer.

Bill, I am concerned that you have been losing touch with reality recently. Did you really say you are more powerful than any politician?

That reminds me of the famous story about Squeaky the Chicago Mouse. It seems that Squeaky was floating on his back along the Chicago River one day. Approaching the Michigan Avenue lift bridge, he called out: Raise the bridge! I have an erection!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness... I can delete a blog from my reading list...

DressedUpButtonedDown said...

That was brilliant .... Thank you for sharing that.

Smitty said...

RIP Roger.

Mason said...

If only Krauthammer had aged as well as Ebert did.

Silk Regimental said...

What a perfect post! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Love that Squeaky!


Josh R said...

Thanks for that. And if you haven't read it, he wrote his own sign-off a few years ago. With a Tintin reference no less: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/15/roger_ebert/

tintin said...

Anon- I'm guessing you haven't been around here very long. Ta.

I first moved to Chicago in 1989 and lived in a small 1BR apt on Lincoln Ave in Lincoln Park. I'd see Roger and his wife shopping in the Carnival Foods or just walking down the sidewalk holding hands. They were without pretense, arrogance or fear of anyone approaching. I never did but now wish I had -- just to say, in the friendliest way possible, "I'm a fan... And Bill Reilly can go fuck himself."



Bob said...

We loved Roger for his reviews and his politics. Thanks for this.

KSB said...

Tintin,

Didn't care for Ebert's politics (nor do I care for Bill O'Reilly) but I appreciated his work and even more so his tireless dedication to freedom of speech. The world could use a few more people like him and he will be missed.

Brummagem Joe said...

I'd never seen this. Completely hilarious. He nails the fatmouth in the first para. Counselling with Father Hogben.

Hazen Pingree said...

Beautiful, just beautiful.

JKG said...

Loved movies, respected language, adored life. A light has gone out.

Vernon said...

Krauthammer is excellent. He, George Will, and a few others, not O'Reilly, are the heirs to Bill Buckley.

Conservatives, on average, are more well dressed than pointy-headed liberals!

tintin said...

You must be General Izzing.