Bill O’Reilly has made a killing on “Killing.” Rectifying a massive void in the documentation of our country’s colorful history, O’Reilly has penned (with help, of course) two best-selling books about the heretofore obscure assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. So obscure in fact that O’Reilly is compelled to inform the reader of “Killing Lincoln” that “the story you are about to read is true and truly shocking.” Thanks to O’Reilly’s diligent efforts and dogged commitment, we now know how, and even more importantly, by whose hand each lesser-known president met his untimely fate.
Given O’Reilly’s massive TV following of sycophants, it’s no wonder that publisher Henry Holt & Co. would bankroll the rightwing pundit to author “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” Both books have spent lengthy periods atop the New York Times bestseller list earning millions for both author and publisher. Forget the fact that the books contain numerous factual errors – so many so that for awhile the National Park Service (which runs a rarely-visited site called Ford’s Theater where O’Reilly discovered Lincoln was shot) refused to sell the book there. It seems O’Reilly claimed Lincoln met another obscure character of the time, a Ulysses Grant, in the Oval Office even though there was no such office until 1909, well after the killing of Lincoln is thought to have occurred.
Anyway, I saw an ad in the paper this morning announcing the September 2013 release of another O’Reilly genre book: “Killing Jesus.” Again, the pundit (along with sub-author Martin Dugard) takes on a challenge to shed light on a poorly understood and little-documented event in history. I sincerely hope Bill doesn’t report any more faulty scenes like one where this Jesus fellow breaks matso with an apostle in the Oval Office.
Knowing that the appetite for more “Killing XYZ” books will persist unabated for years, I have some suggestions that should last til the end of the decade.
“Killing Abel” – O’Reilly travels throughout modern-day Iraq in search of the site of the Garden of Eden looking for clues to the world’s first killing. When he finds a cache of WMDs instead, he puts the book on hold and goes on TV to call for another impeachment of Bill Clinton.
“Killing Paul McCartney” – Mining for details on an obscure rock band called “The Beatles,” of which McCartney was possibly a founding member, O’Reilly reports on who killed Paul, and the assassin’s motiva– Wait, what? OK, I guess Paul isn’t dead.
“Killing John Lennon” – That’s better.
“Killing Old Yeller” – In this weepy recollection of a folk tale based loosely on the true story of the assassination of a rabid deer named “Bambi’s Mom,” O’Reilly dives deep into the details of what drove a boy to kill the family’s beloved yellow dog, and in the process discovers what really happened between Chuck Connors and Dorothy McGuire while Fess Parker was away for a month hunting with the guys.
“Killing Pope John Paul” – Now that his co-author Martin Dugard is beginning to whine about getting paid minimum wage for turning O’Reilly’s hallucinations into best-selling books, Bill brings in a new co-author – Francis Ford Coppola – and the two tell the story of a clueless pope who mistakes Lysol for Pinot Grigio and succumbs while his randy cardinals on the floor below exchange their red capes for black hoods to rehearse a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s soon-to-be produced film, “Eyes Wide Shut.”
“Killing Christmas” – O’Reilly departs from his usual format of writing about obscure figures that no historian deems worthy to cover, and pens a book about a topic that is near and dear to every Christian around the world who shits his pants whenever a Krispie Kreme employee says “Happy Holidays.” A fatal victim of an insidious war upon itself by un-Godly forces, Christmas finally succumbs to the twin forces of Hanukah and Kwanza which connive together in the Oval Office to devise their lethal affront.