Ben Johnson

Genius Envy: Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller “Barely Qualify as Men”

Posted on December 21 2009 6:25 am
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Does Ed Schultz read this blog?

Does Ed Schultz read this blog?

I have long held MSNBC host Ed Schultz’s erratic behavior stems from his political and professional status: he envies those whose careers surpass his. As David Swindle noted in the roll-out of this series, “Ben’s posts on Schultz are collected and all future articles will be collected here under the series name ‘Genius Envy,’ a play on a well-known Freudian term.” I came up with the name “Genius Envy” to highlight the way much of Ed’s incendiary rhetoric seems to be rooted in his offended masculinity. I was gratified to see my thesis was proven correct in less than a week. Last Thursday Schultz, the poor mind’s Rush Limbaugh, wanted to compare his manhood with Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller.

He began this segment of The Ed Show by ripping “[f]ailed comedian and sportscaster Dennis Miller” over a joke he made at the WWE Slammy Awards, then criticized Bill O’Reilly’s reaction to the skit on The O’Reilly Factor. Ed crowed, “O’Reilly condone[d] that despicable display of unapologetic sexism,” and criticized Bill for donating $25,000 to Miller’s favorite charity at Christmastime (!).

When he rolled the footage of O’Reilly calling Miller “a good man,” Ed launched into his manhood measurement moment:

Well, actually neither one of them are good men. As a matter of fact, you barely qualify as men. Real men argue the issues. They don’t engage in this kind of low-rent, sexist psycho talk!

Schultz’s offended pride gave him any number of reasons for presenting himself as the uber-male denouncing the two “failed” figures as nothing more than girly men:

  1. Ed Schultz, a former quarterback and lifelong sportscaster, has never hosted Monday Night Football;
  2. Schultz makes occasional jokes on his show; Miller hosted “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live for six years;
  3. Dennis Miller’s well-received, eponymous programs on HBO and CNBC won him five Emmys decades before Schultz hit the airwaves; Ed has parried by belittling Miller’s ratings;
  4. Bill O’Reilly is the most successful man in Schultz’s third chosen profession; Schultz has mocked O’Reilly by stealing credit for his former radio station’s Peabody Award;
  5. Has Schultz ever talked a donor into donating $25,000 to charity during the holidays? Has he ever made such a donation himself? Inquiring minds doubt the Hell out of it.

Schultz’s actions vindicate two equally brilliant, small government philosophers: Ben Johnson and Friedrich A. Hayek. My vindication is noted above. Yet Schultz’s left-turn bears out what Hayek wrote in The Constitution of Liberty, that the “only major result of” socialism is the “gratification of the envy of the less-well-off.”

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