Have you heard that Bill O’Reilly “wrote” a new book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? With some guy named Martin Dugard? Apparently the book is so filled with errors, inaccuracies and lack of documentation that historians are pointing their fingers and laughing.
Staff historians at the Ford’s Theatre, an official National Historic Site, reviewed the book to determine if it was fit for sale in their bookstore. They concluded:
Publication (Killing Lincoln) not recommended as a sales item in the Eastern National Bookstore located in the Museum at Ford’s Theatre National Historic because of the lack of documentation and the factual errors within the publication.”
I’m sure it’s just those liberal historians being mean!
A list of factual errors is at the link. Some of the most glaring errors are references to President Lincoln having meetings in the Oval Office, which wasn’t built until 1909 in the Taft Administration.
And then there’s this:
What most irks Steers is the book’s portrait of conspirator Mary Surratt, which sacrifices truth for drama. O’Reilly and Dugard write that when she wasn’t on trial she had to wear a padded hood that disfigured her and made her claustrophobic; that she was “sick and trapped” in a cell that was “barely hospitable” aboard the monitor Montauk; and that she had “a haunted, bloated appearance” because of the experience. To which Steers replies: “None of this is true. Mary Surratt was never shackled or hooded at any time. She was never imprisoned aboard the Montauk. . . . This mischaracterization of Mary Surratt is unfortunate, and helps to perpetuate the myth of her innocence and her brutal treatment at the hands of the Federal government.”
I’m sure with all of these embarrassing and irresponsible factual errors, Bill O’Reilly’s career as a historian is kaput, right? Don’t be silly! Reports the Post:
Since its publication the book has been riding at the top of the bestseller list, and soon after its release O’Reilly signed a contract to write two more books, one of which will be another presidential history.
Wingnuts love to preach about “personal responsibility” but have you ever noticed that for the Conservative Elite, there’s never any price to pay when they fuck up? When the elites fall, it’s always upward. And this is the problem with the modern American Republican Party.
The wingnut welfare gravy train includes book deals, TV shows, syndicated radio shows and the like, where facts are fungible and the only thing that matters is posturing. The inevitable result of this lowering of standards and focus on style over substance is the 2012 GOP presidential clown car. The entire Republican presidential process is drenched in overwhelming self-importance, which has resulted in hundreds of these ridiculous, damaging debates — each one an advertisement for President Obama. You’d think Republicans would have pulled the plug on this nonsense after, like, the gazillionth time the televised audience cheered beating puppies and drowning kittens while America recoiled in horror. Amazingly, no. They are puffed up and proud of these buffoons and rejects who slithered out from under conservatism’s rock.
But what do you expect? When your standard for presidential scholar and historian are media personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, you’ve by definition lowered your standard for who holds the office of president.