The Corner

My Newest Enemy

So I taped a segment on the O’Reilly Factor around 6:30 pm, discussing Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship with France–and 10 minutes after it airs on TV tonight there’s already a negative review on Amazon.com. I don’t mind the negative reviews. If the Francophiles aren’t ticked, then I’ve done something wrong. But this one makes me laugh out loud: The book “doesn’t even rise to stupidity … This is absolutely useless trash posing as serious thought.” Etc. There are a few gratuitous swipes at President Bush. Then there’s this: “The ‘revelations’ and nuggets of wisdom can be digested, if you can call it that, in mere minutes in a bookstore, and are not worth your money, unless of course, you bow before the altar of Bill O’Reilly every night.” Like the guy has even touched a copy of the book in the bookstore–his whole critique is based on (to paraphrase him) “mere minutes watching the tube.”

He also failed to notice that O’Reilly and I actually got into an scrap over the merits of the consumer boycott of French goods–O’Reilly’s a big advocate; I sympathize with the motivations but wonder about its effectiveness and suspect it ultimately may feed French delusions of grandeur. It was actually an interesting exchange. Maybe I’ll write a piece on it.

In the meantime, the O’Reilly Factor airs again tonight at 11 pm EST. I can’t wait to see if there’s another dumb review posted on Amazon.com before midnight.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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