If you’ve not heard of Bill O’Reilly by now, you wouldn’t be interested in The No Spin Zone. It isn’t for those who’ve been unconscious all their life. Though if you are the least bit concerned with the world around you, then by all means, continue.
Bill O’Reilly is a well-known (and to some, infamous) figure on the Fox News network. His show is the "O’Reilly Factor," a news/talk show rooted in a conservative base but gives all sides of the coin a fair deal. And it is this show that The No Spin Zone both draws its name and is concerned with.
The No Spin Zone is the segment of the O’Reilly factor that most guests dread and try to avoid being booked to. In Bill’s own words: "In the No Spin Zone rationalizations are scorned, lies are rejected, and equivocations are mocked. It’s a place where quite a few smirks have turned to frowns." In other words, there’s no wool to be pulled over people’s eyes. And it’s this type of reporting that shows O’Reilly has a good head on his shoulders.
The book, The No Spin Zone, is a collection of excerpts from the aforementioned segment and deal with the major issues of out times – from the corruption of children in various ways to tax evasion. And to do so, Bill interviews a wide array of characters, from the Rev. Al Sharpton to Dan Rather to George W. Bush. Of course, many of the celebrity guests have stand-ins like lawyers and publicists and the like to bear the brunt. And O’Reilly pulls no punches with them either.
The goal of the book is to present both sides of the argument via these excerpts and let the reader sort out who’s got it right. However, O’Reilly sprinkles in his own thoughts and commentaries throughout the interviews, which tends to bias the case somewhat. But if he didn’t, why buy the book? Right? It should come as no surprise though as he says clearly in the beginning, "…but hey, it is my book."
The commentaries in each chapter are often backed up by facts and figures. Those facts though tend to lose credit, as O’Reilly often fails to cite his sources in the articles or a bibliography. Still, it makes for compelling rhetoric that could make even anarchists step back and say "gee."
The final chapter is an afterward from journalist/novelist James Ellroy about how he "found" O’Reilly, and merely states his feeling on Bill in a character building manner. Interesting as it is, it’s just "there" in the book – neither really out of place nor really belonging there. It basically sums up the 3 versions of the O’Reilly factor – the show, the book (published previous to The No Spin Zone) and the man himself.
All in all a good read. Quick too. On the arbitrary NWOt scale of 1-6, I deem this a 5. Well written yes, but loses some points for not adequately citing sources. Not for my sake mind you, but it does give an enemy cannon fodder.
For already existing fans it's just your everyday O'Reilly. For those averse to Bill O'Reilly - you still need to read this book because it's always wise to know your opponents point of view... especially those who just hate him because it's the chic thing to do. For all those just emerging from their caves and/or are interested in the affairs of the world this book is a good place to start. O'Reilly's views are a tad right of center, but he does share a fair amount of the quote unquote progressive views making him one of the more centered people in the media today; and always it's better to start conservative and work your way up to radical, Otherwise you'll look like a hypocrite going the other way.