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July 25, 2013 10:21 AM Bill O’Reilly’s Race Problem

By Harold Pollack

Monday night, Bill O’Reilly delivered “an impassioned talking points memo.” As described by Foxinsider.com, O’Reilly “tackled the race problem facing America and the lack of leadership by the president to solve these issues.” Last night, O’Reilly continued the theme by haranguing Marc Morial, who leads the National Urban League to “Stop the BS!” on “black crime,” family breakdown, and other matters. Maybe tonight, O’Reilly will shift gears to call out Janice Weinman, executive director of Hadassah, for not doing enough to support traditional Jewish values.

Among other things, O’Reilly’s talking points memo asked: “When was the last time you saw a public service ad telling young black girls to avoid becoming pregnant?” This is a good question, though his viewing audience may not be the best people to answer it. Apparently, 64% of his viewers are older than age 50 and 40% are age 65 or older. Moreover, according to this (ok-dated) 2005 report, O’Reillys Nielson rating hits something like 0.2 among African-American women. That’s about one-fifteenth of the audience among African-American women for Survivor: Vanuatu and similar ventures of that year.

Still, O’Reilly and his viewers might check out what’s actually out there. I like campaigns such as this terrific effort from the Chicago Department of Public Health. It also picks up on something Mr. O’Reilly’s truculent tpm seems to have missed….

PS: O’Reilly’s folks are apparently ahead of me... (h/t Irin Carmon).

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[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
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