Review

The No Spin Zone

by Bill O'Reilly



Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't have at least some idea
of who Bill O'Reilly is? He is best known as the host of Fox News
Channel's top-rated program, The O'Reilly Factor; he is also
the number one best-selling author of a book by the same name. It
is not a news program in the sense that it doesn't report news but
instead has the capacity, more often than not, to make news. There
is kind of a train-wreck fascination to observing O'Reilly work and
it shines through, in spots, in THE NO SPIN ZONE.

O'Reilly is capable of asking just about anything, a tactic that
has earned him the reputation of being rude. O'Reilly's questions,
though, are his reason for being. They are not rude questions; they
are simply questions that need to be asked and, more importantly,
need to be answered. It is doubtful that Saddam Hussein would ever
consider sitting down for an interview with Bill O'Reilly.
O'Reilly, unlike Dan Rather, would have left the kid gloves at
home. That is not, however, because he is a fan of George Bush, who
has been in the No Spin Zone a time or two.

O'Reilly is akin to Arizona Senator John McCain in that he is
accused of being conservative but does not fit the definition of
either "conservative" or "liberal." O'Reilly points out in THE NO
SPIN ZONE that he believes global warming is real, but that the
environmental movement has hurt America; that he doesn't believe in
the death penalty, but only because it is too soft a punishment;
and that, while he would not outlaw abortion, he considers it a
ghastly procedure that should be restricted and views it as a human
rights issue. All of these positions raise the ire of conservatives
and liberals alike, though not at the same time and not for the
same reason. However, it is not unusual to find yourself wanting to
kiss the screen one moment and put your foot through it the next,
no matter what your political persuasion may be.

The book THE O'REILLY FACTOR was primarily about O'Reilly, but THE
NO SPIN ZONE is mostly about O'Reilly's television program and what
has occurred during some of his more notable interviews. Almost all
of the chapters have a format. Each begins with an exchange between
O'Reilly and a guest, followed by some extended written comments by
O'Reilly; an edited transcript of the exchanges between O'Reilly
and his guest du jour; and some additional editorial comments by
O'Reilly.

O'Reilly made his bones by posing hard questions to people as
diverse as James Carville and George W. Bush, Susan Sarandon and
Laura Schlessinger. His insights of, and exchanges with, these
individuals are found in THE NO SPIN ZONE. Similarly, those who
have declined his invitations to sit and chat --- Hillary Clinton,
Al Gore and Jesse Jackson, among others --- are spotlighted in his
book as well. O'Reilly is sunlight and his questions are
disinfectant; there are those who can stand his questions and those
who scurry for the baseboards. THE NO SPIN ZONE can help you sort
out who is who, if you don't already know.

THE NO SPIN ZONE is a quick read. O'Reilly's style is
conversational to a fault; one can almost hear his voice as each
sentence is read. The chapters can be perused in any particular
order, depending on the reader's interest. While it is doubtful
that even the most vociferous observer of current events will find
everything in here interesting, it is a near-certainty that
everyone will find at least something worth reading here. And while
the flavor of the show does not always translate well to the
printed page, THE NO SPIN ZONE, like its predecessor, will no doubt
encourage those unfamiliar with O'Reilly to check out his
television show at least once. If that is O'Reilly's purpose in
publishing THE NO SPIN ZONE, he has accomplished it.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

The No Spin Zone
by Bill O'Reilly

  • Publication Date: March 11, 2003
  • Genres: Current Events, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway
  • ISBN-10: 076790849X
  • ISBN-13: 9780767908498