Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2002 / 14 Adar, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

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Who's responsible? -- WHEN I was a kid, I tried to weasel out of everything I was caught doing, and I bet you did, too. That's what kids do -- the weasel dance. But my father always told me real men and women are supposed to stand up and take responsibility for their failures and indiscretions. My dad is gone now. He'd be outraged if he were still here.

Over in Holland the incredibly heinous Slobodan Milosevic faces multiple crimes against humanity before an international tribunal. But Milosevic firmly believes he has done nothing wrong. His defense is that he is a victim of twisted facts and terrible fabrications. But even if he did commit some unspeakable acts, they were all done as "a struggle against terrorism."

Under Milosevic's charge, Serb forces forced more than a million people from their homes, raped and murdered tens of thousands, and burned hundreds of thousands of dwellings to the ground. Milosevic cannot deny that happened, so he says his leadership "was an expression of the will of the people." So it's the people's fault, not his.

They will have to redo Hell if this guy is to be punished fairly.

Back home we have those two sweeties Gary Condit and Kenneth Lay. Let's go with Gary Boy first. Despite the fact that the parents of Chandra Levy say he misled them, and the Washington, D.C., police say he was less than honest with them, Gary says he's a victim of the media. That's right, the media has given people the wrong impression of the congressman, and he has every intention of keeping his seat on Capitol Hill.

Never mind the serial affairs, the dodging of questions about a missing and presumed-dead young woman, and strange conduct like traveling to another state to throw a gift package in a dumpster -- the media is the culprit. Gary is totally without blame here, people! Can't anyone understand that?

Kenneth Lay can. Because he's a victim, too. As we know, his wife told "The Today Show" crew that Kenny Boy knew nothing about any foolish side-deals Enron might be involved with. Even though he was the CEO and he was warned by various employees of accounting irregularities, Kenny just simply did not know . He was a victim of devious underlings, and Linda Lay asserted, the family is broke because of it. Despite the fact that Kenny sold $100 million dollars in Enron stock in the months immediately before the bankruptcy -- the family is tapped out. The Lay family has been victimized . It is so obvious.

My third-grade teacher, Sister Mary Lurana, would have slapped these revolting individuals silly. If Kenneth Lay took the fifth in St. Brigid's School, he would have been pummeled by a group of women in black, and not a lawyer on earth could have saved him. Condit simply would have been expelled, and Milosevic, well, he would have disappeared in my neighborhood, if you know what I mean.

But, in these more sophisticated times, we have to put up with a massive amount of nonsense from these three stooges. We live in an age where excuse-making has been elevated to a fine art. Milosevic, Condit and Lay are examples of what the world has come to at the highest levels.

So what can be done? The answer is zero tolerance for this victim business. In truth, there are very few victims in this world. Those people killed Sept. 11 were victims. People with awful diseases are usually victims, and so are crime recipients. But few others fall into this category, and the people who hide behind victimization are cowards. Milosevic, Condit and Lay are extreme examples of the victim principle, but many of us try to hide behind it.

Don't. It diminishes you as a person and insults the rest of us. If you do bad things, own up, and take the hit. Sister Lurana wielded a mean right, but I'm still around.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate