creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly
28 Dec 2013
Teenage Werewolves

Back in the 1950s, "Little Joe Cartwright" starred in a movie called "I Was a Teenage Werewolf.… Read More.

21 Dec 2013
The Christmas Spirit

Anyone offended by public displays of Christmas needs to see a psychiatrist. Are we clear on this? You are a … Read More.

14 Dec 2013
Merry Christmas, 1913

One hundred years ago in America, Christmas was a mighty different situation. Based on newspaper reports, MyHeritage.… Read More.

No Offense

Comment

We live in a touchy age where any ethnic remark is a blowtorch. Your mom might have told you never to talk about politics or religion, but these days, mother should include race and ethnicity in her maternal guidance.

Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed up at the American Irish Historical Society to do a little schmoozing. After the beating the mayor took on the blizzard debacle, he is busy visiting just about every society that exists in order to do some good-will hunting. Unfortunately, Bloomberg pulled a Jackie Mason and told the Irish crowd that he lived nearby and was used to seeing "people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window" of the society's building.

Did somebody say avalanche?

Some in the crowd actually booed Bloomberg, which was unusual because the mayor stood just a few feet away from them. There were very few Irish eyes smiling, and the ensuing media reports made the situation even worse.

You don't get much more Irish than me, but somehow I am not offended by Bloomberg's ethnic one-liner. I am troubled that it was very lame in the humor department, but the cliched drinking reference is meaningless to me. Consuming alcohol, as we all know, extends to every ethnicity, and the destruction that alcoholism causes is no laughing matter.

Historically, social life in Ireland was built around pubs, at least for men. The culture embraced beer and good cheer.

There's no question about it. When the Irish immigrated to America, that culture came with them so much so that when the police removed drunks from the streets, they called the transport a "paddy wagon," referencing the Irish name Patrick.

Even today, the St. Patrick's Day parade celebrations, at least in New York and Boston, feature a heavy alcohol component that does little to tamp down the cliche Bloomberg embraced. My advice to my Irish brothers and sisters has always been this: It is a great day for the Irish. Don't sully it by drinking like a camel.

My grandfather and first cousin both died from alcohol-related illnesses. But again, those tragedies were not caused by their ethnicity. Booze is a temptation that must be controlled, or bad things will happen. There is no evidence that one group is more susceptible to drinking than another. The abuse of alcohol is a problem for every society on earth.

Perhaps because I don't drink and never have, I chalked up Bloomberg's gaffe to a bad decision. I've said a lot of dopey things in my life, and so have you. The mayor harbors no disdain for the Irish — he was born in Boston, for crying out loud. It was a simple mistake. And as an Irishman, I am very familiar with those.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama." To find out more about Bill O'Reilly, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. This column originates on the website www.billoreilly.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 BillOReilly.com

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
So the real gaffe was to make a joke out of inebriation and the alcoholism it reveals. Good point. Maybe some day we'll even get past the old "it's good for your health" trick.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:13 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Bill O'Reilly
Dec. `13
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 22 Dec 2014
diane dimond
Diane DimondUpdated 20 Dec 2014
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 20 Dec 2014

13 Oct 2012 The Obama Challenge

19 Jan 2008 Party On

6 Oct 2007 Rules of Engagement