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What's He Been Smoking?


Published March 12, 2008 at 2:50 p.m.

Responsible TV-news viewers — a shrinking subset that, I suspect, includes the Blurt audience — probably missed Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memory the other night, when Fox's chief crackpot went off on Vermont, again.

As a newcomer to the Green Mountain State, I might have been interested in an informed dissection of Vermont's perceived shortcomings. So far, my reaction to the state of affairs here has been: What's not to like? A preponderance of dope smokers -- which O'Reilly cites as an an example of "secular progressive" evil -- certainly isn't going to make me believe that "Vermont has become the most troubled state in the union."

C'mon, Bill, just four months ago, the United Health Foundation, a non-profit health advocacy group rated each state on 20 key measures of wellness, such as rates of obesity, infant mortality, cancer deaths and high school graduation — and found Vermont to be the healthiest state in the country.

Pointing out the error of O'Reilly's ways is a full-time job, one in which I or anyone else here at Seven Days has the time or stomach for. Fortunately, you can keep up with the non-stop hilarity at one of my favorite blogs, Crooks & Liars. The folks at Media Matters for America do a fine job of tracking the antics of Bill and all your favorite right-wing nutjobs, too.