TATTLE HAS WRITTEN about some people of minimal fame over the past 10 years, but today we lead off with the least famous of them all.
While Tattle is traditionally written in the persona of the royal "we," since Bill O'Reilly named "Howard Gensler" a Pinhead of the Week (along with President Obama and Cokie Roberts) it seems only reasonable that Howard Gensler respond.
You just never know what will set someone off.
In the last item of Friday's column, I kidded that if the Almighty had come to O'Reilly in a dream (as he stated on "60 Minutes") telling him to write the book Killing Jesus (the third in his "Killing" series following Kennedy and Lincoln), God might have come up with a more original title.
That was about the gist of it, although I did ask in the item whether God also gave O'Reilly the title for Pinheads and Patriots (he says yes). To be fair and balanced, I also mentioned that O'Reilly's previous two "Killing" books made a killing - they were both best sellers - and this one was also a best seller.
What seems to have set O'Reilly off is my mocking of his Christian faith, but there was no mockery of his faith, just a little tweak of a celebrity who said he got the idea to write his latest book from God. Faith is a belief in something that may or may not be tangible. Once the Almighty is already speaking with you directly, you no longer need faith. You have proof.
The person whom I "mocked" in the item more than O'Reilly, was . . . me, when I wrote "Tattle wakes up with ideas all the time, but we're confident God wants no part of them."
So I wrote the item, one of maybe 20,000 items I've written for Tattle, went home and never thought twice about it.
Some time on my day off Friday, I got an email from O'Reilly's senior producer asking if I would be "interested in appearing on 'The O'Reilly Factor' next week to talk about (my) analysis of Killing Jesus."
I shrugged that off. I had no analysis of Killing Jesus. I hadn't read it and didn't critique it, although I'm sure it's a perfectly fine book for people who like that kind of stuff. I prefer Ed McBain, Robert B. Parker and Jeffery Deaver.
Little did I know that I was already being factored into that night's program. A "Pinhead of the Week." They even showed my Facebook photo. I didn't see the program when it aired but fortunately a few of O'Reilly's viewers took the time to email me to inform me of my new status. Here's a sampling:
Mike, who believes the nation's economic recovery starts on Jan. 20, 2017, (although I'm guessing he's not expecting a Hillary Clinton victory), wrote: "Congratulations! You got your minute of fame in the big leagues! Now that you have made fun of a Christian man for writing a book about Jesus, please make fun of a Jewish man and a Muslim man when they write books about their faith. You are a legend in your own mind."
Actually, I'm not. But I am a Pinhead in Bill O'Reilly's mind. And the item wasn't about making fun of a Christian man writing a book about his own faith. Perhaps that would have been clearer, although doubtful, if O'Reilly had quoted the entire item and didn't skip the middle four paragraphs.
Charles wrote: "If O'Reilly wrote 'Killing Mohamed' you would have an orgasm. You liberals are so predictable."
Gee, Charles, that's a little personal.
From Brian: "Hey gentler [sic] you're just another reason why Jews have been hated for CENTURIES."
Ah, very nice.
There were others questioning my Judaism, liberalism, etc., and one commenting on my knowledge of sex toys, but this is the gist.
O'Reilly ended his little segment on me (it sure must have been a slow week for Pinheads) by asking if the Philadelphia Daily News "sanctions" the mockery of his faith.
Well, no. The three people at the top of the Daily News masthead are filled with faith - especially for newspaper folk. Had I mocked your faith or your religion, I would have heard about it. The Daily News, however, does sanction the Tattle column pricking the pomposity of celebrities.
The greatest irony? As the show went to commercial, O'Reilly guest Bernard McGuirk told a joke: "What's the difference between Jesus Christ and Bill O'Reilly? Jesus Christ didn't walk around thinking he was Bill O'Reilly."
O'Reilly, not seeing that such a joke makes far more fun of his faith than anything I wrote, laughed. "Nicely done," he said.
* A new study suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey showing that more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender say they had experienced discrimination from directors and producers because of their sexual orientations and gender identities.
The online survey also found that more than half of the gay, transgender and bisexual respondents had heard producers and directors make antigay comments.
* Stevie Wonder gave an electrifying performance at New York's Central Park in front of thousands of fans and several world leaders Saturday, calling for an end to poverty worldwide at the Global Citizen Festival.
Bono gave a funky, rousing introduction to Wonder, who headlined the second annual concert.
"This is a global celebration," Wonder yelled to the crowd. "We will end extreme world poverty in our lifetime."
Hate to break it to you, Stevie, but, no, we won't.
- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @DNTattle