Nicholas Kristof is an opinion columnist with the New York Times, for those who don't follow the pundits. His shtick is that he travels and visits the places and talks with the people involved in the topics about which he writes. Some pundits will chat with a government officials or with advocates on either side of an issue. Kristof talks with the people affected. It makes for some pretty powerful opinions sometimes.
One of his recurring topics is the plight of the downtrodden around the world. He writes more often about topics that don't get political attention far more than any other nationally prominent columnist about which I am aware. So he'll write about Darfur, or the slave trade, or prostitution and brothels in India and Thailand. Topics which rarely score points in the political debates.
However, he's gotten into a tiff with Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News host. On December 11th, Kristof pointed out in his column that (in his opinion) Fox News devotion to the
war on Christmas was a case of misplaced priorities. He didn't have a problem with wanting to keep
Christmas in place of the more inclusive
holiday. On December 18th, he again brought the topic up, pointing out that there were 58 segments about replacing Christmas with generic holidays and zero on genocide. When reaching out to people in Darfur might be more in the spirit of what Christ would have done. In particular, he challenged Bill O'Reilly to visit Darfur and to do a show on it. Granted, he also threw in some mean-spirited comments about O'Reilly, which don't seem to me to be something either in the spirit of the season or really effective at getting O'Reilly to actually pay attention to the issue.
Anyway, he's just written another column on this challenge. Although again he threw in a mean-spirited comment, he is also asking people to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and pledge a monetary amount to send O'Reilly to Darfur. O'Reilly had complained that he needed to be in the U.S. to do his show and could not travel. Kristof's thinking is that if enough money is collected, O'Reilly could afford to set up what's needed for the show in Africa.
Yep, it's a stunt more than something realistic. Still it brings attention to the issue in Darfur. And who knows, perhaps with enough pressure O'Reilly will come around and actually do a show from Darfur. So I'm gonna publicize it. Write to email@example.com and pledge a dollar or two. O'Reilly has a huge viewership, and it reaches a very different audience from those who read Kristof. Or, email O'Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org to request that he do a show from or about Darfur. I've sent mail pledging $100. Pledge a dollar or two. Send email.