It’s been 30 hours since former tabloid television host Barry Nolan has raised his épée or unloosed any cutting epigrams against any Tabloid Baby staffers or readers.
The Hard Copy frontman-turned-radio quiz show panelist has, however, ridden the back of his successful former tabloid television competitor, cable news titan Bill O’Reilly, to media attention since his eruption late last week, when he launched a one-man campaign to deny O’Reilly a local Emmy honor in Boston, where he was once a lowly TV newsman.
The stunt was launched in a tabloid gossip column, but after being picked up by the TV Newser site, his much-lampooned “cry” of “I am appalled! Just appalled!” has echoed clear across the country to the LA Times.
It was over the weekend, while basking in his first national attention in close to a decade, that Barry stooped to respond to this humble team’s tweaking (we'd suggested that he "get a grip") -- getting bitterly personal in an attack against our editor, Tabloid Baby author Burt Kearns, calling him, in effect, a drama queen, liar, bully, a writer of (half-made-up) “crap,” throwing in a bizarre mention of “wetbacks” and most alarmingly, accusing him of "getting sober."
Barry’s rampage continued as he took time from reading the Sunday papers to take on bemused Tabloid Baby readers in the Comments section, calling them “O’Reilly fanboys,” confusing the late actor David Dukes with Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, and quoting Wikipedia entries about O’Reilly before apparently being silenced by the sabre-rattling of a perhaps imaginary attorney who suggested we sue over his comments:
At 10:59 AM on Saturday, a reader calling himself “Attorney” commented:
“What a pompous ASSHOLE. Nolan libeled you at least four times in that public comment. You should sue the motherf-cker.”
Barry responded to the "attorney" 21 ½ hours later, when concluding a post in the comment section:
“… as for the dipstick lawyer who wrote in suggesting you have been libeled? Bring it on. The truth will be an adequate defense.”
The “attorney” commented yesterday at 10:41 AM:
“Dipstick? Mr. Nolan, would you please extend the courtesy of giving me the phone number of your attorney? He, and you, can expect a call during the workweek.”
Nine minutes later, Barry replied:
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Dipstick -noun -
2. Slang. fool; jerk.
Sue me you dipstick.”
And then, perhaps because the last link from the attorney included a link to a Los Angeles lawfirm (Editor's Note: We called, and no one there knew what we were talking about), or thanks to a cooler head on the shoulders of his new wife, the documentarian and assistant professor at Boston University, Barry went silent.
Meanwhile, his campaign against O’Reilly is not only being lambasted by our readers. MediaBistro, whose TV Newser site helped spread the story, is running a bulletin board called "Who is Barry Nolan and why is this News?", which you can read for yourself here. And The Boston Herald, which ran Barry’s original outburst, has fielded scores of ridiculing responses and is now spotlighting this Letter To the Editor online:
No Prize for Nolan:
So Barry Nolan is lobbying to rescind Bill O’Reilly’s award (“Barry Nolan pleads: Give Bill the boot!” April 11). If O’Reilly were an Air America commentator bashing the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” I’m sure Nolan would be praising him as the equivalent of Edward R. Murrow. I see that Nolan has the next best thing to the ghost of Edward R. Murrow in the selection of his “dinner date,” Keith Olbermann.
Hey Barry, how many awards have you gotten?
- Kevin Barry, Braintree
We expect that Barry will write in to tell us.
(FUN FACTS: Barry’s bio on the Says You! radio show page mentions that he has appeared in numerous films, including ‘The Birdcage,’” and is “a member of Mensa.”)