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OpinionColumnistsWilliam F. B. O'Reilly

O'Reilly: Will Election Day ever come?

"The saturation of opinion through today's ubiquitous information media is overwhelming," says columnist Bill O'Reilly. "It feels impossible to get away from political spin." Credit: photos.com

Is anyone else sick to death of this presidential election?

With a month to go, I don't know if I can stand another day of it.

Can't we just hold the vote now and get on with our lives?

It would save hundreds of millions of advertising dollars and thousands of newspaper column inches. We already know what those ads and columns will say, for chrissake.

It's not the race itself that's so maddening. It's the endless spin on everything.

A scan of the pundits this morning reveals just what it did yesterday -- and the day before that. About half the political writers in America report how awful yesterday was for President Barack Obama and about half report how badly it went for Mitt Romney.

Anything good about Romney is a lie or secretly bad news, just as it for the president, depending on who is interpreting it.

One rare exception was the post-Denver-debate analysis, after which the media universally declared Obama the loser. But that was short-lived. Things quickly returned to normal.

Within a day former Vice President Al Gore was suggesting that the president was suffering from altitude sickness in Denver. By Friday, a conspiracy was moving around left-wing blogs alleging that Mitt Romney had a cheat sheet at his podium -- tiny notes written on his handkerchief.

On Friday, a new and unexpected unemployment number came out. Conservative opinion makers are now calling the 7.8 percent figure fabricated, and liberal ones are saying it's proof the president's policies are working.

We'll be reading those takes for the next week, and we already know who will fall out on which side.

About six years ago, a technology-savvy conservative documentary filmmaker named Evan Coyne Maloney grew so tired of one New York Times' columnist's predictability of opinion that he designed a computer software program for his blog, Brain Terminal, to automatically churn out the writer's column -- or at least a semblance of it. The software actually worked. All you had to to do was insert a topic and some subject names, and, voilà!, about 600-words of highly opinionated prose would emerge. Undoubtedly that could be done for certain conservative commentators as well.

I know it's always been this way in America -- sophists and propagandists thrive in every era -- but the saturation of opinion through today's ubiquitous information media is overwhelming. It feels impossible to get away from political spin.

At the end of the day, the entire media effort is focused on about 5 percent of voters -- the so called "undecideds." Spread across 50 states, that would come to about 8 million people in the entire country, but it's not. The only undecideds that really matter are the ones living in fewer than a dozen swing states, which cuts that target audience down to size considerably. We may be talking about less than a million Americans.

I want to know who these people are. Who in his right mind has not yet decided whom to support for president?

It must be the same people who can never decide what to order in a restaurant -- the ones you kindly end up offering to switch plates with after the entree arrives.

Will another month of media drubbing really make a difference to them, or will they be the ones holding up the line in the voting booth?

Neither side will take the chance that it won't, and so the onslaught of opinion will continue.

Nov. 7 cannot come soon enough.

Bill O'Reilly is a Newsday columnist and a Republican political consultant struggling to hold onto his own name. He is no relation to Bill O'Reilly the Fox News commentator.

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