Comments on: O’Reilly and the Cold War Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Kevin Hayden Wed, 29 Dec 2004 02:05:23 +0000 Some added examples about the mainstreaming of Communism would be nice. It was distinctly tied to the labor movement especially, and human rights. But if more folks understood WHO was a Communist in that era, I think it’d be very instructive. (For example, there was Helen Keller…)

By: michaelm Wed, 22 Dec 2004 17:11:10 +0000 “And suddenly the most dangerous question in America was: ‘Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party…[?]‘”

Oddly, someone working for American Airlines in Oxnard, California asked me that question in 1995, as I was receiving my boarding pass. It was right after the question, “Have you agreed to carry anything for anyone else in your luggage?” Do you think it was still on the list of questions to ask, or they guy was just messing with me?

Unfortunately, I had to answer no, as technically, I wasn’t, although at the time I surely was no fan of the current state of “democratic” government we had then or have now. Anyone who believes in human rights and economic justice should be in dissent with U.S. policy now & historically. We have a long way to go. Thanks for your informative entries here on Lessig Blog Geof Stone.

By: adamsj Mon, 20 Dec 2004 21:41:58 +0000 Ans, the inappropriateness of your use of the word “blackball” is reinforced by your appeals to prejudice through the use of the word “elite” and your references to profs and ivory towers. Bad word choice is sometimes simply verbal clumsiness, but in this case I don’t believe you deserve that slack.

By: Ans Mon, 20 Dec 2004 01:20:57 +0000 If you ban someone from your personal company, you’re blackballing him. If O’Reilly keeps Stone off his show, that’s blackballing. Are you saying Stone can’t blackball back simply because he doesn’t have enough pull? What if he got a few other profs to refuse to go on Fox because of the network’s supposed demagoguery? Would that be elite enough exclusion for you?

What if I sent out a list of supposed communists (or racists or terrorists or demagogues or whoever’s unpopular at the time)? I’m certainly not blackballing–I don’t have the power–I’m just informing the public. Now what if many, acting invidually, decide not to deal in any way with the people on my list? They’re acting, as Stone is, as an invidual, and so, I guess, can’t be blackballing.

By: adamsj Sun, 19 Dec 2004 10:30:05 +0000 Let’s have some precision in use of language, okay?

In every sense, the word “blackball” is about a social activity–people deciding, as a group, to exclude or avoid dealings with someone.

What we have here is an individual saying that, having had some personal experience with a public figure, he’s determined, first, that the figure really is a demagogue (the word is used with precision here–for an example of O’Reilly’s bad faith, look at his column in Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution and you’ll find a lie–about civil liberties, no less–which exploits popular prejudice in the first few sentences used as the theme of the article), and second, that conscience requires him not to be used by that demagogue again.

That’s not blackballing. Consider the connotation of the word, powered by the word’s origin–a ritual through which an elite excludes an individual.

Why would one use such a word? Possibly to reinforce the popular prejudice tied up in the phrase “ivory tower”?

Anyway, O’Reilly is clearly a demagogue, and it’s possible to engage him on his turf.

The proper response to every one of his questions, after he pulls a fast one, is “You’ve told a lie,” “You’re arguing under false pretenses”, “You are a dishonorable man.” At that point, the discussion becomes O’Reilly and his lack of decency, and that, too, is a valuable discussion.

It’s understandable that one wants to keep the debate on topic, but it’s O’Reilly’s show, and he’s the one who moves the debate from agreed-on grounds to the place where he (presumably with premeditation) wanted it to be all along, and that dishonest behavior is a valid topic, too.

By: jozef imrich Sat, 18 Dec 2004 22:09:51 +0000 “I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book.”
- Groucho Marx.

“The only graceful way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can’t ignore it, top it. If you can’t top it, laugh at it. If you can’t laugh at it, it’s probably deserved.”
- John Russell Lynes, Jr.

By: Ans Sat, 18 Dec 2004 19:01:50 +0000 So you’ve decided O’Reilly is a demagogue and the solution is to blackball him. That’s your right, though I’m sure you hope others don’t judge you based on one interview. Are you going to retreat to your ivory tower, or only face interviewers who are sympathetic from now on? Jon Stewart’s a good idea–he’s just as bad a demagogue, but he’s on your side so you’re safe.

By: anon Sat, 18 Dec 2004 17:51:26 +0000 given that you had to suffer o’reilly, you really should get on the daily show…jon stewart makes the o’reilly pain go away.