Comments on: The O’Reilly Factor http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/ Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: bryan http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21508 Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:20:55 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21508 this reminds me of the measured words of a mr. joe m. richardson about the whole soldiers questioning rummy about having to scrounge for metal, quote found here http://arkhangel.blogs.com/counterpoint/2004/12/ours_not_to_ask.html
: “The duped soldier should be put at the very front of the action, no armor. The cooperating sergeant’s career should be over and maybe become MIA. Pitts and all his cronies should be executed as traitors. We are fighting a war, the debate is over, you�re either for us or against us, there is no middle ground. I say start executing the leftists in our country, soon”

in other words, a proud supporter of the administration arguing for killing their own soldiers.

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By: Paul K http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21507 Thu, 30 Dec 2004 08:11:29 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21507 The issue really comes down to O’Reilly’s definition of win. Saying that you are for winning the war on terrorism and in Afghanistan is the priority and that Iraq is a distraction that dilutes that objective. Clearly Bill could not disagree with winning those wars.

Next time you whould go on Laura Ingraham instead. Though a conservative she has enough concerns about the war in Iraq to have a more intelligent discussion.

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By: Jason W http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21506 Wed, 29 Dec 2004 10:53:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21506 I have always looked to your writings and ideas as a source of reason… Once again your views are very reasonable and similar to my own… Does that make me anti-american, I think not. I think we can all agree that we support our loved ones who are about to leave to go overseas and those who are there fighting. It is just a wish of mine that Bush will take another spill of his bike, resulting in a good hard clock to the head, and realize that this war will not be won… And bring our people home… Is it not more Un American for people in the US to want there troops to remain in a foreign nation fighting a War based on Lies? People may say you are Un-American and I say they are wrong.

Why not bring “Rummy” on the factor with the “You go with the Army you have” and his “Machine to sign the letters to loved ones of those who died in this Iraq.” Is that not about as Un-American as one can get???

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By: Ron Avitzur http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21505 Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:49:16 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21505 The hate mail, sadly, is predictable. When I shut down my business in month in solidarity with those protesting the war at the very beginning I was amazed at the level of vitriol in some of the responses.

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By: Private http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21504 Fri, 24 Dec 2004 05:43:19 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21504 It is not possible to win on the O’Reilly show. It is pre-recorded. And even if you do score points that make it to the air, O’Reilly will just vilify you later and misstate your arguments.

O’Reilly really is a first class jerk and a proven liar. No respectable organization would let him stay on the air.

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By: ir0b0t http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21503 Thu, 23 Dec 2004 02:15:55 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21503 I think you’re a good example that we all need to think about following. Its hard to imagine a less hospitable and less rational spot to stand up and defend an unpopular yet vitally important principle no matter how many kooks threaten you. Too few people have the nerve to stand up like you did on that awful television show.

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By: Rob http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21502 Wed, 22 Dec 2004 02:29:24 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21502 I would like to vigorously disagree with blr in favor of Scott Lawrence who in many ways was more elegantly repeating what I was trying to say above. blr‘s view is essentially defeatist – and besides, I would call what O’Reilly was doing far less enforcing taboos in the advancement of “Absolute Truth” as, in Scott’s words, “an ambush” (by changing the framing of the question.)

There IS a possibility for real issues to surface on these kind of shows, though it is slim, and usually not with great depth, and when it does happen it shows the weakness of the meduim for handling genuine debate (I give you Jon Stewart on Crossfire as Fig. A). The problem is that real conversation is more complex and time-intensive than these shows allow time for. I’m hesitant to demonize the people running these shows – and the people who watch them – because it’s not productive (sees a class of people as beyond hope in some sense) and it’s rather condescending for the same reasons.

It’s not that O’Reilly is “not about creating a cozy discursive space for his guests” (blr‘s words) it’s that “shout shows on radio and TV are utterly worthless for adding anything of substance” (Scott‘s words) – which I argue is a problem with the medium far more than a problem with the people. O’Reilly is the master of a flawed medium.

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By: pwp http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21501 Tue, 21 Dec 2004 21:57:44 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21501 Vietnam is a communist state.

Nuff said about Les’ view of the value of a democratic republic.

So is China, and it is widely considered the biggest future market for our corporations’ products, and a huge influence on world economy.

’nuff said about Alan’s view of defining the entirity of a country (or any group of people) by one trite description.

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By: Precision Blogger http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21500 Tue, 21 Dec 2004 16:58:20 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21500 LL,
The comments you got put you in good company, and this is a long tradition. The good news is that super-loyal non-thinking Americans aren’t much nastier than they were fifty years ago.

In the fifties, the actress Larraine Day raised a question on her TV show: was it really a good idea to play the national anthem before a baseball game? Was it respectful, considering that most fans did not hear it out, but started yelling and whistling before it was over? She printed some typical responses (much like yours) in her book about the baseball Giants. The one I remember is: “You’re dirty and you’re a red.”

Forget dialog…

- The Precision Blogger
http://precision-blogging.blogspot.com

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By: Scott Lawrence http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21499 Tue, 21 Dec 2004 14:56:26 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21499 I’ll give you credit for having the guts to go on O’Reilly’s show. But by accepting his narrower framing, it seems to me that you walked willingly into an ambush. Had the topic remained “is dissent disloyal?”, there was a chance (however slim) that a half-decent debate might break out. But with the topic change, that slim chance became no chance.

These shout shows on radio and TV are utterly worthless for adding anything of substance to the discourse on issues of the day. They just reinforce the tightly-held beliefs of whoever watches them. From the shows I’ve seen and heard, they seem to be designed expressly for that purpose–to generate heat instead of light. In order for your ideas and knowledge to get a fair hearing, print, the Web (including blogs like this) and/or a forum like C-SPAN would be far better.

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By: blr http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21498 Tue, 21 Dec 2004 13:39:11 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21498 I find that this comments on an interesting divide I have noticed between “conservatives” and “liberals” (using these words in a conventional contemporary political sense). Were you, Mr. Stone, to discuss this on a college campus (ie, in a lecture hall or class), even a fairly conservative college campus, there would be certain assumptions afforded you in a discussion. There, ad hominem arguments are generally shunned, and ideas are seen for what they are: things which should be discussed, analyzed, and weighed. There is a kind of discursive space where this can happen which is present in academic settings.

Conservatives seem to think otherwise, suggesting that ideas are more like absolute moral (read quasi-religious) positions which can transgress against the Absolute Truth, therefore there are some ideas which must not be entertained and must certainly not be verbalized.

In an academic setting, you could have argued your ideas; on O’Reilly, on HIS show, you had no chance. He is not about creating a cozy discursive space for his guests. That is not to say you were at fault, but you were perhaps naive.

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By: Max Lybbert http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21497 Mon, 20 Dec 2004 09:06:25 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21497 O’Reilly simply pulled a fast one. He knew that you — as a college professor, and especially as an attorney — would be willing to play devil’s advocate even if you supported the war wholeheartedly

Did he do the right thing? No. He blindsided you because he knew the mini-culture you came from would encourage exactly what you did.

I didn’t see the show, and I doubt that you could have handled things better than you did. I do recognize that patriotism can include a desire to fix what’s wrong with the country, and while I can’t imagine rooting for defeat, I can imagine a latent feeling of “I sure hope we figure out why X is wrong before we get defeated.”

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By: Rolo Timassie http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21496 Mon, 20 Dec 2004 00:26:19 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21496 O’Reilly’s an idiot, and no one who watches the show on a regular basis has an opinion worth listening to. Ignore the flames.

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By: Tayssir John Gabbour http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21495 Sun, 19 Dec 2004 10:10:24 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21495 People who use their free speech are constantly on the defensive. Stop that! Few things define America more than using your free speech to speak truth. People who brand you traitors for speaking your mind are the true Anti-American traitors.

Here’s another thing that can spin their heads. What countries use the term “anti-XXX” where XXX is the country name? The Soviet Union did. China probably does. Authoritarian nations have that in common.

And those who align themselves with politicians like Bush or Kerry — stop that too. Any smart American knows that there’s such a thing as lying politicians — many Bush supporters claim that Clinton and Kerry are. Are they anti-American for villifying the last president? I think so, by their own logic!

I feel sorry for Bush-supporters. Just like Kerry, he isn’t giving them anything, just tossing some people red meat on gay marriage. And unless they’re rich, they can’t tell me that’s their biggest problem. The hard truth: Kerry was near-identical, that’s why America voted Bush and why it was so close. I hear Kerry was more right-wing than Nixon, and wouldn’t be surprised if it was true.

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By: Dara Hazeghi http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21494 Sun, 19 Dec 2004 05:02:10 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21494 I guess what’s done is done, but why the question might have been rephrased as follows:

“If you were a German in Germany in WWII, would hoping for Hitler’s defeat have been ‘anti-German’?”

Oh well, fascists are fascists. In a different set of cricumstances, O’Reilly would probably even find he has a good bit in common with Saddam. Or Hitler.

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By: Tom Limoncelli http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21493 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 23:30:08 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21493 It shows that you failed to watch the documentary “Outfoxed” before going on his show.

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By: Rob http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21492 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 21:01:06 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21492 It occured to me to say just what the last four people have said, becuase the last time I read the comments page was when there were 21, not 25, comments. However, I want to focus on a different aspect of O’Reilly’s language.

I’m curious – when did you realize he’d changed the question? Did you have time to prepare/rebound from that change? And did you conside walking away at that point?

You appear to question the producers truthfulness about the way things happened, and I would do so more strongly. “Is dissent disloyal?” is probably almost as weighted towards your side of the issue as “Can an American want the United States to lose the war in Iraq and still be patriotic?”.

The first half – “dissent” vs. “Can an American want the United States to lose the war in Iraq.” Dissent is a word that the… well, the dissenters have latched on to since November 2001 to describe what they’re doing – refusing to give their assent to a war that, for a myrad of reasons, they don’t agree with. Dissent is something integral to democracy, civil, and positive – it is inconcievable that O’Reilly would allow the question to be framed in that way on his show. The two groups aren’t connected – a “dissenter” is concerned about American foreign policy (for better of for worse) – a member of the group O’Reilly wants to talk about is concerned about Iraq (for better or for worse). It’s an entirely different playing field.

There’s also a weighting question on the second part of the question: “disloyal” vs. “unpatrotic”. We don’t think of nationlistic Germans in 1939 as being “patriotic”, that is thought of as “loyalty” – so you can’t lose an argument framed as “is dissent disloyal?” – because you can always throw it in the end by saying “But it’s not always right to be loyal!” – which is a point that can at least be argued. You’re never going to win a fight that is asking if it’s ever not right to be patriotic.

It’s not bad or good that most Americans would see it as always bad to not be patriotic – it’s just a fact. On both counts, if your description of the two questions is accurate, you were, in my opinion, flat-out tricked – told that the debate would happen on your verbal and congative territory, and then required to fight it on territory that was heavily weighted against you. It wasn’t that the question was “narrowed” – it was rephrased so as to make it indefensible for you, and by accepcting his framing you lost before you started.

Has this Factor already aired – if so, is there a transcript, if not when will it?

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By: M. Mortazavi http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21491 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 20:06:27 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21491 I think what your story demonstrates is the general and serious moral decay in the U.S. This is due, primarily, to ignorance, lack of proper moral measure and guidance, and a general moral bewilderment. It does not help, that your side, which opposes aggressive wars waged in its name, argues primarily from utilitraian perspective. (For O’Reilly, it seems, the death of Iraqi women and children has never been an issue. This is how utilitarianism can be stretched.) I admire your frankness on the show, as you’ve described it here. You may have wanted to argue the question with him some more from your position that the war was “unjust” and its avowed intentions only propaganda for a deeply amoral act. What does it mean to “lose”? What does it mean to be “patriotic”? Unless those two terms have been defined, I’m not sure there’s any escaping from the claws of O’Reilly on this. On one aspect of your argument, you took the utilitarian approach, namely if it means less people killed, then “loss” is O.K. What if no people are killed on the U.S. side, but there are thousands and thousands of death on the Iraqi side, whether the U.S. “loses” or “wins”? (In either case, one can argue that from a moral perspective the U.S. has already lost the war.) This is a case where the utilitarian argument will not work and it is the place where O’Reilly came after you. As I said earlier, I think what needs to be defended is the argument that the war, in its core, is unjust, and not becasue of some pacifist reasoning but because of its great moral cost and the lives of the innocent lost, for dubious, if not totally evil, purposes, even after victory was declared and Iraq fully invaded. (The utter destruction, from air and land, of Fallujah (the city of masjids), an urban area in an already occupied land, serves simply as a stark reminder of the moral quality of this war. Only in April, the occupying forces had managed to kill 800 people in 3 days of invasion from air and land, 600 of them women and children, according to hospital reports from Fallujah. In the most recent invasion, the first building occupied was the hospital. )

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By: Fred http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21490 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 18:44:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21490 I think a more interesting question is what, if anything, would constitute disloyalty? What statements make someone a traitor. Is any amount of opposition to the United States, or its policies (not just war, but say, its opposition to slavery and support of democracy) acceptable as long as your heart is in the right place? How exactly do you investigate “motivation”? What about giving information to war enemies that helps them beat us faster, because you figure the sooner we’re out the better for our country? Or what about ignorance, the Les Dabneys of the world, who are clueless about economics, and if they had their way would create massive death and poverty, and yet feel they’re helping? How much is “motivation” an acceptable excuse?

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By: prh99 http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21489 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 18:33:44 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21489 Excuse the typos.

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By: prh99 http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21488 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 18:32:10 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21488 I think something needs to be said about how we’re defining a loss when debating this question. If one defines a loss as a no win situation and bring our troops home ASAP, then yes more fewer troops will be killed. If one defines it as fighting to the last man then Mr. O’Reilly is right.

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By: Les Dabney http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21487 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 15:39:50 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21487 “Vietnam is a communist state.”

Indeed, that was a very acute observation. You have a keen eye for pointing out the obvious. Allow me to point out your obvious non-sequitor.

“Nuff said about Les’ view of the value of a democratic republic.”

The implication is that I don’t care for democratic republics because I said something positive about a country that now has a communist government.

The reality is nothing could be further from the truth. I hold disdain for all social economic systems that are pure breds. There is no one system that is good for everyone. Take America for example…we have a system were the money flows upwards to the top 1-2% every year. The bottom of the economic scale suffers and the top of the economic scale lives in luxury beyond most American’s dreams.

I find that as appalling as a communist state that the government owns everything and then the top government officials enjoy a life of luxury at the people’s expense.

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By: Harry http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21486 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:21:15 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21486 I don’t understand why someone would want to go on that show…. Although I would love to see how the host of the Daily Show would do…. I can’t think of his name right now, but I think everyone knows whom I’m talking about….

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By: John Hart http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21485 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:12:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21485 I seem to remember a handful of King George dissenters starting up their own country. Dissenters have always been showered with feces and threats. O’Reilly is a dissenter bully. But this bully understands sharp retorts. Your first words should have been insulting…this tactic throws him off his stride and his topic. I’ve seen him turn redfaced and his thought process collapse like a bald tire. O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity — these people are injurious to the debate process with their mob riot mentality. They are nothing more than polarizers and showmen who, once signing off, induldge their personal vices in the name of liberty. By the way, I am a dissenter, a proud dissenter of the Vietnam war — I hosted a 60′s radio talk show and used my microphone to gather hundreds of protesters to dissent. I am a proud dissenter of the Iraqi war. When it degrades to a civil war and the U.S. military is caught in the crossfire, I will still be a dissenter. It does not in any way diminish my spiritual and patriotic ferver for America and its international police force.

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By: Alan McCann http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/the-oreilly-factor/#comment-21484 Sat, 18 Dec 2004 13:56:42 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/the_oreilly_factor.html#comment-21484 Les said “Vietnam is doing quite well now…”

Vietnam is a communist state.

Nuff said about Les’ view of the value of a democratic republic.

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