Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Bill O’Reilly Really this Stupid?

Don't answer that. It's a rhetorical question.

Honestly, I just don't understand how someone who's a prominent television personality can be so totally ignorant of the very issue that he rants about. It's not rocket science. The law isn't that hard to understand.

Maybe there's something about being religious that clouds the mind?

Listen for the following words from attorney Megan Kelley, "I've never met a non-lawyer who argues the law so confidently, albeit, so wrongly."

[Hat Tip: Friendly Atheist: You Are Wrong! You Are *So* Wrong!]


  1. To answer the rhetorical question, I don't think Bill O'Reilly is so stupid. Well...let me rephrase that; I do think he is stupid. It's just that I don't think he is that stupid. At least in some cases he probably knows he is BSing, but he wants to pander to the right, improve his ratings and get his books to sell better, and he like many others does not care what he says if it's going to achieve this. He knows there are loons out there who will worship him as long as he sells his loony agenda well enough. So that's simply and boringly who he is; a man with power who wants more power.

  2. The way to understand Fox News is to view it as a sort of melodrama for the not-so-bright conservative fundamentalists.

    Or, you can view it as a kind of WWF (pro wrestling)

  3. No, it's much more than a melodrama or WWF. Millions of people are addicted to Fox every day, and powerfully influenced by what is said there (my aging parents are just a few of them). Uneducated people are suckers for these dumbed-down populist tough-talkers (Bush, Perot, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, etc). Hitler was a populist tough-talker as well (sorry about the Godwin). It used to be that the right-wing had at least a few smart people, like William F. Buckley for example (whom I often disagreed with, but at least he had a fine intellect). But those days are long gone. These sheep on the right don't want an intellectually nuanced analysis. They want a simple dumbed-down message to believe in, because they're either too thick or too mentally lazy to understand anything more. They enjoy the feeling of simplistic self-righteous anger and blame - in fact, they wallow in it. They love to hate! It makes them feel powerful, self-righteous, and superior to point the finger at someone and get angry. Many of them are addicted to that feeling. In comparison, careful thinking, understanding, and empathy are weak and silly - not the "tough-talk" that makes them feel empowered. Unfortunately, all this dumbing down carries a very heavy price tag. By voting for a corrupt retard who seduced them with simplistic cowboy tough talk and religious platitudes, they've left a huge mess for their children and grandchildren. Not that they care much - Jesus is coming soon and none of that will matter! And I thought I was irresponsible...

    Fox really does "harden hearts" and make stupid people feel superior. It gives them so much pleasure to point

  4. The courts have held that atheism is a religion? How do I get a tax exemption?

  5. "I just don't understand how someone who's a prominent television personality can be so totally ignorant"

    He works for faux news. To get a job there you either have to be that ignorent, or at least pretend to be when on the air.

  6. I was unable to view the video link that was the topic of discussion here, as it was removed from Youtube for violation of terms. However, the reason that brought me to this thread in the first place (a heated exchange between O'Reilly and Megan Kelley regarding a court ruling over a "church" group's right to assemble and demonstrate outside the funeral of a fallen U.S. soldier) apparently is similar enough to the initial topic so that I've had the good fortune to have been guided here!

    Professor Moran's views and those of the hand-full of others who commented on them and the video clip demonstrate hostility, intolerance, and their own unique brand of dogma which I can only imagine is employed in an attempt to insulate themselves from views that they discount as "loony", "stupid", "fundamentalist", etc., in protection their own myopic and fragile mindset.

    O'Reilly is a journalist by training, not a lawyer. His opinions may offend the sensibilities of some, but they cannot fairly be characterized as baseless, illogical or indefensible. In the case of the fallen solder's funeral -- he argued from the standpoint of it being illegal due to the assembly being a platform designed solely to elicit a reaction from the grieving family -- interfering with their own rights. Kelley argued that restricting the protestors in this case could have implications for the right to assemble in cases that O'Reilly might value, such as outside abortion clinics. Valid points on both sides, although I believe O'Reilly won points for maintaining a calm and professional demeanor, characteristics sorely lacking in Kelley's presentation.

    In the book Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered, the author/economist E. F. Schumacher details how in the quest for answers to the problems of this world, some pursue ever deeper education in the sciences as if just having a broad and deep enough understanding of science and technicals could somehow produce great understanding and wisdom. Scumacher goes on to differentiate wisdom from know-how, and warns against allowing scientists an equal hand in guiding the application of the fruits of their research, as they have in conducting the actual research. His opinion and conclusions -- backed by those of Albert Einstein -- was that entirely different skill sets and ambitions belong to scientists and public policy makers, and that we must guard against allowing either to meddle too far into the other's area of expertise. Food for thought for Professor Moran as he expounds on the law and politics, two subjects far removed from his field of expertise, Biochemistry.

    Above all else, tolerance and an open mind is the key to wisdom.