Two wrongs don’t make O’Reilly right

How many ways is O’Reilly wrong? Start with a few obvious and recent ways. Last week he went hard after the Internet (or technology encompassing it). The old adage that money is the root of all evil has been revised by O’Reilly: the Internet is now the source of all evil. He went on a rant at how it was not structured in a way that benefits people, but that people create an alternative reality on the web and are increasingly drawn into it.

All the good flow of information at one’s fingertips is lost on O’Reilly. He sees it as bad. Maybe it needs government control to assure people use it correctly? Mary Katherine Ham tried to enlighten him, to no avail. He just blurted on how it was bad for people, namely kids. (urchins as he calls them) He even brought her back to argue the point.

WaPost reported Erik Wemple | February 18 :
Fox News star host Bill O’Reilly last night went after his fellow Americans. They’re too uninformed, he said.
To establish the point, O’Reilly relied on data, citing a 2011 Newsweek study showing that U.S. citizens who take the citizenship test given to foreigners perform miserably. How many couldn’t name the sitting vice president of the United States? Twenty-nine percent. A good 44 percent couldn’t define the Bill of Rights. After running through the numbers, O’Reilly said, ”That’s a disaster.”
To explain the point, O’Reilly didn’t rely on data. He merely argued that the main culprit for American’s poor level of informedness was the public schools. Then: “Number two, the Internet has created a generation of self-absorbed, addicted, distracted and ignorant people. The powerful machines, hand-held many of them, are diverting a lot of Americans away from real life. You can now create your own world on the net devoid of reality, and millions of Americans are doing that. The result is that a very few shrewd people are now wielding enormous power.”

Its the “Machines”, stupid! Sounds sci-fi-ish. Is there a book in it, “Killing the Internet”? As WaPo reported, they seem as dumb as before it. I want to blame the Internet for electing the DIC, but can’t. There may be a case to make on “information overload”… not so much for information overlord. Ease up on Newsweek – causes indigestion.

A second error is when he decided, based on logic known only to Bill, that Obama would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He’s peddled that one a few times. First off, Obama is not really logical. He’s an ideological creature, as in ideologue. What would it benefit his ideology to approve it? Why would he spend so much political capital opposing it? He put it in the safe hands of John Kerry. I bet Kerry is telling him to approve it. The XL pipeline could benefit the same industry he is at war with – energy.

Obama has dragged his feet for 5 years but Bill assumes he’ll come to his senses and approve the Keystone pipeline.(possibly this year) I don’t get the rationale for that optimistic prediction. Maybe it is romantic wishful thinking. Whatever, he has yet to reveal the basis for his bold prediction. The folks and their machines might have a better handle on that than O’Reilly.


Or is auditioning as Carnac the Magnificent?

RightRing | Bullright

19 comments on “Two wrongs don’t make O’Reilly right

  1. You happened to catch me during a morning off from work….

    Working backwards: I believe that O’Reilly might be accidentally right on the pipeline. I agree with you that he and his environmental-loon coalition don’t want the pipeline, and don’t care one whit about the effect on the economy (jobs, energy prices) of their blocking it. But the 2014 political reality is that there’s a better than 50% chance they’ll lose control of the Senate. As the Aug/Sep/Oct election polling numbers start showing themselves, if Obama/Jarrett/Axelrod/Ploufe think that approving the pipeline would give Democrat Senators something positive to campaign on, to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat, THEN Obama would approve it…environmentalists be damned. In other words, keeping the Senate is more important to him than keeping the environmentaloons happy. He’d rather have both though, so he’ll wait until late summer to decide whether he has to give in or not, to save the Senate. ………………..So that’s the rationale as I see it. I doubt whether Bill has thought it through that much. He tends to think only 1-2 layers deep, ’cause he’s “a simple man.” He tends to view politics as an overtly-visible boxing match, rather than a covertly-crafted chess game or poker game.

    On his leaning towards internet nannyism: Let’s at least acknowledge that O’Reilly does seem to lean at least slightly to the right, on average. But unfortunately, he’s a populist (appealing to current popular public opinion). I can’t tell for sure whether that’s his natural philosophy, or whether it’s an overt-but-unstated media strategy related to his “No Spin” “Factor” brand. My best guess is the latter. Anyway, he needs to read AND ABSORB a lot more Friedman and Sowell books on economics, so he can actually learn to think 4 or 5 layers deep. He’s correct that there are certain kinds of people who use the internet in an addictive way, to live in a narcissistic & insulated world. But that’s not the majority of internet users. In a free country, people make bad choices. That’s no reason to abandon the philosophies of freedom and liberty. The ability to use the net to bypass the media industry to access and publish information directly, rather than being spoon-fed by the liberal media monopoly that manipulate our perception of the news from the 50s through the late 90s, has been a political game changer.

    Sometimes, respecting freedom and liberty forces us to make tradeoffs. There are pros & cons. There are no perfect answers to most issues, but the best thing is to leave it up to personal choice whenever possible. When there are notable cons to free choice, O’Reilly’s populist streak leads him to bloviate towards nannyism of one form or another.

    However, give this some thought: A valid alternative to big-government coercion & intrusion into every aspect of our lives is called “moral-suasion” (moral persuasion). This involves using whatever rationale and stage is available to just persuade people to do something because it’s the right thing to do. Not force them against their will, but through explanation and common sense. Perhaps that’s what O’Reilly is trying to do, just through social commentary. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him advocate government regulation of internet use, or government regulation of parent’s household rules for cell phones & texting & web surfing. Have you? Granted, I wish any time he’s ranting against some aspect of our eroding social fabric, he would ALWAYS emphasize that he’s against government control of our social fabric. He leaves himself open to suspicion, because he doesn’t make it clear that he’s in favor of individual choice. Because he doesn’t make this clear, whenever he’s appealing to moderates he scares libertarians. And whenever he’s appealing to libertarians he scares moderates. Meanwhile, committed liberals and progressives reflexively trash him no matter what, because they fear his influence.

    Those are my long-winded thoughts, my friend.

    Cheers,
    – Jeff

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    • Oops, my proofreading sucks. In the 3rd sentence, by “he” I meant Obama, not O’Reilly. As in “I agree with you that Obama and his environmental-loon coalition don’t want the pipeline….”
      – Jeff

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      • bullright says:

        And you are right, Jeff, you gave it more rationale thought (alot more) than Bill did.Good points. I just can’t agree they will come to their senses even faced with losing. And passing it could accelerate their loss, with their radical base. (visions of Lieberman dance in my head) There are a lot of people like Steyer dumping fortunes into killing it. But I do think O’Reilly really believes it. But you base it on a lot more than he does. You’d like to hope they would… At this point they seem like ideological animals to me.

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      • bullright says:

        Oh, I forgot to mention Soros and his interest in rail.

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        • I hear you. But even Soros is less influential to Obama than the negative prospect of losing the Senate.

          Regarding “coming to their senses”: If he does approve the pipeline, he’ll SAY it’s because he now thinks it’s the right thing to do (“after much careful consideration, bla bla bla”). But it will REALLY be because he thinks he’s got to play that card to keep the Senate. And you’re right, he STILL might lose the Senate anyway. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? He gives in on the pipeline, AND loses the Senate anyway. Of course, those potential outcomes are all among the permutations in the chess game, and his inside team is pretty good at thinking ahead in chess, and using many OTHER available avenues to stir up chaos. After the EPA and the State Dept can’t block it any more, maybe he’ll get the U.N. or the World Bank to block it for awhile, and claim they’re blocking it against his will.

          – Jeff

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          • bullright says:

            Right, politics is all that matters to them. I agree Obama could explain it, if he could excuse Benghazi he could explain that. (read rationalize). I forgot that O’Reilly said something like Obama would be forced or compelled to approve it — or have no choice. Still, it rings hollow to me.

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    • bullright says:

      Jeff,
      Some good thoughts on O’Rellyism (coining a new word) I agree for the most part. When Mary K Ham tried to persuade him he dug in. Hey, I agree with the abuse thing, we can see the texting problems. What Libs often want is to operate completely void of market or principles. I see a little of that in O’rellly sometimes. I wish morality were a bigger part of the process, than it is.

      Your depiction of Bill is pretty accurate to me, as complex a psyche as he is, and he does divert to big government. I try to remember politics is his major. If he would realize, he probably has a little in common with those internet abusers/addicts….in that they function as youth do on immediate gratification and responses, in the present, worrying about the next battle when it comes. He isn’t that far from their pulse rate. 🙂 I’ll give it some more thought.

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  2. Mrs. AL says:

    Great post and equally great discussion thus far. Thanx to you both.

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  3. bullright says:

    Just remembering last May the great O’Reilly was predicting that Holder would step down or be ejected under the bus. A year later, Holder is still firmly in DoJ.
    —————-
    A pic from Twitter makes the point:

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  4. Mrs. AL says:

    IMHO everything BOR does is about ratings market share. And like him or not, he does it well.

    I personally believe he turns to big government in the context of helping “the poor.” I am not a psychologist, but I have always gotten the feeling that he somehow feels guilty about his success. I know, that’ probably not fair on my part. But it is the sense I get at times. (And to be fair, women’s intuition is far from always right — haha)

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    • bullright says:

      Mrs. AL,

      Yep, I’ll have what’s behind that door for a thousand. He does it well. When O’Reilly first started he rejected the notion of using his program just to sell books. Hello. Did you realize he has the same initials as Barack Obama? (just interesting)

      AS for women’s intuition, I don’t know about “always right”, but its better than the intuition in politics or the mainstream. Sorry, contrary to popular thought, women’s reproductive organs cannot vote. I know that, but I’m constantly informed otherwise. They do have strong opinions though. I think intuition has been reduced, too. Didn’t Mily prove that?? I dunno.

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    • bullright says:

      Sorry, I tend to agree with the guilt trip, it’s the only thing that fits that well. (Until something else explains it…)

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