The Instigator
mikelwallace
Pro (for)
Losing
49 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
50 Points

Bill O'Reilly is neither fair nor balanced.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,305 times Debate No: 2862
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (27)

 

mikelwallace

Pro

I started this debate with another member and he never posted an argument. I am a conservative, yet I am fair minded and believe that Bill O'Reilly is a hippocrite when he attacks other networks for being biased. He is neither fair nor balanced.
beem0r

Con

Bill O'Reilly is indeed fair and balanced. It is my opponent's burden to show that he is not so. I believe both my opponent and the voters are aware that I could give examples of Bill O'Reilly being fair and/or balanced, but this would not conclusively prove that he is indeed fair and balanced overall. It is therefore solely my opponent's burden to show that he is in fact neither fair nor balanced. This would be done by showing that he is both unfair overall and unbalanced overall. Since my opponent has made no progress convincing the voters in round 1, I am willing to do the same, and allow him to now make his arguments.

I look forward to a good debate Also, I would like to confirm that I will not use the tactics suggested in the comments section: namely, I will not use Bill's complexion to argue that he's "fair" nor will I use his ability to physically balance himself to show that he's "balanced." I was considering it, but as I said in my own comment, I don't want to look like a strategy thief.
Debate Round No. 1
mikelwallace

Pro

I appreciate you taking this debate.

For my first argument, I will give a recent example. As we all know, Bill criticizes other networks a lot for being unfair. Recently, he went after MSNBC, calling them irresponsible. His reasoning was that a reporter on the network made a crack about Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson watching the Super Bowl together. It was some subtle joke about Richardson (a hispanic) passing the guacamole to Clinton.

In the above video, O'Reilly goes after the network, not for the comment, but for failing to apoligize and condemn the unfair comment. However, just a few days before that, Bill had a guest host named Michael Smerconish on "The Radio Factor" and he was speaking about why Mitt Romney would not get the nomination. The following is what was said in the "no spin zone":

"No wonder some Americans are reluctant to support Mitt Romney for president. A Gallup poll conducted in the days after Romney delivered his "Faith in America" speech found that 17 percent of voters said they wouldn't vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. That's the same result Gallup got when asking a similar question about Romney's father, Michigan Gov. George Romney, when he was running for president.

"NO DOUBT THESE people are largely Christians (like me) and Jews.
We're clearly aided by an ability to spot a whopper when we hear one, a skill obviously lacking in Scientologists and Mormons. Maybe it's our grounding in the Old and New Testament that enables us to easily size up the preposterous nature of the customs that guys like Cruise and Romney follow.
I'm thinking we have certain street smarts emanating from our belief in the Good Book that's given us the ability to filter out obviously bogus beliefs.
After all, we know that the earth was created in seven days, and that the son of its creator was born to a virgin mother. Indeed, a star over Bethlehem led three wise men to the scene of Jesus' birth, and, 30 years later, he walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee.
If only the Mormons and Scientologists would take the time to read those stories - and with them learn about the great flood that Noah survived by building an ark and loading two of each animal onboard, or the drowning of Pharaoh's army after Moses parted the Red Sea - they'd surely come to their senses over the obviously fictitious lore surrounding L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith.
Heck, say what you will in this time of war with radical Islam, but not even Muslims would fall for the trappings of faith that Cruise and Romney have."

Would you call these comments a bit unfair and unbalanced? This was a blatant attack on Mitt Romney based on his faith. His intellegence and logic are belittled because of his Church. In the days to follow, Bill O'Reilly recieved several letters, emails, and phone calls about these comments being allowed to go unchallenged in his "no spin zone". Bill refuses to comment, it just never happened. Interesting huh? I also recall Bill going after Cindy Sheehan for comparing Radical Islamists to freedom fighters. He said that he would not stand for anyone comparing freedom fighters to radical islam on his show, never. Yet, in these comments, Romney is compared to radical islam based on his religeon? Why won't Bill simply condemn these unfair comments? One week later, after recieving complaints from many LDS people, O'Reilly had a special on his show about the different religeons. He did not mention the faith. His guest attempted to bring up "the Mormons" and Bill quickly turned away from it. Yet another opporitunity to fix the damage done on his airwaves, and he refused to comment. Bill O'Reilly is quick to judge the other networks when they are unfair, but does not take the responsability that he feels others should be obliged to take.
beem0r

Con

The first argument my opponent gives is from a video, which he linked in his last round.
In this video, Bill and 2 others are discussing problems surrounding a joke about Hispanic governor Richardson passing the guacamole to Clinton. Understand, first, that Bill O'Reilly explicitly states that he sees nothing wrong with saying that Richardson was asked to pass the guacamole to Clinton. He acknowledges that this is not a problem.
However, I will explain what he does take issue with. There were a group of people who were upset at this remark, and openly showed their feelings about it. Depending on what type of person you are, you might either apologize for hurting their feelings, regardless of whether they should have their feelings hurt, or to simply not apologize because "you shouldn't have hurt feelings over this." Bill is the first type of person here. He expects that because someone's feelings were hurt, the offender will issue some sort of statement, which they apparently did not. They took the second stance, and completely ignored the issue. While you might disagree with what Bill O'Reilly's stance is here, it's hardly something he can be called unfair or unbalanced over.

Second, my opponent includes a quote from Michael Smerconish. This quote, for those who didn't read the previous line, was not Bill O'Reilly's. Therefore, it has absolutely no bearing on how fair or balanced Bill O'Reilly is.
However, I maintain that Smerconish was also being fair and balanced in this quote. First, he mocks Mormonism and Scientology, which are indeed two very easily mocked religions. A reader might at first think that he's solely picking on these religions, which could be construed as unbalanced, but he goes on to mock his own religion. From the above quote:
"I'm thinking we have certain street smarts emanating from our belief in the Good Book that's given us the ability to filter out obviously bogus beliefs.
After all, we know that the earth was created in seven days, and that the son of its creator was born to a virgin mother. Indeed, a star over Bethlehem led three wise men to the scene of Jesus' birth, and, 30 years later, he walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee.
If only the Mormons and Scientologists would take the time to read those stories - and with them learn about the great flood that Noah survived by building an ark and loading two of each animal onboard, or the drowning of Pharaoh's army after Moses parted the Red Sea - they'd surely come to their senses over the obviously fictitious lore surrounding L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith."

First, he says that the bible gives Christians and Jews the ability to detect bogus beliefs. And then, in an obviously satirical way, he shows just how wrong that statement is. In fact, his overall message here is that we should NOT be judging someone based on how bogus their beliefs are, since all religions have some sort of ridiculous lore. I do not see how this could be construed as unfair or unbalanced. Perhaps my opponent simply did not notice the obvious satire? Either way, they were not Bill O'Reilly's words, so my opponent must have been quite desperate to use that as evidence.

One more round. So far, we've seen one instance of Bill being fair and balanced, and none of him being otherwise. And one of a guest host being fair and balanced, as if that was relevant. Perhaps my opponent would like to try and swing the tides in his favor this next round?
Debate Round No. 2
mikelwallace

Pro

Thank you for your comments. Concerning the sarcasm in Smerconish's comments, it is something that I certianly did not pick up on the first time that I heard them. More important than winning a debate, in my view, is being fair and honest. It appears that you are correct about the sarcasm in those comments, and i probably just missed it completely. My point with the video, however, is still the same. Bill feels that if you are going to hold one person accountable for their comments, you should hold all accountable. There should be a balance there. Yet, Bill does not always hold himself accountable. Another example is the blunder in bringing up the massacre of Melmedy, where Bill stated that Americans were guilty of the war crime when they were actually the victims of it. When he recieved an email about it, he would not apologize. He claimed that the viewer just misunderstood his comments. The transcript of the show on his website was then changed from what he actually said. Evidence of this can be found on youtube under "bill oreilly melmedy". I would post a vid here but it would have Kieth Olbermann in it and quite frankly I think that Olbermann is the biggest idiot in America and I can't stand him- but I'll save that for another debate.

Another of my problems with him is how, after repeatedly criticizing other networks for glorifying immoral and pornographic behaviors and figures, he has a nude model on his show, and labels her a patriot for sending signed calendars to the soldiers in Iraq. He also spoke very boldly for years against all forms of degrading sexual harrassment. We all know about his sexual harrassment law suit which he personally paid a large sum of money to keep quiet. He clearly acts in hippocracy and does not hesitate to attack others for their blunders, while not holding themselves to the same standards.
beem0r

Con

What we can take from my opponent's argument is this: Bill O'Reilly holds himself to different standards than he holds others. However, let us consider what this means for the topic at hand: does this make Bill unfair and unbalanced? I contend that it does not.

I contend that no one truly holds them selves just as responsible as they hold others. Even if there are a few who do, this high standard is not needed for one to be classified as fair or balanced. Perhaps it could be said that Bill O'Reilly is not the fairEST nor the MOST balanced, but if the worst my opponent can do is bring up times when he's required less of himself than of others, it's clear that he's a fair and balanced guy.

He treats third parties equally, or at least equal enough for him to be considered fair and/or balanced. While we don't really have solid definitions of fair or balanced for this debate, remember that I only have to show that Bill is either fair OR balanced, since my opponent is affirming that he is neither. I assert that one does not have to treat himself equal to others to be considered balanced. It's human nature to hold oneself in higher regard than others, and I hold that it is unfair to call someone unfair and unbalanced for having this trait.

That is all.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HoosierPapi 9 years ago
HoosierPapi
Please. Bill O'douche is about as fair and balanced as a fat girl is unlikely to eat the free piece of cake planted in front of her. He is racist, homophobic, sexist, a pathological liar (about himself and others) and emotionally unbalanced. Facts, every one.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
There, perhaps that was good enough. At least I didn't use the dumb burden of proof argument people use so often here.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
I'm not feeling confident that you'll lose overall, at least not right now I'm not. Maybe once I look into the things you brought up, I'll find some way to argue against them.
Posted by mikelwallace 9 years ago
mikelwallace
I lost the round 2 argument I think, can't believe I overlooked the sarcasm in those comments.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
Mike: great job in round 3, I'm not sure if I'll be able to rebut all that. We'll see when I post round 3.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
Tatar, I was gonna use those, but then I looked at the comments and decided I didn't want people thinking I was stealing other people's tactics.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
Yea I agree maybe not for the same reasons but Bill O'Reilly is niether fair nor balanced. I have no problem with Hannity and O'Reilly giving a republican view point (because neither are conservative) but don't try to pass yourself off while others are wrong. They are just as balanced as the Chris Mathews and the kieth Oberman's out their.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
If anybody offer the Ragnar_Rahl/Brittwaller debate response you have my vote.
Posted by sully 9 years ago
sully
I am beginning to realize that not many people on this website disagree wih me on this one. I guess this was a bad topic since everybody else sees to be onto the old hippocrite as well.
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
He also has a fair complexion... so he is fair and balanced! lol
27 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 5 years ago
Willoweed
mikelwallacebeem0rTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bill isnt fair
Vote Placed by ConsciousSpirit 7 years ago
ConsciousSpirit
mikelwallacebeem0rTied
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mikelwallacebeem0rTied
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mikelwallacebeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
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mikelwallacebeem0rTied
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