The Instigator
DeFool
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
TheSaint
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Bill O'Reilly Is Not A Combat Veteran

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DeFool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,241 times Debate No: 29887
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

DeFool

Pro

In the clip that I have supplied, Bill O'Reilly's voice quakes with emotion as he recounts his time in combat. He promises that if "his unit" were in danger, and he has captured the enemy, he would force that captured soldier to give up his secrets.

His voice is reflective, pensive. He is almost reluctant to tell of the horrors. But he must. He must somehow find the strength to tell the American people of what he has gone through, what he has learned. The lessons learned at gunpoint are often the hardest lessons to forget.

And the lesson? Sometimes, in war, the enemy has to meet his maker first. The enemy must be tortured, if that is what it takes to save his unit. Bill O' Reilly has wisdom, wisdom gained during his time in combat. The times that he has seen it. The times that will haunt him forever.

Except that I do not believe that Bill O'Reilly has ever truly seen combat. I do not believe that he has ever had a unit. In this debate, I will ask to be proved wrong; I will ask my debate partner to demonstrate that Bill O'Reilly has ever served in the military, ever been shot at by "the enemy," or has ever been imperiled in any military way whatsoever.

I am willing to be relaxed about rules: I will honor any agreements made in the comments section. I ask that the first round be set aside for acceptance only - so that we both may have an equal number of rounds in which to present our arguments. I also ask that drops not be counted as concessions.
TheSaint

Con

My opponent did not define combat despite his rant about the dishonesty of Bill O'Reilly so I will define combat here:

Combat: a fight,struggle,or controversy,as between two persons,teams,or ideas.
-http://dictionary.reference.com...

Best of luck to my opponent with his opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
DeFool

Pro

This debate is to determine if Bill O'Reilly overspoke when he claimed to have "seen combat," to have been "shot at by the enemy," and to possess the type of hard-won wisdom peculiar to our fighting men and women in the US Armed Forces. Specifically, I have resolved to defend the notion that Mr O'Reilly has never served in the military, never been shot at by "the enemy," or has never been imperiled in any military way whatsoever.

To meet at least one of these conditions would result in a triumphant victory for myself. Joy.

Point 1:
I point out that Mr. O'Reilly admits in the audio clip that he has never served in any military, thus meeting one of the criteria for victory. It is fairly clear that he was being overdramatic, and quickly retracted the claim.

As for actually serving, Bill O'Reilly fled America during the Vietnam War, by obtaining a Draft Deferment, and (to be extra safe) also by living in England during this time. http://lickingcalcutta.blogspot.com...

Cowardice seems to be a common trait among Super-Patriots and war mongers, but I digress.

Conclusion:

Bill O'Reilly immediately retracted the statement, and admitted that he has never actually served in the military.
TheSaint

Con

Point 1: Bill O' Riley is often in a figurative form of combat.
Bill O' Riley absolutely has been in combat, in fact his entire career revolves around it.

Take the example of Bill O' Reilly in an argument with Bill Maher:

You can see him as he interrupts and attacks his arguments in every way he can think of. Going off the idea that combat is a fight, struggle, or controversy between two parties he absolutely was in combat with Bill Maher. If you use the idea that combat is any sort of a fight between two opposing parties with differing ideas, O' Riley is absolutely a combat veteran in a figurative sense.

Point 2: Bill O' Reilly did not mean literally that he had been in the military and was only making an anecdote.

By saying "If I were..." it's obvious that Bill did not mean literally that he had been in the military, he was simply trying to make some point about torture or something along those lines, the clip wasn't long enough for me to discern exactly what. But the point is that he did not literally mean that he had been in a unit of some sort he was making a rhetorical statement.

Point 3: Bill O' Reilly did not misspeak when he said that he had been in combat

I'm rather surprised you didn't figure this out yourself... He did not say that he was in a unit, or part of the military. He justified his own statement by saying he had been in danger during his time reporting in Central and South America. This is absolutely true since he was in danger at this time, it's possible he may have exaggerated exactly how much but he never said he was in the military. He simply said he had seen combat, which he had during his time in Central and South America.

Criteria for Victory:
My opponent seems to be under the impression that he can create conditions of victory in the second round of debate. He is wrong. I am debating the resolution: "Bill O' Reilly is not a combat veteran"

Through my three points I have demonstrably proved that O' Reilly did not misspeak in that statement, that he is often in figurative combat, and that he has been in literal combat. Every aspect of the resolution has been successfully negated.

Even for your criteria I have negated the majority of them.

Criteria 1:
Did Bill O' Reilly over speak when he claimed to have seen combat?
No, See points 1-3 they all show that everything he said in that video were demonstrably true.

Criteria 2:
Does Bill O' reilly posses the type of hard-won wisdom of our fighting men and women?
-This is a pointless criteria that has to do with O' Reilly's character. This debate has nothing to do with character.

But again, it doesn't matter. The criteria were thrown in during second round and have nothing to do with the resolution.

Rebuttal:
Point 1:
I point out that Mr. O'Reilly admits in the audio clip that he has never served in any military, thus meeting one of the criteria for victory. It is fairly clear that he was being overdramatic, and quickly retracted the claim.

As for actually serving, Bill O'Reilly fled America during the Vietnam War, by obtaining a Draft Deferment, and (to be extra safe) also by living in England during this time. http://lickingcalcutta.blogspot.com......

Cowardice seems to be a common trait among Super-Patriots and war mongers, but I digress.

-Other then being a general Ad Hominum attack on O'Reilly for his cowardice and pointing out the fact that he was not literally in the US army my opponent has utterly failed to make a real argument that concerns the resolution. I agree, he did not serve in the army, and perhaps he was being overdramatic, but in the end the debate is about the resolution, which you didn't even touch on.

Conclusion
Bill O'Reilly immediately retracted the statement, and admitted that he has never actually served in the military.
-Again, totally unrelated to the resolution, combat has little to do with the military, I have disproven the original resolution.

The only vote is a vote for con.
Debate Round No. 2
DeFool

Pro


I suppose that, since it has become a question, I should restate (for clarification purposes) the complete parameters for this debate. I quote directly from Round One, and not Round Two: I will ask my debate partner to demonstrate that Bill O'Reilly has ever served in the military, ever been shot at by "the enemy," or has ever been imperiled in any military way whatsoever. This, because I do not believe that he has. I do not believe that he has, because Bill O’Reilly agrees with me, and says that he has not.


Some semantic games may be devised that might offer some pretense of rhetorical veracity to a counter claim. (I However, it will be necessary, I think, for some evidence to be presented to support such an argument. After all, I am not the most authoritative person who is arguing that my resolution is a fair assessment of the situation: Bill O’Reilly himself is.


Bill O’Reilly Says that he has never been in the Military, which supports my resolution.


I had thought it obvious that this lighthearted debate was unserious, all but a “joke debate.” After all, I simply restated Mr. O’Reilly’s own words, as presented in the audio clip. If this was lost on anyone, I will write up a short transcript:


O'Reilly: But I tell you what, I've been in combat. I've seen it. I've been close to it. And if my unit is in danger and I got a captured guy and the guy knows where the enemy is and I'm looking him in the eye, the guy better tell me. That's all I'm gonna tell you. If it's life or death, he's going first. Roger, Portland, Oregon. What say you, Roger?


Roger From Portland: Yeah, hey, Bill. Bill, first things first. Ummmm, you just said that you've been in combat, but you've never been in the military, have you?


O'Reilly: No I have not.


This conclusively proves that Bill O’Reilly has never served in the military. Con will need to prove that Bill O’Reilly is lying about this, which will be difficult. (I am aware that he is arguing that being a celebrity, and debating Bill Maher, is the near equivalent of being a combat veteran. I will address this in a moment.)


Bill O’Reilly’s Memoirs do not mention his battlefield experience. A fact which supports my resolution.


Also difficult will be finding any accounts of his battlefield heroism. Bill O’Reilly worked for CBS at one time, and was assigned to cover the conflicts in the Falklands and El Salvador. He was never on any battlefields, as he remained in the home office the entire time. That is, until he was almost fired from CBS. It should be pointed out that there has been a large reward offered for many years to any soldier from any nation that can vouch that Mr. O’Reilly has ever been in a firefight, either as an embedded reporter or in any other way. All of this is detailed in Mr. O’Reilly’s many memoirs, which often extol his brilliance (but these memoirs do not mention his ever having been “shot at.”)


Oddly, they make no mention of his ever having been shot at, although they frequently elaborate on much more minor events from his life. In one of his autobiographies, Bill O’Reilly discussed his period with CBS (where he wrote stories about the El Salvador and Falklands conflicts, much as I am doing now) in one or two paragraphs. No mention is made of how brave he was during his swashbuckling gunfights.


Telling is the bio that appears on the Fox NEWS website. This glamour piece makes absolutely no mention of his time as a war correspondent, although it makes a concerted attempt to portray him in the best possible light. http://www.foxnews.com...


“Soldiers are pretty much just the same as celebrities” is sort of an offensive argument


I suppose that it might be necessary for me to draw a distinction between the type of combat O’Reilly describes in his statement, and having a radio show and debating Bill Maher. Even if “combat” is defined as any sort of disagreement over any sort of thing, no other definition is applicable in this case. Further, I am not required to define “combat,” because Mr. O’Reilly did this in his original statement. He is clearly not describing his job as a celebrity. He is describing “life or death” (his words) scenarios, not debates.


The insult to actual combat veterans, however, should be noted. They will be crestfallen to learn that their military duty is rhetorically the equivalent of being a celebrity with a radio show.


Rebuttals:


I will present these as “turns,” which occur in debate when an some argument or evidence is presented by one side – but effectively helps the other side. Remember, that my side in this particular contest is that Bill O’Reilly is not a combat veteran, and has not been shot at, served in the military, etc.


I'm rather surprised you didn't figure this out yourself... He did not say that he was in a unit, or part of the military.


As it happens, I actually did figure this out for myself. This is why I instigated a debate wherein I would argue that he was “not in a unit, or part of the military.” Remember, this is not a serious debate, with an debatable point. It is intended to ridicule Bill O’Reilly for his embarassing statement (which he immediately retracted.)


It's obvious that Bill did not mean literally that he had been in the military


Yes, it is obvious, and was factored into my resolution, which argues (in part) that Bill O’Reilly did not say that he was literally ever a combat veteran.


I agree, he did not serve in the army, and perhaps he was being overdramatic


I would be negligent if I didn’t point out that this is a bit of a concession to my argument, which (again) is that Bill O’Reilly did not serve in the Army, and was being overdramatic.


Therefore, my argument, as of this round, is:


Bill O’Reilly has not served in the Army, and was being overdramatic when he made the comments above. Con has failed thus far to demonstrate that I am incorrect in making this claim, and has repeatedly said that I am actually justified in holding this view.


TheSaint

Con

I have shown him to have been shot at by the enemy, imperiled in a military way, and since he's an american and a pundit for the military its arguable that indirectly he has in fact served the military.

He was also not being over dramatic, seeing as I showed nothing he said was false, it was all either demonstrably true or an analogy.

Sorry, I have no time to write further on the topic, but my opponent has not really made any new arguments other than to attack definitions and I don't enjoy semantic debate.

Best of luck in round 4.
Debate Round No. 3
DeFool

Pro

I thank my partner for his efforts thus far.


Entering into the Fourth Round, I will repeat my purpose for instigating this contest: To ridicule Bill O’Reilly for seeming to entertain the idea that he might be able to pass himself off as a battle-scarred veteran of war. We were privileged, I feel, to witness his mentally toying with the notion, and it’s abrupt dismissal as O’Reilly realized that it was an untenable fantasy.


The actual resolution was simply to agree with O’Reilly that it was all an overstatement in need of an immediate clarification. I was, and still am, happy and surprised that anyone might bother themselves to challenge this argument. It seems that almost any perceived insult towards O’Reilly will be defended against, truth be damned.


In debate, a common tactic that one will see used frequently is the “presupposition,” which is a statement of fact or an argument that is assumed, but not demonstrated.


A textbook example of this is:


“When did you stop beating your wife?”


(This statement presupposes that the target ever beat his wife in the first place.)


Another example might be:


“I have shown that the resolution is easily negated, and my opponent presented no new arguments in the previous round.”


(Presupposing that the resolution was negated at all…)


I note that my partner lamented a supposed neglect on my part to present new arguments in the preceeding round. Rebuttals are a normal part of debate, and are often relied upon in lieu of presenting new arguments (I am informing whoever will listen.) Answering challenges by offering rebuttals can advance an argument, which is why I thought it appropriate to defend my resolution instead of forming new arguments.


I do not see any changes to my argument that have become necessary over the course of this debate, and I am more or less forbidden from presenting any such new arguments in this round, as there is insufficient space for them to be addressed properly by my partner.


Therefore, my final argument remains pretty much intact. I will modify it just a bit:


Final Argument:


Bill O’Reilly was not lying when he claimed never to have served in the military.


My partner has not presented any evidence to disprove Bill O’Reilly’s claims never to have been a combat veteran, and so we have good reasons to score this debate accordingly. Furthermore, I have presented some data that supports Bill O’Reilly’s claims never to have served in the military. These data points have not been shown to be in error during this debate. Please refer to R2-3 for examples of this.


It is my hope that this argument will carry the day. Most readers will have noted that I presented a very obvious statement of fact, which is more difficult to refute than a traditional logic chain. Not very stimulating; which is why I am rather glad that my partner seemed so insulted by the whole exercise. His outrage pleased my troll heart a great deal, and I hope that it proved entertaining to our judges as well.


I want to thank our readers and especially those who might consider rewarding our efforts with a thoughtful vote. Please vote for me, and please be kind; this week has been eventful at my office – finding even a few moments for presenting any arguments at all was a herculean task.


TheSaint

Con

TheSaint forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Wesley1066 2 years ago
Wesley1066
The opening premise of the debate is loaded to a specific outcome. Bill O'Reilly stated "I have been in combat, I have seen it". He did not state that he was a military combat veteran nor did he state that he had ever served in the military at all. I offer as an example Phan Thi Kim Phuc. If you don't know the name, she is the 9 year old girl that was photographed in Viet Nam while running naked, covered in napalm, and on fire. No one would state that she is a combat veteran, but by the same token, she has most certainly "been in combat" and has absolutely "seen it."
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
What was he thinking when he said that? He never had a unit, he has no idea what combat is like, he has no idea how to storm the enemy, etc.

He completely lost it on this one! How does someone so intelligent, say things like he does?
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
I don't.
Posted by BigSky 4 years ago
BigSky
You didn't say why you think he didn't serve.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
DeFoolTheSaintTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct Pro, Even before the forfeit this was how it would have landed. The definition was not subject to much doubt in the context of the opening round, trying to define combat as something outside of a military context was to try to win the debate by missing the point. Arguments Pro, who showed, beyond the admission by O'Reilley himself, that the claim to have seen combat was beyond theatrical exaggeration. Also, Con's argument implied that all war-journalists should be considered combat veterans. Which is just riddiculous. Sources Pro, as they were the most pertinent to the case, and showing O'Reilley argue with Maher is hardly comparable to taking Kabul.
Vote Placed by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
DeFoolTheSaintTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.