The Instigator
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Losing
29 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
38 Points

Bill O'Reilly lies.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,247 times Debate No: 13307
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (56)
Votes (14)

 

RoyLatham

Con

I am Con in this debate.

In the comments to a previous debate http://www.debate.org... my opponent said, "I'll take your suggestion of "Bill O'Reilly lies." I'd love to see you defend his assertions that communists are lunatics, for example. When would you like the challenge?"

The definition of "lies" for this debate is " A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood." http://www.thefreedictionary.com... The readers of the debate will judge whether something is a lie rather than a mistake. A mistake is not deliberate.

To keep three arguments on each side, Pro will pass on the last round.

I am looking forward to a vigorous debate.
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con.

I agree with the definitions and terms; however, whether or not O'Reilly's falsehoods are *intentional* or not is most likely what will be debated here, considering there's no shortage of things he's said that are completely untrue. Were at least a few of his comments deliberate (lies), or shall we assume that every misnomer was an innocent mistake? Considering O'Reilly's experience and background in journalism, it would be irresponsible to mistake every asinine thing he's said as purely accidental. Moreover, we cannot accept that he's so pugnacious to the point where he cannot be held accountable for frequent slip-ups on the basis of his aggressive personality. On the contrary, I posit that a show whose slogan is "The Spin Stops Here" implying that there is no manipulation of the facts has a responsibility to honest reporting and not just making things up to suit your agenda, as I will prove O'Reilly does. Also, I'd like the audience to consider how hypocrisy is very misleading and dishonest. Because of limited character space, I will present different examples in the first 2 rounds and my analysis in the final.

***

1. In hosting guest Heather Mallick on his show, O'Reilly promised an American boycott of Canadian goods citing similar American boycotts of French goods after O'Reilly's encouragement to do so. According to O'Reilly, "They lost billions of dollars in France according to the Paris Business Review." Of course, this was completely false considering (a) American trade with France had actually INCREASED and (b) There is no such publication as the Paris Business Review. In another interview, Mallick recalls of the incident, "He simply invented it. He also invented his statistics. They're not lies - they're BOLD faced lies. He didn't blink 'cause he lied; he just said it." Quite obviously he just makes this stuff up as he goes along - all the while delivering it as fact - in accordance to his own misguided interpretation of reality.

(YouTube source: Bill O'Reilly caught lying)

2. Political writer and activist Sunsara Taylor was defending her group who protested against the war in Iraq on O'Reilly's show. He asked why she felt the need to protest instead of letting Congress do its job. She said that the people deserved to be heard and listed a bunch of facts regarding the death toll and so on. She said that these things were not being discussed, and O'Reilly said that this was her opinion. Now, at first glance I thought he was referring to her opinion that people were not being heard; however, upon further listening to their conversation you see he is rejecting the facts (statistics). More proof is that he proceeds to call her a lunatic, a loon, and say that this is because most Americans don't agree with her.

Of course this is a lie about how we determine lunacy, but regardless, Taylor points out that actually most Americans do agree with her (anti Bush and anti war) - so yet another B.O. lie. O'Reilly says her group is small with about 50 people (there are thousands). He also manipulates her words and says she calls congress corrupt (she calls them complicit) etc. Is O'Reilly simply citing the facts, or is he deliberately lying about this woman, her beliefs, her group and its stance in order to demean them and their point of view? I think the answer is quite obvious.

(YouTube source: Sunsara Taylor puts O'Reilly in the uncomfort zone @ 2:00)

3. In June 2009, Private William Long was fatally shot at an Army recruiting office in Arkansas by a Muslim. O'Reilly claimed that the media was only giving coverage to the guy who was shot a day earlier (the abortion doctor who was killed in church) insinuating, of course, liberal media bias and noting that other stations didn't want to address the Muslim killing but only the killing of the abortion doctor. Surely FOX is the REAL media outlet here making sure to cover both stories. O'Reilly rants, "CNN is supposed to be *the news* channel... Only Anderson Cooper at 10:00 covered this story! Nobody else! So all day long it wasn't news to cover an Army recruiter gunned down in Arkansas."

The next day Rick Sanchez set him straight by saying "Let's see if it really was just Anderson Cooper" and proceeded to roll tape from the day earlier showing CNN's Kyra Phillips, Tony Harris, Rick Sanchez, Wolf Blitzer, Erika Hill, Lou Dobbs, Heidi Collins, David Mattingly and Kiran Chetry all doing segments to cover the Long case. In other words, Bill O'Reilly once again blatantly lied. The reason we shouldn't dismiss this as a "mistake" is because he is INTENTIONALLY stating something as fact OBVIOUSLY without even so much as a fact-check to discredit his competitors at CNN and make himself look like the reasonable guy. This is malicious and premeditated.

(YouTube source: Rick Sanchez Rips Bill O'Reilly For Lying About CNN And Murdered Army Recruiter)

#!

4. On 11/15/02, a viewer called in to O'Reilly and said that if he [B.O.] was so concerned about public figures being bad role models for children, he should stop interrupting guests and telling them to shut up. O'Reilly responded, "The 'shut up' line has happened only once in six years." Of course any person whose ever watched O'Reilly knows that "Shut up" is among his favorite phrases for those who disagree with him. There is a plethora of evidence he's told people to shut up DOZENS of times on his show. You can read the transcripts of him using this phrase over a dozen times as well as search BILL O'REILLY SHUT UP on YouTube and watch many examples first-hand. There are also other quotes of him emphasizing to other outlets (such as 60 Minutes) that he's only used the phrase "six times" (still another lie) -- but either way here we see him dodge the reality of him being a rude and unprofessional "journalist."

http://www.slate.com...

5. After 11 year old Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped and held hostage for 4 years, O'Reilly told guest attorney Greta Van Susteren that Hornbeck willingly chose to remain captive, that he LIKED it, and that it was because he didn't have a strong bond with his family that he decided not to go home. He also claimed that the boy chose to stay because his captor wasn't forcing him to go to school, not giving him a lot of rules, etc. He says, "This situation, to me, looks like it'd be A LOT MORE FUN than what he had with his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted... There was an element here that this kid LIKED about his circumstances." Van Susteren obviously being the more reasonable of the two pointed out that the details of the case were not yet known so it would be irresponsible to draw hasty conclusions. Any rational political commentator (or hell, person) would see this. O'Reilly snidely responded "Yeah well if I'm wrong, we'll play this tape and you'll get your points."

As details of the case surfaced, O'Reilly acknowledged that Shawn Hornbeck was MOLESTED, TORTURED and suffered from child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. So much for LIKING his circumstances, eh? Good call, Bill. The best part is that O'Reilly actually condemned other "pinheads" in the media for crying Stockholm Syndrome insinuating that their original idea was so ridiculous... meanwhile, the reality is far more pertinent to their spin on the story than O'Reilly's suggestion of the kid ENJOYING his time being held hostage so that he could avoid school. Of course Greta never got her props and O'Reilly never so much as acknowledged his ridiculous assertion nor did he apologize to the family he slandered.

(YouTube source: B.O. lies and hypocrisy)

Out of characters - more examples in the next round!
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Con

How does one prove that a statement is a lie? One way is that the person admits it later on, as Bill Clinton did. Another is that solid physical evidence is produced that proves deliberate falsehoods, like the Nixon Watergate tapes. Yet another way is with testimony from a confident who discloses the stated intent. Pro offers none of these. Making a mistake, misunderstanding the data, or offering a wrong opinion or an illogical conclusion, are errors, not lies.

1. Pro's claims that O'Reilly knew that Paris Business Review did not exist but said it did, and that the boycott of France did not work and O'Reilly knew that when claiming that it did.

O'Reilly made a mistake in citing the "Paris Business Review." It was clearly a mistake rather than a lie because O'Reilly, and everyone else, knows that there are hoards of opponents going through his programs with a fine tooth comb looking for material to use against him. Rather than cite a non-existent source, he could just say "our data shows" or make some other non-attribution. He might also have referenced a USA Today article, cited below. We don't know how the mistake was made. However, no evidence is offered that it was a lie rather than a mistake. O'Reilly has been on nightly for 14 years, and had a two-hour radio talk show for six years. That's more than 6000 hours of air time. It would be inconceivable that mistakes not occur.

It is plausible that the boycott would have an effect, given the magnitude of concern over French duplicity at the time. The boycott was started after revelations that the French had promised Secretary of State Colin Powell support in UN actions against Saddam, but had lied to Powell and supported Saddam. We subsequently learned France had grossly violated the UN embargo on Iraq by secretly providing arms in return for Iraqi oil. The boycott was ended after six months, when Sarkozy was elected President of France.

Did O'Reilly believe that the boycott of France was ineffective while claiming it was? An independent Stanford University study of imports of French wine found, "Conservative estimates indicate that the boycott resulted in 26% lower weekly sales at its peak, and 13% lower sales over the six month period that we estimate the boycott lasted." http://www.unc.edu... USA Today reported, "Nearly one in five Americans who regularly buy French products say they have stopped because of France's outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup survey. ... The French Government Tourist Office which figures France will lose about $500 million in American tourist business this year for a variety of reasons is taking the situation so seriously that it is about to begin a multicity campaign promoting travel bargains to France." http://www.usatoday.com...

The boycott only targeted consumer goods, and since it only lasted six months it's likely that consumers resumed travel and other purchases of French goods, making up for lost time. Note that major French imports into the US included products and services from Schlumberger, the Halliburton-sized oil services company, unaffected by the temporary boycott. Reporting in 2004, "Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Andrew Gould commented, "First quarter activity was particularly strong in Canada, India, Indonesia, West Africa, and on land in the United States." http://investorcenter.slb.com...= All of French wine sales were about $6.9 billion that year http://money.cnn.com..., while Schlumberger sales were about $11 billion. An uptick in oil services could easily offset a part-year wine boycott.

The evidence that trade as a whole did not decrease over the period does not mean the boycott was ineffective. The USA Today article shows the French were reacting to it. It would suffice that consumer product sales were down and that travel was threatened with losses of $500 million. Pro must show that O'Reilly believed the boycott was ineffective, whether or not it actually was. Articles like one in USA Today would reasonably convince a boycott supporter like O'Reilly that there was a major effect. O'Reilly believed what he said was true.

O'Reilly was probably wrong that a boycott of Canada would work. However, the boycott never occurred and he was just giving an opinion. Maybe he was too abrupt, but that has nothing to do with lying.

2. Pro claims that O'Reilly knew that activist Taylor's claims about the war were were correct, but lied by claiming they were merely her opinion. Her principle claims were that the was illegal and the majority of Americans wanted immediate withdrawal. Pro offers no evidence that O'Reilly believed Taylor was correct on these issues.

The legal basis for the Iraq war is given in a report by the Congressional Research Service, p. 38 http://www.fas.org... A 2008 Gallup poll showed "Only 18% of Americans favor an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops." http://www.gallup.com... Congress could have chosen to stop the war at any time, but chose not to do so, so clearly a majority of the elected representatives thought it was legal.

Pro seems to think that it was impossible for O'Reilly to not know Taylor's claims were true. However, poll data and a Congressional study support a strong contrary viewpoint. It is appropriate to say, as O'Reilly did, that the Taylor offered her opinions of the facts.

The main point of the interview was to find Taylor's justification for shouting down Rahm Emmanuel. Her justification was lame, so it was appropriate to press her on that question. O'Reilly classified her as a "loon" based not only upon her war opinions, but on her concept that shouting down Emmanuel was justified. O'Reilly's reference to 50 or 60 supporters was apparently an accurate reference to the number shouting down Emmanuel.

3. Pro claims that O'Reilly knew the extent of CNN's coverage, but she offers no proof that he did know. Is it reasonable to suppose that O'Reilly had spent the entire day watching CNN himself, so he would know? There is no chance of that. Someone told him, and he relied on false information. O'Reilly was correct that the Army killing was given minor coverage in comparison to that of the abortion doctor. I suspect that O'Reilly made the error of confirmation bias. He was too eager to use data that fit his theory. That's the same error that anti-war activists make in believing statistics that fit their theory. It's wrong in both cases, but not lying.

4. Reading the Slate article with the examples, O'Reilly is distinguishing two uses of the phrase "shut up." (a) Use with al Qaeda apologist Glick was in the sense, "Stop. I'm not going to listen to you, you creep. The interview is over." (b) Use with Morris, for example, was in the sense, "Give me a minute to say something." O'Reilly's count seems accurate for use in the (a) sense. It seems that around 2004, O'Reilly became aware that he was causing himself a lot of trouble by distinguishing serious use from casual use, so he stopped saying it casually.

5. O'Reilly wrongly opined that the kidnap victim liked his situation. Nothing in that mistake is a lie. I don't see even an allegation of a lie. O'Reilly was just wrong. If the Stockholm Syndrome opinion was ultimately proved wrong, all the people who held it would not have lied. Both O'Reilly and those who speculated on a Stockholm Syndrome diagnosis spoke knowing that the facts of the case had not been revealed, so they were speculating.

Pro has not made a case. Mistakes and wrong opinions are not lies. Given the enormous volume of O'Reilly commentary being microscopically examined, the incidents are trivial and rare.
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con. I'm going to present more examples in this round and begin arguments in defense of these being lies in the next round.

***

6. After Sen. Tom Coburn said that Fox lied about the possibility of going to jail if you didn't buy health insurance, O'Reilly attacked Coburn, NBC and those crazy far-left liberals for "falsely accusing" Fox of scaring Americans with that lie. In his interview with Coburn, O'Reilly asks, "Can you tell me one person on Fox News - just one - who has told this audience that they'll go to jail if they don't buy health insurance? You don't know anybody at Fox News because there hasn't *been* anyone that said people will go to jail..." He continued "WE RESEARCHED IF *ANYBODY* AT FOX NEWS EVER SAID YOU WERE GOING TO JAIL IF YOU DON'T BUY HEALTH INSURANCE -- NOBODY'S *EVER* SAID IT -- SO IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WHAT YOU DID WAS USE FOX NEWS AS A WHIPPING BOY WHEN WE DIDN'T QUALIFY THERE."

Of course this was a blatant lie considering Fox had pushed the lie about jail many times. For a transcript of the times that Fox news lied about this policy -- including on O'Reilly's own show -- check this source ( http://mediamatters.org... ). Now, there's ample evidence O'Reilly blatantly lied here, and another media watchdog even acknowledges how this should not be confused as a "mistake" ( http://mediamatters.org... ). Journalist Karl Frisch rightly points out, "First, O'Reilly essentially accused a U.S. Senator of making things up when in fact it was O'Reilly himself that was wrong. Second, O'Reilly has been directly contradicted [regarding the lie/research] by one of his colleagues, Neil Cavuto. And third, rather than correcting the public record with an apology to Coburn and moving on, O'Reilly has dug in even deeper with more lies on the subject."

(To watch Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and a bunch of other uninformed Fox-ites lie to the American public - YouTube source: Bill O'Reilly LIES LIES LIES about Fox News & Health Care Reform)

7. U.S. Department of Agriculture Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign after a conservative activist posted a video clip of Sherrod's speech at an NAACP dinner on his website BigGovernment.com in which she appeared to say that she had once discriminated against a white farmer. The edited clip did not include the portion of the speech in which Sherrod said the episode had taught her the importance of overcoming personal prejudices. O'Reilly was the first on cable to air the video, calling for Sherrod's resignation. Afterward when the true nature of the context appeared in full, Sherrod blamed O'Reilly and the likes of Fox News for hyping the story without checking out the facts. O'Reilly later said on his show, "I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into the proper context." He admitted that he did not examine the entire transcript. However, he also continued to condemn Sherrod's comments on his show saying she made a mistake, even after it had emerged that her words had been misrepresented ( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com... ).

8. After having the good sense to apologize to Sherrod, O'Reilly told Leno that this was the first and only time he's had to apologize in 13 years. This of course was a lie; in addition to apologizing to Rick Sanchez and CNN for the lie I presented in the last round, he's had to apologize several other times. Now is this an honest mistake? Is he just such an insincere person that he can't even remember he's made more than one mistake? Hmm.

http://tinyurl.com...

9. O'Reilly said (condescendingly) to his guest, "We didn't invade Iraq... It was a declaration of war, it was a declaration to enforce the first Gulf War Treaty which you don't know anything about, Mr. Ballentine." Of course the U.S. has in fact invaded Iraq -- the U.S. military forcefully entered the country in order to overthrow that nation's leader, a.k.a. an invasion. Think Progress reports that during a 2006 speech, President Bush discussed his administration's "two major invasions as a part of the war on terror." Even O'Reilly himself has admitted that the United States invaded Iraq:

a) "I'll submit that most folks still have no idea why the Bush administration invaded Iraq." [1/28/08]

b) "Iraq was invaded to create a friendly country between Iran and Syria, thereby pressuring those nations into a more sensible foreign policy." [3/6/06]

Additionally, O'Reilly's "first Gulf War Treaty" claim is also questionable. During a March 2004 interview with former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, O'Reilly was challenged on this claim. O'Reilly says, "But do you understand that when you have 17 violations of a treaty, a war treaty, that you basically have to take action?" Blix responded, "Well, you're talking about a war treaty. It was a cease-fire. It was not a war treaty." Either way, here we see more direct contradictions produced by O'Reilly himself.

(YouTube source: O'Reilly: "We Didn't Invade Iraq")

http://thinkprogress.org...

10. O'Reilly says that there "are not many homeless veterans out there" in his criticism of John Edwards for taking a strong stance on the issue. In fact there are about 195,000 homeless veterans according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Now my opponent can play semantics and assert that 195k "isn't many" but I think the truth is obvious: O'Reilly just makes things up he knows nothing about in order to sound like he has a strong, intelligent argument when really most of the time he's just talking nonsense and misrepresenting facts.

(YouTube source: Bill O'Reilly denies that homeless vets exist)

11. Here I'll be using video clips from one particular source to demonstrate O'Reilly lying on various topics (YouTube source: Bill O'Reilly lying with rebuttal). Basically he denies that Fox News has talking points encouraged by management at FNC and denies that they are trying to promote particular agenda. This is directly contradicted by former Fox employees Larry Johnson, Jon Du Pre and others in the clip, in addition to the copies of the memos that were released by Fox demonstrating blatant bias. Now, if my opponent denies that these memos are legit I will link him to sources proving that they WERE actual memos released from Fox, and that nobody at Fox ever denied the memos (instead they claimed that the biased ones were just cherry picked from the bunch).

12. O'Reilly says "We [Fox] put MORE liberals on the air than conservatives. We have a tally every day of what we put on. We put more liberal voices on the air than conservatives." At the time, a FAIR Study of Special Report with Brit Hume (which my opponent feels is the best and most fair representation of non-biased news that Fox has to offer) shows Republican guests outnumber Democrats 5 to 1. FAIR's study looked at 25 weeks of Special Report 's one-on-one interviews (6/30/03–12/19/03) finding 101 guests -- 72% were Republican. FAIR reports The five-to-one conservative-to-progressive imbalance is actually a marked improvement from FAIR's 2002 study, which found that "left-of-center" guests (3%) were outnumbered 14 to one. In short, this was another huge lie.

http://www.fair.org...

13. O'Reilly said Howard Kuntz lied about O'Reilly's viewers (he said 3M); O'Reilly maintains he gets 5 million viewers a night - close to Katie Couric's rating. Actually Kuntz was the one telling the truth and O'Reilly lied on both accounts.

http://tinyurl.com...

/Characters -- Again, rebuttal in the next round!
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Con

Pro, imagine you have Bill Reilly's job. You must produce 6000 hours of commentary on topical issues. That's roughly equivalent to 3.5 million words, or 7000 pages of essays. You have staff help, but perhaps 80% is ultimately unscripted. How many times would you blunder, leaving out qualifying words or recalling a reference incorrectly? Critics are watching every word you say, so virtually nothing will pass unnoticed. How many times would you say something you believed was true, but which turned out not to be true? I await your assertion that errors are not possible, and therefore all must be lies.

6. In the House version of the health care bill, if you didn't buy health insurance, you would be assessed a fine and if you didn't pay the fine, then the government could put you in jail. The Senate finance Committee version did not have that provision, http://tinyurl.com... but the Baucus version of the Senate bill two weeks earlier had the jail provision. http://tinyurl.com... Coburn, who is a Republican Senator, was correct that the intent is not to put people in jail, but rather that they comply with the law. That does not contradict O'Reilly. Jail time was taken out of the bill that was ultimately passed by Congress.

O'Reilly claims that Fox News commentators correctly asserted that jail was in earlier versions of the bill, but that they did not assert that it was in the final version. Critics cut all the context out of the "go to jail" pronouncements, so we don't know whether or not the Fox commentators had correctly referenced the Baucus and Pelosi versions that had the jail provision, or whether they had incorrectly referenced the final version. It seems they were talking about the versions with the jail time provision, because that was what made them worthy of comment. In any case, O'Reilly clearly thought he was being accurate in his distinction, so the intent of lying was not present.

7. O'Reilly only presented a small clip of Sherrod in the portion of his program devoted to miscellaneous events. He absolutely did not hype the story to cause the resignation. "Sherrod ended up resigning Monday afternoon, hours before O'Reilly broke the story on his show. The first reported piece on Fox News, by correspondent James Rosen, aired on Tuesday morning, and included a second video clip that added context to Sherrod's comments." http://tinyurl.com... The story was hyped by the major after the O'Reilly mention. Some say that the networks were afraid of Fox getting ahead of them on the story. O'Reilly apologized, making it clear he had erred, but did not lie. O'Reilly did say Sherrod was a liberal activist, but that part was true.

In all of this, there is no suggestion that O'Reilly new in advance that the clip was taken out of context, and hence lied in presenting the story. The Obama Administration forced Sherrod to resign before the item appeared on O'Reilly. We shouldn't conclude that the Administration lied, nor should we conclude that O'Reilly lied.

8. Back in 2004, O'Reilly said he had not apologized before, when in fact he had. Pro says that it either proves O'Reilly is an "insincere person" or a liar. What it most likely proves is that O'Reilly is egotistical, so he doesn't remember his mistakes. I think it is fair to say that all nearly all big-name commentators are egotistical. That's not good, but commentators have to put themselves out there every day knowing that they are going to receive a barrage of criticism from opponents. Weak egos tend not to survive in that environment. If O'Reilly were either insincere or a liar, he would never have apologized for anything, which he clearly did. He has since apologized a number of times.

Obama said during the campaign that he had visited 48 states and had another six go. So must we conclude that Obama is stupid or a liar, deliberately misstating the number of states? Not at all, humans are simply prone to making dumb mistakes. O'Reilly does it too.

9. The context "there was a declaration of war" makes it clear that O'Reilly had meant to say "we did not invade Iraq illegally" but dropped the word "illegally." Everyone knows that we invaded Iraq, so attempting to perpetrate a lie about it would make no sense at all.

10. John Edwards, not noted for honesty, had claimed that there were many homeless veterans who were being neglected by the government, and as a consequence there were large numbers "living under bridges." O'Reilly asked where such congregations of homeless veterans were, and he pledged to make sure they got help. No such congregations could be cited by anyone.

The story went on for days, so anyone who had followed it would know that O'Reilly meant "homeless and deliberately neglected by government" when he said "homeless." O'Reilly interviewed government officials and others who gave detailed accounts as to the size of the problem and what was being done about it. Many troubled veterans are difficult to reach because they are drug addicted or have mental problems that cause them to reject help. It is unconstitutional to round people up on the grounds that they need help. O'Reilly provided full and fair coverage of the issue.

Again, the issue is whether O'Reilly know he was making a false statement. Pro offered not a trace of evidence that O'Reilly knew he was wrong.

11. Every news organization has management. One of the jobs of management is to decide what stories ought to be covered and what angles ought to be pursued in covering them. No one leaves it up to individual newscasters whether coverage of Chilean miners ought to be downplayed in view of the latest on Lady Gaga. The implication of "pursuing an agenda" means that there is an agenda that is independent of the news of the day, like "today we will criticize Obama economic policy." Such pre-conceived agendas are evident for example, in the Journolist scandal http://tinyurl.com... in which journalists discussed how to shield Obama from Rev. Wright stories. The political Parties sometimes circulate "talking points" that they want their operatives to inject into discussions.

O'Reilly, I think properly, distinguishes ordinary news management from pushing a preconceived agenda.

12. FAIR is a wildly biased leftist media "watchdog" site. A good example of the FAIR bias was shown by a comparison in which virtually the identical story was run on National Geographic and Fox News, and FAIR denounced Fox as biased while the same thing on NatGeo was deemed objective. http://news-political.com... The study Pro cited goes back to 2004, in which FAIR subjectively decided who was conservative, centrist, and progressive. They also decided what counted as an "interview" versus, say, a sound bite quotation, and they decided who was offering a political opinion as opposed to a recitation of facts or policy. These days, for example, Fox covers the White House Press briefings live every day, so does Robert Gibbs count as a liberal Democrat when scoring? At the time, there was a Republican Administration, so we would expect a preponderance of Republicans in official positions.

The issue was whether or not O'Reilly believed that Fox had that proportion, and there is no evidence that he didn't believe it.

13. O'Reilly is correct. Kuntz said that "reruns are never counted," but in fact Ms. Couric's viewership is counted by summing the viewers original show played for the Eastern time zone with the "rerun" three hours later for the West Coast. It's never been any other way. Pro's reference reveals O'Reilly is doing the same thing, adding the showings in the two time zones. One can argue the semantics of "delay" versus "rerun" but the relevant fact is how many people watch the show on the day it was produced.

=================

Pro has introduced no evidence of intent to deceive.

The resolution is therefore negated.
Danielle

Pro

I've decided to include one more which I will present at the end.

***

1. O'Reilly wanted to boycott French goods because France was being too lenient on the Middle East. While Con managed to name a few French industries that may have been impacted, he never denies that Franco-American trade actually increased, proving that the boycott did not hurt the French economy. Moreover, the six month boycott of wine did absolutely nothing politically. In other words, the boycott was a complete failure. Hosting a news program called "The No Spin Zone" and boasting about it's prestige, we can assume that the host Bill O'Reilly was aware of the French policy not changing until a new president was elected. In other words, the boycott accomplished no political achievement whatsoever, yet B.O. still alluded to its success. Plus, even if my opponent proves that USA Today (Is that O'Reilly's trusted news source? Really?) shows changes in the French wine market, that in no way indicates a "success" by any means considering it didn't achieve any of the intended political goals.

Nevertheless, the biggest factor here is that O'Reilly *COMPLETELY FABRICATED A SOURCE.* In an interview which he expects his audience to take seriously, on a show which he boasts does not spin any facts, the host literally just completely fabricated a FALSE and made up statistic from a NON-EXISTENT external source. The evidence I submit to prove this lie (not mistake) is that no such publication as The Paris Business Review exists, and as such, for O'Reilly to make up a false statistic in this false source shows he is not *misquoting* or misreferencing a source, but rather completely making one up.

In other words, he KNEW he was saying something with no evidence (no evidence because he made up the entire statistic and source on the spot), and yet chose to deliver it as fact anyway. My opponent attempts to dodge this reality by saying there's no proof that he intentionally lied. The proof is the fact that every aspect of it was fabricated including his "source," and by nature of it's definition and purpose a source is supposed to be the proof and reference of delivered information. In other words, he lied about having proof (for his stat). The whole nature of this was just a blatant, inescapable lie.

2. By now it's become clear that Con's entire defense will be hoping the audience believes that O'Reilly didn't KNOW he was such an ignorant and misinformed person. In the Sunsara Taylor example, Con essentially alludes to poor Bill O'Reilly actually believing that most Americans wanted to continue the wars in the Middle East (despite it being very well known at the time that most Americans were against it, and O'Reilly works for a news station after all). Well, considering O'Reilly is such an avid reader of USA Today (hehe) then why wasn't he aware that according to a 2008 edition of the publication most Americans acknowledged the war being not worth it ( http://www.usatoday.com... )? Essentially I don't believe that O'Reilly didn't know he was making these "errors," but considering the strong character limits I will focus my space on the arguments where there is more proof of blatant lying based on direct contradictions and other things O'Reilly couldn't have "not known." I'll be forced to drop a few arguments including this one.

3. O'Reilly ranted, "CNN is supposed to be *the news* channel... Only Anderson Cooper at 10:00 covered this story! Nobody else! So all day long it wasn't news to cover an Army recruiter gunned down in Arkansas." The emphasis there isn't my own -- it's his. In other words, he passionately delivered false information. Con says he made the error of confirmation bias; that is, he took misinformation from a third party and assumed it as true. However, Con has offered no proof whatsoever that this is the cause of O'Reilly's assumption.

Considering O'Reilly delivered a statement as fact, we should assume he'd done the research behind his statement. O'Reilly's boasted that he does all his research (see: Leno interview). Therefore, by O'Reilly's own declaration, we should assume that he researched his statement... and if he had, he would have known that CNN had reported something dozens of times the day earlier, and not just once as he had said. Either way it's very clear: he lied about doing the research, or he lied about what the research indicated. Both cannot be true.

4. O'Reilly claimed he only said "shut up" a couple of times. He's said shut up dozens of times. I've proved it; Con can't deny the physical evidence. Con's defense is to try to say O'Reilly meant "shut up" in different contexts, but has offered no proof that this is the case. As such, we have no reason to accept what O'Reilly POSSIBLY meant just as Con says we shouldn't accept what O'Reilly POSSIBLY knew or did not know. The hard, physical evidence is clear: O'Reilly lied about his usage of the term. Con's request for physical evidence has been validated.

5. Speculations about kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome were made clear to be just that: opinions. O'Reilly assertively made an accusation and specifically denied another's request to limit his assertions to speculations. Plus, O'Reilly said that if he was wrong, he would "re-air the tape" which he never did despite covering the story after the true facts were revealed.

6. Con jumps through hoops to distract the audience regarding the clause of jail time in the health care bill. The lie I presented has absolutely nothing to do with the bill, but the lie that O'Reilly told. In his exact quote, he said that people at Fox had never said something, and said that they had done RESEARCH regarding whether or not anyone had ever said it. In fact they had said it, so that's the first part of the lie while the second part was lying about the research. Pro's entire defense crumbles due to O'Reilly's use of the word EVER, and that he denies that anyone at Fox had EVER said anything like that regardless of which version of the bill they were discussing. The physical evidence condemns O'Reilly in this case as well.

7. Dropping for characters.

8. Dropping for characters.

9. Dropping for characters.

10. Dropping for characters.

11. Dropping for characters.

12. Dropping for characters.

13. Dropping for characters.

14. O'Reilly essentially called for a boycott of Pepsi products because they used the rapper Ludacris in their campaign, and O'Reilly berated them for choosing a figure who represented negativity. However when people called for a boycott against Limbaugh's sponsors, O'Reilly flipped out and said that this was immoral and un-American. Viewer Lise Rousseau from Lafayette, CO e-mailed O'Reilly asking, "Mr. O'Reilly, imagine my confusion as I watched you criticize the protester for organizing the Limbaugh boycott. Last August, I heard you tacitly call for a boycott against Pepsi for hiring Ludacris. There is a lack of consistency in your rhetoric."

O'Reilly responded, "First of all, I never do anything tacitly. I do things directly. I simply said I wasn't going to drink Pepsi while that guy was on their payroll. No boycott was ever mentioned by me." O'Reilly denied ever calling for a boycott several other times. However, not only did his own news network admit and report that O'Reilly called for the boycott, but a direct transcript from is show provides the physical evidence that he lied. He said:

"I'm calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse, and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor and our society. I'm calling for all Americans to say, 'Hey, Pepsi, I'm not drinking your stuff. You want to hang around with Ludacris, you do that, I'm not hanging around with you.'"

http://www.boycottwatch.org...

/ Out of characters.
Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Con

Pro has the burden of proof in this debate. A lie is a false statement deliberately presented as true. Pro must prove that O'Reilly was not merely mistaken, but knew what he was saying was false at the time he said it and nonetheless pretended it was true. The conventional ways of proving a lie are the testimony of confident who was in on it, the confession of the perpetrator, or the presentation of physical evidence that contradicts the statement. Physical evidence must go beyond showing the statement to be false, but must contradict an innocent explanation. Bill Clinton's famous "I did not have sex with that woman." was contradicted by DNA on a dress. In this debate, Pro has offered no evidence in any of these categories of proof.

O'Reilly has produced 6000 hours of commentary, most of it off-the-cuff, and all subject to the fine-toothed examination of critics. All humans are subject to errors: accepting confirming evidence as decisive despite other disconfirming evidence, believing third party sources that ultimately prove unreliable, and failing to recall things accurately. There are also outright flubs: I gave the example of presidential candidate Obama saying he had visited 48 states and had only six more to go. Obama was neither stupid nor lying, he simply flubbed.

I challenged Pro to give us a standard as to how often it would be reasonable for O'Reilly, or anyone else, in 6000 hours to recite false information believed true, fail to recollect what happened, recall sources incorrectly, give unsustainable opinions, or flat-out flub. Would a dozen flubs or other errors in 6000 hours of commentary be reasonable or unreasonable? Pro declined to provide any estimate of what might be a reasonable. She insists that O'Reilly's errors must be lies, based upon the argument that "he must have known."

Students often provide the wrong answers to exam questions. Are those errors lies or mistakes? If we could show that the student was in class when the subject was covered, that the answer given by testers was provably correct, that the student once knew the correct answer, or that other students got the right answer, would that prove the student lied? It would not. The accusation that the student lied is absurd, despite evidence that the student "must have known," because other explanations are more plausible than supposing that the student would want to do himself apparent harm by having a lower test score. Alternative explanations for O'Reilly's errors are more plausible than his having lied. Yet is difficult prove the student --or O'Reilly-- didn't lie. Complicating the situation, while the answers to most exam questions are cut-and-dried, political commentary is often less clear. See (2) below for an example highly subject to viewpont.

1. The boycott of France was a direct result of the duplicitous behavior of France in which the French promised Colin Powell support in the UN, then voted for Saddam's side. The French travel industry sad they expected $500 million in losses as a result, and exports of French wine actually dropped by about $400 million. Pro claims that O'Reilly must have known that the boycott was a failure and therefor must have lied when he proclaimed it a success. Pro argues that the boycott was clearly a failure because there was no political impact. However, the boycott was called off after only six months because of the election of much-more-conservative Sarcozy as president of France. That was a major political event. No doubt the French electorate did not crumble under the economic pressure of the boycott, but it is likely that the attention brought to the issue of duplicitous dealing helped oust the previous government. It was reasonable for O'Reilly to suppose that the boycott was effective. It is not persuasive to suppose that because yearly sales of oil services outweighed the losses and threats of losses in wine and travel in six months that O'Reilly would think the boycott failed.

O'Reilly believed the boycott was effective, and he might have pointed to the USA Today article that I cited Instead, he recalled the source incorrectly under pressure. There is no evidence it was a lie, any more than Obama's reference to 54 states proved Obama lied. In either case, a lie would be pointless.

2. Did a majority of people support the Iraq war in 2008? According to Pro's source, 40% did not want a timetable for withdrawal, but only 17% wanted immediate withdrawal. The rest either wanted some sort of time table, or felt that the U.S. would be stuck there indefinitely. I suppose that O'Reillly looked at that data and concluded there was only 17% opposition to the War. Pro claims that the poll shows 60% opposition and that O'Reilly must have interpreted it that way, and therefore lied in saying he thought there was popular support. Pro interpreted "wants a timetable" as "opposed to the war" while O'Reilly believed it meant "supports continuation."

3. Pro argues that it is inconceivable that O'Reilly made a mistake about CNN's reporting, so he must have lied. No one lies about things that are easily verified, and CNN's reporting was easily verified. I think O'Reilly is obsessed with prime time reporting, because O'Relly's show competes in prime time. O'Reilly incorrectly said that the story wasn't covered in general, but his opinion was probably incorrectly shaped by the relative paucity of prime time coverage.Whatever the reason, it isn't plausible that O'Reilly lied, because if O'Reilly knew of the coverage he would know a lie would be exposed.

4. It's true that O'Reilly said the words "shut up" more often than claimed. I explained that logically in terms of O'Reilly distinguishing cases of "shut up" meaning "pause" versus "get out." Pro claims that it is my job to prove that my explanation is true. Pro believes that the presumption should be that O'Reilly is lying. I think that the presumption should never be in favor of malice. Defendants must be proved guilty; they ought not be assumed guilty and required to prove innocence. That is the case broadly. There are many political commentators with whom I disagree and who make tons of mistakes, but I don't accuse them of lying. It is unjustified.

5. O'Reilly offered an opinion on a kidnapping victim. No one believed O'Reilly was claiming a fact; he acknowledged and attacked the opinions offered by others. Having a wrong opinion is a lie. I don't know whether or not O'Reilly ever acknowledged his error, but if he didn't that is not proof that he lied when he said he would. He was wrong, but it is possible he never thought he was as far off as he was.

6. Pro cites evidence that O'Reilly was wrong, but that is not evidence that he lied. An exam paper is physical evidence that a student marked the wrong answer to a question, but it isn't evidence that the student deliberately picked the wrong answer. O'Reilly, and virtually everyone else, speaks in a context that they think is clear. A failure to be clear is an error, not a lie.

7. -13. Pro has abandoned all of these contentions. Debates have limits on time or space, and both sides have the same problem of crafting responses within the space. Pro made far too many unsustainable accusations.

14. Pro accuses O'Reilly of being inconsistent in what he thinks are reasonable grounds for a boycott. I think it is true that he was inconsistent. O'Reilly's explanation was that he only proclaimed that he would personally boycott Pepsi and that he didn't try to organize others to join in. He thought that was a good distinction. O'Reilly was rationalizing, I think poorly, but not lying. As noted, commentators have big egos that facilitate rationalization. No one has accused O'Reilly of excess humility.

Pro, I think, hopes readers will hate O'Reilly enough to find him guilty of lying even though there is no evidence of his intent. That's not logical. The resolution is negated.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
56 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zizzer 6 years ago
Zizzer
And I gave the vote for better sources to Roy because some of the videos took clippings out of context and theLwerd didn't specify the full context in which they were said (mainly the Fox News personnel talking about jail time).
Posted by Zizzer 6 years ago
Zizzer
I have to side with Roy on this one, although it was a very good debate on both sides. 1, 3, and 6 were the most theLwerd's strongest cases in my opinion.

Case 1 really surprised me at first, but when you think about it, he knows that he would never be able to get away with making up a news organization like that. There's no way he would try to get away with that. Like Roy said, when you are on the air that much, a rare mistake like that will happen.

Case 3 was another mistake and he even admitted it:
When he said nobody talked about it, he meant in primetime but forgot to specify that. That's a very understandable mistake. I don't see why you don't think so. Once again, that would be very naive to think he thought he could get away with making a false statement like that and purposely lied.

In case 6 he might not have even said anything false if he was claiming that no Fox News reporter claimed that the *final* version of the bill mentioned jail time. As Roy pointed out, earlier versions did specify jail time so that could have been what they were all talking about.

The other cases seemed pretty devoid of substance.

In case 2 she was giving her opinions on the facts and he was calling her a lunatic as an insult, not meaning that he thought she w Sure, it's rude, but not a lie. Also, she was giving her interpretation (opinion) on facts.

In case 4 he meant he only used the phrase "shut up" to end an interview once. Maybe he misunderstood that the person concerned about him as a role model meant in casual use too.

In case 5 he was just making a guess before the facts were out to be entertaining. When ESPN talk show hosts are doing a pregame show and making picks for who wins one might say something like, "I really like Sam Bradford. The Rams will run away with this one tonight!" Nobody would accuse him of lying if the rams lose. Sheesh.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in order to continue imperialism in Asia, so the attack was actually an indirect form of imperialism. "The policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies" is the definition of imperialism, and the key words are "or" and "rule". The US has extended rule and authority over Iraq in order to preserve geopolitical influence, so the notion that America is imperialist remains a truthful statement of fact.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

There isn't a motive behind failing exams, so there's no reason to assume that students purposely give incorrect answers. Bill O'Reilly has a motive to promote the Conservative agenda, and there was ample evidence provided to prove that fact.

Funny that you assert that Leftists commit Ad Hominids right before you accuse those same Leftists of having a genetic defect or something...
Posted by ReptiDeath 6 years ago
ReptiDeath
wow... posting videos is no way to debate... anyone can put together these videos... and frame bill o'reily and its sad that the voters would overlook this
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
bluesteel,

"No, but 9/11 was used to justify borrowing $600 billion from the next generation to search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
We know that Saddam wanted to make the world believe he had WMDs, he said so after being captured and it is confirmed by all the data. Hans Blix thought at the time Saddam had WMDs; he argued that he should continue searching for them. It absolutely was a mistake, but there is big difference between malicious intent an valid intent. Glick claims malicious intent.

"And I don't really get your point on the estate tax, but I've debunked your propaganda that "Estate taxes mainly affect things like family farms."
I agree it is not mainly family farms. It is people who have illiquid assets and do not know how to shelter them. The intent of an estate tax is to grab family farms and businesses to get the tax, right? If they are evaded, that's bad, right? I defend old man Hilton's right to leave his estate to his airhead daughter if he wants to. The alternative is to have a government agency decide who is worthy and who is not, or to just take it all. That's immoral. You need not worry about dynasties; heirs, on average, spend the family fortune in one generation.

"But you commit equally heinous Right wing propaganda with your estate tax nonsense."
That's a classic ad hom attack on me. I think this debate was about whether Leftists were justified in ad hom attacks on O'Reilly. Glick said what he believed. So does O'Reilly.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
AA, "The United States invaded Iraq and overthrew its government in order to secure geopolitical influence and resources, which certainly qualifies as imperialism." No, it does not qualify. The US attacked Japan in WWII to "extend geopolitical influence and secure resources." Your definition is wrong. The Romans, British, and Soviets all conquered places and stayed there, exerting political control as well as taking resources at terms unfavorable to the conquered nation over a long period. Neither was or is the case in Iraq, nor is there the slightest evidence that was the intent. Intent is shown by the discussions within the Administration. Those are well documented, for example, in Bob Woodward's book. there is no evident either in intent or in the realization.

"When using your logic, there is no reason to doubt the existence of a deity, for it has yet to be conclusively "disproven". Surely you understand the fallaciousness of this reasoning..."
The debate was about whether or not it is proved O'Reilly lies. It could theoretically be proven by admission or by the other means. No such evidence was offered. You are free to doubt whether his mistakes were lies. In the case of proving the existence of gods, some gods can e disproved, others cannot. The Deist god cannot be disproved, but a volcano god who causes eruptions when offerings are made can be disproved by not making offerings. A volcano god of a different nature might exist, but not the one postulated. It's true that ever mistake is a potential lie, but no number proves intent. How many wrong answers have you had on exams? I've had a lot. It doesn't prove the intent to lie. Actually, people who lie characteristically do so about every day. Findig so few examples makes it unlikely that O'Reilly lies.

My view of Leftists was lowered by this debate. I do not think they are insincere. I have always thought they were inclined to use ad hom attacks. I now think ad hom may be genetic in Liberals.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Roy:

The United States invaded Iraq and overthrew its government in order to secure geopolitical influence and resources, which certainly qualifies as imperialism. Your argument is moot.

When using your logic, there is no reason to doubt the existence of a deity, for it has yet to be conclusively "disproven". Surely you understand the fallaciousness of this reasoning...

You have an extraordinarily warped view of Leftists. And yes, Bill O'Reilly reserves his right to call anyone anything he wants to.

Your last paragraph addresses no statement that I ever made.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
No, but 9/11 was used to justify borrowing $600 billion from the next generation to search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And I don't really get your point on the estate tax, but I've debunked your propaganda that "Estate taxes mainly affect things like family farms."

Are you seriously defending Paris Hilton's fortune from a tiny tax? The estate tax only ever affected the super-extremely wealthy.

Sure, I don't agree with Glick's phraseology - I think it's ridiculous ultra-liberal propaganda. But you commit equally heinous Right wing propaganda with your estate tax nonsense.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
bluesteel, So 9/11 was used as an excuse to borrow money from China to fund Medicare, and that is "plunder"? Give me a break.

That most estate taxes are evaded by trusts does not argue in favor of the ones not evaded. Taking someone's wealth contrary to their wishes is closer to "plunder" than what you have suggested.

Okinawans want the base moved, but that does not change the fact that the Japanese can choose what they want to do. Imperialism implies that the locals have no power to resist the US will. That's nonsense. The US has plenty of "not in my backyard" problems of it's own, with no implications of dictatorship.

Remember the debate was about lying. Lying is saying something you believe to be untrue. I don't doubt that Glick believes his nonsense about imperialism and domestic plunder, even though the claims are not remotely sustainable. You make attempts to rationalize them, and I don't doubt that the rationalization "works" for some. I also don't doubt O'Reilly's sincerity in what he has said. Claiming that those with whom you disagree are liars is an unjustified cop-out.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
LOL, that was a nice subtle shot at me too - I missed it on the first read through.

I'm not an apologist for him. You're misrepresenting his views. Watch the documentary "Outfoxed," or at least the clip I posted of it. Glick makes clear that he does not agree with O'Reilly's later summaries of his ideas in subsequent Factor broadcasts. Your summaries of Glick's views happen to perfectly match O'Reilly's.

I'd rather be a Glick apologist than an O'Reilly apologist. At least my guy needs defending. In fact, when he tried to take his 3 minutes in the national spotlight to defend his views, he had to deal with a bully screaming bloody murder at him and said bully's producers warning him that he better leave or he might experience bodily harm.
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