The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Fox NEWS vs Scholastic

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,079 times Debate No: 29090
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Fox NEWS’s Eric Bolling was recently criticized in a Huffington Post article for accusing school textbook publisher Scholastic of “pushing a liberal agenda.” Bolling had supported his claim by characterizing statements he found in Scholastic 5th grade textbooks (such as “George Bush went in [Iraq] because he heard there were weapons of mass destruction and they were never found”) as “very liberally biased.”

After linking to the Huffington Post article that called him out for his stupidity, Bolling made the following claim: We (America) ‘went into’ Iraq because radical Islamists killed 3k of ours + Saddam financed.”

Who is correct? Scholastic, the publisher of the 5th grade textbooks in question? Or Fox NEWS’s Eric Bolling?

I want to discuss the following claim that has now been propagated on Fox NEWS:

“Did we (America) ‘go into’ Iraq because Saddam financed the 9/11 attacks?”

I will play the role of “Pro,” and defend the premise that Scholastic is correct in asserting that the American invasion of Iraq was prompted by the search for weapons of mass destruction. Con will assume the Burden of Proof and defend Fox NEWS’s claim that Saddam Hussein was responsible for funding the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed “3k” Americans – and the Iraq War was retaliation for this act.

In order to meet the BOP, Con will need to demonstrate that Fox NEWS’s Eric Bolling is correct, and that Scholastic is wrong. I ask that R1 be set aside for acceptance only. I also ask that we not resort to semantic games or “lawyering.” If these tactics are used, I ask that the judges and readers award their scores accordingly.

That said, I want to thank any readers willing to evaluate this contest, and encourage any who might be interested to accept this debate challenge.



I first would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I look forward to having a lively discussion of this issue with my opponent. In this debate, I plan to demonstrate that the regime of Saddam Hussein did provide operational and logistical support for world wide terrorism including the al Qaeda network.

Thank you and God Bless
Debate Round No. 1


I am happy that my debate idea was picked up, and thank you to my partner for having done so. I should mention that I certainly do not mind having the subject of whether or not “Saddam Hussein did provide operational and logistical support for worldwide terrorism including the al Qaeda network” discussed. This topic, however, is not relevant to this debate, and so I myself will not be participating.

Relevant to this debate is whether or not Eric Bolling is correct when he suggests that Saddam Hussein funded the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed “3k” Americans, instead of Osama bin Laden.

The Subject of This Debate

Most of us now understand that the 9/11 attacks were planned, financed and carried out by Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Muhammad. Fox NEWS’s Eric Bolling, however, thinks that it was Saddam Hussein who carried out these terrorist attacks. He is using his celebrity status within the Fox NEWS network to advance this claim.

On January 11, Eric Bolling posted the following on Twitter: "We (America) 'went into' Iraq because radical Islamists killed 3k of ours+Saddam financed."

A poll, taken half a year after the invasion of Iraq, found that shocking levels of American ignorance as to the causes of the Iraq invasion were widespread. An appalling 70% of respondents wrongly believed that Hussein personally involved himself in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This misinformation was largely caused by false statements made by the likes of Fox NEW’s Eric Bolling. Today, even after the myth has been authoritatively debunked, Fox NEWS continues to present a platform for the spread of this untruth. (The poll can be seen here:

This debate will analyze Bolling’s claim that Saddam Hussein, and not Osama bin Laden, was responsible for funding the 9/11 attacks.

The 9/11 Commission Says that Bolling is Wrong

The 9/11 Commission was created by the Bush Administration in 2002, and tasked with fully researching the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks. The full report can be found here:

The Commission found that there was, “no credible evidence' that Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq collaborated with the al Qaeda terrorist network on any attacks on the United States.” This finding directly contradicts Eric Bolling’s claim.

The US Defense Department Report Says that Bolling is Wrong

It should be remembered that the Bush Administration was almost desperate to justify its invasion of Iraq as an act of “self-defense,” and not aggression. To this end, many repeated claims were made by high-ranking Administration officials that Saddam was likely to attack the US mainland with “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” A great deal of time and resources were also dedicated to proving that a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s September 11 attacks might exist.

In 2007, the Defense department issued their findings on the matter. The report concluded that, "Saddam Hussein's government did not cooperate with al Qaeda prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq."

(A link to a CBS News article on the Defense Department finding can be found here:

Dick Cheney Says That Bolling is wrong

Dick Cheney, more than almost any other figure, might be expected to have the most to gain from a Hussein-9/11 connection. Cheney had made repeated statements that indicated that such a connection existed. (A Washington Post article listed many of these statements, and can be found here:

However, Cheney himself was eventually forced to suffer the humiliation of retracting his own earlier statements, eventually conceding, "I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true." (The Cheney admission can be found here:


I am aware that my partner wishes to establish a link of some kind between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. However, that is not the purpose of my debate here. I agree that Saddam and Al Qaeda were linked – as was the Reagan Administration linked to the funding of bin Laden’s efforts with the Mujahedeen. This is not relevant; the “relationship” between Hussein and Al Qaeda was to kill Al Qaeda members on sight - this could not be correctly called a "cooperative relationship."

The purpose of this discussion is to determine whether or not Fox NEWS’s Eric Bolling is correct when he says that “Hussein financed the 9/11 attacks.” Bolling’s claim is directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission, studies conducted by the US Department of Defense, and Dick Cheney.



MikeFarquar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I extend all of my arguments.


MikeFarquar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Please vote "Pro."

Thank you for your consideration.


MikeFarquar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
I believe that we are in agreement on most key points - a rare thing for someone more liberal than Satan to say.

We agree that Bolling accused Scholastic of "bias by omission of relevant facts and circumstances." He claimed that Scholastic omitted the 'fact' that Saddam Hussein financed the 9/11 attacks. My issue with Bolling's claim is that Saddam did not finance the 9/11 attacks.

You and I also agree with one another - and disagree with the faux-journalist Bolling - that "Iraq was a response to 9/11, but not because Saddam directly participated in 9/11."

We also agree that Bolling should never be considered an authority on such matters.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
Bolling was neither affirming or denying Bush incompetence. There a lot of opposition to the Iraq war on Fox, mainly from the viewpoint it was unnecessary. Bolling was pointing out bias by omission of relevant facts and circumstances. Iraq was a response to 9/11, but not because Saddam directly participated in 9/11. It was a reaction to open defiance of UN and American interests, as the Senate resolution maintained, at a time when being complaisant had to end. It succeeded in moving the terrorist resources to Iraq and away from the U.S. The simplification to "Bush is stupid" is biased.

That Clinton himself, the CIA director, and all the intelligence agencies, except one, believed Saddam's hoax about his having WMDs is relevant because it contradicts the implied claim that Bush was stupid.

Bolling is no more a "position of authority" at Fox News than the very liberal Bob Bekel who sits next to him on the show. I'll grant the Bolling is not an incisive speaker, but he was making a reasonable point.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
Bolling was not denying that the Bush Administration was incorrect or incompetent as it made decisions that resulted in over a hundred thousand human deaths. Bolling was stating, from his position of authority within Fox NEWS, that Bush invaded Iraq because "3k" Americans were killed on 9/11 "+Saddam financed."

Were Scholastic to argue the same statement, I doubt that an offhand mention of a "Clinton appointee" would salvage much of their credibility. I note the trust that I place in Fox NEWS pundits is fairly low.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
If you watch the Bolling video, Bolling was really saying that the bias came from oversimplifying the causes of the Iraq War. He was not denying that Bush thought Saddam had WMDs (based upon the CIA director, a Clinton appointee, saying it was so), but that reducing the issue to that one point was bias. The Senate resolution that authorized the invasion cited human rights violations by Saddam's gassing the Kurds, failure to comply with UN resolutions, and Saddam systematically shooting at US aircraft. Saddam later revealed that he was deliberately trying to make the world believe he had WMDs, on the grounds it would scare off Iran and that he was sure the US would never invade. Point is the full history is more than the biased one-line talking point.

The other example cited in the segment was a math assignment to "redistribute the wealth" of a rich girl.

Bolling is not a news anchor, but one of the pundits on "The Five." Liberal Bob Beckel sits next to him, and Beckel immediately pointed out that obviously WMDs were looked for and not found.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
I doubt that anyone would pick up my debate. I am proving a point, so.

I would love this as a forum topic, but I have no time to participate there. I have to do it like this. If it is not picked up in a few days, I will remove it - point proven.
Posted by Heineken 5 years ago
Forum this would be so much more fun.
Posted by emj32 5 years ago
Yea i saw this story. Fox News is nothing more than a propoganda machine of the Republican Party. Eric Bolling is such an idiot, of course he thinks the truth about WMDS is liberally biased. I don't think Republicans realize these are textbooks for 5th graders, any sort of bias is at best unintended. However, the more probable answer is that the textbook isn't biased; and Fox News is either over-analyzing broad interpretations of simple concepts, or is still completely unaware about 9/11.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F. Pro was good, & con didn't argue at all.