O’Reilly Vents Unbounded Hatred of Secular Progress

Bill O’Reilly’s rhetoric is reaching incendiary levels in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection. “Traditionalism” might have won, O’Reilly argues, if Romney had organized his campaign in opposition to Secular Progress, defined for his critically astute viewers as a movement of pot smoking moocher libertines and baby killers who are dooming the country to a culture of dependency and poverty. Fortunately, the Republicans were defeated this time around, which means a major setback for their party’s recently-adopted traditions of science-denying supernaturalism, increasingly profound inequality, and outright war mongering. I’m not so sure the outcome of the election could … Continue reading →

America is in decline because of lies like this.

I simply don’t have the time to keep up with all the twisted truths and outright lies that O’Reilly’s been spewing over the last few weeks. Tonight I had to react. While watching I simultaneously felt horror at his blatant mischaracterizations of American history, and sadness that people may actually be relying on what he says to get their knowledge of history. If one lie tops them all (leaving aside his complete disregard of the legacy of slavery and segregation, and his reviling of the “have nots” for sucking up America’s wealth), it’s this, toward the end, President … Continue reading →

Dawkins Promotes The Magic of Reality

O’Reilly hosted Richard Dawkins, who’s on a book tour promoting a science primer called “The Magic of Reality.” All the nearby bookstores have closed down, so I haven’t seen the book yet, but I’m aware that each chapter apparently opens with an origin-of-life myth from around the ancient world. Mr. O’Reilly complained that Judeo-Christian creation stories were included. That’s mockery, in his view. They sparred on that a little, but occasionally danced around a topic that deserves much more thoughtful treatment… the question of whether countries led by atheists have done more violence than countries led by religious … Continue reading →

Divisive Grandstanding

O’Reilly, in the process of hawking his new book, Killing Lincoln, set up a facile straw man argument about current US politics. On one side are Americans who believe we need radical change in this country, that we are not a noble nation, that our economic system has to be torn down, and that the old traditions are useless. That movement is led by secular progressives. Of course, he’ll never be able to cite any such blanket statements from SecularProgress.com. Yes, big changes are appropriate in a long list of areas such as electoral reform, health care, and … Continue reading →

Bill Keller Stands for Sanity

Bill Keller, managing editor of the New York Times, took a stand for sanity in an article concerning the importance of asking the current crop of GOP presidential candidates about their professed faith. I do want to know if a candidate places fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon (the text, not the Broadway musical) or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country. It matters to me whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history — in short, belongs to what an official in a previous administration once scornfully described as … Continue reading →

Fox Misinformation on Norway Terror Attacks

Laura Ingraham, substituting for Bill O’Reilly, opened her “Back of the Book” segment with this… Two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be once again the work of Muslim extremists… In the meantime, in New York City, the Muslims who want to build the Mosque at Ground Zero recently scored a huge legal victory. A Manhattan judge dismissed the lawsuit by former New York City firefighter Timothy Brown who was trying to stop construction of the mosque. The attacker’s ideology is not yet fully uncovered, but it’s clear that he’s no Muslim. Ingraham’s opening led … Continue reading →

O’Reilly as a self-admitted provocateur

This exchange between O’Reilly and Glen Beck indicates their self awareness of how their pursuit of ratings takes priority over journalistic and analytical conventions.  The key part of the exchange starts around 3:40.  It’s worth noting the O’Reilly made a related admission during his Superbowl interview with President Obama, in the context of a comment that certain important issues don’t get covered because they’re too boring for the public. Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com … Continue reading →

Rumsfeld in the O’Reilly Zone

To his credit, O’Reilly didn’t go easy on Rumsfeld. John Stewart was far more polite. Given O’Reilly’s influence, this interview could have a significant lasting effect on much of public’s memory of the war. That means a shared awareness that the Bush administration had botched intelligence on what was likely to happen on the ground after occupation began (though O’Reilly “doesn’t blame them” for getting it so wrong on WMD). It also means there will be an enduring understanding that disbanding the Iraqi army was an enormous  error. As usual, Rummy comes off scummy. Maybe Fox viewers can … Continue reading →

Doubling Down on Lazy and Dumb

Mr. O’Reilly refuses to back down on his goddidit view of the world, trotting out the old trope that, “It takes more faith to not believe [in a deity], than to believe that [the intricacy of the Universe] was all luck.” The point, of course, is that it takes a lot less work to just sit back and say godditit than to figure out how things work, why things happen, and even what’s actually out there. Which is how O’Reilly ends up going on record that Mars has no moons. The arrogance with which he proclaims has embrace … Continue reading →

Ignorance about the Veil of Ignorance

I wonder if Bill O’Reilly ever heard of John Rawls? From tonight’s version of Talking Points, it seems not. But if he had, it wouldn’t matter. At least the guy’s consistent. He knows himself and where he stands. He’s so opposed to the logic of social justice, he simply dismisses the notion of trying to imagine what it’s like to be in somebody else’s shoes. He accuses Van Jones of equating equal outcomes with social justice, when Mr. Jones was actually making a point about disparities in original position. It’s actually one of the most important points in … Continue reading →