I watched Bill O’Reilly’s show last night. You can’t explain that! (well, you can, but…)
Like most sensible people, I try to avoid Bill O’Reilly whenever possible. Last night, though, I watched a bit of his show so that I could see his interview with Richard Dawkins. And, you know, I knew it would be painful. I knew O’Reilly would be a loud sneering bully. I knew he’d spin the hell out of it (right there in that “No-Spin Zone” of his). I knew he’d turn it into an “ATHEISTS R COMIN FOR YR CHILDREN, GOOD PATRIOTS OF AMERICA!” kind of thing. And indeed he did. But it was much, much worse than I had expected. Oh my god, it was painful.
A few notes:
1) O’Reilly took full advantage of the pre-taped interview format, adding in this “SEE, AMERICAN PATRIOTS? SEE? ATHEISTS R EVIL!! LOOK AT THEM! AND THEY’RE A’COMIN FOR YR CHILDREN!” image overlay. Seriously!:
Oh, Bill. What subtle rhetorical flourish you have!
2) So, you know how O’Reilly loves to claim that his show is a “No-Spin Zone”? Yeah… Because this headline from his site isn’t “spun” at all. Nope. No spin here. None whatsoever: “O’Reilly Crushes Atheist Richard Dawkins“. “Crushes“? No, Bill. No. You didn’t “crush” anyone. You came off as a mean sad little wannabe tyrant.
More on that “No-Spin” thing. Take a look at this, from his site. Oh the irony, it burns. It burns!:
Richard Dawkins has a new book that explains science to children, and warns them against religious “myths” about how the world works. He entered the No Spin Zone to explain why he wanted to deliver his atheist message to kids.
Well, except for the book isn’t an atheist book at all (it’s a beautiful book about science), and it’s certainly not delivering an “atheist message to kids”. But O’Reilly isn’t fond of facts or science, of course. He was determined to spin this into an “ATHEISTS R COMIN FOR YR CHILDREN, GOOD PATRIOTS OF AMERICA!” thing, and that’s exactly what he did.
Seriously, this “spin” thing of his just slays me. Is “rhetorical hypocrisy” a thing? If it is, he’s the All-Time World Champion of it. His entire show is one big exercise in “spin”, all carried out within a “No-Spin Zone”.
“Spin” “spin” “spin”. Take it away, Inigo Montoya!:
“The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting ‘Heil, Spode!’ and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: ‘Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”
5) “Y U NO” Guy, I cede the floor to you: