Archive for ‘Bill O'Reilly’

December 17, 2008

O’Reilly vs. Kelly, the rematch

In one corner, an idiot, in the the other corner, a well-informed hottie. It’s no contest:

Via Hot Air.

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December 6, 2008

Bill O’Reilly: Pinhead

Notice how, in debating naysaying Megyn Kelly about the atheist display in Washington State, Bill keeps returning to the KKK as analogous to atheism:

Link: Or kelly

Via Hot Air, where Allahpundit buys into the liberal mythology of the Establishment Clause — but that’s not relevant to O’Reilly’s pinheadedness, which is my topic here. To O’Reilly, the anti-religious sentiments of the atheist display — meant as “equal time” to a Christmas display at the state capitol — are obnoxious, and therefore he gets hung up on the idea that the KKK could demand equal time with an MLK memorial.

Megyn tries to explain the current state of constitutional jurisprudence in the matter, an explanation which would probably be non-objectionable to Justice Scalia or any other conservative legal scholar. Yet O’Reilly won’t let go of his analogy: The atheist statement is obnoxious, ergo, the Klan. It’s like Abbott and Costello. “I don’t know!” “Third base!”

What O’Reilly can’t seem to get his mind around is the fact that religious expression has a special status under the First Amendment, a status that racial expression does not have. Washington State has granted a place in the public square to expressions of religious belief and therefore (at least so far as current precedents suggest), the state must do some CYA by allowing contrary expressions, or else they’ll risk an ACLU lawsuit. The Klan is going to have a much higher threshold to cross in demanding equal time on MLK Day, because that’s not a religious observation.

O’Reilly’s repetition of the same irrelevant point indicates either (a) he hasn’t bothered to study anything about First Amendment law, or (b) he’s just baiting Megyn for the sake of “good TV.”

Now, returning to Allah’s notion of the Establishment Clause as forbidding state or local governments from recognizing religion: This is the “incorporation doctrine” view of the 14th Amendment that makes a mockery of the Founding Fathers’ intent.

At the time the First Amendment was ratified, there were states (including Connecticut and Massachusetts) that had established churches. In forbidding the federal government (“Congress shall make no law …”) from legislating in “respect” to any “establishment of religion,” the First Amendment not only forbade Congress from creating any official religion at the national level, but also forbade Congress from interfering with any of the official religions (i.e., establishments) in the various states.

The Establishment Clause, therefore, forbade the federal government from interfering with religion in any way whatsoever, while leaving the states absolutely free to do as they pleased. And at the time the 14th Amendment was proposed and ratified, no one suggested that the new amendment would change that arrangement. It was not until decades later that the “incorporation doctrine” was propounded as requiring the federal courts to compel state and local governments to abide by Bill of Rights restrictions that had originally been intended specifically to limit federal power.

This bait-and-switch is one of the dirtiest tricks in history. Instead of a limited federal government, as the Founders intended, we now have a Leviathan that was (according to the courts) literally compelled to interfere in the routine affairs of local government. We no longer have a union of states; the states have been abolished, except as mere administrative units of the all-powerful federal Leviathan. Had Madison for one minute imagined such a state of affairs developing as a result of the Constitution, he’d have told the Convention to go straight to hell, left Philadelphia and gone home to tell his constituents to take up arms if any such scheme were ever proposed again.

November 28, 2008

On hating O’Reilly

Very interesting, if true, especially the assertion that “last year’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal [by Murdoch] ‘was in no small way about wanting to trade the illiberal — the belligerent, the vulgar, the loud, the menacing, the unsubtle — for the better-heeled, the more magnanimous, the further nuanced.'”

This is another aspect of the “Fox Effect” I’ve written about before. Fox has its own combative brand that has in recent years tended to define the GOP brand. Two Irish Catholic guys from New York, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, have effectively become the face of the Republican Party. Is it unfair ethnic stereotyping to say that these two argue like a couple of Irish Catholic guys from New York?

Both O’Reilly and Hannity have a habit of bullying guests with whom they disagree. If you’ve ever seen this shtick — constantly interrupting, badgering, insulting, demanding that the guest “answer the question!” but never giving them time to do so — it is impossible to enjoy unless you have a sadistic streak. It’s the same cacaphonous ugliness that I always hated about CNN’s old “Crossfire” show, and every other “shout show” imitator. There is an audience for that confrontational style of TV (4 million tune into O’Reilly regularly) but you’re never going to build a genuinely mass audience for rude disagreement.

When a David Brooks or a George Will or a David Frum sneers at Republican “populism,” it is this belligerent mode of discourse that they have in mind. Hard-core Republicans may cheer when Hannity works his bully-boy routine on a liberal, but such acts of signification — “I aggressively diss liberals, therefore I am a true conservative!” — can never persuade the unpersuaded.

Most conservative Fox viewers don’t notice this, simply because of their ideological affinity with the bully boys. But remember when Bill O’Reilly sneered at talk-radio “Kool-Aid drinkers” and “right-wing liars” who opposed the bailout?

See? When O’Reilly points the obnoxious name-calling at you, it’s not quite so enjoyable, is it? (My apologies, BTW, to any Irish Catholic New Yorkers who don’t like being lumped in with O’Reilly.) This kind of rudeness gives the conservative intellectual class a pretext to disparage “populism” and to denounce Sarah Palin as a particularly divisive populist. The intellectuals, quite rightly, don’t want conservatism to become so closely identified with rhetorical belligerence.

If Murdoch himself is concerned that the O’Reilly style is “vulgar” and “menacing,” to what extent has the general public absorbed that general perception of conservatives that O’Reilly and his Fox cohorts have helped create?

September 26, 2008

On O’Reillyism

Allah’s got audio of Mark Levin ripping Bill O’Reilly a new one. Levin notes O’Reilly’s sneering references to “ideologues” and to Rush Limbaugh’s cigars and private jet. Here’s the clip via Breitbart:

Levin characterizes O’Reilly’s arguments for the bailout — like O’Reilly’s previous bashing of “Big Oil” — as “populism.,” which is rather unfair to populists. As much as I hate to bring religion into this, I think O’Reilly is another of those Catholics who can’t get over Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno.

A distrust of raw capitalism runs deep in Catholic social teaching, and it is not unusual to meet Catholics who are profoundly conservative on issues like abortion and homosexuality but who, when the discussion turns to economics, are staunch defenders of statist interventionism.

The only cure for this ailment is large doses of Mises, Hayek, and Sowell. Christian socialism is still socialism, and government is not a charitable endeavor.

UPDATED: Via Liberal Conspiracy, here is O’Reilly ranting about “right-wing liars”:

Sounds like O’Reilly doing a bad Michael Savage imitation.