Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Journalism

A lot of mean things are said about Bill O'Reilly, and he deserves every one of them, but not for the reasons most people believe. For your review, I present Exhibit A:

In a segment with Kirsten Powers and Michelle Malkin on The O'Reilly Factor last night 8/13/07, the trio discussed Democratic presidential hopefuls' appearances at a debate focused solely on GLBT issues. O'Reilly said that according to some poll, "Pew Research or something like that," "Most Americans won't vote for you if you get an endorsement by a gay-rights group."

Well, how does one confuse the single-syllabic "Pew" with "Quinnipiac"? Mayhaps one doesn't want viewers to find the poll too easily, for they would find the big BOR misrepresented the findings:

"In Ohio, 10 percent say the endorsement of a gay rights group would make them more likely to support a candidate while 34 percent say less likely and 54 percent say it would make no difference. In Pennsylvania, 11 percent say it would make them more likely, with 28 percent saying less likely and 59 percent saying it would make no difference. Among Florida voters, 10 percent say more likely, while 28 percent are less likely and 60 percent say it would make no difference. "

Powers said she found that very difficult to believe (O'Reilly's spin of them, that is) and he went so far as to restate it incorrectly again: "If a gay rights organization endorses you, would that make you more or less likely to vote... and most Americans said less likely."

In spite of O'Reilly's lies about the poll findings, Powers defended the candidates' going on the LOGO channel, as the GLBT community gives a lot of money to Democrats and is influential, and Democrats generally support gay rights; it's a progressive issue.
I am a firm believer that the best way to win an argument is to let your adversary be heard fully. Let them speak their mind, and they will do most of the damage themselves. It is only a matter of time, especially when you are challenging such an unethical beast as BOR, who has no qualms distorting the truth to make a case for his xenophobia, homophobia, and irrational propaganda campaigns. Eventually, his lack of substance and standards will catch up to him. We need only keep giving him a mic, and keep educating against his wildly illogical conclusions. He is not deserving of attack for having a talk show, or cashing his large paycheck. That is simply capitalism at work, and unfortunately, he is making money for Fox News.

He deserves to be marginalized simply for the disservice he does to his own audience, and the American people at large, for not, above all, telling the truth. He deserves to fade into the sunset of a nationwide wake-up call for his simple lack of respect for his viewers, and even for himself.

But until that day, please, don't call it journalism. Call what he does editorializing, opining, exaggerating issues, framing the argument, grasping at straws, or any other euphemism for "stupid" you care to use. Just don't call it journalism.

1 comment:

  1. I am a Republican, but I stopped listening to/watching O'Reilly years ago. He is a boorish bore. I recently saw a clip posted on OneUtah where he didn't hardly let Rocky Anderson speak during an interview on the "Factor". It was classless. He should be marginalized by the freedom of choice of all Americans to watch something worthwhile instead of his bloviating rubbish.