Thursday, November 6, 2008

O'Reilly's Language of Deception

What's that old saying about tempting the Devil? He's smarter than you, you know. He will decieve you. He knows the deceptive language. Bill O'Reilly is one of the most dangerous people in our country as far as I'm concerned, but you might not perceive that by listening to him. He sounds normal and informed. There lies the deception; he sounds normal. But, in fact his language is the language of deception. Take his Talking Points last night, November 11,2008, about the election.

First: According to Bill, Obama was elected because voters were worried about the economy and they voted for Obama's "one word" campaign of "change." "What change," Bill asks, suggesting that Obama had not described the change he sought. According to Bill, the "hard left" voted Obama into office overriding "ideology and dubious associations" and they, the hard left, would now expect something in return that would be more disastrous for the country than not. O'Reilly is already setting the stage for criticism of Obama's Administration before it begins. Anyone who actually listened to Obama and is aware of who endorsed him and who his advisers are will recognize O'Reilly's ruse.

  • Obama's economic advisers include people like Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest people who believes that "rich people have to pay taxes too", in his own words, and Paul Volker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. These two men are not "hard left" advisers. They are capitalist who believe that corporate behavior should be tempered with moderate regulation to ensure that greed and self-interest don't override social needs. Corporations, they believe, should be responsible and accountable too. They are centrists and pragmatic.

  • Obama's economic and business endorsements include dozens of successful business people and economists, such as George Soros, a billionaire financier who has also stated that "the rich must also pay taxes." Mr. Soros, too, is not a "hard left" ideologue. Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics at Princeton University, also supports Obama. He too is not "hard left."

  • Obama's economic policies oppose the Republican economic "Darwinism" that the strongest survive regardless of impact on the lives of people. Obama supports a more middle-of-the-road policy that supports communities as well as market-based economies. He is a capitalist, but he's not an ideologue.

Second: O'Reilly used the phrase "traditional values" to segway into his next talking point, below, but his use of the phrase is deceptive. One would think, listening only to the language O'Reilly used, that Obama is a departure from traditional values. Here's what I heard two people say in response to his election:

  • Whoopi Goldberg on The View: "Now young men can 'pull their pants up' because they have no excuse for their behavior." I hadn't given any thought to the impact of Obama's election on young people's behavior. What a statement! Yes! All of you young men walking around showing your underwear, pull your pants up! You no longer have an excuse to be sloppy, rebellious or bums.

  • The question, "how do you respond to Obama's election?", posed to a black man by a KGO San Francisco reporter got this response: "Black men no longer have the excuse that they are limited because they had no father in their lives. Obama had no father and look what he did." Yes! That's the correct response.

If those two responses to Obama's election do not show traditional values, then I'll eat my underwear. I see a return to traditional values like we've never seen before.

Third: O'Reilly used "traditional values" to segway into the ban on gay marriage vote in California, which passed by 51% of California voters. O'Reilly said it was a vote against judges who rule from the bench, those activists judges we hear about so often. According to him, California chose "traditional values." That's not what really happened.

What really happened was a con job of misinformation. Here's the truth.

  • The California Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 on May 15, 2008, that gay marriage was legal based on the California Constitution's 1897 equal protection clause, so the majority of the court followed the word of established law; that all people are equally protected from discrimination. Proposition 8 was to change that law. The real question posed by Proposition 8 was whether we discriminate against some, but not against others. Do we make leapers and outcasts out of some people and not others? The court chose the rule of law over ruling from the bench. The question of whether it was a gay or traditional marriage was not the primary issue.

  • Those who supported Proposition 8 used every fear tactic and lie they could scheme up to scare people into voting for it. Two big lies used were that we would be forced to teach gay marriage in school and that gays would persuade husbands to abandon their wives. Hogwash. Can anyone possibly believe that changing the constitution to discriminate will stop discussions in school? In my mind, changing the constitution would raise more questions in school than it would if it wasn't changed. Straight husbands leaving their wives suggested that the gay lifestyle was a matter of choice. I used to believe that too. But, my mind was changed after reading several articles about the medical research into the behavior. I now believe that it is not a matter of choice and that further medical research will discover the cause and cure it. Husbands will leave their wives for whatever reason whether the constitution is changed or not. Like I said, hogwash.

For thousands of years people with leprosy were outcasts. To my knowledge the medical profession did not really look into the disease until the late 1800s in a leaper colony in Hawaii. There, a doctor began to care for the leapers and discovered, if I remember correctly, that a bacteria caused the condition. From that day we began to treat leapers differently, not as outcasts but as patients in medical facilities. I believe that if we really want to solve the tragedy of gays, we need to look to medical and scientific research. We won't do that if we are convinced by the O'Reillys of this world to look away.

Fourth: O'Reilly took the blame for not following the economic meltdown and President Bush's economic policy failure for the past eight years. Now, he says, to correct his own failure he will follow Obama's Administration with more oversight and "ramp up our watch dog role."

Give me a break, Bill. Of course you will. Face it. Obama will never follow O'Reilly's agenda and O'Reilly will talk about every nit-picking, unjust criticism of Obama until Obama leaves office. O'Reilly will now support every constitutional requirement for the Presidency that he did not support under President Bush. Bill is "ramping" up his oversight with perfect timing. O'Reilly once announced boycotting French products. That month we imported four times more French products than ever before. Do us a favor Bill - retire.

I had a near and dear person tell me a few months ago that I can't dictate to them who to listen to or what to watch on television because they have a right to listen and watch whomever they want so they can learn for themselves. That's true. I can't. But, when is it a good idea to listen to deceptive, warped and distorted opinion to learn? Please be aware of how much is at risk if you do. A lack of better understanding and knowledge of important issues, for one thing. Inability to overcome ignorance, for another. The Devil really is smarter than us. He uses the language of deception perfectly and you will be persuaded if you listen. Turn people like O'Reilly off and turn on more informed sources. His ratings will drop and he'll eventually be dropped from television and radio and more informed sources will continue to be available because you're listening. America will be better off without Bill O'Reilly.

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