Pharyngula

Dawkins meets bellowing bully tonight!

Remember: tonight, 8 PM EST, it’s Richard Dawkins vs. Bill O’Reilly. It could be a disaster, it could be a triumph, it could be a comedy. I’m hoping I’ll be back at home in time to catch it.

Comments

  1. #1 Callandor
    April 23, 2007

    I’m waffling on whether or not to watch it. I don’t ever want to watch Fox News. Ever. I hate the thought of contributing even one iota to their ratings. Moreover, it will undoubtedly be placed online tonight, if not under an hour later so I can easily watch it then.

    Can’t wait to see the hell Dawkins gives the bigoted moron O’Reilly.

  2. #2 Peter Kemp
    April 23, 2007

    Whatever happens, Richard’s integrity will not be impugned on an intellectual/scientific level but I must qualify that by saying that if ever the phrase “pearls before swine” applied, it will be tonight.

    (O’Reilly, FFS, what a pompous jackass.)

    Richard Dawkins is both a phenomenon and an inspiration to us all.

  3. #3 Caledonian
    April 23, 2007

    Why is Dawkins arranging for O’Reilly to get that much attention? He surely cannot be expecting to have an intelligent conversation, or even a plausible exchange – it’s just an excuse for O’Reilly to yell at people.

  4. #4 Wes
    April 23, 2007

    I think this is a mistake on Dawkins’s part. I’ve never seen O’Reilly engage in constructive conversation. All he does is shout people down, then proclaim victory. Why would Dawkins volunteer to be one of his sacrificial lambs? I’m afraid that it won’t make any difference what Dawkins says–in the eyes of those who watch O’Reilly and think he’s right, the person who shouts his views the loudest wins. I doubt Dawkins has much hope of getting through to people with this move. There are better ways to reach the public.

    I might turn out to be wrong. I hope I do.

  5. #5 Talen Lee
    April 23, 2007

    Not to presume I know Dawkins’ reasons, or indeed, to know better than he does, but I can’t imagine why any scientist, informed speaker, or even halfway decent human being would waste time giving credence to O’Reilly. You’re not going to reach his viewers, because his viewers are bullet-headed iconoclasts of the generation BEFORE Dawkins’ own, and not likely to change.

    That’s a harrowing thought, actually. Billo is spending his time talking to his parents and uncles, metaphorically speaking.

  6. #6 cagliost
    April 23, 2007

    I reckon Bill O’Reilly is a closet atheist.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=pCdSyhlzBPg

    The interview with Dawkins might be okay. Sam Harris had two okay conversations with O’Reilly.
    http://www.samharris.org/index.php/samharris/television/
    Perhaps O’Reilly would do more interesting interviews if he was more articulate (and didn’t shout at his guests – not that he does all the time).

  7. #7 Lee Harrison
    April 23, 2007

    Unfortunately I suspect that O’Reilly was gentle with Sam Harris because Sam was feeding into O’Reilly’s personal hatred of Islam. I can’t see the interview with Dawkins going so well.

  8. #8 Ric
    April 23, 2007

    I agree, Dawkins should not go on O’Reilly. It is obviously set up to be a contest, but the deck is stacked against anyone who goes on with whom O’Reilly does not agree. Plus, the man is so unscrupulous that even if Dawkins does school him, he’ll edit the presentation to make it seem as if he didn’t. I’ll hope for the best.

  9. #9 Ian H Spedding FCD
    April 23, 2007

    Richard Dawkins is not stupid. He must know what O’Reilly is like and, if he didn’t, PZ will have enlightened him.

    He should simply be himself, calm, reasonable, unshakeable and armed with a few pithy phrases to slip in between the bouts of hectoring.

  10. #10 Carlie
    April 23, 2007

    Hmmm. I think too much O’Reilly exposure would make me throw up, but it might be worth it to see Dawkins give him one of those withering “you’re an idiot” looks he’s so good at.

  11. #11 ERV
    April 23, 2007

    Dawkins knows O’Reillys show format– hes a big boy– he can defend himself and atheism.

    Hell Id go on the O’Reilly Factor to talk about atheism. How else would some of you suggest we connect with ‘his kind’ of audience?

  12. #12 Robert Maynard
    April 23, 2007

    I wish Dawkins luck, and for my fellow Australians I’m sure we can count on onegoodmove.org or someone to put a video up fairly soon afterward. It is the twenty-first century after all. :)

    I think it’s a good idea personally – certainly a brave one. If it goes well it could enjoy a place in popular legend, similar to Stephen Colbert’s speech at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner – awkward and lukewarm for those who received it firsthand, yet feverishly admired by a tertiary audience who would never have seen it if not for the web.

    That’s the best case scenario of course.. is it too dangeroulsy zealous to say I have faith in Dawkins? :P

  13. #13 David Wilford
    April 23, 2007

    Dawkins will do just fine tonight, I have no doubt. It’s not like he just fell off the turnip truck when it comes to pointed debate about atheism as well as evolution, and there’s something about a British accent that seems to quell the baser instincts in boorish Americans. I normally don’t watch Fox News, so thanks for the heads up PZ!

  14. #14 DrBadger
    April 23, 2007

    Viewers of FoxNews are probably over 90% bigoted idiots who think that atheists are the cause of all the problems in the world (the other 10% are reasonable people who are sacrificing their time and sanity to capture the offensive things they spew out on a daily basis and put it on youtube). This is a mistake on Dawkins part. Why give FoxNews any attention? What will the regular viewers of FoxNews get out of this? I’m sure that all they want to see is for their hero to do christ’s work and scream at an evil, british-accented atheist. It’s not only going to end in a shouting match, but it will start in one… I hope I’m wrong.

  15. #15 rjb
    April 23, 2007

    Will have to watch this after it’s posted online. But I actually support Dawkins going on O’Reilly. I think that we just need more and more exposure of the reality of what atheists are–or at least, what one real atheist looks like. I think more and more of us need to be in the public eye so that people have a harder time creating the strawman atheist who eats babies and kicks old ladies because, well, there’s no god to punish us. I for one am taking a much more public stand… although I’m not yet using my full name in the comments here. Once I have tenure (which should hopefully be in a month) I’ll be much more public.

    Dawkins is unlikely to win any converts on O’Reilly’s show, but a few people who watch will probably come away thinking that Dawkins is a much different person than they imagined. And that’s the starting point. Knock down the assumptions.

  16. #16 notthedroids
    April 23, 2007

    Dawkins would do well to study Harris’ appearances. (And I’ll be he is.)

    O’Reilly, even when he’s not raving like a lunatic at Geraldo, has this habit of throwing in nasty asides and putting words in his guest’s mouth, and Harris never gets ruffled nor takes the bait.

  17. #17 SF Chung
    April 23, 2007

    Another one here, cyber-wise that is.

    Technically i am Malaysian but i’ve been studying in Australia for 3 years now. Does that count?

    First time posting. Good stuff to be found here. I hope Dawkins will embarrass O’Really so badly that he can only resort to cutting the mic.

  18. #18 J-Dog
    April 23, 2007

    I bet a single malt bottle of scotch, that O’Reilly blames atheism / Dawkins for the VA tech massacre tonight…

  19. #19 beepbeepitsme
    April 23, 2007

    Dawkins will be appalled by O’reilly. I hope he knows what insanity he has let himself in for.

    The description which I think will be apt for the interview will be that “bullshit baffles brains”. Dawkins will be so flabbergasted by the strawman arguments presented and the rudeness or the presenter, that he will be made temporarily mute.

  20. #20 Monado
    April 23, 2007

    I hope that Prof. Dawkins comes prepared with a few pithy statements of his own, such as, “That’s a lie!”, “That’s a complete misrepresentation of —-“, “That is not what I said,” and so on. Assertiveness without vulgarity would give a good impression.

    I hope that someone posts it for later consumption. I’ll be on the road to Cambridge, Ontario, for a 3-day course in XML and sturctured documentation.

  21. #21 Chuck
    April 23, 2007

    The problem with going on O’Reilly’s show – or any rightwinger’s debate show on television or radio – is that he has complete control over the pace of the debate, the questions asked, and, not insignificantly, the microphone. While Dawkins is good at making arguments and giving good reasons to support his position, O’Reilly is a master at populist propaganda and rhetoric. In a television interview, when the shouting starts, I don’t imagine Dawkins shouting back, and least of all shouting back and remaining effective. In the eyes of O’Reilly’s bigoted audience, it will be another emotional victory over a godless liberal from overseas. That’s the key word: emotional. Conservatives these days are motivated by a passionate hatred for the Enlightenment, and those who defend the enlightenment are masters of reason; they speak different languages, and this “debate” will achieve nothing for our side.

  22. #22 Lago
    April 23, 2007

    “”The interview with Dawkins might be okay. Sam Harris had two okay conversations with O’Reilly. “”

    I gave the response below to someone who made a similar comment over on Dawkin’s Site:

    “This has nothing to do with it. Sam Harris was brought on Fox to back a position already found on Fox News, mainly that people treat the subject of islamic terrorism too hands off, as in everyone is too politically-correct to say what they are really thinking. Using Sam, they get the opinion discussed, but make claim they did not bring it up. In other words, they are looking to make Sam Harris work for them…

    Dawkins is TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!! Dawkins does not have anything to say to support Fox News, and he has written a book that is hated by most of their viewers, even though few have read it.

    Dawkin must get ready for anything, especially ESPECIALLY, misquotes of his argument, where Bill will add a piece of BS into a few facts, play a few semantics, and then go, “OK, now answer that, Yes or no?,” which will be near impossible to do. As Dawkins tries to explain where Bill is misquoting, or misunderstanding, Bill will start to get self-righteous and talk over him using up much of Dawkins time. In the end Bill will say, “OK. last word.” and he will interrupt there as well, and then say the true last words after Dawkins can no longer reply, again, where he will misstate what Dawkins said, demonizing him, or belittling him in some way..”

  23. #23 Barry S
    April 23, 2007

    I think it is probably a good idea for Dawkins to go on the O’Reilly show. I am not a fan of the show but can biologists really keep talking only with people who agree with them? I think the FOX audience is a bit more diverse than has been indicated here (although I am not a big fan and do not believe their news to be balanced). Given O’Reilly’s ratings, imagine if Dawkins can get through to 0.1% of his audience. Or at least get them to wondering about it all. This will have a much more significant impact than all of us just talking to each other here.

    Incidentally, we have a great set of interviews about evolution at our website at http://www.thetech.org/genetics/pov_atkins/index.html.

    (We tried to interview Atkins but he couldn’t make it.)

  24. #24 Lago
    April 23, 2007

    “I think some good can come from this. To think that everyone watching fox news is foolish and cannot see through O’Reilly is cynical.”

    And such people already are open to new ideas, so they are not a problem in the first place. Dawkins isn’t going on the show to try get his point to them. Simply put, they’re done already…

  25. #25 Sheldon
    April 23, 2007

    “I think the FOX audience is a bit more diverse than has been indicated here (although I am not a big fan and do not believe their news to be balanced).”

    I love to watch/listen to Bill OhReally, because I hate the bastard. Perplexed? So am I. If I had expanded cable I wouldn’t miss it, but I do listen to Bill on the radio on occasion. I bet you anything Bill will say. “Well, most people believe in God” to which Dawkins will reply, “so what”.

  26. #26 Kristine
    April 23, 2007

    I’ve never seen O’Reilly engage in constructive conversation. All he does is shout people down, then proclaim victory.

    You said it. I must admit my heart is in my mouth.

    Summon all your British charm, Richard Dawkins; that’s the edge you have over O’Wily.

    Peer at him like an interesting little rodent with an evolutionarily unstable strategy. Smile that pitying smile.

    And maybe have a placard prepared to hold up if O’Snarly cuts your mic.

  27. #27 Dustin
    April 23, 2007

    Errgh… this isn’t going to be any good. Dawkins is thoughtful and presents arguments. O’Reilly just shouts a lot so that you can never hear his opponent.

  28. #28 Steve_C (Secular Elitist) FCD
    April 23, 2007

    Bill-Oh uses various tactics to try to take his guests down a notch.

    Sometimes he is relatively low key but really tries to “get” the victim to admit something
    or look stupid. He usually uses some mock disgust or acquiescence. He plays gotcha.

    He usually flys off the handle when he’s attacking someone for being PC or endorsing something he sees as injustice. It’s how he makes himself look like he’s watching out for the little guy.

    Dawkins doesn’t have an agenda he’s defending in the political arena.

    It’ll probably be one of those “aren’t atheists just being babies? shouldn’t they just suck it up and get over themselves already?” interviews.

  29. #29 CalGeorge
    April 23, 2007

    I’m torn.

    Pro:

    More attention for atheism

    Con:

    More credibility and attention for Fox

    We can only hope that Dawkins completely shreds O’Reilly. I hope he says things that will piss off millions of fundies and send Jerry Falwell running for his blood pressure medication.

    Oh, well, if it must happen: Pass the popcorn!

  30. #30 Scholar
    April 23, 2007

    “Why is Dawkins arranging for O’Reilly to get that much attention?”

    In my corner of the world, people have not heard of Dawkins. I think it’s great pub for both.

    O’Reilly has one of the hottest daytime radio shows here in Washington DC.

    Odd Fact: O’Reilly agrees that Global Warming is caused by humans. It kind of confused me to actually hear words of reason coming from his yapper.

  31. #31 TW
    April 23, 2007

    I suspect that Dawkins’ concept of “consciousness raising” is his main goal here. Giving people permission to doubt is the necessary first step toward defeating religion. It’s such an important first step that many religions, like Islam, will kill people for it in order to keep the other sheep in line through intimidation. If Dawkins can plant a seed of doubt in even one fundie, then it will be worth it.

  32. #32 Mike Wood
    April 23, 2007

    I don’t think Harris was only listened to because his opinion matched Fox’s – he was also treated fairly civilly when he was on The O’Reilly Factor commenting on Terri Schiavo, and his position was contrary to Bill’s, so I’m pretty optimistic that Dawkins won’t just be completely shouted down. There’s always a chance though, and I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t watched very much of the show.

  33. #33 Sastra
    April 23, 2007

    In some respects, atheists and Creationists are in similar positions, and I suspect Prof. Dawkins is deliberately exploiting this.

    If a respected academic institution agrees to put forth one of their best and brightest evolutionary biologists against a Creationist in a public debate, it doesn’t matter if the professor absolutely wipes the floor with the other guy. Just by being put up on the same stage as a real scientist, the anti-evolution crowd gets to claim that there is a genuine controversy. There are two legitimate viewpoints, and people should respectfully pay attention to both sides. Even if they lose, Creationism wins by getting the “frame” accepted (sorry to use that word…). Dawkins has stated repeatedly that this is why he won’t debate Creationists. It makes it look like Creationism is a live option, taken seriously.

    Now, given that the vast majority of people in the United States not only believe in God, but think that atheism is a lunatic fringe kind of belief, just having an atheist on a major media show giving “the other side” is a victory. It doesn’t necessarily matter if O’Reilly charges over his opponent bellowing and screaming. It doesn’t really matter if the audience thinks the atheist “lost.”

    The existence of God was not allowed to be assumed as self-evident to everyone. No. There is a genuine controversy, and two legitimate viewpoints were expressed. By going on O’Reilly’s show, Prof. Dawkins is doing to them what he won’t let them do to him: use the power and scope of their own platform to get them to treat atheism as a live option.

  34. #34 Matt
    April 23, 2007

    It all comes down to the angle that O’Reilly takes. O’Reilly tends to pigeonhole his guests and back them into a corner to make them talk about one subject and one subject only. This is the way that he ‘wins’ his debates.

    I don’t think he will have Dawkins on just to talk about Dawkin’s book. Instead the ‘conversation’ will be on some current politcal situation that – in O’Reilly’s mind – centers around the nature of believe or atheism or something of that nature.

    He may also have another guest that will be used as a counterpoint, which again will take the ‘conversation’ off topic and go to hot talking points that lead no where except maybe to good television – for instance if someone starts shouting.

  35. #35 Rich
    April 23, 2007

    O’Reilly / Dawkins interview drinking game
    (one swig for each)

    Secular
    “let me finish”
    “no morality”
    “traditional values”
    “what do you have against christians?”
    “Public Opinion”
    “No scientific proof..”
    *any creationist myth / moth / embryo*
    *Some version of pascals wager*
    “Intellectual elites”
    “Ivory Tower”

  36. #36 dzd
    April 23, 2007

    I don’t think he will have Dawkins on just to talk about Dawkin’s book. Instead the ‘conversation’ will be on some current politcal situation that – in O’Reilly’s mind – centers around the nature of believe or atheism or something of that nature.

    He may also have another guest that will be used as a counterpoint, which again will take the ‘conversation’ off topic and go to hot talking points that lead no where except maybe to good television – for instance if someone starts shouting.

    What’re you willing to bet he ties it into D’Souza’s ghoulish remarks regarding the VT massacre?

  37. #37 DrBadger
    April 23, 2007

    Good points Sastra, I hope that’s how the viewers take it. As Joshua said to my earlier comment that 90% of Fox’s audience think atheists are evil, it is necessary that the other side sees that we aren’t some insignificant minority. However, I don’t see the viewers of o’rielly (even 0.1% of them) to get anything meaningful about atheism out of this, except for “yay, we beat down an atheist.”

  38. #38 Zielona Gora
    April 23, 2007

    I think that Dawkins is doing a great job. Some people will definitely start to view this “regilion” thing from another perspective and use their brains.

  39. #39 CalGeorge
    April 23, 2007

    Hopefully Dawkins will mention PZ and Pharyngula will be swamped by fundie nuts out for blood.

  40. #40 Tyler DiPietro
    April 23, 2007

    Okay, let’s get the play-by-play going.

    Right now O’Reilly is just in a mutual masturbation session with a couple of conservative hacks, pushing some bizarre conspiracism about George Soros. No Dawkins yet.

  41. #41 ummm....
    April 23, 2007

    OK, so I’ve tuned in to The Factor and have listened to 3 minutes of O’Reilly’s rant accusing George Soros of controlling John Edwards and describe a giant left wing conspiracy to destroy America. No mention of Dawkins, either now or in the rest of the program.

    Wait, now Phil Kent (who is that?) has described Soros as “Dr. Evil” and a person who “hates America” and who supports the “Islamic” terrorist group…La Raza???

    Jesus Christ.

    Sorry, this is too stupid for words and I’m out. Would someone please post the YouTube of Dawkins if he’s actually is on? Thanks.

  42. #42 Christian Burnham
    April 23, 2007

    I’ll save you the brain-damage:

    I don’t think Dawkins is going to be on tonight’s show.

  43. #43 ummm...
    April 23, 2007

    OK, they mentioned Dawkins at the break. I’ll hang.

    Thanks for that abeja….I think.

  44. #44 Michael Haubrich
    April 23, 2007

    I have been staying away from O’Reilly and only watching because Dawkins is on tonight. It really hasn’t started too well, as he takes this “Follow the money approach” to Soros to Media Matters for America to George Soros. Do you think that there is any self-interest in this “investigative report?” Media Matters has this bad habit of catching O’Reilly in his lies and attempts to backtrack.

  45. #45 Christian Burnham
    April 23, 2007

    It’s over.

    It was pretty short and fairly civil. O’Reilly made the usual cliched points about religion being a civilizing influence and how science can’t explain everything.

    Dawkins kept his cool throughout.

  46. #46 matthew
    April 23, 2007

    Well, no suprises during the interview… Dawkins did great as usual, but it’s crazy that he only got 5 minutes… Very typical. (though Bill-O acted as though he actually read the book: “it’s interesting”… bullshit, he didn’t read it)

  47. #47 Caledonian
    April 23, 2007

    But he had Dawkins on his show. Clearly, having Dawkins on his show means he can’t be that bad.

    You’ve been had!

  48. #48 Ian H Spedding FCD
    April 23, 2007

    Hmmmph! Bit of a damp squip, wasn’t it? I’m thinking O’Reilly is a bit wary of Dawkins because he certainly went easy on him.

  49. #49 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2007

    Actually, it was pretty good overall. Contrary to what many say, O’Reilly (an old and effective reporter) knows very well how to run a decent interview, even though on some issues he does not. Here he did, however short and talking-points oriented it was (had to be given the time).

    So you could complain about the time, the old God of the gaps brought up, the glib “atheists caused so much evil” refrain (there’s truth in that, however the histories of the cultures which bred genocide are crucial to the genocide, and to the default atheism of the alienated). Nevertheless, Dawkins made his points, there was mutual respect given to atheist and tired old religionist, and mainly Dawkins got some face time and compliments on his book (regardless of whether Bill has read it).

    Just holding his own, sounding smart, and getting treated more or less equally as an atheist was worth it to Dawkins’ side. More arguments wouldn’t affect most viewers, while having atheism treated more or less as a reasonable position will affect many (angering a number, I don’t doubt).

    It’s a public-relations (framing) success, if hardly an intellectual feat.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

  50. #50 TAW
    April 23, 2007

    EXTRA EXTRA!! here’s the video, from onegoodmove
    http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2007/04/richard_dawkins_9.html

    Sorry if someone had posted it before. I looked, didn’t see it.

  51. #51 David Wilford
    April 23, 2007

    Dawkins did just fine, as I expected. Atheism with a human face isn’t nearly as scary as the Dread Atheist Dawkins, and he moved that Overton Window just a bit towards his side of the issue tonight as a result.

  52. #52 Paguroidea
    April 23, 2007

    I thought Dawkins did excellent in his short time period, and was appropriately assertive and calm. I would think that it would be tricky to strike that balance on O’Reilly’s show. Also I think that the statistics that Bill O’Reilly gave on the percentage of atheists probably surprised the conservative viewers.

  53. #53 Taylor Murphy
    April 23, 2007

    Just watched it. I’m glad he got the very last point in, even if the rest of it was crap.

    O’Reilly said that he thought stalin and hitler had no moral base, and Dawkins said “well I don’t either” right as it ended.

  54. #54 cyan
    April 23, 2007

    Hmmm: a clip of a verbal intercourse between a person who uses logical thought, then precise language to express those thoughts, versus a person who uses the continual interruption of the other person’s views in a loud voice to express his visceral emotions.

    My hunch and inclination are that an analysis of the transcript would show that Richard Dawkins is the more rational of the two. But O’Reilly is not after rationalism, because neither are most of his viewers.

    Richard Dawkins was taking a gamble in doing this interview that it might make a difference, for which I admire him greatly. Because of O’Reilly’s tactics, Dawkins probably did not raise any doubts in those who believe in the Abrahamic god. But he did show to those believers a disbeliever who is civil and rational.

    So, it was a reasonable gamble whose outcome could have been been positive sans O’Reilly tactics but in fact resulted in at least being non-negative to believers’ view of atheists.

  55. #55 Carlie
    April 23, 2007

    Lame, but could have been ever so much worse. I think that it’s a small victory that he came off as calm, that he kept BillO calm, that even though it was clear that all Bill wanted to do was throw out his talking points that it didn’t rattle Richard. He (Dawkins) is vilified so much, it had to help for him to seem so nice and rational. “Oh, so THAT’S the guy? Doesn’t look like Satan incarnate…”

  56. #56 Dustin
    April 23, 2007

    Oh, I noticed that the Christmas lectures Dawkins gave back in 1991 are going to be on DvD soon (finally). You should all buy them for your kids. Heck, buy them for yourself.

  57. #57 One Eyed Jack
    April 23, 2007

    Dr. Dawkins did quite well. As we all know, O’Reilly is small minded bully and Dawkins was able to get most of his points across.

    What I want to see are some hour long televised debates in the US. All these short news segments accomplish is to trot out the same tired arguments, give them a superficial dusting off, but not properly debate them.

    I don’t expect it to happen in the US because the major networks lack the stones to give religion the public spanking that would result in an honest and balanced debate. One can always dream.

    OEJ

  58. #58 Troff
    April 23, 2007

    Peter Kemp: “(Troff, my hunch is that there are genes for rebelliousness!–an excess arguably from Ireland)”

    Pff. I should wish. I’ve got Russian, German and just the tiniest touch of Chinese in my ancestral makeup. British and Irish genes I was hoping for and never got.

    When I’m feeling suitably curmudgeonly, I like to think my rebelliousness is only because the people disagreeing with me are clearly such idiots. :-)

    I’m halfway through the video now (and MANY thanks to 1gm for the posting!).

    Any comments as to O’Reilly’s smartassy “I saw Apollo, he’s over there and not looking good” comment? A throwaway line certainly, but doesn’t it just make Bill look like more of – well, an idiot?

    Why did Bill have to spell the word “bane”?

    O’Reilly tars all atheists with the same brush, and then says that Stalin and Pol Pot had no moral foundation?

    I know Dawkins is so polite and that’s a part of his primarily typical charm, why did he have to respond so nicely at the end? Gaargh. Why did he let the “we can debate Hitler’s catholicism” go past so easily? Sigh.

  59. #59 SteveM
    April 23, 2007

    O’Reilly said that he thought stalin and hitler had no moral base, and Dawkins said “well I don’t either” right as it ended.

    As I recall, Bill said “I don’t think [they] had a moral base”, I interpeted Dawkins “I don’t either” as meaning “I don’t think they had a moral base either”, not “I don’t have a moral base either”.

    I wish Dawkins had rebutted Bill’s statement “Jesus was a real guy”

  60. #60 David Livesay
    April 24, 2007

    Well, I recorded it last night and just finished watching it. First of all, thank FSM for fast forward! Second, what a waste of time.

    I thought the point of interview shows was to have guests on and ask them questions to elicit answers and elucidate their point of view. If I wasn’t already aware of Dawkins’s point of view, I’d still be in the dark. O’Reilly seemed clearly more focused on getting his own uninteresting point of view across than exploring his guests. He repeatedly interrupted him and cut him off. Even worse, he showed absolutely no indication of having read Dawkins’s book, in which Dawkins had already refuted all of O’Reilly’s facile arguments. Rather than critiquing or rebutting Dawkins’s arguments, he simply ignored them.

    O’Reilly is a boor and a bore. Thanks for making me watch this drivel. There’s another five minutes I’ll never get back. :-)

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