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Bloviating With Bill Contest

Reported by Deborah - February 8, 2006

Last night was the first installment of the Bloviating With Bill Contest on The O'Reilly Factor. The first contestant chosen to debate was Caroline Goldman-Cassagnol from Santa Fe, New Mexico who might have been surprised by the kind, supportive, almost mentoring Bill O'Reilly facing her. It soon became clear that although Bill was willing to showcase the contestant's debating skills, he wasn't above using a few tricks to bolster his argument. 2/7/06

The topic for debate was prisoner abuse and the definition of torture. Cassagnol was well prepared and obviously informed on the issue. Here's the transcript of the debate. There is also a video available which reveals some of the tactics O'Reilly used to maintain control.

While Cassagnol spoke, the headline under her face with her name changed to "Opposes Torture Of Al Qaeda Terrorists" which of course misleads viewers suggesting that everyone interrogated is a convicted terrorist and never innocent.

Then there were clips shown throughout the debate also meant to mislead and influence. There were shots of detainees exercising in a spacious yard; hooded terrorists with guns surrounding a bombed out building; two detainees relaxing at a table; a man praying with beads and another reading a Koran. All of the clips portrayed a pleasant and humane surroundings provided for the detainees. Cassagnol did not have the ability to counter with clips of detainees being abused or restrained.

When O'Reilly offered Cassagnol the last word, she made an excellent point which really illustrated his hypocrisy. However, O'Reilly didn't respond adequately and quickly diverted viewers with his praise of Cassagnol's performance.

CASSAGNOL: Didn't I read that when you started, you did a lot of reporting on the Central American infractions?

O'REILLY: Yes.

CASSAGNOL: Then you know this country was among the loudest in screaming about the lack of humanity and the abuses of civil rights that were going on with people who detained, who tortured, who disappeared, and who left their prisoners to rot in prison.

O'REILLY: It's a different thing between rounding up civilians and having terrorists fleeing across the border into Pakistan. But I get your point, and you did very well. Didn't she, ladies and gentlemen? Caroline really held her own. You put a lot of my professional guests to shame.

Now, the report card, if you go to BillOReilly.com, you can grade Caroline's performance. I'm telling you, I was impressed. We're grading on a curve here, because it's not easy for a civilian to walk in and bloviate on national TV with an obnoxious guy like me.

Also please vote in our BillOReilly.com poll, sponsored by EmigrantDirect.com. Should "The Factor" report the names of large corporations that do not donate to the new military hospital in Texas for wounded warriors? Corporation in question have made big money from the terror war. Whatever you decide on this one, I'll do.

All right. Caroline, good job.

There will be another contestant tonight. This should be interesting.

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