We haven't posted about this previously but there's been a bit of a to-do between UC Berkeley professor and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Bill O'Reilly. Recently, O'Reilly called Reich a communist who "secretly adores Karl Marx." Reich took exception to the accusation, saying, “Ordinarily I don’t bother repeating anything Bill O’Reilly says... But this particular whopper is significant because it represents what O’Reilly and Fox News, among others, are doing to the national dialogue. They’re burying it in doo-doo.” O'Reilly now claims he was joking when he said it. Reich has challenged O'Reilly to a debate and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, has yet to receive a response. (h/t Jim T.)
O'Reilly's claim that he was joking is debatable. He said last night that he was obviously kidding and "laughing" when he called Reich a communist. He was definitely not laughing. I'd say he was being somewhat facetious and hyperbolic. In any event, Reich didn't find it funny. He has tweeted twice to debate "man to man" and offered to do so blindfolded. "What are you afraid of? I'm 4'10."
The first video below is a clip from O'Reilly's original discussion in which he called Reich a communist. The second one is a clip from last night's discussion in which O'Reilly said he was joking. Both clips via Media Matters.
11/27/19 Update: videos seem no longer to be available.
1. Questions from a panel comprised of dubious gender mAnn Coulter, D-List Dennis Miller and Toe-sucking Dick Morris.
2. Bildo can interrupt and shout over Reich’s answers at any time.
3. Debate will not be shown live, but only on tape delay after careful editing by Jesse Weasel Watters.
4. Post-debate analysis from blonde bimbo Retchin Carlson, body-language expert Tanya, and “Dr” Keith Allblow.
Obviously, OâReilly has no interest in arguing anything. Ad hominem attacks are always the last refuges of intellectual boors lacking any logic or argument. (Whoops, I think I just stooped to name-calling. Sorry, Bill.)
I like how Reich worded it- Bill knows that his own show isn’t an option, which is probably why he’s so afraid. He knows no one will doctor it for him on TV, and that he’ll be flat humiliated live.
While Bill will have those who disagree with him, he also enjoys having his blonde beauty bobbleheads who will praise his every word as if the lord has spoken. I hope Iâm wrong and Bill will accept the debate. He called the man a communist, and Robert Reich to Billâs horror is defending himself and calling him out. Iâm sure C-SPAN will be happy to oblige to hold a debate between the two. We already know one will accept.
If Bill does accept the debate (unlikely) he’ll want to have it on his home court where it’ll have to be on his program to get ratings. If they do then Reich should insist that they do it live (I know what you’re thinking about Bill and doing it live) and this way they can’t do any editing tricks. I hope Bill accepts it’ll be interesting.
To add here I donât believe Bill will accept this challenge since heâll have nothing to gain with those who admire him. Theyâll just declare victory and move on. I donât know if Reich has ever been a guest on Billâs show before, and if he has then all this will accomplish for Reich will guarantee heâll never be invited back to avoid the confrontation.