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Tag Archives: Bill O’Reilly

Imagine for a moment that you are someone who has not paid attention to the 2008 presidential campaign at all. You have no idea who the three leading candidates are. You also have no knowledge of the candidates who were in the race. You never tuned in for any of the televised debates. You never read any of the magazine articles. You never read any newspapers. Now imagine that the first time you see any of the 2008 presidential candidates, it is when you tune in to Glenn Beck’s television program on April 1, 2008. On this program he has a guest named Ron Paul, who he introduces as a Republican candidate for president. Mr. Beck asks Paul about the big profits for big oil, the plan to give the Federal Reserve much greater power over the economy, and the general problems relating to the Fed’s ability to secretly control- along with private banks- all of the finances of the United States. It’s a well done interview. You would probably come away from it thinking that this Ron Paul guy has some interesting points. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you would probably conclude that he at least deserves some respect. Why?

Well, quite simply, it’s all in the way Beck treated Ron Paul. He was fair. He allowed Paul to finish his sentences. He gave the viewer the impression that Ron Paul actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to economic matters. Of course, anyone who knows Glenn Beck also knows that he is vehemently opposed to Ron Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention. However, unlike Bill O’Reilly, who had Ron Paul on his program just to yell at him, and give the viewer the impression that he is crazy, Beck spoke with Ron Paul in a civilized manner concerning a topic on which he and Paul agree.

In January of this year, Glenn Beck interviewed Ron Paul on his radio show. Once again, it was very well conducted and even ended with Beck paying Dr. Paul this compliment:

“I mean, you know, we just — I just happen to disagree with you, but I respect you, sir, for your opinion. I have said this, you know, behind your back. So let me say it to your face. I think you are the closest we have running to a founding father. You seem to be the only guy who has actually read the federalist papers. So I appreciate your efforts, sir.”

Furthermore, back in December, 2007, Mr. Beck interviewed and debated Ron Paul on television for the entire length of his (Beck’s) program!

How about that!? Where was Fox News for that kind of “fair and balanced” coverage? This is precisely the kind of debate we should be having in this great “democratic” country of ours. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone’s positions on war, the economy, or anything. There is something wrong, however, with eschewing real debate in favor of flinging epithets at each other as if the discussion was between 9 year olds in a grade school playground.

To be fair, from a left wing perspective I have to compliment Bill Maher for his treatment of Ron Paul as well. After the Republican debate in which Rudy Giuliani and Dr. Paul had this memorable confrontation, Paul appeared as a studio guest on Maher’s television program. Maher even referred to Ron Paul as his “new hero.”

Just imagine what might have happened over this past year if more people in the mainstream media would have given Ron Paul fair coverage. Just imagine what might have happened if the mainstream media actually encouraged real debates on the issues, instead of having their microphones and cameras ready only for political pablum and jingoistic slogans.

Finally, just as Glenn Beck and Bill Maher disagree with Ron Paul on many issues, I disagree with Beck and Maher on many issues. However, I appreciate the fact that both of them treated Ron Paul with respect, and allowed him plenty of time to state his case.

That’s more than I can say for most of the other political commentators.