Pages

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Dishonest Shill Responds to a Fan

An incensed critic recently offered his thoughts on my post, "Bill O'Reilly and His Comments on Drones: A False Characterization?" Vitriol aside, one will eventually find an interesting counter-argument that's worth serious consideration, although I explain below why I ultimately find it unconvincing.  In brief, the critic claimed that I had wretched O'Reilly's words out of a context in which Obamacare was the focus of the discussion (and it certainly was).  O'Reilly was only figuratively supporting drone strikes in his effort to reveal the fallacy underlying support for Obamacare.  Please see below for the exchange (for the sake of anonymity, I changed his name to Hank...although he went by a pseudonym anyway). 



The closing line from my last post: No, this meme quite accurately paraphrases O'Reilly's comments on drone strikes, sadly enough.


Hank: Actully, it doesn't, and you are a dishonest shill with zero integrity for suggesting otherwise.

Me: Thank you for your feedback, Hank. Your argument is quite convincing.

Hank: Oh right, I forgot, when speaking to Leftists like yourself, one has to spell out the obvious slowly and at a 3rd grade reading level or you won't get it. 

So your first act of intellectual dishonesty is to admit, right from the get-go, that the quote is, in fact, NOT verbatim, which you then follow with a big "so what?". 

But the real clincher is how you fast-forward to the part of the video where O'Reilly supposedly says essentially what you falsely attribute the quote to mean. Except, OReilly was comparing a rationalization of drone strikes even if evidence exists that they kills civilians to a rationalization of Obamacare even if evidence exists that millions will lose coverage because it. Maybe context doesn't matter to a perfidious shill like yourself, but to thinking, honest individuals CONTEXT MATTERS. 

And that is why you will never amount to anything more than a dishonest boot-lick.

Me: “Oh right, I forgot, when speaking to Leftists like yourself, one has to spell out the obvious slowly and at a 3rd grade reading level or you won't get it.” 

So…I was supposed to gather all of that from “you are a dishonest shill with zero integrity for suggesting otherwise”? Wow, Hank: you’re great at condensing complex points into one-liners. Sorry for missing that.

“So your first act of intellectual dishonesty is to admit, right from the get-go, that the quote is, in fact, NOT verbatim, which you then follow with a big "so what?".”

But…I DID “admit” that it wasn't a verbatim quote…doesn't that make me intellectually honest? I’m sorry – my 3rd grade reading level prevents me from understanding this charge of intellectual dishonesty (as opposed to a claim that I’m simply misinterpreting O’Reilly’s comments). 

"But the real clincher is how you fast-forward to the part of the video where O'Reilly supposedly says essentially what you falsely attribute the quote to mean. Except, OReilly was comparing a rationalization of drone strikes even if evidence exists that they kills civilians to a rationalization of Obamacare even if evidence exists that millions will lose coverage because it. Maybe context doesn't matter to a perfidious shill like yourself, but to thinking, honest individuals CONTEXT MATTERS."

You love the word shill, don’t you? It is a pretty cool word. For whom am I shilling, by the way? 

By the way, I must commend you on your impeccable spelling and grammar. 

Now, here’s the context that matters: prior to this particular discussion with Goldberg, O’Reilly went on record defending the use of drones and excusing civilian deaths (recall, for instance, his discussion with Kirsten Powers?) So, it’s difficult to argue that he was HYPOTHETICALLY defending the use of drones in order to expose the supposed fallacy of the argument for Obamacare, unless you can point to evidence that he has recently changed his mind about drones. As a matter of fact, the particular context you cited seems to only strengthen the argument that O’Reilly was not thinking at all. After all, if it is true (as O’Reilly suggests) that you can’t justify the loss of one’s health plan on the grounds that Obamacare is so much better, then it would appear that he’s unwittingly exposing the falsity of his logically similar support of drone strikes.

“And that is why you will never amount to anything more than a dishonest boot-lick.”

Well, you might be right that I won’t amount to anything more than a “boot-lick”, but you've completely failed in your effort to demonstrate that. 


Bill O'Reilly Argues with Kirsten Powers Over Drones





Hank: That's some impressive mental gymnastics you have to engage in to defend your dishonesty, but really, that's all you have going for you. 

O'Reilly was clearly speaking hypothetically with regards to to the drone strike by reducing the logic of the pro-Obamacare zombies to an an absurd case (Reductio Ad Absurdum). Only a fool or a liar would assume that he was speaking literally in the one case ("drone strikes are good") while trying to prove the exact opposite ("Obamacare is bad") in the other case. 

So which is it? Are you a liar? Or just plain stupid?

Me: Well, if I have to choose, I guess I'll pick...Waaaaaaaaaait a second! Not so fast, Hank!

There's actually a third option that you refuse to consider: without following your example by callously referring to others as stupid (whatever happened to "Hello. I disagree with you. Let me explain why without resorting to name-calling"?), I suspect that O'Reilly was simply confused. This theory is far more plausible because, once again, his comments cohere with his previous statements in support of drones. Besides, while I don't think O'Reilly is among the most articulate of pundits, even I think that if he were speaking figuratively, he would have prefaced his drone comments with something along the lines of "Suppose I were to argue that..." (you know, instead of "It's almost like me...Let me, uh, uh, Let me, uh").