Thursday, October 14, 2010

Behave Like Adults

Bill O'Reilly was on The View today.  Even though I am politically conservative, I generally do not like him.  I think he is abrasive and childish.  I liked The View in it's first season--it was a new idea and, generally, fun.  Now, though, it is a propaganda machine, or so it seems to me.  When I saw Bill O'Reilly and The View mashed together, I was a intrigued.  When I saw the interview, I was surprised.

Things start out okay, but then it erupts into screaming and aggressive finger pointing.  I was waiting for the girls to start pulling hair and Bill to lean back and begin kicking--bike peddling style.  It was not the rude and interupting style of debate that you see so often on political news shows and it wasn't a full-on cat fight, but it was a horrible combination of the two.  Eventually, two of The View girls walk off because they just can't take it anymore.  Apparently.  I'd like to think they were giving themselves a time-out, but I doubt it.

Here is the interview.  Watch what happens at minute 2:30.

Barbara Walters is not someone I love and adore, but I she is due some amount of respect for a life of diligent news telling (especially because she was one of the first women in the field--a whole different topic for another time).  She says something there, on the fly, that has been needing to be said. "What you have just seen is what should not happen.  We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage."

I do not like contention; my spirit is offended by that atmosphere.  But, I do enjoy a good debate.  When two parties have opposing views and self-formulated opinions based on good information, it can be a robust and invigorating activity.  A good argument is one where both sides can see the prevailing wisdom and are open to being proved wrong.  It can also constitute a discussion where both sides will always disagree upon conclusions, but where both sides can leave the moment knowing the other was honest.  This particular interview had potential, the audience was obviously divided, applauding for both sides, in turns.  But then . . .

I love that Barbara Walters called her colleagues out.  They behaved badly.  They were not professional.  They did not want to understand each other's points of view.  If they were not to be agreed with, they were leaving.  Period.  Too many in our nation have become this way.  We are unwilling to bend, unwilling to listen, unwilling to admit when we are wrong.  In this ultra-heated political climate of this fall's elections, we have become absurd.

We are told that we are supposed to avoid talking about religion and politics in polite company.  Why can't we be polite while having a fair, invigorating, even enthusiastic religious or political discussion?  Maybe if we practiced doing it first at home, and then with our neighbors, we wouldn't embarrass ourselves on television.


  1. Good Gollie, who can never remember her passwordOctober 14, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    Great post mothership...I love this applicable post, thought I'd share it.

    "A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure that anyone who opposed them must be either stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance." ~Orson Scott Card

  2. I absolutely abhor Bill O'Reilly. If I was Joy, I would have walked off when he was patronizing her and telling her that she would "learn" something from him. However, B. Walters was right when she said they should be able to discuss without storming away. Particularly as those women are hosts of a tv show that is supposed to share political and social views of the entire spectrum. I felt that Joy was angry when she left, but I felt that Whoopi was making a statement. You cannot include all Muslims in that blanket statement. None of those people were doing any listening (except Sherri Shephard who says 2 words the whole time). They were all interrupting each other and casually insulting each other. They could all have used some practice at home.

  3. wow, you summed up my thoughts exactly, next time one of my friends chews me out for refusing to listen to any of those coservative talk shows, I want to tell them exactly this, that this kind of contention is not productive or good. Thanks for sharing, I can't hardly even watch the clip it makes me feel so crappy. Whatever my political preferences are, it was ridiculous all around.

  4. It's all for the ratings. Ratings ratings, ratings. They have had Bill O'Reilly on the View several times- it always ends up in yelling. But they keep inviting him back for the ratings. The whole walk out thing- oh so for the ratings. They were probably laughing backstage. Although I know they disagree with Bill- it's all show.

    I generally like Bill O'Reilly- I think he brings out really good points that most media won't touch. He also fights for morals- for the most part. However I am not a fan of the yelling- But again, Bill is popular because he's a fighter and likes to yell I guess. Ratings.

    I really dislike Sean Hannity...and Rush- just mumble jumble with one sided facts who have an awkward hate for Democrats.

    Glenn Beck just goes for what is right and wrong. He attacks both sides although he is conservative. And he is hillarious- a plus for me. But again- he is an entertainer- Ratings. He has to make money.

    You know, I honestly think the Muslims should be able to build their mosque in New York. I know it's horrible to say and I really wish they wouldn't. I do think it's a mockery to the families of 9-11. But law is law and although it's inappropriate and hurtful, it is still legal. I kind of agree with the crazy ladies on the View. Never thought I would say that.

    We have to protect the right to worship and the freedom of religion. I know research has been made with the building of this mosque and there has been some interesting ties to terrorists- and that should be investigated more.

    But, I know a lot of people do not like Mormons and there has been huge protests against the building of our temples in certain areas but our right to worship has still been protected by law despite the controversy. Although we aren't associated with extreme terrorists who want to kill Americans...but we will become more and more hated for our views on homosexuality and people already feel we hurt society and offend civil rights. What if a community of gays and lesbians decide they don't want a Mormon church building in their town...we need to be protected by law.

    My point- the building of churches should not be based on emotion and feelings but based on law. I know Bill agrees with that- but the story could flip to the other side of the coin and his arguments could be destructive to other religions down the road.

    Maybe forgiveness, love, patience, and understanding would help the world's problems....hmmm can you imagine?

  5. I appreciate your feedback. It should be noted, however, that I was referring more to the nature of the argument than the points of the argument. My views on what was said (other than that of BW) has not been revealed.

  6. I know you weren't talking about the mosque in New York- but I was. I comment what I want to comment..and that is what I commented.