Bill O’Reilly tries to show that Dawkins’s children’s book is atheistic propaganda

On Wednesday, Catholic demagogue and broadcaster Bill O’Reilly “interviewed”—I use the term loosely—Richard Dawkins about his new children’s book, The Magic of Reality.  Watch the four-minute interview here.

O’Reilly tries his best to make Dawkins admit that he “mocks God” in his book (watch O’Reilly’s triumphant “AHA!!” when Richard says that he talks about “myths from around the world” at exactly one minute in); and argues that the book is pure atheistic propaganda for kids.

O’Reilly then plays the Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao atheists-are-genocidal-maniacs card, which Dawkins defuses handily.

O’Reilly then completely loses it, trying to conflate intelligent design, the origin of life, and the goodness of Jesus and the Buddha.  Richard manages to keep his composure; I doubt that Hitchens would have remained so cool in the face of O’Reilly’s religion-fuelled vitriol.

Tellingly, Fox news titles the video, “O’Reilly crushes atheist Richard Dawkins.”  Watch the video and see if you think that description bears any resemblance to the truth.

Over at her website, Miranda Hale has a more complete analysis, complete with lolzy illustrations.

But for the classic Bill O’Reilly meltdown, now an internet meme, go here (warning: language in that the the following videos is NSFW). Here’s the dance remix, and the Family Guy parody.

80 Comments

  1. Posted October 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh good god, it was painful. He’s a parody of himself at this point. He’s rendering Stephen Colbert unnecessary, unfortunately enough. No one can parody Bill quite like Bill himself.

    And Jerry, you should have used this LOLpic in your post. Relevant LOL is relevant! 🙂

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Miranda,

      Your blog (er, web site) is quite good.

    • Christian
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Watching that was indeed quite painful. Couldn’t finish it because my fremdschämen-meter was on the verge of blowing up.

      Hard to imagine that there are people who lap up every word of O’Reilly.

      • Ichthyic
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        go read the comments over on the “O’Reilly crushes atheist Richard Dawkins.” link.

        it’s quite disheartening.

        so many programmed sheep.

        so, so many.

        *sigh*

        • Christian
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Seriously, that’s weapon-grade stoopid. Forget napalm or mustard gas.

          Someone should photoshop a LOLpic of the Crying Indian puking his guts out over so much stupid.

  2. Posted October 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I like Richard’s quick segue from talking about the origin of life to mentioning the origin of the moon – a deliberate reference to the tide goes in, tide goes out BS, perhaps?

    /@

  3. Posted October 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Richard Dawkins knew what he was getting into; he has been on O’Reilly’s show a number of times.

    I saw the video prior to the Fox spin. Remember that this spin is for mostly uneducated and undereducated people.

    What is going here is TV melodrama: O’Reilly is the one with the halo who is protecting the masses from the “elitist” Richard Dawkins (who may as well have been wearing horns and a red cape…and oh, that exotic British accent!).

    And the punch line: “explain how it all happened to me….ha, you can’t, ergo Jesus”. This line of “reasoning” is fully accepted by a large subset of the population of the United States.

    Yes, I grew up with people like that.

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I really wish that this could have been done live so that O’Reilly wouldn’t have been able to spin it quite so much.

  4. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I hate that guy.

    He embodies a prominent personality within every church I attended. One either needs to enable and endorse his type of idiocy by showing “Christian Charity” as evidence of the faith or, become such a dolt as evidence of “Christian Conviction”. That might be a false dilemma but it seemed like my experience as a believer. What a relief to see such attitudes as morally bankrupt.

  5. Nicholas
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I saw this as well. Unfortunately, the regular Fox viewers will probably agree that O’Reilly “crushed” Dawkins. While Dawkins repeatedly rejected Bill’s points, he did not have the equivalent of one of Bill’s triumphant “AHAs!” by pointing out an obvious error in his logic (I know, he did the best anyone could to try and even figure out what point Bill was making). Since Dawkins did not strike a “death blow” he therefore lost the debate. This is how Fox viewers think. So, I question the usefulness of his appearances. Sure, it is great that he is game to go on this ridiculous show, but I am certain Fox viewers came away from watching it even more convinced that Bill is right and we are wrong. We, of course, see it otherwise.

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      It is true that what Dawkins was saying was lost on MOST of the Fox viewing audience. But there is that small percentage that think to themselves (hmmm, that British guy DOES have a point).

      A small percentage of people will change their minds over time, if introduced to the facts and for those who grow up in Fox watching households, this might be their only exposure to something reasonable.

      But yes, I agree, most of the Fox crowd will “think” that O’Reilly “crushed” Dawkins.

      • swences
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes, exactly blueollie! A few years ago, back in 2007, I was a year out of high school and quite unsatisfied with my major (English literature) and political/philosophical positions. My liberal leanings seemed too vague, too nebulous, too easily refuted, and I felt like all I was doing was regurgitating what I heard from parents, friends, and mainstream news (I only watched CNN and MSNBC back then).

        And so I decided I needed to really hear the “other side” of the story, and so I began watching a lot of Glenn Beck (before he completely lost it) and O’Reilly.

        This frustrated my girlfriend to no end. She watched half an episode of The Factor with me before stomping out of the room. Good times!

        Then one day on the O’Reilly Factor, there was a guest I had never heard of. Who was it? Richard Dawkins, with the title “Atheist” under his name. (At the time, I considered myself a deist. I rejected the notion of any gods existing as portrayed by any of the major religions.)

        Once the short interview was over with, I realized that O’Reilly’s reasoning skills were childish and worth paying little attention too.

        I immediately got online, wiki’d Dawkins. Within 2 weeks of that I had read the Selfish Gene, and had my hands on the Blind Watchmaker and the God Delusion. 4 years later, I have read all but 2 of his books (River Out of Eden and Ext. Phen), and have gone through countless interviews, essays, lectures, debates, etc. And not once have I heard his major arguments refuted in any coherent or substantial way.

        Thank you O’Reilly! Because of you, I was able to switch my major to something I can dedicate the rest of my life too and never be bored or unchallenged (Biochemistry, but science in general really).

        So yes, I think there is much value in Dawkins appearing on conservative shows. It exposes those on the fence to forceful arguments never heard before or in a manner not commonly heard (unapologetic).

        • Norm
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Nice! Thanks for sharing that.

        • PB
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          This is a very interesting story, Dawkins is right then when he said some people will be enlightened – as against PZ Myers position. Good for you Swences!!

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          I say good for you, too, señor Swences. But you may have given up on English Lit a little bit too soon. There’s a lifetime of satisfaction to be found there too.

        • Marella
          Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Have you been over to Dawkins’ website to leave a ‘letter’ telling him this in Converts’ Corner? I’m sure he’d be interested. And I reckon one day, someone’s going to get a PhD out of those letters.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      all Oreily did was toss an army of strawmen against Dawkins.

      as you know, straw people cannot actually inflict damage.

      Dawkins knows this. His whole point of doing this was to advertise that his book is out there, and to show that Oreily’s strawmen don’t even scratch, which he did in the first 30 seconds:

      “Where does my book say it mocks god?”

      It doesn’t, and Oreilly had no answer for that, and it was immediately obvious he hadn’t even read the book.

      Dawkins won before he even came on the show.

      but I am certain Fox viewers came away from watching it even more convinced that Bill is right and we are wrong.

      no, they came away with what they went in with.

      they don’t watch oreilly to find out new things, but simply to hear him say that the fictions they cling to are right. It doesn’t matter what context it’s in, or if oreilly is wrong on any given point, so long as Oreilly says:

      “Christianity is reality, and this country was founded on it”

      this is the lie he is paid to spread.

      this is the lie fox news watchers come to see.

      they went away happy because they got to hear the lie repeated, yet one more time. A pavlovian response if ever there was one.

      • Nicholas
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        So why did Dawkins go on the show if he is only helping perpetuate the delusion of Fox viewers? What was he attempting to do?

        • Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Um… sell more copies of his book?

          /@

        • Ichthyic
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          It’s there:

          “His whole point of doing this was to advertise that his book is out there,”

          really, that’s how this works.

          talk shows get paid to promote books. it’s a cheaper way of advertising than buying commercial time.

          this has nothing to do with how the typical Oreily fan views these things though.

        • Nom de Plume
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Well, for one thing, we’re all talking about it, aren’t we? Granted, this particular crowd was probably aware of it already, and doesn’t need further convincing that Dawkins is right. But…here we are, talking about his new book. Mission accomplished.

          • Ichthyic
            Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            yup.

  6. newenglandbob
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Bill O’Reilly is nothing but an ignorant blow hard. Richard Dawkins put him in his place.

    “Are we yelling?”

    Yes, Bill, you yelled several times, you moron.

  7. Doc Bill
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Amazon and FedEx, Kink and I have The Magic of Reality and it’s a wonderful book. I thought it was going to be more simple, more elementary, but it isn’t. It’s very thorough and I think it would appeal to a curious person of any age.

    Which, of course, excludes O’Reilly who is filled with dogma, not curiosity. O’Reilly must attack the book because he has no hope of understanding it nor, I dare say, appreciating the artwork and imaginative layout.

    But, I think that O’Reilly senses that there’s something to be feared by Dawkins’ book and that’s knowledge. I think the Tree of Knowledge presents a big problem for Bill-O the Clown.

    • PB
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      I was a bit surprised, I thought it will be somewhat more basic than it actually is.

      Will somebody “go down to the ant level, talk the ant’s language” – to paraphrase christian metaphor when they tell you why son-of-god has to come down to earth – and tell a (very) easy story of origins, universe, life, humanity complete with joy, love, death etc etc, and (paraphrasing Sagan) “with the added benefit of being true ..” ?

      Hopefully within reasonable size (or make it Potteresque, in engaging installments?).. pretty pleasee ..

      (MofR is not exactly that, while still very good)

    • Dawn Oz
      Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink

      I bought it as an app for the iPad – enjoying it.

    • Marella
      Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      There is no way of knowing what O’Reilly believes, he SAYS what the punters and paymasters want to hear. What he BELIEVES is anyone’s guess.

  8. will
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I remember somebody gave a similar title to a segment on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program where Hannity “interviews” Christopher Hitchens. Hannity is a devout Christian (he almost cried on camera reviewing Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”) and started getting red and flustered with Hitchens then began shouting — while Christopher remained his cool, calm, fact-spewing, mildly sardonic self.

    Re: the Stalin-atheist/genocide card: can’t remember if I got it from a link here or elsewhere, but Sam Harris defused this issue nicely also:

    Harris: “Whatever else may be wrong with our world, it remains a fact that some of the most terrifying instances of human conflict and stupidity would be unthinkable without religion. And the other ideologies that inspire people to behave like monsters —Stalinism, fascism, etc. — are dangerous precisely because they so resemble religions. Sacrifice for the Dear Leader, however secular, is an act of cultic conformity and worship. Whenever human obsession is channeled in these ways, we can see the ancient framework upon which every religion was built. In our ignorance, fear, and craving for order, we created the gods. And ignorance, fear, and craving keep them with us.”

    • Christian
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      They also forget that a human life wasn’t worth that much either in those countries before the communists came to power. Also, many deaths were the result of famines caused by stupid social experiments.
      And an other point they often forget is that Communism didn’t end with the death of Stalin or Mao. And yet, under their successors, who were just as atheistic, the number of deaths decreased considerably. One wonders why if every atheistic dictator is supposed to be like Stalin or Mao.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Yeah – saying the Communists murdered, tortured, and oppressed people because they were atheists doesn’t explain why the tsars of Russia murdered, tortured, and oppressed people for centuries before they were overthrown.

  9. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I just remembered O’Reilly’s falafel fetish. From Boing Boing: “Bill O’Reilly’s alleged falafel fetish now has a name” & some background on the sexual harassment lawsuit that the falafel thing came from, also at Boing Boing: “Fox News producer sues Bill ‘Shut Up’ O’Reilly for sex harassment“.

    Boing Boing links to the Smoking Gun, who posted the original court documents from that case. I would quote the relevant (hilarious) passage, but it’s too explicit to directly quote here. Let’s just say that O’Reilly #1) allegedly harassed one of his female coworkers, #2) some of this harassment included describing some of his sexual fantasies to her in great detail, and #3) one of those fantasies involves a shower. In that scenario, he mistakenly describes a loofah sponge as a “falafel”. Yeah… I like to think that it wasn’t a mistake, though, and that he really does have a thing for falafel. Dream big, Miranda. Dream big. 🙂

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      The falafel chapter in O’Reilly’s history is always a good chuckle.

  10. Mark S
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like to say derogatory things unless absolutely necessary Jerry, but there’s only one way to express this accurately.

    Bill O’Reilly is an idiot.

    I agree that Richard showed (as he normally does) tremendous restraint in dealing with people like that. I doubt very much whether I would have the self-control.

    Can’t wait to read it now.

  11. Steve Bowen
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Dawkins is learning. He’s not been great at this live interview stuff in the past, but this was good stuff.

  12. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Richard, if you’re reading this, I would have a suggestion for the next time you dive into such shark-infested waters.

    Liberally interchange “atheism” with “not believing in godS” and with “lack of belief in Zeus or Thor.” For the Fox crowd, “atheism” is a religion of sorts, and they don’t get the idea that we no more believe in Jesus than we believe in Quetzalcoatl. Ask O’Liary if he really thinks that Stalin’s victims wouldn’t have been Purged had he but fallen on his knees in praise of Thor.

    Don’t by any stretch of the imagination take this as a suggestion to avoid the use of the term, “atheist.” Unashamedly using the word is vital. I just think there’s a great deal of value in also expanding the term into its full definition for audiences who don’t know what it means.

    Other than that, I though your performance (and, let’s make no mistrake, theatre the whole thing was) was superlative.

    Cheers,

    b&

  13. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Both my parents are Republicans, but I’d always had the impression they were moderate, not-totally-insane Republicans.

    Until a couple of years ago when my mother gave me as a gift, and admonished me to read, “A Fresh, Bold Piece of Humanity” or whatever O’Reilly called it.

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    Such a sad day, that was.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Pod people.

      Your parents have become pod people.

      • Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        If only.

        Let me double-check…

        Nope. It’s really them.

        😦

  14. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    this will do more to sell the book than anything else

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      *bing*

      both players on that stage knew that.

      that’s why talk shows so often promote books.

      talk show gets paid to promote book, book writer gets relatively cheap press.

      this was not a debate.

  15. daveau
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    As though Dawkins hasn’t dealt with his type, or better, before. Come up with something original, O’Reilly

    • Microraptor
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Might as well ask for the moon while you’re at it.

      Originality is not something you can expect from old Billy.

  16. Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    just watch there is so much fear at Fox, and apparently in their audience, our theory is that this comes from the normal declines in MA male brain capabilities which feel real scary and then are projected, by some, outward in paranoia.

    Yes, there is a medical, brain disorder, reason why Fox is so profitable.

  17. Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    AHAA!!!

    • swences
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      In my opinion, William has won in the argument.

      But what argument was that swences?

      huh? oh, ummm…I don’t know, but he said it with a raised voice, which implies conviction, which implies truth, therefore he won.

      • Microraptor
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Double plus good.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      + eleventy ONE!

  18. Dominic
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Please DO buy the book for an intelligent child in your life. Just read chapter 1 & it was not bad. However while nicely interested it is heavy so I actually hope the paperback is lighter! I will donate it when I have read it to some child. Would suggest 10-15, but a 16 year old would expect something more adult.

    • Dominic
      Posted October 8, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink

      Nicely interested? Got muddled there – nicely ILLUSTRATED & INTERESTING! 🙂

  19. Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t believe a meteor crashed into the Earth and created everything”

    Bill seems to have a problem comprehending the idea that Earth did not exist at the beginning of our universe 🙂

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t believe a meteor crashed into the Earth and created everything”

      hey, something I agree with!

      but then, does ANYBODY think that?

  20. Justin's 3 diadems
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    For the truth on Mao, read the article “Mao and Lincoln” by Henry CK Liu.

  21. 386sx
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if you guys saw the same video I did, but O’Reilly looked smoother and more composed, Dawkins looked ticked off, O’Reilly didn’t, and O’Reilly was right that Dawkins was dissing religion in the book, though O’Reilly framed it in a rather stupid way with his “you’re mocking god” schtick.

    • 386sx
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      P.S. yeah I know the video was probably edited with a heavy hand, a chainsaw, and a freaking ten ton sledge hammer.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      O’Reilly was right that Dawkins was dissing religion in the book

      prove it.

      this was Dawkins’ response, and it’s a clever one.

      go ahead.

      read the book and prove it.

      • 386sx
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        I actually wanted to say “debunking” instead of dissing. (Not that it changes your point.)

      • 386sx
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        And an excellent point that it is, since I haven’t seen one page of the book. 😛 We all know Dawkins likes giving religion the ol’ one two though!

      • Andy Dufresne
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        O’Reilly made the whole book out to be some sort of seething, atheism evangelizing screed. Those of us who have read it know better. It’s actually a pretty clever book that urges the (younger) reader to appreciate the explanatory power of science by contrasting scientific explanations for phenomena, which arrive accompanied by evidence and rationality, and mythological explanations for the same phenomena, which may be fanciful but are ultimately unsubstantiated. The book’s title beautifully captures its central message—which is that the real “magic” is reality itself, which is invariably more fascinating and worthy of our attention than mere fantasy. It’s not a screed, and I recall no mocking in the book.

        • 386sx
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          I don’t dispute any of that. I just think Dawkins is being a little coy about giving religion the ol’ shaftola. Granted, all of O’Reilly’s points are either way overboard or just plain stupid.

  22. Andy Dufresne
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Amazing how Bill-O is against the book because it’s nothing but vile atheists trying to “get the kids when they’re young.” Isn’t that what religion does? I’m sure O’Reilly objects to horribly manipulative and sometimes abusive religious children’s books, which are extremely numerous.

    Something tells me he thinks such books are just fine.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      projection is the first tool in the religionist’s toolbox.

  23. Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I love the way Miranda Celeste has held up a mirror for O’Reilly! Unfortunately, he is too much of a narcissist to look at it. What a pathetic excuse for a news commentator! Are we back in the Middle Ages, for cryin’ out loud? This was not an interview, it was an inquisition in the finest tradition of O’Reilly’s precious Catholic Cult.

    I had actually watched this segment two nights ago online, and immediately dispatched the following e-mail to O’Reilly. Somehow… I doubt he’ll read it on the air, let alone respond.

    =============================

    Bill:

    I was appalled by your interview of Professor Dawkins, which was supposed to be about his latest book, “The Magic of Reality.” Rather than discuss how the book illustrates, with wondrous examples, how science reveals truths far better than myths from all over the world, you immediately asserted: “The judeo-christian philosophy isn’t a myth, it’s a reality.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought the No Spin Zone, by very definition, insisted upon evidence! Unless you can produce evidence of the “reality” of judeo-christian beliefs, you are spinning an unsubstantiated claim.

  24. Neil
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I guess when your whole life is dishing out propaganda, everything looks like propaganda.

  25. Hempenstein
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    One interesting and I think telling thing – O’R didn’t include Hitler along with Stalin et al. Perhaps he understood that that would have been crushed immediately. Some progress, anyway.

    It might have been effective for Richard to have asked, “Don’t you want to include Hitler with them?” “No? Why not?”

  26. litchik
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    More power to Prof. Dawkins for continuing to engage. O’Reilly will not change, but it is possible some viewers will pick up the book – if only hoping to be outraged – and start to see things from a different perspective.

    His remark about the Judeo/Christiam myth did put em in mind of my complaint that books stores invariably have mythology off in its own place and then put religion and philosophy together – often next to poetry. Irks me every time – and I spend far too much time in book stores.

  27. Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    This comment section is blowin’ up, but imma post this anyway.

    Yeah, “interview” in quotes is right. And Dawkins handled it calmly. I like how O’Reilly kept coming back to how religion is a constraint on reality, like “thou shall not kill.” I’d like to say two things about that to him. Other non-Christian societies have that, it just makes sense, don’t kill people. And, so if you didn’t have a god, you’d go home and kill your family? No? Then there must be some non-godly reason why, oh because you like them and have empathy.

    And ha! Dawkins brought up the moon. I’m guessing a jab at O’Reilly not understanding tides, ergo cheebus.

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      bleh, constraint on society, not reality I meant.

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      So let’s unpack this a bit because it highlights the basis for the attacks on anything other than a extreme right wing US evangelical and crackpot catholic ideology:

      – The fact that the session was taped suggets the producers, who make all the decisions, were worried.

      They clearly staged BOR and made Dawkins look tied, notice bags under his eyes. Notice how BOR is higher, buttoned up and straight, where Dawkins is portrayed as tilting to one side, cramped, etc. Clever. Some post production tweaking is likely. BTW, our brains instantly and unconscioulsy permanently take away body cues such as those staged and pretty much ignore the words spoken.

      – The dominant theme is fear and triggering fear — as always at FOX. FOX = Fear Over Explanations.

      – Clearly the BOR producers know that their viewers feel an immediate mortal threat from any ideas that challenge their ideologies.

      They are mainly old white surburban guys who are afraid of everything and probabloy suffer from mild paranoia and cognitive disorientation, agnger management problems, etc.. Any new or different ideas are deeply as immediate mortal threats.

      – Aside from the character staging, the set piece was the wall of bloody dictators. This is a fun trope.

      Suppose the logic goes like this:
      – If you don’t believe in my god you are murderous

      BOR is persistent about insisting that w/out a god thang our violent animal natures would burst out. No doubt Dawkins asked BOR if he felt this for himself, but that was cut out. Ofc ourse, we always project onto others our own deepest emtoional conflicts.

      – So if I want to scare a MA white guy what pictures would you show?

      Well, of course, ppl with darker skin tones but why not Hitler? Is that too inflamatory? We would NOT have inclded Pol Pot, who the heck can recognize him? Would have put Stalin (our WWII ally, right 1st) Asian mass murderers are harder to recognize.

      They also should have put numbers with how many each murdered underneaththe pics — everyone likes to keep score.

      Finally, FOX is not creating these silly things, they are just responding to the silliness in the brains of theri audience and making billions. Well done that!

      BTW ignore BOR, he’s an empty suit — it’s the producers doing all this.

      • Microraptor
        Posted October 8, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        That’s why I prefer to simply listen to interviews rather than watch them- I’m not influenced by a person’s appearance or by post-production camera tricks that way and I can pay more attention to the content of what they say.

  28. DrDroid
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    To me, Bill O seemed desperate to smash Richard and his book. Science threatens his ignorant world view.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Does Bill O’Reilly care to comment on religion’s constraints upon Shareef Allman?

    “Shareef Allman: from God to guns”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/06/MNJB1LDVO7.DTL

  30. Tim
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    The entire “interview” was an incoherent mishmash of O’Reilly baiting Dawkins. How can anyone think either of them crushed the other. O’Reilly’s silly format is so superficial that neither he nor Richard have the time to throw out more than a one-liner in response to another one-liner. How annoying!

    I stopped watching network TV several years ago. I didn’t make any deliberate decision to stop, I think I just wasn’t getting anything out of it. Fox is just the worst because the propaganda is so stilted, but none of the networks put much on that is thought provoking and designed to go any deeper than allowable by the attention span of a gnat. After not watching this stuff for a while, when you take a fresh look at it, it seems even worse than before.

    • Mulegirl TX
      Posted December 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      I so agree on how bad network “news” seems when you’ve refrained from watching it for some time. Being of a somewhat politically conservative bent (on some topics, while liberal on others), I have spent my fair share of time watching Fox. Or perhaps it was a backlash against my time in liberal-sheep Hollywood beating my head bloody against a wall whenever one of my co-worker sheep-folk bleated something ridiculous but were unable to say *why* they believed that thing (amazing how much they hated born-again Christians for the very same sin).

      At any rate, the horrific misinterpretation of science and outright bull that ALL the cable “news” networks spew — whatever their political leanings — made me unable to continue watching. I often work with the TV on in the background, and one too many stories on pseudo-scientific baloney raised my blood pressure too much. It was interfering with my work and my health.

      Plus it was all just toooo depressing when I realized there are few, if ANY, authentic truth-seeking journalists left in media.

      But I do feel good that my ex told me about this bit with Dawkins on BOR show. He has, like me, had to quit watching Fox shows due to the maniacal creationist myth spewing. But I believe Dawkins made one sale at least (my ex) by being on the show.

      Frightening stuff. I can only hope against hope that someone out there still has enough thinking ability left to recognize the utter ridiculousness of BOR’s “arguments.”

      The combination of religious indoctrination and failure to teach critical thinking skills is so dragging our U.S. society ever downward.

      BTW, I was sorry that Dawkins didn’t point out to BOR that, while few of Buddha’s followers have started major wars and called followers to inflict mass slaughter on those who didn’t share their beliefs, the same can NOT be said of Jesus’ followers. So it’s hardly clear that Christian belief creates a de facto morality.

  31. Dawn Oz
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Richard knows that he has to exchange sound bites with these clowns. O’Reilly was full of gloating and goading, and one of the smarmiest shock jocks I’ve seen. Richard did the 4min in the ring which is all he can expect. Grateful to him as on of our warriors to go into BS-land.

    2nd point. The next time someone brings up STALIN, they should be reminded that he trained for the priesthood and certainly wasn’t brought up atheist.

  32. marvol19
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    For me the Best Moment Of Win was, after O’Reilly trying to show science did not know things but religion does (well I thought that was his point):

    O’Reilly: “but if Jezus of Buddha tell people to love each other and be nice to each other, is that not a good thing?”

    Dawkins: “What does that have to do with the origin of the moon?”

    O’Reilly: “…”

    Win was had.

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      That’s one of the mist frustrating non-sequiturs: that the alleged good advice religious figures allegedly provide means it’s all true.

      What if Dawkins gave Bill some good advice? Would Bill then acknowledge Dawkins’ divinity?

  33. Brian Ingram
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Dawkins won’t debate a creationist because he considers it a waste of time … why, then, does he waste his time with BillO?

    WTF?

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      First off, what makes you think this was a debate?

      second, Bill’s show reaches millions.

      a creationist debate reaches the people in the audience.

      do the math.

      where would YOU prefer to spend your time?

      • Microraptor
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        In a strip club, but we can’t all be Richard Feynman.


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