July 31st, 2004


Moore vs. O'Reilly, the video...

I just watched the video of the Moore/O'Reilly interview, and I have to say, O'Reilly did a better job than Moore did.

I'm not saying I believe in O'Reilly's argument, just that he did a better job - IN THAT INTERVIEW - of making his points and coming across as reasonable. I think Moore did what he often does, which is gloss over a few things to make his points, go for some cheap shots, etc. O'Reilly certainly does that on a regular basis, but he actually did less of it than Moore did.

I'll post the comment I left in someone else's journal about this:

See, here's where I think Michael Moore made a mistake. O'Reilly is correct - if you honestly believe in something, even if you've been misinformed, you aren't lying when you repeat or act on that belief. You're not. That's what separates a lie from a mistake.

But when you sacrifice almost 1000 US lives based on a mistake, you're lazy, you're incompetent, you're careless... Moore could have conceded that Bush might not be a liar (although I don't really believe everyone that says he was /only/ misinformed, I think there was a bit of willful ignorance on Bush's part and more than a little pressure on those intelligence groups to give him the info he wanted) but pointed out that lies or not, he went to war, he sacrificed nearly 1000 of our brave soldiers, he spent over 100 billion (right? I haven't checked the numbers but I believe it's well over that) of our tax dollars, all because of a mistake. And then he could've pointed out just how heinous, how inexcusable, how disgusting it is that our President - the person with the most responsibility on his shoulders in the entire country and, if I may be a little jingoistic for a moment, the entire fucking world - would EVER be careless and quick to judgment over such an important issue as going to war with another country... and buried O'Reilly.

Instead, I have to say, I found myself siding with O'Reilly on that matter, because while it was a technicality, O'Reilly was right, and Moore was wrong. I'll also give O'Reilly credit for never having seemed so calm and composed before in his life. He must've been smokin' something right before that interview, because he actually let Moore talk and he actually listened and while I don't agree with his arguments he actually did discuss them in a semi-rational manner. I will say, he came off looking more reasonable than Michael Moore did. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of Michael Moore either, because I do think he's too ideological and I do think he sometimes could be a much more effective spokesperson if he would rein himself in a bit. I respect him and I think he's a very talented filmmaker, I just think he sometimes turns off a lot of people that he could attract to his side if he'd just be a bit more moderate.

The dictionary.com definition of lie:
1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

The point is, intention is a key point of lying. If you accept (and I don't think you have to, but if you do accept) that Bush was misinformed and honestly believed in the information he was given, then it simply was not a lie. It was incompetent. It was lazy. It was unacceptable! But it was not, by those standards and in that situation, a lie. (Of course, if you don't care, and pressure the people reporting to you to give you the information you want to hear, it suddenly gets back into the whole lie territory, because then the intent is to deceive. A lie of omission is probably not as bad as an outright lie, but telling the country and telling our troops that you believe in something when you realize it may not be true and that in fact there are many other factors at play, well, that's deceiving and is, again, a lie. And if Michael Moore had just said any of that, y'know, he would've won the conversation, the "debate", hands down. Bleh.)

Again, I don't agree with O'Reilly's world-view, but I do think Moore dropped the ball in that interview. And if there was any interview he should've nailed, absolutely needed to nail, it was that one.

The video is here:
The (slightly edited) text is here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,127236,00.html
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