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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Derbyshire considers O'reilly


    I don't want to write much about Bill O'Reilly, and John Derbyshire posted a bit to the Corner at NRO that pretty much gives voice to my dispassionate feelings about the whole thing. I prefer to keep all the passionate stuff that the Derb refers to in making his points about the implications to conservatives less important in the scheme of things precisely because I agree with him. It's a valid assessment of some real consequences to conservatism:

    MY BOY BILL [John Derbyshire]
    Jonah, Ramesh: Your insouciance about the prospect of Bill O'Reilly going down in scandal is, I believe, misplaced. You may not like the guy; a lot of conservatives don't like him; any time I have put in a word for O'Reilly on this site I have got a sheaf of e-mails from conservatives telling me at great length why they don't like him.

    Sure, O'Reilly's no movement conservative. Sure, his positions on actual issues are all over the place. Sure, he's way too full of himself. Sure, he thinks the feddle gummint should get into all sorts of things you and I would much rather it keeps out of. Sure, he'd split the difference between Churchill and Hitler in his efforts at "fairness." Sure, sure. Consider the following points, though.

    1. My enemy's enemy is my friend. O'Reilly is a **huge** hate figure for the Left. They loathe the guy. His downfall would be immensely energizing for them. Whatever you think, *they* consider him a conservative.

    2. In war, you take what allies you can get. You're not going to get Edmund Burke hosting on prime-time TV. Heck, you're not going to get William F. Buckley, Jr. This is *TV*. It's junk. If there's a junk-conservative, a sometime-kinda-conservative, a not-quite-our-kind-of-conservative running a popular prime-time TV show, go down on your knees and give thanks. It's more than we can expect. It's more than we had for 50 years.

    3. Conservatives have taken too many of these lifestyle hits. If O'Reilly goes down on a lifestyle charge, it's bad for us, whether you like his program or not.
    Posted at 12:25 PM


    Yeah, there is still the substantive question of whether O'Reilly committed a foul simply by dallying with a subordinate. I don't know all the facts of the case, but it seems that even with all the information,a reasonable case could be made for either. But it's all the same to me really, except for the points the Derb makes here. He's smaaahhhht.


    posted by M@ at 8:30 PM   0 comments links to this post

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