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Tue Apr 24, 2012, 08:10 AM

Reich: Why Anyone Should Care that Bill O’Reilly Calls Me A Communist (It's a sign of the times.) [View all]

Bill O’Reilly, the tumescent personality of Fox News, said on his Friday show “Robert Reich is a communist who secretly adores Karl Marx.” (This came after Fox News’ Neil Cavoto called me a “sanctimonious twit” for suggesting the rich should pay more in taxes.)

O’Reilly’s accusation isn’t even logical. How can he know if I secretly adore Karl Marx, if it’s a secret?

Ordinarily I don’t bother repeating anything Bill O’Reilly says. But this particular whopper is significant because it represents what O’Reilly and Fox News, among others, are doing to the national dialogue.

O’Reilly based his claim on an interview I did last week with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, in which I argued that because America’s big corporations were now global we could no longer rely on them to make necessary investments in human capital or to lobby for public investments in education, infrastructure, and basic R&D. So, logically, government has to step in.

Since when does an argument for public investment in education, infrastructure, and basic R&D make someone a communist or a secret adorer of Karl Marx?

Obviously, O’Reilly has no interest in arguing anything. Ad hominem attacks are always the last refuges of intellectual boors lacking any logic or argument. (Whoops, I think I just stooped to name-calling. Sorry, Bill.)

Yet this is what’s happening to all debate all over America: It’s disappearing. All we’re left with is a nasty residue.

http://robertreich.org/post/21670907549

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Reply Reich: Why Anyone Should Care that Bill O’Reilly Calls Me A Communist (It's a sign of the times.) [View all]
pampango Apr 2012 OP
xchrom Apr 2012 #1
liberalmike27 Apr 2012 #17
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #31
freshwest Apr 2012 #39
chervilant Apr 2012 #60
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chervilant Apr 2012 #64