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You Lie About Being There

February 26, 2015

Fox News host, egotist, bully, and more-or-less reporter, Bill O’Reilly, doesn’t know the importance of the difference between saying he was there and saw life, when actually he was not there but saw a photograph, and actually being there and seeing life (including death and threat of death). Those are very different forms of being a reporter, and of being a witness. In one, the reporter is speaking the whole truth, about his first hand experience of life; in the other he is lying about himself as a reporter and as a witness. There’s a matter of personal and professional integrity, authenticity, and reliability (and respect for the dead–see, e.g., classical Greek civilization), as well as willingness to risk one’s life in order to witness and report the truth.

Furthermore, O’Reilly often bullies on the basis of his supposed superiority of knowledge and character. He presents himself as someone who has “been there,” anywhere, everywhere, more than the rest of us. He’s seen it all. He has a superior feel for life and truth.

I think of when I was a kid and heard about Ernie Pyle, the self-effacing war correspondent (from my state, Indiana), who was killed on an island near Okinawa.

But what worries me most is what O’Reilly illustrates: the inability of Republicans and other extreme reactionaries to know the difference between fact and make-believe, truth and lie, and to know what a life-and-death difference that can make. Their self-interest renders them impotent.

Ultimately, if truth matters, it will all come down to honesty and courage.  Does O’Reilly, like any of us, have the courage to go inside himself, where the soul is suffering its pathologies, and honestly report, to himself and to his “viewers,” what he sees there.

From → lies, Republicans

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