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Linz's New Book
Who Should Be the Republican Nominee?
Total votes: 8
Fox, Fireworks and Fortitude
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2008-02-27 22:44
Yesterday I watched Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly having at each other over illegal immigration. The peg was Geraldo's new book, His Panic, which, Rivera claims, "seeks to place the issue of undocumented immigration in a historic context, dispelling the myth that we are facing an unprecedented crisis." The book, in turn, was an upshot of a previous humdinger between the two on the same subject. While they got pretty heated yesterday, in the first encounter they were veritably incandescent. I have never seen such anger on television. In my own time on screen I once had a politician walk out on me, but I was calm, and his anger was equanimity personified next to the volcanic fury of O'Reilly and Rivera.
I'm not concerned here about the rights and wrongs of unfettered immigration. My concern is to point up the fact that this explosive encounter is not regarded as shameful by the two men or by Fox—indeed, they trotted it out again in the set-up to yesterday's rematch—but as something appropriate and proper in the circumstances, something to be expected between two men whose minds and hearts are passionately committed to opposing positions on a vexatious matter (and of course, it's good box office).
And they are right. Their demeanour, given the context, is not only understandable but admirable.
Unfortunately, on the borders of Objectivism there are aliens who eschew emotion on principle, and anger in particular. While they reserve the right to cold-bloodedly smear, they disdain passion. They have their echoes even among some posters here who obviously haven't absorbed the SOLO Credo's extolling of "rational passion and passionate reason." There is a reason for "passionate reason." It's that to disavow passion is to disarm reason—precisely the intent of the aliens. Emotional intensity is virtue with the courage of its convictions. Rational convictions held without intensity ... well, the very idea is incoherent and obscene.
The stoush between O'Reilly and Rivera is between two good guys disagreeing in good faith. On a previous occasion, in 2006, O'Reilly brought the Saddamite Donahue onto his show, to discuss Iraq. Watch, as Donahue smugly predicts defeat and treasonously advocates surrender. If you feel revulsion, be proud of it, and give vent to it. You are staring at the face of evil—massaged, incidentally and incomprehensibly, by some Objectivists (Hsiekovians).
And be thankful that in the nihilist, statist cesspool that the media have become, there are still people like Bill O'Reilly in their ranks who will command their colleagues to rise, and take a stand for rudimentary decency. Angrily if necessary.
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