Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Monday, June 18, 2007

Is It True They Eat Their Own Young?

Anyone who has lived in Boulder for a while knows about Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute. Jon had a column for a while in the Daily Camera in which he enraged local liberals with his very conservative views. Jon is president of the Independence Institute, a local "non-partisan" think tank that promotes a libertarian view point.

That's why I was shocked to read a study published by the Independence Institute highly critical of Bill O'Reilly and his coverage of the Boulder High School/Conference on World Affairs controversy. I found the study after following a link in a comment to my earlier post on this topic (yes, I read the comments).

There is also a podcast of Caldara discussing the study with its author, Dave Kopel. It was fascinating to hear Caldara struggle to make sure we all knew he was true to his conservative base, that he still thinks Boulderites are clueless, while attacking one of his own for Michael-Moore-like tactics.

Of course, never mind that Jon Caldara uses one of Michael Moore's worst tactics: creating a caricature of some of the people you disagree with, and then attacking all people who disagree with you based on that caricature.

In any case, I thought Dave Kopel did a good and fair job in his analysis, and was much better at leaving his own opinions out of it (or at least presenting the other side along with his opinion).

Some of the highlights of the report:
  • O'Reilly lied when he said that all Boulder High students were required to attend the panel discussion.
  • O'Reilly lied when he said the same people have been invited back next year.
  • O'Reilly's crew committed a felony home invasion as part of their investigation, and then broadcast that crime on television.
  • O'Reilly is being hypocritical, in that in his own book he advises middle school and high school students, "I’m not going to tell you to avoid sex, because in the end you’re going to do what you want anyway. ... Sex is best when you combine sensible behavior with sincere affection.”
  • O'Reilly took quotes out of context to completely change the meaning of what some speakers said.
    • For example, he used one quote to show that a panelist was telling kids to not use condoms, when in fact the speaker was telling the kids just the opposite.
    • Same thing with 12-year-olds having sex: The speaker in fact said there was never any good reason for 12-year-olds to have sex, while O'Reilly's quotes out of context imply otherwise.
    • Same thing when O'Reilly claimed that the speaker was promoting homosexual experimentation.
    • A panelist's warnings about drug use were presented as promoting drug use.
If you think you know what happened at the panel and you are outraged, I suggest you read this report, rather than blindly following the outrage-on-demand factory that is Bill O'Reilly.

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