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Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone 
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Post Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
The No Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America

Who thinks we should add Bill O'Reilley's book to our next book poll? I'm not asking whether or not you want to read it next. I'm simply asking whether or not you think it should be added to the next poll - amongst several other book choices.

Bill O'Reilley is one of the lying liars...so maybe it would be interesting to see what he has to say for himself.

Chris


Results (total votes = 11):
Yea! 8 / 72.7%  
Nay! 3 / 27.3%  

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I'm suprised more people haven't taken this poll. :rolleyes I sure hope that we are all open-minded enough to be willing to consider reading/discussing opposing viewpoints.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:48 am
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I have to say that I'm disappointed in this. Given the liberal bent around here I don't expect everyone to come and vote "yes" for a book by a well-known conservative pundit, but I thought most BT members would at least have the courage to respond with something.

By not voting you're basically saying "I won't vote 'yes' because I don't want to read the book, but I can't vote 'no' because that would look closed-minded. If I just ignore it maybe it'll go away." When the thread is viewed over 50 times but voted on only twice, who the hell do you guys think you're fooling?

/scorn


S




Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:18 am
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
Ditto

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
Sandor has a good point - one I should have made myself. I guess I was hoping this poll would eventually get some activity and I could discard my theory about members being closed-minded.

Look folks...I'm a registered Republican. I have always voted Republican too. But one of my personal missions in life is to open my mind to other people ideas and opinions, because I know its damn near impossible that I have a monopoly on the truth.

For the November & December 2003 book poll I refrained from nominating any books. If you had been in the chat session where we discussed and picked the 3 books you would know this. Instead, I accepted the 3 books that the rest of the members picked. The only contribution I made was to steer us away from science for that reading period, as I thought it would serve us well to go with a more universally appealing read.

So the 3 books were chosen and I cast my vote for the one that I thought would challenge my own personal beliefs the most. Yes, I voted for Al Frankens book - see the poll thread where I informed people of my vote.

BookTalk is "the freethinkers book discussion community." My opinion is that freethinker doesn't just mean "he who doesn't believe in God." The real defintion is much broader. Being a freethinker, to me, is all about using reason to form your conclusions, as opposed to accepting authority and tradition blindly. We usually hear the word in relation to religious beliefs, but I think it applies to every arena.

According to Dictionary.com the word can be defined as:

Quote:
1. One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation.

2. One who speculates or forms opinions independently of the authority of others; esp., in the sphere or religion, one who forms opinions independently of the authority of revelation or of the church; an unbeliever; -- a term assumed by deists and skeptics in the eighteenth century.


I think freethinkers need to continually be challenging beliefs - especially their own. I know I don't want to ever fall into the trap of committing the confirmation bias, or searching for things that agree with my beliefs, and avoiding or ignoring things that challenge those beliefs.

So I voted for a book that I knew would challenge my beliefs. This, to me, is healthy and an expression of intellectual integrity. At this point it is too late for the Jan/Feb 2004 book poll to include a conservative book, but I sure hope we are all open to exploring both sides of every subject.

Excellent post Sandor.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:20 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I will tell you that from my perspective, I've looked at this thread but not responded or voted because I was thinking about it.

My initial reaction was that I had little desire to read the book. I realize that leaves me open to charges of close-mindedness. We all like to believe that we're very open-minded, but we're probably not as open-minded as we think. So for me, this required some thought.

On the pro side, reading an opposing opinion is the right thing to do. Another positive is that this book could create a lot of discussion - one thing that is true is that the discussions are dull when everyone agrees. That's why I proposed The Lucifer Principle so long ago. I didn't agree with it all, but I agreed with some and the book certainly made me think about quite a few things.

On the con side, I find myself with a rather low opinion of Bill O'Reilley so I'm not sure if I'll be able to give the book fair consideration. I might get so worked up that my stress level goes through the roof ;) . Perhaps most frightening to me is that I might find that I agree with him on something important. Whether I think that outcome is unlikely or not, that feeling is there in the back of my mind. What an incredible change of worldview that would create - it is frightening.

I'm leaning towards voting for the book. I must admit that I'll be getting this one at the local library. I can't bring myself to contribute to O'Reilley's sales.

Anyway, quit with the hard-sell guys. It could just be that others are like me and wanted to think about it. Would you rather we all immediately said "no"? I prefer to give the BookTalker's the benefit of the doubt.

Steve




Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I only just now noticed the poll, so take a chill. I will read material of opposing views to mine; I've read Not In Our Genes, Wonderful Life, Aquiring Genomes. But politics isn't really high on my interest list to start with. I'm not sure I want to put that kind of effort - and it is effort, since the guy makes up facts that then need to be researched - to delve so deeply into the ideas of someone who is not only opposite in many views to mine, but for whom I have little respect.

Ah, I dunno. On the other hand maybe I'll read it.


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Fri Dec 12, 2003 7:00 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
To anyone who really was just taking (a very long) time to think it over, I apologize for my derision.

I understand that it can be hard to read (and as Jeremy points out, research) someone who you disagree with. I'm only about 80 pages into Liars and I've already had to go for several "cooling off" walks and I have half a page of "sounds suspicious, look into this" notes. However, I've also found that I'm learning stuff from the book; I don't agree with anything Franken says (not yet) but I do find him funny and his rationale isn't half as loopy as I expected it to be. Sometimes you can find common ground where you thought there'd be none, and sometimes you might actually - gulp! - find your opinion being swayed. If nothing else, learning the opposition's viewpoint is always worthwhile from a "know thy enemy" perspective.

Regardless, my original response to this thread seems to have had the desired effect; we've doubled the number of votes in half a day, and for the record it doesn't really matter to me whether they are "yes" or "no". I can vehemently disagree with someone but still completely respect them for a skillful and honest defense of their position. But a single whiff of double-standards or intellectual dishonesty is blood in the water as far as I'm concerned, and I assure you that every chomskyite socialist and whining America-basher is going to learn to swim quicker while I'm in the pool. Anyone who is genuinely a "Free Thinker" should welcome the change.


S




Fri Dec 12, 2003 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I have just read this thread. I'm not reading Franken's book. I only check in on this thread once in awhile. I am not afraid to say that I have no interest in reading O'Reilly's book. This wouldn't be surprising to anyone who knows me at booktalk since I've made it known that I'm mostly interested in science selections. Perhaps others here have not responded to the poll for similar reasons. Maybe others would not like to follow one political book with another. I have found that most of the people I communicate with here are open-minded.




Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
I loved "Lying Liars". Someone gave me "No Spin Zone", I don't really want to read it, but voted to add it to the list - I'll read it if we select it. I have read books counter to my own opinions such as Hannity's "Let Freedom Ring" and used to listen to Rush, etc. As others have said, you can learn new things once in a while but it isn't fun...




Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:32 am
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Post Re: Bill O'Reilley - The No Spin Zone
Quote:
I assure you that every chomskyite socialist and whining America-basher is going to learn to swim quicker while I'm in the pool.



I'm curious how peeing in the pool with comments like this will empower anyone to swim quicker, or better, or smarter...unless your intention is to force fellow swimmers to seek cleaner waters. This would indeed encourage quicker swimming, but pissing in the pool is a poor methodology indeed.

As for Bill O'Reilly, sure, let's give him one more arena and forum from which he can be discussed and explored. Perhaps a nightly television show on FOX that reaches millions is not enough time to provide balance?

I mean its just plain rare that a defender of corporate capitalism and all its military machinations, tied to deep nationalistic obsessive zenophobia, gets its chance in the sun.

The key failing with Franken's book is that his critique of the 'Lying Liars' doesn't go deep enough. O'Reilly is just one Commissar among many, easily replaced, who is paid terribly well to rationalize, apologize for, and maintain a system of massive inequality and militaristic deviousness. Franken seems to think that a stronger Democratic Party is key to countering this problem...when, actually, it is part and parcel of the disease.

"Quit your whining" : first comment unleashed by tyrants, bullies, abusers, and outright arseholes upon being confronted with their utter disregard for the well-being of those they abuse. The second comment is "Or, I'll give you something to cry about".






Sat Dec 13, 2003 12:55 pm
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