December 9, 2009

Bill O'Reilly decided to bring in Fox's newest big-name hire, John Stossel, to help buck up his annual pledge drive in the War on Christmas.

And Stossel -- who is no innocent in the ways of ideological reporting himself -- actually seemed embarrassed by it all -- mainly because O'Reilly was stooping to the lowest reporting methods possible to make his point.

Namely, he was citing as somehow authoritative ("I trust the folks") an online poll from an outfit called "". Stossel briefly mentions that it actually was run by another group, and O'Reilly talks over him and emphasizes that it's "StandForChristmas."

Of course, "StandForChristmas" is actually run by the religious-right cranks at James Dobson's Focus on the Family. So there's an obvious bias built into the poll and its potential viewers in the first place. And then to treat the results of any open online poll as meaningful in any real sense is just palpable nonsense.

Stossel obviously understands this, and mostly tries to work his way around O'Reilly's insistence that the poll means something by just repeating its results.

But the whole thing goes completely off the rails and into another universe when O'Reilly tries to claim that corporate chiefs telling their employees what to say is "just fascist":

O'Reilly: But my point is, that I thought it was fascist -- fascism, which offends a libertarian like you -- for a CEO or a store manager to tell their employees, 'You better not say Merry Christmas' -- even though the reason we're selling stuff is because of Christmas. Isn't that fascism?

Stossel: No, it's ownership. He built the business, if he says, 'Stand on your head and sing when people come in,' you don't have to work there, you can quit, it's his business.

You realize from exchanges like this just how long it's been since Bill O'Reilly has had anything even remotely like a real job. Because in most people's real jobs -- especially in the retail biz -- employees are instructed all the time in exactly the kinds of things they're supposed to say. That's not fascist, it's just business.

Indeed, Bill O'Reilly has himself on numerous occasions demanded that people in various positions be fired for saying things he believes reflect badly on their employers -- remember his attacks on Rosie O'Donnell? Guess that makes him a fascist, by his own definition.

What would Christmas be without a warm cup of Bill O'Reilly hypocrisy?

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