Wednesday, July 28, 2004

OK, We'll Call it a Draw

Evidently I was not the only judge on the panel for the O'Reilly/Moore debate. Michelle at A Small Victory has rendered her verdict in Ask an Honest Question, Get an Honest Answer. Her judgement: O'Reilly blew it with his non-answer to Moore's "Would you sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah?" question.

M: So you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that.

O: I would sacrifice myself—

M: Your child—Its Bush sending the children there.

O: I would sacrifice myself.

M: You and I don’t go to war, because we’re too old—

O: Because if we back down, there will be more deaths and you know it.

M: Say ‘I Bill O’Reilly would sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah’

O: I’m not going to say what you say, you’re a, that’s ridiculous.

Michelle would have preferred a much stronger response that goes straight to the fallacy that underlies Moore's question.

It would not be my choice to sacrifice my child, you idiot. No parent makes that choice for their child. You can enlist in the army when you are 18 years old, an adult. An adult who makes his or her own choices. When you ask if I would sacrifice my child, you make it sound as if parents all across the U.S. are rounding up their young children and boarding them on planes bound for Iraq against their will. Maybe even dropping down them down a live volcano to plead with the Gods to bring peace to Iraq.

One of her commenters does make a good point that Moore's question is intellectually similar to "have you stopped beating your wife". In this light, I would have liked to have read O'Reilly saying, "I could no more send my adult child into combat than you could prevent your child from voluntarily enlisting, Mr. Moore."

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