Imagine this for some must-see TV: a panel comprised of Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh facing President Obama, perhaps accompanied by a few choice people, perhaps alone. No set agenda other than live face-to-face talks touching on all of the topics these gentlemen are currently beating him up on. If I may draw an analogy to the Israel/Arab conflict: Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh are happy to lob missiles from afar but when faced with dialog with their "enemy," that is when things could get tricky. But it is time for real dialogue, not dogmatic ideology based on fear and hate.
Some would say that Obama should ignore them to marginalize them but I think he should welcome dialog and engagement like he did with North Korea after jettisoning Bush's disastrous "ignore Kim Jong Il" policy. Importantly, all of Fox's viewers would be turning in and they of all people need to see honest debate and discussion. Plus they'll see how the Four Horseshitmen of the aFoxalypse fare when actually facing their prey in person to discuss facts, which can be stubborn things, to partially quote John Adams.
I trust Obama as a man, as our President and as a gifted natural orator. I think he can parse his thoughts well and handle whatever these four threw his way. And I would hope his calm demeanor would diffuse their outrage in order to have an actual discussion, not a shoutdown. I'm sure Obama could compile a list of their main "talking points" and be prepared for them, but I also know he knows his stuff and can hold his own on the fly. And I know that he needs to face these people, no matter how distasteful it is stooping into their realm. Because they will not stop lobbing missiles and they will not be ignored.
So how would that discussion go? I would hope that it would play out like the Sam Harris/Chris Hedges debate at UCLA, where Harris' opening salvo left Hedges with no ground to stand on; this happens when you have reason and logic on your side and are able to have a discussion without getting shouted at. (If you care to watch, Harris starts about 5:40 into the first clip and his comments are well worth hearing.)
No matter what, an Obama vs Fox "debate" has to be better than the "discussion" going on among angry white people across this fortunately diverse nation. Mr. President, you can't shut them up, nor can you spend your time defending yourself against this hateful drivel on your own turf: you've got shit to do, pardon the expression. So make a date, tell Fox to book the time (though they won't even broadcast your speech tonight to Congress, I think they'll realize the benefit to airing this) and meet them head on. And talk, on live television, in front of everyone, because the whole country- and most importantly, those aligned against you- will be watching. They are the ones that need to hear you unedited and in context and unfortunately, the only way you'll get a fair shot of that on Fox is by going live.
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