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Why Won't Bill O'Reilly Debate Me?

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Updated with video (9/25/2013).

Watch the Inequality for All trailer here:

Bill O'Reilly slammed me on his Fox News show Monday night for mentioning, in a New York Times op-ed last weekend, that he has called me a Communist. In that op-ed I referred to his Communist name-calling as an example of the kind of ad hominem incivility that now passes for political debate in America -- of which O'Reilly is a part.

O'Reilly took umbrage that I would even bring it up. Apparently he thinks it's perfectly fine to call me names but offensive for me to criticize him for doing so.

Yet O'Reilly refuses to have me on his show to debate any of this -- either his initial charge I'm a Communist, or his indignation that I mentioned it in last weekend's op-ed. When he first claimed I was a Communist I challenged him to a debate -- a civil debate. He refused. He still refuses. He won't even debate the topic of my op-ed -- the increasing shrillness and divisiveness of Fox News and other media outlets, which are only adding to the vitriol of American politics.

Why won't O'Reilly debate me? What's he afraid of?

Please email him and tell him that instead of talking about me he should have the courage and decency to talk with me directly. His email address is: oreilly@foxnews.com.

ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His film, "Inequality for All," will be out in September. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.