Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bill O'Reilly Gets Toasted By America Live's Megyn Kelly in Debate

The result of a court case pitting the Westboro Baptist Church against the family of a fallen soldier whose funeral the church protested sparked a vicious debate between O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly and America Live host Megyn Kelly. Both Fox News hosts faced off on a segment that was broadcast live on Kelly's show and taped for play on O'Reilly's show.

After he was beaten this badly, I wonder if O'Reilly will keep it in the line-up.

In this clip, Bill O'Reilly sides with the family of the fallen solder saying that the Westboro folks (who were in town to protest a North Central High School play last year) inflicted harm upon the family by their actions of protest. Kelly rightly points out that no matter how nasty and vile the church's protest was of the funeral that restricting protest speech like this could also restrict protest speech in other areas. The case is due to be argued in front of the Supreme Court.

Watch this clip. It's always fun to watch O'Reilly, who leans heavily on the opinions of right-wing icon but law degree holder, Ann Coulter, for his own argument, get lambasted.

I'm not a lawyer, but Kelly's assessment of the situation sounds much more reasonable than O'Reilly's emotional solution. As Voltaire said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." We may find Fred Phelps and his church's actions vile, and I do, but my opinions have little to do with the protections of the First Amendment.

1 comment:

Indy Student said...

See, I've got mixed issues on this.

If 1,000 feet is the rule, then 1,000 feet is the rule. No ifs, ands, or buts. Kelly is correct. A ruling like this could affect free speech drastically.

That being said, I've seen these Westboro Baptist Church protests on videos via Youtube. I've been following this issue long before they started protesting military funerals, but when they were showing up at anywhere the Laremy Project production was being done.

And from what I've seen, I imagine most county/city noise ordinances would shut them down. Their protests are spontaneous, so would permit issues in the cities that do that.

Taking it through the federal courts and suing for emotional damage is a waste of time and is just giving Phelps and his ilk more attention. Which is exactly what he wants.