O’Reilly projects

Bill O’Reilly invited George Will to appear on his show tonight purportedly to discuss Will’s column disparaging O’Reilly’s bad Reagan book (video below). Instead, O’Reilly ambushed Will with a misdirected interrogation that only dug his hole a little deeper.

O’Reilly then invented an obligation on Will’s part to call O’Reilly before publishing Will’s column on the book. The book is the issue. The book, as they say, speaks for itself. Unfortunately for O’Reilly, Will has read the book.

Will didn’t have the opportunity to say much, but he really didn’t have to. O’Reilly thinks indignation is a form of argument. When he tries to mount an argument, he is betrayed by internal contradiction, as Will cruelly points out.

O’Reilly’s show has become a franchise at FOX News, but he needs an intervention. Unable to mount an argument in defense of his book, O’Reilly angrily calls Will “a hack.” This is a form of argument or error that falls under the category of ad hominem. In this case, however, I think it would be more accurate to describe it in psychological terms as projection.