Sunday, July 22, 2007

Speaking of O'Reilly ...

In the initial post I wrote about O'Reilly calling Daily Kos a hate site "no different" from the KKK or Nazis I wrote he is incapable of admitting error or noticing his own hypocrisy because:

that's the way Bill rolls. He seems to have developed a pathology around his inability to get ahead at CBS. That pathology consists in believing that this was due to "s-p" (read: liberal) bias and not the fact that he is a unprofessional hack with anger management issues. This has become the core of his identity ... he can't admit error because it would be unravel his sense of self. So he keeps building on top of this fantasy edifice ... if his failure at CBS was not his fault, his success at Fox and the failure of the network to impose professional standards on him are evidence of his demi-god like qualities. And anyone that fact checks O'Reilly, well, obviously, they're just more "s-p" haters ... a demi-god can't be wrong.

Unlike, say, Malkin or Hannity, O'Reilly is not a movement conservative ideologue. He's a Bill O'Reilly ideologue: his dogmatism is his narcisistic egoism.
To help make sense of that evaluation, take a look at Mistakes Were Made (but not by me). Here's the synopsis:

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right—a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong.

Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception—how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.
An excerpt of the first chapter is available, here, and, incidentally, Michael Shermer also saw fit to relate the authors' research to President Bush and his inability to change course in Iraq in this Skeptic column for Scientific American.

Edit - I just noticed that the authors themselves have written a brief op-ed about Bush and Iraq.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

"Unlike, say, Malkin or Hannity, O'Reilly is not a movement conservative ideologue. He's a Bill O'Reilly ideologue: his dogmatism is his narcisistic egoism."

I think that is spot on, and I have been thinking about this lately. O'Reilly seems to spend a whole lot of time congratulating him self on what a danger he is to the so-called "sp-movement". He thinks his called for boycott of France actually had some effect, and so on.