I often watch O’Reilly to be amazed by how he consistently puts forward weak, shallow, inconsistent and factually incorrect/misleading arguments. What’s amazing is how he does so sounding so calm, confident, reasonable, and most important, factual (you can sound factual without actually using any real facts – it’s being a good story teller), that it’s easy to see why so many people might believe in his positions. I particularly love his memos. After all, why would a memo contain anything but a reasonable, fact based argument.
His recent appearance on The View was incredibly entertaining. He stated some things that were highly offensive (regarding the 9/11 terrorists) to the positions of his hosts. But while he did it in a calm, matter-of-fact manner, his hosts got very emotional and left the set. It’s like having a guest calmly debate you – but you get driven away from your own table.
Tone is important and O’Reilly shows that day in and day out. The hosts of The View, and communicators, should take careful note. You will have an easier time winning an audience to your side of the argument if you make it “sound” factual and reasonable. If you are trying to win an audience over to your argument (as all this is moot regarding audiences who already agree with you), you’ll do it as much on tone as on substance. Just watch politicians debate.
Perhaps this is why conservative commentators have an easier time winning large influential audiences – they sound like they simply sticking to the facts and not getting emotional over these facts (Limbaugh gets emotional – but always sticks to the “facts”). Yes, that’s right, I’m saying take a lesson in spin from the supposed anti-spin doctor himself.
Enjoy the video (or don’t, if you’re a big fan of The View).