Doherty on O'Reilly Factor Tonight


Set your Tivos: Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty will be appearing on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor tonight to discuss the polychromatic effulgence that is our nation's color-coded terrorist alert system.

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  1. Great. What’s with all the colors anyway?

    Just make it three simple ones:

    Green means good.

    Yellow means goob, but alert.

    Red means bad and alert.

  2. O’Reilly won’t let Brian talk about anything of the sort. He’ll blind side the poor bastard with some off-the-wall topic and then start screaming at him for being pro-terrorist.

    The show is getting a bit formulaic.

  3. I understand the feds telling local governments and the police and the like to be on the look out for XYZ if they have some info. But, the whole color coded warning system smacks of an attempt to look like they’re doing something whether it accomplishes anything or not.

    Well. . . it does accomplish something. It keeps us agitated and longing to exchange our freedom for protection and safety. Maybe that’s the whole idea.

  4. I understand the feds telling local governments and the police and the like to be on the look out for XYZ if they have some info. But, the whole color coded warning system smacks of an attempt to look like they’re doing something whether it accomplishes anything or not.

    Well. . . it does accomplish something. It keeps us agitated and longing to exchange our freedom for protection and safety. Maybe that’s the whole idea.

  5. Whadayamean?
    He’s always fair.
    He gives his victims – er, guests, “the last word”! As long as the last word fits into the three seconds allotted.

  6. Yes, he is fair (to middlin’). At best. At worst: feh.

  7. he’ll probably (and by he’ll I mean O’Reilly) start out with ‘this color coded systems can’t be taken seriously’ then switch to ‘you libertarians want an open border so every terrorist mexican islamist can cmoe across and clean our floors — we need the national guard on the border — every single inch you bastrd osama loving bastard — what do you have to say about this Mr. REASON?

  8. Walk out while the camera is rolling, and the red light is on. “I came here to discuss an issue reasonably. Shove it up your ass, Bill.” Then leave.

    It’s just a matter of picking your moment.

  9. O’Reilly’s on vacation. The guest host is Tony Snow – the guy who just got tossed from “Fox News Sunday.” I happened to flip past last night, and he had Gregg Easterbrook on. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – Snow asked a question, then sat back and waited while Easterbrook answered it! Then, as if that wasn’t shocking enough, Snow asked a follow-up question based on Easterbrook’s answer! This pattern persisted for several minutes! I had to look at the lower corner of the screen to make sure I was really watching Fox.

  10. ef?ful?gence ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-fljns, -fl-)
    A brilliant radiance.

    Just posted for those of you who might not know what effulgence means. And by those of you I mean me.

  11. i wish reason/libertarian people got on more often to discuss things that actually matter, instead of debate some silly color warning system.

    at least fox lets them on at all. i don’t see too many libertarians on other networks. then again, i don’t watch that much political/news tv.

  12. I’ve not watched that asshole since he had Jacob Sullum on to address drug policy and Sullum’s book on same, and the jerk barely let Jacob get a word in. More annoyingly, he called him juvenile names like pinhead or something along those lines. It was not an interview and O’Reilly is not a journalist.

  13. It seems to me in my unscientific channel surfing that FOX News is the only 24 hours news outfit that constantly broadcasts the “terror alert level” with a small graphic near the bottom of the screen.

    And I have to admit it creates a certain amount of anxiety every time I look at the channel and see the “Terror Alert Level High” sign. I have yet to figure out the purpose of all of this…we are simply advised to “be vigilant” and “keep shopping”. This public display of anxiety is growing tiresome because there’s really nothing the average person can do about it.

    It’s unclear why FOX chooses to treat it’s viewers to constant threats of terrorism. It creates this feeling we are constantly under siege, helpless without government protection. I don’t like it, even if it’s true.

  14. The bottom line is that the only thing that matters on the Factor is Bill. Guests are nothing more than a springboard from which O’Reilly can do a swan dive into his own ego. He is the reason I don’t watch Fox anymore.

    (Pithy enough?)

  15. I like the alert system because of the gumment?s handy advice for each stage

    Green: no chance of attack- go buy something.
    Yellow: low chance of attack- go buy something
    Blue: moderate chance of attack- go buy something
    Orange: high chance of attack- go buy something
    Red: attack imminent- go buy something

    After all, if we change our mindless consumer lifestyle the terrorists have won.

    Sic ’em, Brian.

  16. I don’t think there’s anyone outside of Homeland Security that thinks the Color-code system is a good idea. It reminds me of a line from “Men-in-Black” by Tommy Lee Jone’s character —

    ‘There’s always an Arquillian battle-cruiser, or a Corillian death ray, or an interstellar plague, or something about to wipe out Earth… but the only way these people get on with their happy little lives is that they do not know about it.’

    If intelligence agencies can’t prevent the impending attack with all the information they are privy to, what can ordinary civilians do with the vague information that ‘the threat is high’.

    I’m so sick of Tom Ridge. I can hear the terrorists chuckle every time that alert level goes up.

  17. I have this image of Tommy Ridge sitting in big swivel chair with lots of buttons. He gets a status report about terrorist chatter and shouts “Orange Alert, Mr. Sulu”

    Then he punches the intercom button:

    This is the Captain.
    Were picking up a lot of chatter.
    There may be a threat.
    Remain at your stations and act like everything is normal.

  18. I’m disappointed to hear that O’Reilly might not be the host. I always watch when a member of the Reason staff is on to see if they can make him throw a temper tantrum like the 9/11 victim’s son did.

  19. Good one StMack…

    My favorite line ever:

    “Scotty, we need warp power in five minutes, or we are all dead.”

    Talk about the pressure.


  20. Bureaucracy at work. How many security guards do you assign to the next shift? Do you allow people to park in the red zone? blah blah blah… Each bureaucracy has a manual and the manual’s list what procedures to follow under which color alert.

    Mock it if you will but if you’ve been wading through red tape all your life like most people it’s same old same old.

  21. Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment: what if the hightened alert status serves to remove the element of surprise from a suspected eminent terrorist attack, thus removing the threat? That is, isn’t one of the terrorist motives the element of surprise and so wouldn’t telling everyone something might happen somewhere sometime make it less likely that something will happen at some point? All is fine so long as you keep shopping, though…

  22. Mona,

    I remember when O’Reilly had the guy on from Not in Our Name. The kid (I forget his name) tried to make a point about al Qaeda being blowback from Carter-Reagan policies in Afghanistan, and O’Reilly went ballistic. He started yelling “Shut up! Just shut up!”

    The kid should have yelled in response, “No, YOU shut up, asshole! You knew exactly what my arguments were when you invited me on here. Pretending to be surprised so you can grandstand and feign moral outrage, just proves what a disingenuous ratings whore you are!” And then spat in his face.

  23. hypothetical:
    Say we are on level orange and some yahoo decides to suicide bomb a movie theater or something along those lines. The yahoo is middle eastern and then some fundamentalist islamic statement praising the act is made.

    Do you think they’ll still use the code system since that just might cause red blooded midwesterners to start a witch hunt for islamic fundamentalists (we saw a bit of this after 9-11)?

    On that note, a guy at a party (politicals) was trying to convince me that if the above does happen (say several times) than the us gov’t will be put in the awkward position of trying to defend anyone who remotely looks arab and muslim. The red blooded type will see this as the gov’t protecting the terrorists and random acts of revolt will occur. A fascinating doomsday scenario. If it does happen, I blame the color code system.

  24. The color code system is just for CYA (cover your ass). What are we supposed to do anyway? If we go to Orange, should I throw a fully loaded AK-47 into my back seat? Why not? I’m sure enough Americans adapted this interpretation they’d quickly discourage any such activity. They don’t really want us to take responsibility for ourselves. That’s for the professionals!

    It’s all a bunch of BS. Who cares? Let them play their dipshit bureaucratic games so they can feel important while doing nothing to increase actual security. We’ll just continue to live our normal lives.

    Have a happy new years everyone, and remember, you have to make a clean head shot if you want to stop suicide bomber before his finger hits the button! Stock up on kevlar too. But really, don’t worry, Tom Ridge has it all taken care of.

  25. Completely agree that it’s just a CYA move.

    I would suspect we’ll never see it at anything besides yellow or orange until it’s discontinued at some point in the future.

    If it goes to red and nothing happens, the government looks alarmist.

    If it goes below yellow and something does happen, then the CYA effect was lost and the fingerpointing blame game begins.

  26. We’ve had something similar in France for quite some time; you simply learn to ignore it after a while. As far as I know, its not really for civilians, as much as it is for other government agencies, etc.

  27. Bill G,

    I believe America had a warning system in the 1950s and 1960s regarding the potential for nuclear attack; as I recall, most Americans simply ignored it after a time, and everyone stopped mentioning it.

  28. Oh, and “Oh boy oh boy oh boy!” Gnaw gnaw gnaw.

  29. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/26/2004 11:32:42
    One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.

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