O'Reilly chickens out of his Patriot Act challenge

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The "No Spin Zone" now spinning out of control

On July 13, Bill O'Reilly offered a challenge to debate anyone on the Patriot Act. His website (http://www.billoreilly.com/pg/jsp/general/genericpage.jsp?pageID=319) has a transcript of this challenge.

Hollywood producer Aaron Russo (Trading Places, The Rose) accepted the O'Reilly challenge on behalf of his friend, Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik. At this point, O'Reilly flipped 180 degrees and declined to debate Badnarik.

Below is a copy of correspondence between Russo and the O'Reilly people:

[e-mail from Russo]

any word from o'reilly regarding the acceptance of his challenge by michael badnarik, a presidential candidate on the ballot in 50 states... aaron russo


I checked again with Bill's office, having forwarded your email last week. According to producers, the "challenge" has apparently been misunderstood in terms of what Bill actually said on the air. There is no interest in having Mr. Badnarik on the show at this time.

Thank you!!

[response from Russo]

I am very sorry to hear this news.

It is unfortunate that O'Reilly would issue a challenge about debating the worthiness of the "Patriot Act" and then for obvious reasons back out... I saw the show, and cannot perceive what the producers claim was "misunderstood"...

If he wishes to change his position on endorsing the Patriot Act, that would be acceptable and in the best interests of the American people.... Anything short of that or debating Mr. Badnarik live on air w/o any editing will seriously challenge O'Reilly's credibility (Mr. O'Reilly is rumored to have edited shows in the past, to appear as if he won the debate)...

We do have a large presence on the web and the Libertarian Party will get it's "troops" working to make certain the world knows of O'Reilly's censorship and prejudice... and deviousness.

We will no longer tolerate being treated as 2nd class citizens by the media... We will no longer tolerate being segregated against by the likes of O'Reilly who screams "fair and balanced" and "no spin zone" but in actuality is a segregationist who wants to keep the Libertarian Presidential candidate at the back of the political bus to protect Mr. Bush.

The days of the Libertarian Party being meek are over, we are moving to the front of the bus and demanding our right (as the largest 3rd party in America) to be heard.

Only in this way will the American people have an opportunity to vote for a man and a political party who truly believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.... Mr. Badnarik does not pretend to believe in our Constitution for cosmetic reasons like O'Reilly, George Bush and John Kerry. ...




Badnarik Communications Director Stephen Gordon has verified that Michael Badnarik is not "too frightened" and is still prepared to accept O'Reilly's challenge.

Additional contact information:

Aaron Russo

Phone: (323)936-5177

E-mail: aaronrusso@msn.com


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