Monday, March 9, 2009


Some of you are too young to remember Phil Donahue, raging liberal of the TV airwaves from years past.

Here is an interchange between him and Milton Friedman, noted economist, statistician and public intellectual, and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Somebody honestly tell me the fallacy of his response to Donohue's arrogantly asked question.


Personally, I think he cleaned Donohue's philosophical clock.

Day 48 of President BO's War on Achievement.


snaggletoothie said...

Thanks for that clip. It is very uplifting. I saw no fallacy or any poor reasoning in Friedman's answer. There are logical problems in Donahue's line of questioning. He asks loaded questions. Many people would feel obligated to apologize for the supposed base motives motives behind capitalism. And if Friedman had apologized Donahue would have moved in for the kill. You can tell by his body language and sighing that Donahue is frustrated and angry that Friedman cleanly avoided the trap. So then Donahue puts on that childish disappointed act. That is all that Donahue has left: he acts amazed that a grown up, educated man could say such obviously evil, low things right out in public.
It is really intellectually dishonest for Donahue to summarize and dismiss capitalism as just evil greed and selfishness. The words are too emotionally charged. It just makes reasonable and open discussion more unlikely. It would be fairer and more productive to use the term self interest. But it's a red herring. You don't inquire about the moral nature of the tools that fix your car: you just use whatever wrench you need and then drive away. And that was the essence of Friedman's answer: capitalism most successfully does the job and that's all we need to know.
As I watched Donahue I couldn't keep from thinking that it is because of him and those of his ilk that we're in the mess we are presently in. If he had not sold out his country for a shallow and transient feeling of moral superiority, we might be better off today,

Matt Rose said...

Oh pleeeze get into the 21st century.

Lone Ranger said...

The first person to do anything, usually gets away with it -- the first train robber, the first skyjacker, the first computer hacker. Were Phil Donahue to debut in this age of Hannity and Rush, he would fall flat on his face. He succeeded because he had a monopoly.

Joe said...

snaggletoothie: I submit that you can not be intellectually dishonest if you are not intelligent to begin with...witness Matt Rose's bright comment below yours.

Matt Rose: Did you have anything intelligent to say, or was that it? Or maybe you thought THAT WAS intelligent.

Lone Rnger: I think you're right. Notice he is neither on the air nationially nor in great demand these days.

selahV said...

Thanks Joe, that is priceless. I well remember the rants and railings of Donahue. He hasn't changed much, either.

Joe said...

selahV: I used to watch him regularly and couldn't understand what it was about him tht made me so nervous. Then I began to pay real attention, and I knew.

shoprat said...

Ol Phil looked rather sheepish in the end. I saw him get embarrassed many times as his guests made a fool of him. Unlike Oprah, he took it with some grace.

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I remember Phil Donahue before he became a raving Lib on the boob tube. His show was really fascinating back then. Then he became a bufoon. Along came Oprah and he didn't have any substance to compete with. Bye, now.