Jon Stewart took on Bill O’Reilly’s commentaries on marijuana and texting. On the surface one may think Jon Stewart is just using Bill O’Reilly as a punching bag yet again. Not so.
“If you use any intoxicating agent then your goal is to leave reality. You are not satisfied with your current state of mind. You want to get high, buzzed, blasted, whatever,” Bill O’Reilly said while sermonizing on marijuana legalization. “Some adults can handle that on occasion, others cannot. So it is literally Russian Roulette.”
Jon Stewart ridicules Bill O’Reilly’s analogy in a most graphic form.
Jon Stewart ’s response illustrates the mockery a statement like that makes of rational thinking. “I think the only difference between a bong hit and pointing a loaded gun at your own skull,” Stewart said, “is that the gun can kill you instantly and must never be criminalized or restricted in any way ever.”
Bill O’Reilly’s statement could have been made for alcohol, anti-depressants, over the counter sleeping pills, and many other legal substances that are much more dangerous and addicting than marijuana. But Stewart’s comparing the unbalance of the law is prescient.
In the same segment Bill O’Reilly attempted to categorize texting as an addiction. When he posited that to Dr. Carl Hart, PH. D., a Columbia University Associate professor in the studio, the professor pushed back. “Texting, you know it’s an addiction, it is going crazy. You are aware of that right,” said Bill O’Reilly. “No I am not aware that it’s an addiction,” replied the professor. Of course Bill O’Reilly had a psychiatrist, Keith Ablow, M.D., in the wings ready to agree with O’Reilly’s position. His response left Dr. Carl Hart speechless.
Bill O’Reilly has a very large platform. It includes his TV show, books, guest appearances, etc. It is dangerous when one with such a platform uses it to misinform. Exposure and critique is the best disinfectant. One should never let misinformation stand unchallenged lest it becomes a new ‘false reality’.