Robert Reich challenges Bill O’Reilly to debate

After being called a communist, Reich invites O'Reilly to partake in a debate with him

Professor Robert Reich
Levy Yun/File
Professor Robert Reich

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In response to remarks penning him as a communist, UC Berkeley Professor Robert Reich has challenged conservative television pundit Bill O’Reilly to a “man to man” debate Wednesday.

The challenge was prompted by an April 20 episode of the Fox News talk show “The O’Reilly Factor” in which O’Reilly and Fox Business News talk show host Lou Dobbs  made claims suggesting Reich was a communist. O’Reilly called him “a guy who secretly adores Karl Marx.”

The claims were based on a Daily Show interview in which Reich argued that public investments in education and infrastructure are necessary to the development of the U.S. economy.

According to the professor’s blog, Reich left O’Reilly a message urging him to debate the matter on O’Reilly’s show. In his blog, Reich rebutted the communist accusations, slamming O’Reilly for misinforming his viewers.

“Ordinarily I don’t bother repeating anything Bill O’Reilly says,” Reich said in his blog. “But this particular whopper is significant because it represents what O’Reilly and Fox News, among others, are doing to the national dialogue. They’re burying it in doo-doo.”

Reich also urged his Facebook followers to “tell (O’Reilly) to man up and debate (him)” via Twitter, using the “#beyondoutrage” hashtag. The hashtag is a reference to the professor’s recently published e-book of the same name.

Reich tweeted at O’Reilly:


Reich probed O’Reilly several times via Twitter, even asking, “What are you afraid of? I’m 4’10.”

Bill O’Reilly has so far not responded via Twitter.

Damian Ortellado is the lead higher education reporter.

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  • lovestohike

    Reich often talks on TV – such as the Kudlow show.
    He is self important –
    and a professor protected from geting fired.
    it would be kinder if Reich explained why he doe snot have socialist motives….
    as he is definitely an Obama supporter
    He often lacks the ability to think beyond himself
    and often does not realize that the labor movement has enslaved the taxpayer.
    Unions now rule our lives
    versus the individual….
    They have bankrupt our country
    and that should NOT be….
    So many people who work in the United States do not work for unions
    and that is very good –
    as usually the union boss does not let their members think independently.
    So what is the difference between Reich and being a socialist?
    It would be good to have a  debate on this.
    and Reich drooling over unions makes him someone who needs to be questioned.
    Reich can speak for himself…
    but he may want to look at the man in mirror first
    and think deeply about what he is indeed teaching and saying.

    In short may the debate happen between two equally thoughtful Americans…..
    who care deeply about america
    but have differing opinions of where the country should go.

  • Berkeleyprotest-real bp

    Go Fourth Reich!!

    • libsrclowns

      Go Froth Reich!

  • Calipenguin

    Reich is not a Communist.  His problem is that he is so in love with the American labor movement that he will make argue for any policy that favors unions.

    • Guest

      Gees, penguin. get a life. Don’t you have better things to do than writing bitter conservative comments at the daily cal and liking your own posts? 

      •  Do you have better things to do than sponge off those who pay the bills in this country.

    • Adsahjh

       If you believe in the redistribution of property to the extent that Reich believes in, you’re functionally a communist.

  • Adsahjh

    One of the things I hated most about Berkeley was this charlatan pretending to be an intellectual. 

  • libsrclowns

    Is the debate to be about Reich’s fondness for Karl Marx?
    Will Reich deny he is fond of Marx?

    Sounds like one of Reich’s publicity stunts to me.

  • Jonathan Winters

    Prof. Reich, O’reilly is undoubtedly the ‘smaller’ man…except for his reach to the echo chamber of Fox News, he’s not worth the breath. IFF on the other hand he does take you up on the offer, only accept on a genuinely neutral ground and give him no quarter!!

  • Guest

    The only problem with engaging O’Really is that it gives the man (unwarranted) credibility.  Treat him as a pariah and he will go away; Fox or no Fox. In fact, *all* of the clowns on Fox and elsewhere have gained notoriety not because they appear in their own narrow little world but because the MSM has given them voice.

    • Guest

       I couldn’t agree more. I can’t see why Reich wastes his time writing such proud and chauvinist tweets.  

  • UseLogicLogically

    Damn Lou Dobbs has really gone off the deep end since leaving CNN. LOL

  • guest

    Reich is sav

  • Guest

    Bill O’Reilly is crazy. He has always been and there’s, unfortunately, nothing that we can do about that.