Drug Policy Alliance vs. O’Reilly: Dealing with Drug Use in Our Society
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For the third time in less than two weeks, Fox News did a segment on the Drug Policy Alliance’s video featuring Sting, George Soros, and Montel Williams.
Bill O’Reilly first attacked the video when he did a segment with fellow Fox anchor Megyn Kelly on June 10. O’Reilly focused on the statistic that 70% of abused and neglected children in the USA have alcohol or drug-involved parents. The two go on to bash Sting, telling him to put aside the rainforest and look at child abuse once in a while. They question why he is even weighing in on the Drug War when “he’s not even an American.”
The next day Meghan Kelly did a second segment on the video and went up against Fox host John Stossel. Stossel slammed drug prohibition and sided with Sting, Soros, Montel, and the Drug Policy Alliance.
Finally, on Monday, Bill O’Reilly had Drug Policy Alliance’s Executive Director, Ethan Nadelmann, on his show to again discuss the video and the larger war on drugs.
O’Reilly stuck to his favorite talking point about child neglect -- adding that alcohol and drug “involved” parents are three times likelier to abuse their children compared to “regular parents” or those who abstain. Nadelmann pointed out that most of this statistic consists of parents abusing alcohol. Nadelmann then asked Bill O’Reilly whether he would support the prohibition of alcohol as well.
Nadelmann hammered out the facts. We lead the world in incarceration rates. At any given time we have 500,000 people behind bars because of a drug violation. We spend 50 to 100 billion dollars a year fighting the war on drugs and they are as available as ever. Out of the 1.8 million people arrested annually for drugs, 2/3 of those arrests are for simple possession.
The segment ends with O’Reilly repeating again that it’s about the kids and child abuse. With his final point, Ethan suggests that we should take the money that we are spending on prisons and use it to address issues related to child abuse.
Check out the interview and let us know who you think won the debate.
Sophie Blumenthal is an intern with the Drug Policy Alliance media department.