Disrespect: Funny? Justified? Or Ineffective?

The political climate is heating up even more since the health care bill passed.  I understand that an overwhelming majority of the American people want it repealed.  People are angry at the process that was used to get this bill passed as well as the fact that it did pass. I don't agree with what the President and Democrats have done either, but this is NOT the way to persuade your case! I've been preaching about speaking in grace and with respect for YEARS, especially when it comes to political and religious issues. Not only is speaking with respect, godly and morally right, it's simply more effective. Notice how he puts his hand on the shoulder of those he tries to "interview." This is, in my opinion, disrespectful and disingenuous. Then he thanks them for what they have done just before he lowers the boom and admits why he is really there. This is not just disingenuous, but a lie. Once you lie, are disrespectful or rude, there is no way to be persuasive. Using these tactics may look funny to those who agree with you, but they are not helpful in getting your point across. They are actually contradictory to his stated purpose of getting answers from these representatives. Even if the idea was to "show them up", it would have been much more effective, to have asked the question respectfully and honestly and waited for them to entangle themselves in their answer to specific questions. Being disrespectful not only isn't effective, but it gives the other person a reason to dismiss you and what you say. I suspect very few would think of Mr. Mattera as a serious journalist and that gives the other side reason to dismiss him (and other conservatives) as a lunatic. Here is blogger/journalist Jason Mattera being interviewed and lectured by Bill O'Reilly: If you want to learn more about how you can speak more effectively in grace, we have a brand new study out that can help, 21 Days to More Godly Communication: http://artofeloquence.com/catalog.php?page=14&category=7


  • jojosblog

    Very true Felice! He is looking to insight, not for respectful discussion of the issues, though he says he is. Unfortunately this does translate into written communication as well as oral communication. It also affects not just political issues but friends and family as well as internet friends and acquaintances. It simply isn’t the most effective way to make your point. It erodes your credibility as well as that of others you proclaim to represent.

  • Felice Gerwitz

    Wow, talk about in your face journalism. The entire thing makes for bad press and the fact that Jason would not stop talking to get an answer smacks of bad journalism. The problem with this situation is that emotions are coming into play. It translates in writing as well as face-to-face interviews. Yet, the problem is a two-edged sword. While his manner of driving in is not “respectful” either are his questions. So, in order to illicit the calculated response he had to act aggressively. I think he was looking for a reaction. Jason did not appear to take criticism well from Mr. O’Reilly either. I think we have to grow and learn in all of these situations.

  • jojosblog

    I don’t always agree with Mr. O’Reilly. In fact, I criticized him for his interview with Barny Frank, right here on Communication FUNdamentals, but I agree with him on this issue! You not only make yourself less able to persuade when you do this, but you create an image for those who believe as you do—for the entire group you claim to represent.

  • Laurie Neumann


    This is a great post. I totally agree with you, that even when we disagree with someone, we need to speak with respect and grace. This reminded me of a passage in Titus 2:7-8 "in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

  • MarkSpizer

    great post as usual!

Leave a comment