Sarasota News Leader

11/23/2012

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CONVOLUTIONS IN COMMUNICATION Aside from his regular contributions to the Tampa Bay Times, Eric Deggans has been a contribu- tor to National Public Radio, CNN.com, the Huffington Post and many other popular media outlets. Photos by Arielle Scherr ERIC DEGGANS DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK, RACE-BAITER, AS PART OF USF SARASOTA-MANATEE'S CONVERSATIONS WITH AUTHORS SERIES By Tyler Whitson Contributing Writer Those who attended the most recent install- ment of the University of South Florida Sara- sota-Manatee's Conversations with Authors series on Tuesday, Nov. 13, know that Tampa Bay Times television and media critic Eric Deggans is not afraid of being called names. Many of those in the Selby Auditorium au- dience that night learned that the journalist, author and pundit even went so far as to title his first book, Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, after an epithet assigned to him on national television by controversial Fox News host and conservative political commentator Bill O'Reilly. "I've never been really sure ... why [O'Reilly] called me that, because he didn't really say," Deggans replied when asked by the program's interviewer, Sarasota Herald-Tribune Opin- ion Editor Tom Tryon, about his unsuccess- ful attempt to discuss the label with O'Reilly earlier this year. Deggans went on to explain that, after O'Reilly and Fox both declined his request to speak with O'Reilly, Deggans de- cided to take matters into his own hands: He attended a press conference at the Van We- zel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, where O'Reilly was promoting his own recently pub- lished book, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America For- ever.

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