On the October 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly laid out his theory for what members of "The Greatest Generation" (those who fought for the United States during World War II) all had in common: spanking. According to O'Reilly, "[I]n the Great Depression, every American got spanked. And those Americans went to war during World War II and won." He went on to argue, "The Greatest Generation, almost down to the man, was spanked, 'cause that's the way we did it in America."
From the October 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
OREILLY: But if you're beating a kid, there's no excuse. Then you've lost control of the child, you've lost control of yourself. Here's the litmus test: If you lose your temper, and then you do something to the kid physically, that's abuse. If you lose your temper. Got it? That's it. If you're under control, it's calculated, you're disgusted, the kid knows, it's tempered, absolutely your right as a child [sic]. Now in the Great Depression, every American got spanked. And those Americans went to war during World War II and won the very intense conflict and showed bravery across the board, the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation, almost down to the man, was spanked, 'cause that's the way we did it in America. OK?
So I'm not believing all these sociologists, these fruitcakes, who run around going, you know, you look at a kid cross-eyed, he's going to grow up to be a heroin addict. I'm not buying that. I think you have to do it responsibly, you have to do it in a way that the child understands what the boundaries are, and is given a choice. Stay within the boundaries, or you're going to get punished. But I think that 90 percent of the time, you could find another way.