Off Topic Messages

Letterman vs. O'Reilly on Iraq War, Christmas, etc.

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:07 pm

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Quite a few fireworks flew last night on the USA's "Late Show With David Letterman" with right-center/ populist TV host Bill O'Reilly as guest. This is an entertainment program that rarely gets so political.

The whole video can be found on:

http://www.billoreilly.com/

I'm somewhere in the middle but Letterman hurt his cause ("60% of what you say is crap") when he admitted not actually being familiar with "The Factor" program.

Other than that, it captured the two sides of the (Iraq) war debate rather well and made for good TV. Other opinions?
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:03 am

I also saw that match-up. Letterman had it right when he admitted he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. For Dave to say O'Reilly is full of crap 60% of the time without ever having seen The Factor was ridiculous.

Letterman then claimed that he felt that way based on reading other people's opinions of O'Reilly. I've long been a fan of Dave's, but I would have more easily accepted his dislike of O'Reilly if he had done his homework. Instead, he came off as just another Lefty blowhard talking out of his ass.

I'll be catching Leno's show for awhile.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:08 am

EagleUSA wrote: For Dave to say O'Reilly is full of crap 60% of the time without ever having seen The Factor was ridiculous.


I know what you mean. If Letterman had actually bothered to watch The Factor, he would know that O'Reilly is full of crap 100% of the time.

Re: Letterman vs. O'Reilly on Iraq War, Christmas, etc.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:34 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I'm somewhere in the middle but Letterman hurt his cause ("60% of what you say is crap") when he admitted not actually being familiar with "The Factor" program.

Letterman was way off base -- he should've said "90% of what you say is crap."

O'Reilly is a mirthless windbag, a hypocrite and a grandchild of McCarthy. Hopefully he'll sexually harrass another intern who won't settle out of court, and he'll retire in disgrace.

Happy new year!

DJC

Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:26 am

Promocollector wrote:
EagleUSA wrote: For Dave to say O'Reilly is full of crap 60% of the time without ever having seen The Factor was ridiculous.


I know what you mean. If Letterman had actually bothered to watch The Factor, he would know that O'Reilly is full of crap 100% of the time.


:lol: :lol:

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:54 am

We need far right wing kooks like O'Reilly to counter the far left wing kooks like Michael Moore.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:13 am

Letterman does put himself on weak ground by criticizing a show he has never watched. Of course a show like O'Reilly doesn't really deserve to get the attention it gets. Not because he favors the Right Wing, but because the real purpose of the show is to inflate his own value. That he occasionally blurts out a cogent point is beside the point. He doesn't even listen to his guests even when they agree with him.

Most of Geraldo Rivera's stuff is the same way which in a way is a shame because when he's not focusing on self-aggrandizement or some sensationalistic story he can be a good investigative reporter. Keeping himself out of it, he used to do yeohman work on 20/20.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:27 am

I am a Letterman fan, but to make the comment and then say he doesn't watch the show did make him look rather ridiculous.

Re: Letterman vs. O'Reilly on Iraq War, Christmas, etc.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:58 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
O'Reilly is a mirthless windbag, a hypocrite and a grandchild of McCarthy. Hopefully he'll sexually harrass another intern who won't settle out of court, and he'll retire in disgrace.


How do you know this Doctor? Do you watch Oreilly's show, or do you get your info from Al Franken, Michael Moore, and George Soros?

Does the American Medical Association know that you're perscribing "koolaide" to your patients?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:33 am

Seeing the footage was a beneficial reminder about why I haven't watched David Letterman in years.

He's an @ssh*le.

A clueless belligerant dupe (with a very boring show anyway) spouting anti-O'Reilly & anti-Fox News rhetoric fed him by his stereotypical liberal joke-writer staff members.

But starting a fight with your guest will surely drum up more viewers.

Letterman, in a desperate need to have better ratings, a hipper younger audience, and court the Far Left...has chosen to be a smarmy media pr*ck like Jon Stewart.

Good luck.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:58 am

I DO watch O'Reilly once in a while, and he IS a mirthless windbag.

What really pissed me off about his appearance on Letterman was that he trotted out two examples of the "war on Christmas."

Example one has been completely discredited as horseshit, and as for example two -- which involves a case that is local for me -- O'Reilly himself admitted a couple of weeks ago he'd screwed up the facts about it. Yep, that's right, an actual on-air retraction. But that didn't keep him from rolling out the same case in a moment of desperation.

He's lame. I can't believe people actually look up to this hack who helmed the lame-ass Inside Edition for oh-so-long. Give me a break. That guy was on that show from 1989 to 1995. Does anyone believe he has any scruples at all?
Last edited by elvissessions on Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:03 am

O'Reilly is a journalist.

Letterman is not. (Nor Stewart) but they get their jollies on playing anchormen - and play it up for laughs ha ha - and don't know squat about the news or the resources.


Letterman looked determinedly ignorant to sit there and disagree and not even know what the hell he's disagreeing with.
He planned to be that way - it's clear.
No matter what Bill says, disagree and be sure to pick your moment and give him that premeditated scripted 60% crap line.


Letterman is so transparent and a Loser.



sidebar:

Cindy Sheehan has become a pathetic icon for the anti-war movement.

When she criticized Hillary she immediatly lost alot of Leftwing support.
She's shot her wad.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:17 am

Pray tell what great journalism story has O'Reilly ever broken? He was a glorified Ted Baxter on Inside Edition.

Stewart never purports to be a journalist. His show is a humorous commentary on the media and politics. There just happens to be a lot of truth in his humor because he demands what we all should demand accountability from both media and politicians.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:29 am

likethebike wrote:There just happens to be a lot of truth in his humor because he demands what we all should demand accountability from both media and politicians.


okay - good defense. Sounds noble.

But I doubt Stewart cared about "accountability" or really paid attention to politics until he got the gig hosting a news-lampooning tv show.

Demanding accountability simply comes with the new job he got.

Stewart has his schtick (like a typical comic) that no matter what Bush footage they show - Stewart will do his cliche "heh heh heh" impersonation.
That gets old.
That's not demanding accountability, that' simply demanding the same ol' routine to get a laugh - maybe the audience demands Stewart do his schtick.


Plus I noticed on one of their always-blasphemous This Week In God bits,
when someone being interviewed was quoting scripture from the Bible,
a laugh track was dubbed in to interrupt it and distract the viewer.

ha ha Subliminal mockery, is that the word for it?

Anymore, I can do without the Daily Show altogether.
The old Craig Kilborn version was funny enough.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:51 pm

Bill O'Reilly is easy enough to dismiss on many counts, but his role as a sort of entertainer/ commentator in the political realm has struck a nerve, as it's apparently the best rated show on cable.

Does that mean the USA had gone stark raving mad or totally right-wing? I rather doubt it. Such black & white views may be comforting, but not true.

The chord he probably most touches in the American populace (and apparently people who watch him actively dislike him but can't turn away) is that he expresses legitimate anxieties about mostly issues of American culture and values. These includes issues of immigration, acculturation, race, sexuality, crime and punishment, patriotism, and of course, quite a bit on terrorism, war, and peace.

He mostly masks his more right-wing economic views (small government, tax cuts, etc.) and claims to be a bit of an environmentalist, but he knows he's hitting a chord on commenting on culture.

Democrats can plan on losing many more elections until they come to terms with Democratic voters who are finding themselves pulling the GOP lever. O'Reilly is part of that landscape now, bully or blowhard or not.

And in fairness to him, he also airs more criticism of himself than most other commentators or even entertainers.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:58 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:O'Reilly is a journalist.


Just like Geraldo and the reporters for the National Enquirer.

Tom

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:05 pm

O'Reilly dances around this problem.

Putting aside one's biases, prior to the tabloid-like Inside Edition, O'Reilly did in fact work for CBS News and ABC News as a reporter, that is, journalist. You really can't take that away from him. When he first made it big on Fox, I knew I recalled seeing him with Peter Jennings years ago on ABC.

Much of FOX NEWS primetime programing blurs the line between the "just the facts"/ straight journalism tradition by having commentators offer their opinions, at least later on during interviews, etc.

O'Reilly's show is more overtly political commentary and no small dose of entertainment value mixed in.( This is the difference between the Op/Ed pages of your newspaper and the regular news pages.)

The term "journalist" as used today is flexible enough that many such commentators are commonly called one regardless of one's actual past experience. That Colmes fellow (the token liberal, if he is one) on "Hannity and Colmes" made his mark as a 66 WNBC-AM disc jockey in New York years ago. :lol:

Re: Letterman vs. O'Reilly on Iraq War, Christmas, etc.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:29 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Hopefully he'll sexually harrass another intern who won't settle out of court, and he'll retire in disgrace.


Ah, yes. Kinda like that other Bill.....

Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:38 pm

DOC wrote:Hopefully he'll sexually harrass another intern who won't settle out of court, and he'll retire in disgrace.


My boy my boy

To quote Pink Floyd- "Have a Cigar your gonna go far!"

Re: Letterman vs. O'Reilly on Iraq War, Christmas, etc.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:57 am

KHoots wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Hopefully he'll sexually harass another intern who won't settle out of court, and he'll retire in disgrace.

Ah, yes. Kinda like that other Bill.....

Ah, no. Kinda not like that other Bill.....

It's sad when ideology smothers reality. Clinton has been retired almost six years, and still you can't let him go.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, but the president's behavior was nothing of the sort. O'Reilly's recent, pathetic example included this violation:

* The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.

What made O'Reilly's case worth discussing is his acts were made by someone who works in the media as a public scold. Thus my original assessment above.

DJC

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:22 am

How many people watch him as much because he is amusing more than because they agree with him Greg? Good television is not necessarily good news. And the highest rated show on cable is not exactly a grass roots revolution. At one time this distinction was held by professional wrestling. Like wrestling, O'Reilly has his cult but you can't say it represents the mainstream. I would put forth the same argument for Stewart who also has a top rated cable show and has written a best seller. The folks who like them really like them but they don't necessarily capture the heart of the country and many people who don't agree with them may watch for sheer entertainment value.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:13 am

I'm not necessarily a Bill O'Reilly fan, yet I tune in The Factor almost every evening. Why is that? Should I be watching Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC instead?

Any suggestions are welcomed.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:24 am

Countdown with Keith Oldermann

I surf and watch a variety of shows, not just one news network.

But Letterman (back to that toipic) was clearly lying-in-wait to pounce on O'Reilly and decided ahead of time to talk smack to him no matter what in that interview.

Hope it helps Letterman's p*ss-poor ratings and rejuvinate his boring program.
After all, that's what tv confrontation controversies are for.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:54 am

But Letterman (back to that toipic) was clearly lying-in-wait to pounce on O'Reilly and decided ahead of time to talk smack to him no matter what in that interview


Oh absolutely. The "60% crap" comment was obviously intended to be a soundbite and certainly written in advance. Letterman knew he had the home field advantage and the audience would eat it up. I've felt for a long time Letterman is a very disingenuous personality, just about everything he does seems contrived and this was no exception.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:46 pm

likethebike wrote:How many people watch him as much because he is amusing more than because they agree with him Greg? Good television is not necessarily good news. And the highest rated show on cable is not exactly a grass roots revolution. At one time this distinction was held by professional wrestling. Like wrestling, O'Reilly has his cult but you can't say it represents the mainstream. I would put forth the same argument for Stewart who also has a top rated cable show and has written a best seller. The folks who like them really like them but they don't necessarily capture the heart of the country and many people who don't agree with them may watch for sheer entertainment value.


I didn't say all viewers agree with him (that's not the really the point of his show) but I do think he does like to foster debate, however much he does occcasionally bully his guests or not allow them to prattle on. He seems to relish (and respect) when those of opposing views (Chuck Schumer, Al Sharpton, even a pedophile recently if memory serves) show up and actually defend and articulate their views. That's why Letterman's jabs rang false: he didn't totally know why he was against O'Reilly as he admitted to only having read about him. Say what one will (and I'm not a fan nor regular viewer) but he does like debate.

O'Reilly's show is broadcast at 8pm in primetime on a cable channel that is in probably more homes than Comedy Central. The tone is 90-95% serious, compared to Jon Steward's openly satiric program, which I'm betting has a much tinier audience.

In fact, the whole phenemonon of Foxnews is a reaction against the mainstream media's perceived liberal (some say documented) bias on cultural and national security issues, along with a decidedly more corporate-friendly take on matters of business, labor and regulation.

O'Reilly's genius is in making viewers want to "talk back" to him (on key points) but it's rarely boring. It's not a very passive, one-sided show that people just absorb. It's no cult either.

Although his guests on some shows are entirely stacked on side, he seems more willing to bring on the opposing point of view than is customary on most of today's television. The show is fast-paced, brisk and, at it's best, doesn't ask you to agree with the host, who is in his way, actually quite self-effacing at times, surprisingly enough. The letters section at the end serves "air out" grievances against him and the show in a way all to rare on TV.

I don't think anyone should hold too much against David Letterman, by the way. He's a comedian who rarely wades into politics, and having watched him on and off since his original (daytime) NBC show in the early '80s, he's no card-carrying liberal. His sincerity, if not preparedness, was apparent.

The times are captured when a long-time (and apolitical) late-night TV host is willing to confront one of the biggest supporters of the Iraq war. I rather wish Dave was better prepared but in his own way he made a case that many will prefer. Some would call O'Reilly a cheerleader for Bush and the war, so in that way, a "push-back" was in the cards.

Here's the whole video (on the O'Reilly website )for those who missed it:

http://www.billoreilly.com/