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« Dover Watch - Belated Huzzah (Also Mel Gibson is a Moron) The RantsA Hypocritical Fundie? Pull the Other One! »

Dave Letterman Lays a Smack Down on Bill O'Reilly
2006.01.05 (Thu) 21:54

In case you haven't heard about it, and as the title of this Rant suggests, David Letterman did indeed lay a smack down of epic proportions on Bill O'Reilly the other night. All we can say is: "Wow." Dave issued this severe beating when O'Reilly wouldn't shut up about his ficitious "War on Christmas," and it bled over into a beat down on O'Reilly's take on Iraq, along with a good thrashing of O'Reilly's bullshit in general. If you haven't seen it, then go ahead and watch it now — we're providing links to various formats and sources so that everyone may partake.

As always, onegoodmove came through with a Quicktime version which you can access via their post on the segment. In addition, you can view it on the CBS site in Realplayer (which we hate), or on Bill O'Reilly's site in Windows Media format (embedded). Finally, we have a local Quicktime version (saved from onegoodmove so we don't whack their server). By all means, watch it — it is twelve minutes well spent. If you can't watch the video, at least read the partial transcript at Media Matters — it isn't nearly as entertaining, and it omits quite a bit of the thrashing, but it's funny nonetheless.

O'Reilly outright lied at least three times, and distorted or wholly fabricated much of the rest of his, er, "contribution" to the interview. What's truly amazing to us is that, after being called on his bullshit all over the mainstream and Internet media, he actually has the fucking balls to trot out the exact same lies that have already been refuted, such as his claim that a Plano, Texas school prohibited their students from wearing "Christmas colors" in school. He also pulled out his old standby, the just as demonstrably false claim about an elementary school in Wisconsin changing the lyrics of "Silent Night" in an alleged effort to make it less religious. As Ed Brayton pointed out weeks ago (and as can also be seen at Media Matters), that's a load of shit. The song O'Reilly refers to — "Cold in the Night" — is actually part of a a 1988 Christmas play called The Little Tree's Christmas Gift. Fuck, the whole play is about glorifying Christmas — what could be more pro-Christmas than that? In addition, O'Reilly keeps slandering the school by repeating something that is absolutely false. We'd make a comment about O'Reilly maybe taking his head out of his own ass someday, but if he did that, the poor guy wouldn't have a show.

Some of our favorite bits from this scumwad's Letterman appearance included...

After O'Reilly started telling his stories about the make-believe War on Christmas, Dave stepped in with:

LETTERMAN: I don't — I don't think this is an actual threat. I think this is something that happened here and it happened there, and so people like you are trying to make us think that it's a threat.

Not willing to give up, O'Reilly told another bullshit War on Christmas anecdote, which wrapped up with:

O'REILLY: Now how stupid and crazy is this?

LETTERMAN: I don't — I don't believe you. I don't —

O'REILLY: It's true!

LETTERMAN: I just don't believe you. I don't —

O'REILLY: (to the audience) You guys know I'm telling the truth.

LETTERMAN: No, you're not. No.

O'REILLY: (muffled) You think I'm making this up?

LETTERMAN: I do, I think you're making this up.

From here, the topic shifted to the war in Iraq. Bill took time to explain how people who question the motives of the Bush administration with regard to the Iraq war (specifically Cindy Sheehan) are really responsible for putting us in danger:

O'REILLY: So let's stop with the lying, and the this, and the that, and the undermining and let's get in — that is putting us all in danger. ... It is a vitally important time in American history, and we should all take it very seriously, be very careful with what we say.

LETTERMAN: Well, and you should be very careful with what you say, also. Um —

O'REILLY: Give me an example. Give me an example.

LETTERMAN: How — how can you possibly take exception with the — the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan.

O'REILLY: Because I believe she's run by far left elements in this country. I feel bad for the woman.

LETTERMAN: Have you — have you lost family members in armed conflict?

O'REILLY: No I have not.

LETTERMAN: Well then you can hardly speak for her, can you?

O'REILLY: I'm not speaking for her. (Pause) All right, let me — let me — let me ask you this question.

LETTERMAN: Let's go back to your little red and green stories.

Ah, another far left conspiracy. So, just so we can organize our PDAs, which should we have higher up on our list — destroying Christmas, or pulling the strings of Cindy Sheehan? C'mon, Bill, this is your delusion — clue us in, so we can memorize our scripts!

From here, Bill tried to pull the old "pay no attention to why we're there in the first place" two-step, and Dave brought it right back to the question at hand:

LETTERMAN: The president — the president himself, uh, less than a month ago, said we are there because of a mistake made in intelligence. Well, whose — whose intelligence? Was it just somebody got off a bus and handed it to him?

O'REILLY: No, it was —

LETTERMAN: No, it was the intelligence gathered by his administration —


LETTERMAN: Yeah, so why are we there in the first place? I agree to you — with you — that we have to support the troops, uh, they — they are there, they are the &mash; the best and the brightest of this country, there's no doubt about that. And I also agree that now we're in it, it's gonna take a long, long time. People who expect it to be solved and wrapped up in a couple of years — unrealistic. It's not going to happen. However — however, that does not eliminate the legitimate speculation and concern and questioning of why the hell are we there to begin with?

Watch O'Reilly's leg twitching during this last statement by Dave — we can almost hear his ass puckering.

As many of our readers might have guessed, one exchange in particular rang out in our ears:

LETTERMAN: I'm not smart enough to debate your point to point on this, but I have the feeling — I have the feeling — I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. But I don't know that for a fact.

PAUL SHAFFER: Sixty percent.

LETTERMAN: Sixty percent, that's just a — I'm just spitballing here now.

O'REILLY: Listen, I respect your opinion, you should respect mine.

First of all, let's be frank: while we cannot claim to know the inner workings of Bill O'Reilly's mind, we're pretty confident that the first half of this statement is just another load of bullshit. O'Reilly has no respect for any opinion that differs from his own. He demonstrates this fact again and again whenever he appears on television.

However, and more to the point, his entire statement is incorrect, because there's no inherent reason that he should have respect for any opinion that he doesn't share. As we've explained to intellectually challenged folks like O'Reilly far too many times to count, opinions are not worthy of respect without meriting it. Period. We are quite willing to respect another person and their right to have a differing opinion; but if that opinion is just more of the same clichéd mish-mash of utter bullshit that O'Reilly pulls out of his ass, we'll damn well not respect it, and we'll call it out as the bullshit it is. On a related note, we personally feel that people must earn respect through their words and deeds just as opinions must earn respect through their evidence and coherence — so not only do Bill O'Reilly's opinions completely fail to earn our respect, but the man himself doesn't rate it either. Dave, who has earned some respect, got just one thing wrong — we think he showed quite clearly that he is every bit smart enough to kick Bill's smug, lying ass in a debate; he just needed to have the facts handy to prove Bill was lying, rather than just stating it. Of course, being ready to refute on the spot any lie that someone like O'Reilly is likely to spew out is a task well beyond the capacity of any mortal man — but it would have been sweet if Dave could have directly slapped down at least one of his lies.

If you have any illusions about Bill O'Reilly's ability to put together a cogent understanding of legitimate sources and present them as an intelligent argument, just read through the amazing quantity of simple, undisputed facts that he's got wrong and, in fact, perpetually repeats no matter how many times he's been called out — Media Matters has a whole section devoted to this. We're eagerly looking forward to the day when Bill is lynched by a mob of angry conservatives who suddenly realize how completely he's fucked them by force-feeding them all his bullshit "facts" and thereby undermining every argument they present to their opposition.

Media Matters also quotes O'Reilly himself from a column he wrote for the WorldNetDaily in 2001:

The late-night program hosted by David Letterman is the toughest interview show on television.

That's because Mr. Letterman is a smart guy who can spot a phony with telescopic accuracy and expects his guests to bring something to the table. If a guest begins to sink on this show, the bottom is a long way down.

Indeed. So how's the view from way down there, Bill?

— • —
[  Filed under: % Media & Censorship  % Religion  ]

Comments (2)

Derek Scruggs, 2006.01.06 (Fri) 11:46 [Link] »

I hate Bill O'Reilly as much as anyone, but I think he acquitted himself reasonably well. Yeah, Letterman zapped him a couple of times, but O'Reilly didn't fly off the handle like most would if put on the spot like that, and Letterman had the home field advantage.

I agree 100% with what you say about his lies, but I'm afraid you (and Letterman) are preaching to the choir.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.01.06 (Fri) 13:54 [Link] »

It usually seems as if no one but the inhabitants of the blogosphere ever calls people like O'Reilly on their lies, Derek, so it felt good to see someone with a little more exposure doing it for a change. It was also pretty amusing that O'Reilly spent so much time on his own show whining about how unfair the interview was, despite the fact that he was the one tossing lies onto the table.

Are we preaching to the choir? In many (if not most) cases, yes. There are people who are willing to listen to reason, and there are those who blindly accept what people like O'Reilly tell them. Those in the latter category will most likely never be swayed by anything that we say. But to us, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be said. In addition, the instances in which someone is convinced to set aside lies or any form of bullshit because of arguments based on science, reason, and logic make the more frequent encounters with the blind followers worthwhile.

Was Letterman preaching to the choir? We're not sure. Based on the timing of the applause, most people in the audience seemed to be on his side of the fence, but there were certainly some cheers for O'Reilly as well (though at least one instance seemed to be based on an extracontextual misinterpretation of O'Reilly's statement — he elicited a cheer by refusing to call the Iraqi insurgents "freedom fighters," which is fine and dandy...when taken completely out of context). We don't pretend to know what demographics make up the Letterman audience, but we'd be willing to wager that he shares at least some viewers with O'Reilly, and maybe some of those folks will turn a more critical eye toward O'Reilly's "facts" in the future. Or maybe not. It would have helped immensely if Dave had been able to directly refute at least one of O'Reilly's lies, but, as we said, it's hard to be prepared for that kind of thing at a moment's notice. At least Dave did his part to get the word out.

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