maybe o'reilly will shut up
August 11, 2004 12:38 AM   Subscribe

The producer strikes back. After crowing Monday about how he made mincemeat of NYT columnist Paul Krugman on The Factor, O'Reilly gets rebutted on Tuesday via quicktime on the blog of Outfoxed co-producer Jim Gilliam.
posted by tsarfan (104 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Shut up! Shut up! Just shut up!!

/Graduate: O'Reilly School of Debate
posted by RavinDave at 1:18 AM on August 11, 2004


By the way, I heartily agree with Al Franken that O'Reilly is an accident waiting to happen. He's gonna explode sooner or later in a context that will effectively dork his career. We should start a lottery.
posted by RavinDave at 1:20 AM on August 11, 2004


God, Krugman makes himself look bad by even appearing in teh same room as that oaf. Perhaps that's the Illinois strategy with Obama, send a complete nut against him who will make obama look bad by even standing nexto to him.

The Al Franken show today went through a part where O'Reilly invented an appearance by Hans Blix on his show which never happened. Unbelievable.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:36 AM on August 11, 2004


maybe o'reilly will shut up

I don't think O'Reilly gets paid to not speak. Talk about preaching to the choir around here, anyway. Wake me up when this guys does or says anything at all interesting. If I wanted to keep abreast of the latest developments in the made-for-cable soap-opera of O'Reilly vs. The World, I'd tune in to the Fox News Channel.
posted by kjh at 1:47 AM on August 11, 2004


How did O'Reilly's war on the Internet ever turn out anyway? Is that thing still around?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:59 AM on August 11, 2004


The "fair and balanced" pretext amazes me. No one on EITHER side of the political spectrum believes it, why does FOX feel compelled to fiercely maintain the charade?
posted by RavinDave at 2:15 AM on August 11, 2004


because it's genius marketing, and all the other cable networks are shitting themselves that they didn't invent it first

*cuts everybody else's mike, gloats*
posted by matteo at 2:25 AM on August 11, 2004


My copy of Outfoxed arrived from Amazon today, I am looking forward to watching it...

I cannot believe that O'Reilly is such a moron. Good god. I hope he isn't actually the voice of anything more than his own bizarre little world.
posted by sycophant at 3:24 AM on August 11, 2004


God, Krugman makes himself look bad by even appearing in teh same room as that oaf.

What?
posted by oaf at 3:43 AM on August 11, 2004


I think one would have to concede that the casual observer would come away from this thinking O'Reilly had won decisively. That he did it through bluster, bullying and sophistry is beside the point -- he was more effective. And Krugman, alas, looked like he was nervously eyeing the studio door, half-expecting O'Reilly to loose it all and take a swing at him. I don't fault Krugman. That's just the state of (what passes for) discourse.

God I miss Buckley on "The Firing Line".
posted by RavinDave at 4:04 AM on August 11, 2004


Agreed RavinDave, I saw Krugman when he was a guest on Bill Maher's Real Time and he really sucks at arguing, especially with blowhards. I couldn't think of two worse people to have a productive debate between, than O'Reilly and Krugman. I think whoever teed up Krugman to debate with O'Reilly, would have had to have known he would come across looking like he did.
posted by Onanist at 4:25 AM on August 11, 2004


And Krugman, alas, looked like he was nervously eyeing the studio door, half-expecting O'Reilly to loose it all and take a swing at him

$$$$$$$
right on. Krugman's an academic, you can't throw a skinny bookwormish Economics professor in the Coliseum and expect him to kick the lion's ass. Tv is a bitch of a difficult medium, the smartest guy seldom wins. O'Reilly's has honed his tv-bully skills to perfection. it looked like Krugman was physically intimidated by O'Reilly (who by the way is a big man with a booming voice and a drunken Irishman's penchant for the barroom brawl).

very few people can take O'Reilly down. one, I remember, was Richard Holbrooke. O'Reilly tried to lecture him on Vietnam and Holbrooke cut him off. coldly hissing, David Caruso-style, something like "I spent four years in the field there, don't you lecture me on 'Nam" or something to that effect. O'Reilly was hit pretty bad, he visibly winced and changed the topic.

you get one shot against O'Reilly, just one. but you can take him down if you're good enough
posted by matteo at 4:34 AM on August 11, 2004


Hate makes you stupid. Hating Clinton made the Gingrich crew totally lose it, and hating Bush has gone a long way towards the same end, Krugman being a great case in point. Herbert's column is less predictable and that's saying something...
posted by MattD at 5:03 AM on August 11, 2004


Does anyone know what O'Reilly was doing during the Viet Nam conflict? I'm guessing something like butt-boils kept him out of the fighting ...
posted by jpburns at 5:55 AM on August 11, 2004


I've seen no indication that Krugman hates Bush.

Can you provide some links or something to back that up?

Krugman was just as hard on Clinton as he is on Bush. I consider it a stretch to define valid criticism of Bush as hate.

Are you saying that Herbert is also a Bush hater? Is anyone allowed to make any criticism of Bush without being a "Bush hater?" I'm not seeing the hate. Can you back those assertions mattd?
posted by nofundy at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2004


Answering my own question.
posted by jpburns at 6:08 AM on August 11, 2004


jpburns: that page 404s.
posted by lowlife at 6:17 AM on August 11, 2004


add an 'l" to the .htm in the URL and it works alright.
posted by Fezboy! at 6:35 AM on August 11, 2004


err, and an "l" to the URL and it works alright.
posted by Fezboy! at 6:36 AM on August 11, 2004


I didn't see this show, and as a rule I don't watch FoxNews or the O'Reilly Factor, due to reasons of blood pressure, but I'm not surprised by that Krugman didn't acquit himself very well. Krugman is a soft-spoken, genteel person whose thoughts are based on careful analysis and interpretation of texts and data, and don't lend themselves to 5 or 6 word sound bites, which is the only way to fend off the bullying attacks of O'Reilly.

Taking exception, though, characterizing Krugman as a "Bush hater" is plain ignorant. I have never seen anything resembling spite in any of Krugman's column's (which I have read more or less consistently over the past year). Krugman's points are backed up by research and nimble interpretation. The fact that he thinks Bush's economic policies are foolish doesn't stem from hatred, it stems from rational thought and analysis. In fact, the only economists that are in Bush's corner are the one's that have been bought and paid for.
posted by psmealey at 6:50 AM on August 11, 2004


hmmm, let's see an example of Clinton hate:

Yet still the presence of that specter can be felt, an icy wind blowing to us from the unseeable future, disturbing our sleep, arresting us in the midst of our daily tasks, chilling and warning us. Bill and Hill are history, but Clintonism may yet rise again, like Glenn Close from that bathtub. For, ladies and gentlemen, the tworch has been paaahssed to a noooh genewation of Clintons. On February 27th, Chelsea Clinton will turn 21.

At this point I had better make a confession. It's a bad one, I know it. It is low, contemptible and — yes! — mean-spirited. It may very well place me beyond the pale of civilized society. I don't care. Truth will out, I will be heard. Brace yourself: I hate Chelsea Clinton.
But this is all rationalization. More than anything, I admit, I hate Chelsea because she is a Clinton. Not just genetically a Clinton, but in spirit and habit and manner. The evidence for this is now, I think, sufficient to indict.

Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint
; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past — I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble — recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an "enemy of the people". The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, "clan liability". In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished "to the ninth degree": that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed, and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed. (This sounds complicated, but in practice what usually happened was that a battalion of soldiers was sent to the offender's home town, where they killed everyone they could find, on the principle neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscet — "let God sort 'em out".)


to compare an Economics professor like Krugman with these anti-Clinton thugs is an example of appalling bad faith. or stupidity. or both.
posted by matteo at 7:05 AM on August 11, 2004


It mystifies me why Krugman would even agree to appear on O'Reilly's freakshow. Is he planning to do Hollywood Squares next?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:10 AM on August 11, 2004


(who by the way is a big man with a booming voice and a drunken Irishman's penchant for the barroom brawl).

Nice to see the "drunken Irish" stereotype is still being deployed to make a point.
posted by dhoyt at 7:16 AM on August 11, 2004


Krugman has a book out (a collection of columns I think) so he's doing the tour. I don't exactly know why he would have been booked on O'Reilly's show either. There's simply nothing to be gained there. O'Reilly's audience can barely read*, let alone understand some relatively sophisticate economic theories.

* Well, they probably can, but every time I am at the gym, and the show is on above the treadmill, it boggles my mind that people can watch this hyprocrtical liar call his show the "no spin zone" when all he does is spin, bloviate and spin. I can only assume that his loyal audience doesn't rely on much outside reading material for its information.
posted by psmealey at 7:18 AM on August 11, 2004


Nice to see the "drunken Irish" stereotype is still being deployed to make a point.

Tis true.

Tis all in good fun, though.

*slugs Bushmills, passes out*
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on August 11, 2004


Seriously, dhoyt. When I think of a Drunken Irishman, I think more of Tip O'Neill and Ted Kennedy. O'Reilly strikes as a Sanctimonious Tee Totalling (but formerly Drunken) Irishman. And yeah, I can say that, as I am a Drunken Irishman.
posted by psmealey at 7:23 AM on August 11, 2004


The Transcript.

Krugman is a liar.

Krugman's an academic, you can't throw a skinny bookwormish Economics professor in the Coliseum and expect him to kick the lion's ass.

Except that Krugman's an economist while O'Reilly isn't. In an economics-oriented debate, you'd think that might give him an advantage, no?
posted by trharlan at 7:28 AM on August 11, 2004


Seriously, dhoyt. When I think of a Drunken Irishman, I think more of Tip O'Neill and Ted Kennedy

- Perhaps the pertinent point being none of the aforementioned are Irishmen.
posted by johnnyboy at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2004


trharlan: Nice O'Reilly impression.
posted by gwint at 7:44 AM on August 11, 2004


Anyone suggesting that O'Reilly somehow 'won' either have a different definition of the term than I do ar some pretty low standards for argument. Krugman can be faulted for ever deciding to debate this guy in the first place (especially because he is so soft-spoken), but at least he tried to provide arguments. The standard exchange went something like this:

Krugman: tries to make a point, offer some form of evidence in support for the point. Cut off By O'Reilly after about two sentences.
O'Reilly: offers some type of retort, generally in the form of 'everyone knows that's wrong. Your sources are all lying partisans.' Then goes on to attack Krugman in the worst ad hominem fashion. Krugman passively waits for the child to finish or start debating like a reasonable person. Alas, this never happens.

What's funny to me is that O'Reilly himself seems tio distrust evidence on principle (and certainly cultivates this attitude among his viewers). If they are trying to offer sources to support their claims, they must be skirting on sophistry.

But yelling at someone and calling him a traitor do not constitute good arguments. Unless your Goebbels.
posted by amauck at 7:48 AM on August 11, 2004


economics-oriented debate

Are you kidding me?
posted by amauck at 7:49 AM on August 11, 2004


trharlan, how exactly does your "Krugman is a liar" link prove any such thing?

Is it the stuff about the tax cuts? O'Reilly claimed that Krugman predicted a recession due to the tax cuts, and Krugman disagreed...all the link does is find some examples of Krugman saying that Bush's tax cuts will lead to a long-term fiscal disaster due to the size of the deficit...he wasn't saying the cuts would cause a recession, just that eventually they'll either cause us to raise taxes or cut services.

Am I missing something?
posted by jbrjake at 7:52 AM on August 11, 2004


Just wanted to point out that Krugman was on Tim Russert's show and not The O'Reilly Factor as some people have assumed. O'Reilly and Krugman were both guests, though you would have thought Russert was the guest and Bill the host, judging from the clip I saw.
posted by Onanist at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2004


Ah, a nit-picker.. how tedious. Ok, johnnyboy, I meant an American of Irish Descent. Sorry for the shorthand. Everyone else got it, I think.
posted by psmealey at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2004


I actually read the transcript of the debate, and how anybody could think O'Reilly came off better is beyond me. It may well be that Krugman's delivery is not as good, but if you ignore that, and just look at the content then there is only one winner.
posted by salmacis at 8:01 AM on August 11, 2004


In an economics-oriented debate, you'd think that might give him an advantage, no?

In an economics-oriented debate, it probably would. But O'Reilly's show is a shouting-oriented debate, so a loud mouth and control of the microphones are the key advantages.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2004


The trade secret of the O'Reillys and Limbaughs is that their listeners don't check their facts, nor would they willingly read anyone who does check their facts -- because they don't want them to be wrong. They're broadcasting exclusively to people who want very much for them to be right.; their shows select for people who want them to be right. That's why you could publish a (very, very long) newspaper article tomorrow that listed every simple, provable lie that O'Reilly's told on his show, and every time he called his guest a liar when what that guest said was simply and provably true, and it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference to his listeners. He says what they want to hear -- they don't want to know that its a lie.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:18 AM on August 11, 2004


I actually read the transcript of the debate, and how anybody could think O'Reilly came off better is beyond me.

See, there's your mistake. (Word up, Spiggott.) These debates are not won and lost in transcript. Seriously, who in the choir O'really preaches to reads transcripts? Please.

O'Reilly "won" the debate because he managed to shout down the opposing viewpoint. That's his style, and his only trick.

Think of him as a 900 pound boxer. Actual technique is wasted on him, because all he has to do is sit on you and the match is over. It's boring to watch, especially over and over again, and certainly he's not doing anyone (himself, his fans, the sport) any favors by acting like that, but until someone can avoid being smothered in some corner by him (which does happen, more and more often these days) and knock him out, he's gonna keep doing it.
posted by chicobangs at 8:21 AM on August 11, 2004


salmacis: Presentation is everything, at least here in the good ol' US of A.

Right wingers have nothing to say, so they say nothing loudly. Only someone mentally deficient would say that the difference between "disastrous" and "ineffective" is merely semantics, as O'Reilly did.

O'Reilly and Rush are proof that a significant portion of this country is borderline retarded.

I've come to the conclusion that many (not all, save your typing) conservatives are not mean or evil, they're just stupid, and they listen to the voice that sounds the most like "daddy" offering to do their thinking for them.

Most liberal commentators present evidence and let the listener decide for themselves, which is entirely too much effort for most dual-digit IQ members who can have Rush explain everything to them in simple, hateful means even they can understand.

The reason many "heartland conservatives" listen to Rush and watch Fox and read Coulter is because they are unable to construct arguments on their own, so they have to listen to the repetition to memorize it, just like the latest pop song.

Clinton was on "The Daily Show" the other night, and he spoke about how he thought Kerry could be more effective, by vigorously rebutting any claims made against him. Clinton made the statement that (paraphrasing) "We need to talk about these issues, and make people think, because when people think, liberals win."

Truer words have perhaps never been spoken, certainly not as regarding american politics.

This election will reveal a tremendous amount about America and its maturity and reasoning capacity.

Am I an elitist? Maybe a little, but not really. I can read, and I have at least rudimentary reasoning skills. I expend effort to think about what I believe, and what I approve of, and disapprove of. That is apparently too much for many people.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2004


Russert was reprehensibly passive. There is a difference between letting your guests have their say and simply doing nothing.
posted by amauck at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2004


I just read the transcript too salmacis and believe me, Krugman came off a lot better in print than he did on the box. He just comes across as flustered and timid on tv, as if he can't handle all the "facts" being thrown at him.

Who would be the best match for O'Reilly from the left? Al Franken didn't do too bad at that debate at some NY book festival, but he did start to get a bit angry IIRC. I think you need some cold, hard, straight talker to penetrate O'Reilly's bluster.
posted by Onanist at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2004


O'Reilly "won" the debate because he managed to shout down the opposing viewpoint. That's his style, and his only trick.

Well, I watched the debate, and I don't think he 'won.' He came off as an overbearing ass. Any fan of Russert (remember this was not the O'Reilly Factor) wold not have been impressed by him.
posted by amauck at 8:32 AM on August 11, 2004


Years ago I saw an episode of Politically Incorrect with O'Reilly as one of the guests. He came off kinda weak because Bill Maher, whether you think he's a tool or not, refused to cede control of the forum. Plus Maher isn't afraid to raise his voice or turn on the faux-indignation...
posted by crank at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2004


Amauck, look at how much more coverage Russert has gotten for the "controversial" show than he would have gotten if he had kept things civil.

H'm?

I love it when the "Daily Show" has kids read transcripts of "talk hosts" acting childish. That's a great bit.

I'm always surprised when people carry on about how Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Michael Savage, etc., listeners aren't thoughtful, critical, or analytical.

I would point out to everyone that a radio station who wants to sell advertising to the folks touting Super Blue Emu Oil, shady gold investments, magic weight-loss pills, herbal "male enhancement" products and other items of that ilk probably isn't looking for a skeptical or even logical audience.

I don't watch O'Reilly's nightly temper tantrum, so I don't know what the Fox folks are trying to flog then, but I'm guessing it's not copies of A Critique of Pure Reason.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:58 AM on August 11, 2004


Ynoxas, aside from selling yourself short, you made some excellent points. But O'Reilly isn't looking to win any argument on merit, because he can't.

The choir he preaches to doesn't listen to the words he says. Frankly, they couldn't care less. They just hear who got the last line in. And getting the last line in is easy if you just keep raising your voice and don't let the other side finish.

His one "talent" is that his lungs are bigger and leatherier than those of most pundits. When he controls the mics, he can outshout anyone.

And Maher might be a knucklehead, but he does read, and isn't afraid of wading into something he doesn't understand and getting someone to explain it to him. There's a place for him in the landscape.
posted by chicobangs at 9:03 AM on August 11, 2004


you get one shot against O'Reilly, just one. but you can take him down if you're good enough

But ... hm ... you shouldn't attack a bully with ANY fuel, don't you think?

If I could have my shot, I'd suggest the correct way to hit O'Reilly is to Truman Capote his statements. Repeat them back at him with effeminate innuendo and questions, all the time complimenting his husky voice and flair for drama. mm-hmmmm.

As he gets boiled up in dialogue, cheer him on. "Yes Bill! Oh I love it when you get big! Get big. Tell me to shut up. BECAUSE YOU ARE RIGHT." Say things, asking him to tell you to shut up. End sentences with "tell me to shut up" and even tell yourself to shut up mid-sentence to appeal to Bill's dominant Top tendencies.

wait for the pause, then say, "of course by right I mean you're a full of shit tool" and smile like you just polished off a daquiri. Wait for him to reinflate and repeat.

If we would all, as a country, agree to give O'Reilly and the like a little effeminate bitch drama to their alpha male football talk, well ... we'd still be losing this infowar propaganda bullshit but at least tv would be more entertaining!
posted by Peter H at 9:08 AM on August 11, 2004


The more I read about O'Reilly, the harder I find it to understand why he hasn't been shut down. Free speech is one thing, lies are another, and they should not be tolerated. Everyone he has ever lied about ought to sue his ass.
posted by orange swan at 9:13 AM on August 11, 2004


Am I an elitist? Maybe a little, but not really. I can read, and I have at least rudimentary reasoning skills. I expend effort to think about what I believe, and what I approve of, and disapprove of. That is apparently too much for many people.

Well, it could also be that a lot of the "heartland conservatives" are undereducated, overworked, and seething with generalized resentment, which would tend to make one disinclined to listen to a Krugman and more prey to someone like O'Reilly.

But calling people stupid ain't gonna change anything, and it only reinforces peoples stereotypes of liberals and makes the resentment stronger.
posted by jonmc at 9:46 AM on August 11, 2004


"The trade secret of the O'Reillys and Limbaughs is that their listeners don't check their facts, nor would they willingly read anyone who does check their facts"

And that's exactly why he responds to facts with this:

"All right. I know. You're smarter than everybody."

He plays to the drooling dittoheads who resent people who have taken the time to educate themselves on the issues.
posted by 2sheets at 9:48 AM on August 11, 2004


resent people who have taken the time to educate themselves on the issues.

Or maybe they resent those with the leisure time, wealth and educational priviliges to be able to educate themselves on the issues.

Resentment is a big part of why men like Limbaugh and O'Reilly become popular, but it's only partially what you think. And the left needs to get smart and start courting the angry white males and directing their anger in the right way.
posted by jonmc at 9:55 AM on August 11, 2004


left right left right left right, just another day on mefi.

Hail Hail the gangs all here...

O'Reilly is Hitler. There I said it.
posted by a3matrix at 10:00 AM on August 11, 2004


you get one shot against O'Reilly, just one. but you can take him down if you're good enough

if you're smart like Michael Moore was versus The Factor during the dnc convention, you only agree to a "debate" if you're allowed to ask three questions to o'reilly.

this allows you at least three shots at the cyclops's eye.
posted by tsarfan at 10:08 AM on August 11, 2004


Or maybe they resent those with the leisure time, wealth and educational priviliges to be able to educate themselves on the issues.

In all seriousness, is this true? Does Joe Red State Republican actually think about things in those terms? That only people with wealth, leisure time and privilege can be ones that thing deeply about the issues? If there is any truth to this, then the divide in this country is far wider than I thought. I mean, I work 12-14 hours a day, but in what little remains of my leisure time I read political essays, biographies, histories, etc. instead of flipping on the tube. This doesn't make me paragon of virtue or anything, it's a matter of personal choice. I didn't know (and it horrifies me to find out) that people resent me for this choice.
posted by psmealey at 10:18 AM on August 11, 2004


In all seriousness, is this true? Does Joe Red State Republican actually think about things in those terms?

Yeah, at least partly.

It all depends on where those 14 hours a day are spent. If it's spent at an office where you're well paid and intellectually stimulated then maybe going home and reading essays sounds like fun. But if you spend it as a file clerk, truck driver, or cashier, then (and I speak from experience) a six-pack of beer and ESPN followed by slumber sound far more appealing.

Plus there's the educational divide. Most of the political essays and whatnot are laden with academic jargon and written for an academic audience, which does not bode well for their being understood by the non-degreed majority of citizens.

Plus, I can also tell you that many of these people are under the impression that liberals hate them or at least don't care for them much. Are they wrong?
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on August 11, 2004


The trade secret of the O'Reillys and Limbaughs is that their listeners don't check their facts, nor would they willingly read anyone who does check their facts

That's not exactly true. Limbaugh updates daily a list of news articles that he references in his show each day. Of course his analysis might not be correct, but his facts are there for people to check.
posted by gyc at 10:33 AM on August 11, 2004


Or maybe they resent those with the leisure time, wealth and educational priviliges to be able to educate themselves on the issues.

This works for some disaffected, working-class white males (perhaps the core of an O'Reilly audience), but I think you are giving an inordinate amount of importance to the socioeconomic factor. There is a current of anti-intellectualism running through American culture that is as old as America itself. The Joe Coors' of the world are equally enamoured with people like O'Reilly, despite the fact that they have plenty of leisure time and all the money they could possibly need. While there is some correlation between the level of education and political affiliation, this is by no means a law. I, for one, would like to know what percentage of LSU or U of Arizona grads are on the left, but I'll bet it isn't as high as one might think.
posted by amauck at 10:49 AM on August 11, 2004


But if you spend it as a file clerk, truck driver, or cashier, then (and I speak from experience) a six-pack of beer and ESPN followed by slumber sound far more appealing.

Bullshit. Just because you drive a truck for a living doesn't mean you're more inclined to go home and watch TV and drink a six-pack. I've been a cashier too. I've done manual labor, and at the end of the day I went home and read books, checked online for political news, read some magazine articles. Sometimes on weekends I'll hit the library and read magazines I can't read online.

What is more likely, is that those who are more inclined to go home at the end of the day and watch TV and drink a six-pack end up with lower-paying jobs.

Imagine: those who are not driven to improve themselves do not improve their lot in life.
posted by rocketman at 10:53 AM on August 11, 2004


The Joe Coors' of the world are equally enamoured with people like O'Reilly, despite the fact that they have plenty of leisure time and all the money they could possibly need.

That's because the O'Reillys of the world help keep the Joe Coors of the world in power, which is what OReilly's real mission is.

I've been a cashier too. I've done manual labor, and at the end of the day I went home and read books, checked online for political news, read some magazine articles. Sometimes on weekends I'll hit the library and read magazines I can't read online

As have I, rocketman. But not everybody is so inclined or able, and often the intellectual left seems to be doing all it can to alienate the audience I mentioned.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on August 11, 2004


Well, the irony of the whole thing is that Krugman's saying Bush's tax cuts are costing the truck drivers and cashiers etc. their jobs, but these people would rather listen to O'Reilly tell him to shut up.

It's like hating your mom for meekly telling you if you touch the hot stove, you'll burn your hand, then cheering for your dad when he beats the hell out of her.
posted by rocketman at 11:03 AM on August 11, 2004


I'm gonna call "bullshit" on jonmc also.

I know truck drivers, cashiers, waiters/waitresses, and file clerks. They are no more or less apathetic about politics and current events than stockbrokers, doctors, or air traffic controllers.

It is true that people whose jobs require long hours of constant attention and physical exertion (truck drivers, waiters/waitresses, doctors, air traffic controllers) often don't have time or energy at the end of the day to catch up on the news.

However, there are a certain number of people in every socioeconomic stratum who are apathetic; a certain number of people who don't have time or energy to keep up with the news; and a certain number of people who are very actively involved with current events.

One thing I do find is that critical thinking schools are very rarely taught in the US at the elementary or high-school levels, so people who haven't gone to college or graduate school are at a slight disadvantage in terms of understanding formal logic, analysis of evidence, and the ways in which statistics and their conventions can be misleading ("margin of error", for example, is a phrase that is often misunderstood).

I think people like O'Reilly because he's a bully. Some people like to watch that. That doesn't mean they're idiots--it just means they have a different taste in entertainment than I do.

Some people believe everything O'Reilly says without question. That isn't because they're blue-collar workers--it's because they're insufficiently skeptical. There are people with graduate degrees from very selective institutions who believe everything Noam Chomsky says without question, which is an equal failure of skepticism in my book.

When I was in graduate school, I once overheard the following conversation in the coffee room:

A: Well, you know, capitalism's on the way out.
B: What's next, then?
A: Probably socialism.
B: That makes sense.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:05 AM on August 11, 2004


And, jonmc, since when are the 'Joe Coors' of the world in power? Because from where I sit, it looks like they're getting screwed over.

Screwed over by people who appear in their shirtsleeves and affect accents that obscure their wealthy prep-school backgrounds, sure, but screwed over nonetheless.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:08 AM on August 11, 2004


Jonmc, Let's change it slightly, then: The middle class throughout the Bible Belt and most of the midwest are likely to be fine many of O'Reilly's arguments convincing, despite the fact that they have sufficient leisure time to see through these arguments if they really wanted to. What is at issue is an entrenched cultural trait that inclines Americans in general to look to simple solutions to complex problems. This has had its advantages throughout history as well as its drawbacks, but it inevitably leads to the sort of political naivete and populism that gives O'Reilly-types an audience. He's hardly new in this camp: witness Walter Winchell, or a good three-quarters of the political satirists in the nineteenth century.
posted by amauck at 11:09 AM on August 11, 2004


"Everyone he has ever lied about ought to sue his ass."

Al Franken addressed this question in Outfoxed. Basically, you have to prove that he knows he is lying. Unfortunately, O'Reilly is such a pathalogical liar that he'd probably get off.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:12 AM on August 11, 2004


No, he means the actual Joe Coors. The beer magnate and warmonger.
posted by amauck at 11:13 AM on August 11, 2004


Oh, and jonmc? What about all those poor minorities who vote for democrats? Surely they're working class enough for you?
posted by amauck at 11:18 AM on August 11, 2004


I was assuming by Joe Coors, he was talking about somebody from the Coors Corporation. My bad. And for what it's worth sidhedevil, I agree with your last statement completely.

I know truck drivers, cashiers, waiters/waitresses, and file clerks. They are no more or less apathetic about politics and current events than stockbrokers, doctors, or air traffic controllers.

I wasn't arguing apathy so much as frustration and exhaustion, and I certainly wasn't arguing that it applied to all. It was more a retort to Ynoxas' rather smug "double-digit IQ's" "borderline retarded" comment.

I think people like O'Reilly because he's a bully. Some people like to watch that. That doesn't mean they're idiots--it just means they have a different taste in entertainment than I do.

This is right on the money. My dad, a fairly intelligent and politically moderate man, used to love watching Morton Downey Jr. Not because he agreed with much of what Mort said (although when he did, it was gratifying) but because it was the intellectual equivalent of WWF.

Jonmc, Let's change it slightly, then: The middle class throughout the Bible Belt and most of the midwest are likely to be fine many of O'Reilly's arguments convincing, despite the fact that they have sufficient leisure time to see through these arguments if they really wanted to. What is at issue is an entrenched cultural trait that inclines Americans in general to look to simple solutions to complex problems.

Agreed. But instead of throwing up our hands, we liberals have gotta accept that pretty much as a given and work on framing our arguments in ways that communicate to that. Some might say that's pandering to the lowest common denominator, but as a very lefty freind of mine said "So what! Pander to whatever denominator you have to to get the job done."

On preview: amauck, easy, I'm just floating theories here. And a large reason minorities vote democrat is basically because the replubicans did everything they possibly could to pander to racial divides, dosen't neccessarily mean that their thrilled with the Democratic party.
posted by jonmc at 11:24 AM on August 11, 2004


O'Reilly and Krugman were both guests, though you would have thought Russert was the guest and Bill the host, judging from the clip I saw.

This is the real problem, as I saw it. Russert just didn't do his job. He shouldv'e smacked down O'Reilly's ad hominem attacks from the start, instead he let them go by in the interest, I guess, of seeming "objective."

The debate seemed to me a fairly good representation of politcs in America right now: Liberals act squirrely even though they have the better arguments; Conservatives shout loudly and are mostly full of shit; And the press sits in the middle and acts as if both sides are equally reasonable, which they clearly are not.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:41 AM on August 11, 2004


Isnt Air America and other new liberal media suposed to be the response to right wing shows like O'Reilly et al? I thought that the target audience for AA is just the group being described here.

Of course it's getting the same sort of criticism as the right wing stuff and isn't widely heard, but it's a first step.
posted by Red58 at 11:50 AM on August 11, 2004


But instead of throwing up our hands, we liberals have gotta accept that pretty much as a given and work on framing our arguments in ways that communicate to that

On this I entirely agree. The problem with Krugman was that he agreed to a debate which essentially required him to frame his arguments in an accessable manner, and then proceeded in his usual, underspoken, intellectually subtle fashion. I am not saying we need a loudmouth, but we do need populists. Michael Moore kind of fits this bill, as do Bill Maher and Al Franken, but it may be in part a problem with liberal method of gathering evidence (at least some of the time), and the fact that their arguments so often rest on statistical claims. The gerneral populations simply do not wish to think statistically: they prefer concrete examples, regardless of how representatitve these might be. For the Left to be more effective, ironically, it should (if anything) lower its reliance on solid evidence and tell some more good stories.
posted by amauck at 12:05 PM on August 11, 2004


when people think, liberals win

I was thinking this earlier today while reading my morning headlines et al.

What struck me is that by far the majority of well-educated, well-travelled people in this world are social liberals.

Just as most informed people believe the earth orbits the sun and not vice-versa, most informed people appear to be more Democrat than Republican. Or so it seems to me.

Now, when the majority of smart people are mostly believing in one thing, isn't that an indication that maybe they're onto something?

Maybe I'm out to lunch. Ah, but there lies another problem: us liberal folk are just too ready to admit there may be another viewpoint!
posted by five fresh fish at 12:09 PM on August 11, 2004


Just as most informed people believe the earth orbits the sun and not vice-versa, most informed people appear to be more Democrat than Republican.

I'm a card-carrying member of the Left, but I would stay away from the implications of this. Leftist positions are often better-supported by firm evidence, but this does not mean there isn't room for ideological conflict or discussion. There is strong epidemiological support for the idea that cigarettes and guns should be restricted, but I can understand why people might be opposed to restricting either of these. Evidence never 'speaks for itself.'
posted by amauck at 12:17 PM on August 11, 2004


Michael Moore kind of fits this bill, as do Bill Maher and Al Franken,

Moore was the closest, especially during the Roger & Me period, but he seems to have veered off course. Franken has the wit and sense of humor, but he comes across a little too professorial, Maher could be impossibly smug, which can be really off-putting.

Those are the stereotypes of liberals that I keep hearing from people: smug, know it all, jaded, sanctimonious, clubby. Now right wingers are all of these things, and usually more so, so we gotta find someone to completely turn that stereotype on it's head. Clinton was especially good at it, which is a big reason for his success.
posted by jonmc at 12:19 PM on August 11, 2004


What struck me is that by far the majority of well-educated, well-travelled people in this world are social liberals.

Just as most informed people believe the earth orbits the sun and not vice-versa, most informed people appear to be more Democrat than Republican. Or so it seems to me.


So do you have any hard evidence to back this up, or is this just based on your personal observations? My experience has been just the opposite of yours.
posted by gyc at 12:26 PM on August 11, 2004


What struck me is that by far the majority of well-educated, well-travelled people in this world are social liberals.

The key word in that sentence is social. On issues like drug use, homosexuality, abortion, separation of church & state, and to some degree on race, education can help clear away the superstition, myth and conventions that can cloud people on these issues. Economics and power politics is a whole other ball of wax. People who have money and/or power tend to do everything in their power to keep it, regardless of education level.
posted by jonmc at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2004


I think that there are very few well-educated, well-travelled people who, for example, think that homosexuality should be illegal.

But there are lots and lots of well-educated, well-travelled people who believe that taxes should be lower and government should be smaller.

Etc., etc.

This is one of the reasons I'm so vociferously anti-Republicrat and Democan. I prefer to order a la carte rather than get a "set meal" designed by someone else.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:41 PM on August 11, 2004


There's no particular underlying ideological reason for the positions occupied by either the Reds or Blues. The reason Dems back unions is because unions have historically supported them. The reason Repubs kowtow to Falwell et.al. is because this is their current base.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:52 PM on August 11, 2004


Krugman forgot two important rules of debate:
1. Never argue with an idiot. Bystanders can't tell the difference.
2. Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig likes it.
posted by JackFlash at 12:53 PM on August 11, 2004


The key word in that sentence is social.

Yes.

That's why I used it.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:17 PM on August 11, 2004


alienate joe coors? there comes a point when its near impossible to even talk to everyday 'normal' people. American small talk is 90% Television and Movies and the Gossip that orbits them both. How can a vast majority be alienated by a small minority? I dont think alienation is the right word -- maybe frustration. Jesus, I'd feel alienated too if my main source of input and emotive fodder was a fucking glowing box.
posted by Satapher at 1:23 PM on August 11, 2004


alienate joe coors? there comes a point when its near impossible to even talk to everyday 'normal' people.

Yes, we understand, satapher. It's so hard to be special.

I'd feel alienated too if my main source of input and emotive fodder was a fucking glowing box.

Like the one I'm reading your comments on?
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on August 11, 2004


I've caught O'Reilly a couple of times where he was being charming and I have even agreed with his points on more than one occasion, but BOY he sure can seem irrational and on the verge of becoming violent at times.

I saw the Russert Show, and he was visibly shaken twice (at least): once when he mentioned that Krugman was appearing with "Stuart Smalley." and then when Krugman mentioned Media Matters..."You might as well call the Klan!...Do your own research!"

I don't think I've ever read of anyone one here, even the usual (rightish) suspects, defending Mr. O'Reilly.
posted by jaronson at 1:35 PM on August 11, 2004


He's perfectly welcome to refer to Al Franken as Stuart Smalley, if he'll also refer to Dana Carvey as President George Herbert Walker Bush.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:52 PM on August 11, 2004


I'd feel alienated too if my main source of input and emotive fodder was a fucking glowing box.

Like the one I'm reading your comments on?

jonmc, I love you madly.

"Their box bad. My box better!"
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:02 PM on August 11, 2004


Well, the irony of the whole thing is that Krugman's saying Bush's tax cuts are costing the truck drivers and cashiers etc. their jobs, but these people would rather listen to O'Reilly tell him to shut up.

It's like hating your mom for meekly telling you if you touch the hot stove, you'll burn your hand, then cheering for your dad when he beats the hell out of her.


I don’t pretend to have any expertise towards psychiatry and I try to avoid armchair analysis, but what the shrinks say is that its extremely common if you’re a kid and your dad comes home and whacks you over the head. Well, he’s too big to hit him back so what you do is go over and whack your kid brother over the head and then your kid brother goes over and whacks the dog. That’s displaced anger and there is a lot of it in politics.

And what is interesting to me is how successful people like Limbaugh have been in telling people who really are getting screwed, I mean, it’s not fair, they don’t have equal opportunities, there is a whole lot that has happened that has made their lives less comfortable, less pleasant, less bearable, narrower and uglier. And that is true for a lot of Americans. And they sense it but they do not know who to get mad at.

So, they listen to guys like Limbaugh who tell them the reason everything is going to hell is because of a bunch of pointy-headed professors on college campuses and political correctness and feminists and all these people. Let me tell you something: college professors and politically correct liberals and feminists by and large don’t run those huge corporations that lay off 10,000 people at a time. They are not in charge of companies that move so many jobs overseas. They don’t run the S&Ls and the big Financial Institutions that screw people over. And it seems to me that this misdirection of anger is a terrible waste of perfectly good anger.


Molly Ivins
posted by y2karl at 2:09 PM on August 11, 2004


>> I'd feel alienated too if my main source of input and emotive fodder was a fucking glowing box.

> Like the one I'm reading your comments on?


The key difference being that this glowing box is interactive and active, not one-way and passive.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:31 PM on August 11, 2004


I've got a one-way glowing box, but it's the other way.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:52 PM on August 11, 2004


FFF, my TV and the Internet are about equally "interactive" in most contexts. I can switch from one thing to another on both. The fact that I can type little comments to strangers on the Internet doesn't, fundamentally, make it that profoundly different from the TV.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2004


The trade secret of the O'Reillys and Limbaughs is that their listeners don't check their facts, nor would they willingly read anyone who does check their facts -- because they don't want them to be wrong.

He says what they want to hear -- they don't want to know that its a lie.

Why it's easy for me detecting that they’re spinning the news for their story.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:10 PM on August 11, 2004


FFF, my TV and the Internet are about equally "interactive" in most contexts. I can switch from one thing to another on both.

The internet offers a far greater range of options for sources of information. Not to mention you can take as much or as little of it from anywhere you want, on your own time-- you don't have to schedule visits to any website or forum.

The fact that I can type little comments to strangers on the Internet doesn't, fundamentally, make it that profoundly different from the TV.

Sure it does. You can't actually talk to the people you see on TV. Unless you believe we're all robots, it's a big difference. One might say it's the essence of interaction-- not only are ideas coming at you, but you can also spread and discuss your own ideas. It's a two-way street, which the TV is not.
posted by nath at 3:37 PM on August 11, 2004


Actually, I could use the phone to call into a number of television shows (C-SPAN, CNN, and CourtTV have call-in shows, I know, and there must be others) and share my opinions with the folks appearing on the show and other random strangers.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:42 PM on August 11, 2004


And let's not forget my local cable-access station, which hosts call-in programs AND airs locally-produced programming 24/7, in case I get some bee in my bonnet I want to show on the TV.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:43 PM on August 11, 2004


The fact that I can type little comments to strangers on the Internet doesn't, fundamentally, make it that profoundly different from the TV.

Are you friggin' kidding me? With forums like this you get to enter extended and detailed debate. This is a slow, asynchronous media: you can do research while composing your message, reword your message as you gain clarity in thought, and not be interrupted by those with whom you are communicating. Further, you have opportunity for digging deeper and drawing out the details without concern for time limits or deadlines, nor will you be hushed by the host so as to let others speak.

That simply does not and can not happen with television, call-in programs notwithstanding.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:12 PM on August 11, 2004


Hell guys, even I know that, I just felt like puncturing satapher's arrogance.
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM on August 11, 2004


The key difference being that this glowing box is interactive and active...

*boots up playstation* So's mine gramps!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2004


its even tougher to feebly breathe and secondstring whats happening behind or beyond your own spine -- getting so used to crying on cue that it becomes impossible for you to even assume whats been cracking your milk and spilling you dry all this time -- but you wont ever search and you wont ever pine, and what have you become in plain sight of new eyes? Not quite a roach, which you clearly despise, but a porcupine. How would you approach a porcupine?
posted by Satapher at 6:45 PM on August 11, 2004


FFF, there is precious little "extended and detailed debate" available on either the TV or the Internet as far as I can see.

Neither is a worthwhile substitute for actually talking to other people, or reading a newspaper (though I do like to read the newspapers over the Internet).

Yes, I can make my own website, and yes, more people will probably read it than will watch my local-access cable TV show. But, to me, the difference is ultimately a matter of scale.

TV is only a medium, just as the printed word is only a medium. I can read Spinoza or Danielle Steel. I can watch V.S. Ramachandran interview a patient with Capgras's Syndrome, or I can watch "Elimidate".
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:04 PM on August 11, 2004


FFF, there is precious little "extended and detailed debate" available on either the TV or the Internet as far as I can see.

I shall endeavour to accomodate your view, Sidhedevil, and discontinue this conversation.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:15 PM on August 11, 2004


satapher: to quote my freind jpoulos, dude, seriously, what the heck are you talking about?
posted by jonmc at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2004


No, no, FFF dear, I think MeFi is one of the shining exceptions. Of course!

I just don't agree with your bias against a household appliance. People can make wonderful things with their blenders or they can make Jell-O salad. People can cook delicious things in their ovens or they can make Hamburger Helper. People can watch informative, interesting things on the TV or they can veg out in front of crap. It's up to the individual.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:07 PM on August 11, 2004


sidhedevil, I'm shocked.

Hamburger Helper is a wonderful product. Especially if you add some of that Taco Flavored Shredded Cheese.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 PM on August 11, 2004


dude, seriously, what the heck are you talking about?

;) maybe i know maybe i dont
posted by Satapher at 9:56 PM on August 11, 2004


I saw the Russert Show, and he was visibly shaken twice (at least): once when he mentioned that Krugman was appearing with "Stuart Smalley." and then when Krugman mentioned Media Matters..."You might as well call the Klan!...Do your own research!"

Yes, comparing Media Matters to the Klan seemed, well, beyond the pale.

Especially when the guy doing the research for Media Matters is black. (And a MeFite.)
posted by Vidiot at 11:33 PM on August 11, 2004


I've got a one-way glowing box, but it's the other way.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:52 PM PST on August 11


Let us see. Prove it. :-)
posted by nofundy at 6:03 AM on August 12, 2004


I used to work at a TV station where we made up all of the emails we read out on air. We got emails sent in but they just weren't half as good as the ones we made up.

See, we're interactive but we just don't care.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:16 AM on August 12, 2004


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