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Olberman v O'Reilly on Colbert
March 16, 2006 8:25 AM   Subscribe

The current (and very amusing) Keith Olberman v Bill O'Reilly feud spilled over onto the Colbert Report last night during Olberman's guest stint. (link goes to embedded 7 minute video).
posted by jonson (64 comments total)

 
"Well, Stephen, he's an idiot."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:31 AM on March 16, 2006


Normally I'm opposed to the bullying of paranoid psychotics, but for Bill O'Reilly I'll make an exception.
posted by lodurr at 8:36 AM on March 16, 2006


see also: Al Franken's apperance last night
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:43 AM on March 16, 2006


Battle of the straw men.
posted by srboisvert at 8:48 AM on March 16, 2006


Olbermann isn't the comic genius that, say, Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter are, but it's still fun to watch a tall handsome all-American guy giving O'Reilly purple nurple after wedgie after noogie. Bill clearly lies awake at night grinding his teeth over it.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:50 AM on March 16, 2006


O'Reilly bullies short people? That's not very funny. I'm not defending short people - they're fair game - but the concept is less than hilarious.
posted by mullacc at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2006


I enjoyed last night's Al Franken point-off that ended with "Listen...both of our wands contain the same piece of phoenix tail."
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:54 AM on March 16, 2006


O'Reilly is a dangerous Mcarthy/Coughlin style demagogue, who gets power and pleasure from slandering and damaging people with less power than he has, calling dissenters traitors and suggesting mob violence against them, etc. What he performs is a cynical appropropriation of a cynical tactic. He disgusts me so deeply, and the stupidity of his fans amazes me. Fascist tendencies are alive and well in the USA.

I thought Olberman was just another talking head. But watching him stand up and take on O'Reilly night after night like it actually matters that *someone* with a pulpit talk back to him has raised my admiration for KO a lot. I watch KO just to see him do it.

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see O'Reilly humiliated into silence and irrelevance. You'd think having sex with a falafel would have done it.You go, Keith O.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:01 AM on March 16, 2006


I loved it when O'Reilly said he was going to send the authorities to a caller's house when the caller simply mentioned "Keith Olberman" on O'Reilly's show. Get real!
posted by Todd Lokken at 9:05 AM on March 16, 2006


C&L video (WMV), if that quicktime version works as well on your system as it does on mine.
posted by rkent at 9:21 AM on March 16, 2006


Anyone who watches Bill O'Reilly's show, without being forced to do so, has got to be mentally retarded.
posted by wakko at 9:29 AM on March 16, 2006


Wierd, these were on Tuesday night, not Wednesday night here in Canada...

It was indeed an evening of comedy at the expense of assholery.
posted by juiceCake at 9:31 AM on March 16, 2006


Y'know, I'm a big fan of Olberman - he used to be the only reason I watched ESPN, but I was disappointed in his appearance with Colbert - I guess I just expected him to be wittier or quicker - he clearly wasn't working from a script.

Then a secondary thought hit me - which was that he reined it in a bit, was more of a 'straight man' to allow Colbert to do his own thing. Which was, in my opinion, kind of classy, if that's the case. Then again, I may be looking for something that isn't there.

Either way, I'm glad Olberman is out there, even if his stuff is news-lite. He's got enough credibility to make people ask questions.
posted by TeamBilly at 9:34 AM on March 16, 2006


Olbermann isn't a standup comedian with the skills of say, John Stewart or Stephen Colbert, but if given ample time to prepare, he is an excellent and engaging story teller. He made a call-in appearance on "Wait wait, don't tell me" in which he told the story of Chuck Knoblauch hitting his mother with one of his famously errant throws. I rolled on the floor for the full 10 minutes as he was racounting it.
posted by psmealey at 9:37 AM on March 16, 2006


I watch Bill O'Reilly when Colbert and The Daily Show are in reruns. It's just so funny if you view it as a fake news show instead of a real perrson.
posted by nadawi at 9:48 AM on March 16, 2006


Olberman compared FOX News to "Nazi Germany." This is what I love about the MeFi Liberal Brigade™ — it doesn't matter how ignorant or incendiary the rhetoric, if it's attacking Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh then y'all automatically cheer.

"Nazi Germany." Jesus Christ...
posted by cribcage at 9:58 AM on March 16, 2006


O'ReillyIsADickFilter. At some point, does it stop being quite so fucking funny?
posted by 327.ca at 10:04 AM on March 16, 2006


Olberman compared FOX News to "Nazi Germany."

That is silly.

FOX is more like Soviet-era Pravda.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:04 AM on March 16, 2006


The only thing more annoying then Nazis are people who claim you can't compare anyone or anything too them, even if those things are somewhat naziesque.

For example:
Stefarth: We want to instill our political philosophy in the next generation of youth. We should form a youth group that wears uniforms, does youthy activities and is brainwashed with our belief system:

Fegran: Well that's something the Nazis did, are you sure it's a good idea

Stefarth: OMG GOODWIN ALERT!!!!
posted by delmoi at 10:10 AM on March 16, 2006


O'ReillyIsADickFilter. At some point, does it stop being quite so fucking funny?

Yes, when he stops having any power.
posted by delmoi at 10:10 AM on March 16, 2006



Olberman compared FOX News to "Nazi Germany." This is what I love about the MeFi Liberal Brigade™ — it doesn't matter how ignorant or incendiary the rhetoric, if it's attacking Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh then y'all automatically cheer.


This is a pretty simple-minded analysis.
posted by wakko at 10:12 AM on March 16, 2006


I'll agree the comparison with Nazi Germany was sloppy, but he clearly wasn't working from a script. Most likely, he realized he didn't have time to think of a better analogy and just went with the easy shot rather than sit there for five seconds saying nothing. Olbermann is a good newscaster; he knows searching for words is unprofessional.
posted by jenovus at 10:15 AM on March 16, 2006


Yes, when he stops having any power.

I think people give him power by paying attention.

Today the US is launching the largest airborne assault in Iraq since the invasion began. 27 more bodies were found in Baghdad on Thursday bringing the total to almost 100 in the past three days. And so on.

I know that mocking Bill O'Reilly is somewhat satisfying, but it doesn't change anything.
posted by 327.ca at 10:22 AM on March 16, 2006


Okay--if it doesn't change anything, sobeit. I'll go for a little satisfaction then.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:31 AM on March 16, 2006


I know that mocking Bill O'Reilly is somewhat satisfying, but it doesn't change anything.

Not true. When I was 11 I used to follow my sister around mocking her.

(hour two of Operation Mock)

"Grrrr...STOP following me."
"Thtop following me."
"Oh. Your repeating everything I say. How Childish."
"Oh. Your repeating everything I thay. How Childish."
"Shut up."
"Thut up."
"Shut UP! SHUT UP!"
"Thut UP! THUT UUUUUP!"
"I'm going to fucking KILL YOU!"
"....MOM! Holly made a swear and hit me!"

Mom walks in begins yelling at sister sends sister to her room. I get TV all to my self. Mission accomplished.

See. It works. You just have to stick with it.
posted by tkchrist at 10:37 AM on March 16, 2006


Okay--if it doesn't change anything, sobeit. I'll go for a little satisfaction then.

I think we're just amusing ourselves to death (to steal a term from Neil Postman). Satisfaction sure comes cheap these days. And BushCo does what it does because anyone who might otherwise do something concrete to stop them is too busy being entertained.
posted by 327.ca at 10:38 AM on March 16, 2006


MeFi Liberal Brigade™

You wouldn't make fun if you heard our drum and whistle corps.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:39 AM on March 16, 2006


I like Olbermann, but he was pretty weak in this clip.
Maybe it was the lack of a script, but my impression was that he was wavering between getting his point across and wanting to goof around with Colbert.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:40 AM on March 16, 2006


Uh, what Olberman said was that "It's fascinating, if we're living in Nazi Germany" that a Fox Security person should contact and initimidate a Fox caller who happens to mention Olberman's name on the O'Reilly show.

So what's your point, Cribcage?
posted by Neologian at 10:41 AM on March 16, 2006


I've seen Olberman in quite a few unscripted segments, like where he "got interviewed" by Will Ferrel as Ron Burgundy and he really isn't funny at all off the top of his head. He's definitely not an on the fly comedian like Colbert or Stewart. I still enjoy his show, but I've come to accept that his appearances elsewhere will always be mediocre.
posted by Farengast at 10:50 AM on March 16, 2006


Alvy: I enjoyed it, but it was very weird. That tension was definitely there.

It's a shame, though, that only O'Reilly has this sort of shadow. It would be great if there were somebody who'd just skewer the wanker of the day, in such an entertaining way. To some extent I think O'Reilly is beneath this level of attention -- it just inflates his self-importance.

In a way it's funny because you know that O'Reilly knows that deep down, so it's the same sort of tension as Olbermann's appearance on Colbert. I know that Olbermann's sincere, but I wonder if O'Reilly is just hamming it up because it's good for ratings when he doesn't have anything else to talk about.
posted by dhartung at 11:04 AM on March 16, 2006


So this Fox security phone call thing, which is so obviously absurd (like the lawsuit against Franken's book) actually happened?
posted by juiceCake at 11:10 AM on March 16, 2006


The original threat to the caller may be found here at Calling All Wingnuts.

Colbert's parody of right wing "news" commentators is possible because the American right-wing commentator is such a stylized creation. American media has always had radio and late night talk show hosts who push the limits a bit far, but it is only since the mid 1990s that they have become actual political players themselves.

The Republican party depends on the media to give an air of "balance" and legitimacy to their extreme, quasi-fascistic, and anti-democratic views and practices. O'Reilly, Hannity, and their ilk facilitate this. When Colbert uses the word "Liberal" in all its vituperative FOX News connotation, he exposes the manipulation of language that these "pundits" are actively pushing.
posted by zaelic at 11:19 AM on March 16, 2006


On the subject of Olbermann not being as funny unscripted:
I’ve never been a professional comedian. I’ve used comedy as a means of making news or sports more palatable and more entertaining. So, I’ve never been a comedian.
From his C-SPAN Q&A interview, which is well worth reading/listening to.
posted by infidelpants at 11:19 AM on March 16, 2006


There's no way the Fox security thing is true. No way. If it is, I'd be amazed.

Is anyone besides me concerned that two of the left's more notable pundits seem to do nothing but watch O'Reilly?
posted by b_thinky at 11:20 AM on March 16, 2006


delmoi +2 insightful (he must be at at least several hundred by now)

wakko +1 realistic

cribcage -1 blind
posted by JHarris at 11:27 AM on March 16, 2006


Oh, it's true.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:28 AM on March 16, 2006


Many years ago when Rush was still on his upswing, he was considered by the mainstream to be a comedian. One of the questions on the press's lips was "Why aren't liberals funny?" Lets stop a moment and consider the question as to the effectiveness of Rush's "comedy".

OK.
I do remember Rush being considered a "kingmaker" during the "Gingrich revolution".

Mocking the right-wing assholes is not going to stop the next American GI from getting his ass blown off or what ever imminent tragedy is closest to your/my heart. As a technique of attrition it can be very effective. Keep it up, we don't forget our outrage when we laugh but we are renewed. So stop grumping, laugh, and keep working on the big stuff.
posted by pointilist at 11:46 AM on March 16, 2006


So what the fuck does a guy employed by "Fox News security" do all day anyway? Run around making sure the truth doesn't escape?
posted by quantumetric at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2006


There's no way the Fox security thing is true. No way. If it is, I'd be amazed.
posted by b_thinky


It's true. O'Reilly has been making sinister rumblings about it for months, and they played the Fox Security phone call on Olberman's show.
posted by Happy Monkey at 11:53 AM on March 16, 2006


Has Fox issued a statement about this crack "security" team of Bill's? I'm imagining an intern with a ridiculously long list of numbers, dialing away between falafal runs.
posted by maryh at 12:18 PM on March 16, 2006


I am curious why there isn’t a harrassment lawsuit in the works against Fox Security.

“...it doesn't matter how ignorant or incendiary the rhetoric, if it's attacking Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh then y'all automatically cheer...”

People have always loved to thow rotten fruit and dead cats at the village idiot. I think they are shitheads and I’m a conservative. They’re worse than fair weather fans, they’re opportunists of the worst kind. They have no more sense of morality and rectitude than cats do (No offense to cats).

I’m really unclear between how folks see acts and words here. I mean threatening someone, having goons call his house, etc. - that’s ok.
But verbally comparing someone to the nazis? - absolutely deranged and evil.

Let’s get this out of the way here: Mother Theresa? Nazi. Martin Luther King? Nazi. John Lennon? Nazi. Tom Fox? Nazi. Elie Wiesel? Nazi. Nelson Mandela? Nazi. The Dalai Lama? Nazi. John Wayne? Nazi.(just there for the punk fans).

Ok, now that everyone is really, really offended, send me your phone numbers so I can call and threaten you in the middle of the night.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:24 PM on March 16, 2006


Actually, I'm not that crazy about Mother Theresa. She wasn't a nazi, but neither was she a saint.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:34 PM on March 16, 2006


Olbermann does not get the ratings that O'Lielly does but in the last year Bill's ratings have steadily declined while Keith's have steadily risen. Plus Keith draws in a younger and hence, more attractive, demographic. That's what really burns O'Lielly up.

That, and every time he wins Olbermann's Worst Person in the World award.
posted by Ber at 12:46 PM on March 16, 2006


Where can I see the Al Franken video?
posted by wsg at 1:04 PM on March 16, 2006


Nevermind, here's the Franken video.
posted by wsg at 1:10 PM on March 16, 2006


Why so amazed, b_thinky?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:12 PM on March 16, 2006


It would be great if there were somebody who'd just skewer the wanker of the day, in such an entertaining way.

Someone already tends to skew wankers of the day. How funny it is can be subjective, though.
posted by TeamBilly at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2006


Wow, I'm amazed! That's crazy. I'm actually amazed there is such a thing as "Fox Security."

But if I were Bill, and I were getting large numbers of prank callers (lying to the screener about what they want to talk about, then spouting vulgar nonsense on the air), I don't know what I would do. I guess reporting them to the authorities is a pretty strong threat.

The caller in the Olberman story wasn't vulgar at all, but that's not to say there hasn't been some type of problems at the O'Reilly radio show. Don't they operate on a delay anyways? So there's the potential for stuff to happen the public would never know about.

This is not to say O'Reilly isn't crazy. Clearly, he's nuts. But what I don't understand is why people who hate him insist on bothering to listen/watch him.
posted by b_thinky at 1:31 PM on March 16, 2006


But what I don't understand is why people who hate him insist on bothering to listen/watch him.

There is always the school of thought which says we should ignore wingnuts and thus they and their fringe followers will fall away into obscurity. But there is also the school of thought which promotes the idea of making sure these wingnuts become famous, and famous as idiots. Britney Spears is famous, but nobody listens to anything she says about important issues. The trick is to call out O'Reilly often enough that despite his ratings, he remains in the Britney camp of political relevance. I make no claims as to the effectiveness of any of this. I'm just always confused when people make the generalization that it is always better to ignore fringe characters rather than rebut them and make them famous. Clearly society has room for famous and simultaneously irrelevant people.
posted by Farengast at 1:40 PM on March 16, 2006


The only thing more annoying then Nazis are people who claim you can't compare anyone or anything too them, even if those things are somewhat naziesque.

Damn right. "GoodWin law" isn't a "law" legal or scientific, it's being used way too often either in a pedantic way or in a OMG LOL HE SAID DICK ROFLMAO childish way.

And to spend my love-to-hate O'Reilly token, the problem is not Bill O'Reilly. He's a poor man, a really poor man..he has a number
of issues and he deserves compassion for the misery his life outside his show must be, a reality in which he's back to being another
commoner.

The problem is with what HE SAYS combined with his celebrity status ; he's a glorified reactionary asshole, the one that repress
the contempt for anything he disagrees with and proceeds to attack YOU instead of attacking your argument, throws all kind of shit
against you knowing he's accountable of nothing ..he would probably justify himself by saying that this is what his audience wants
and he's just delivering an entertaining show, except that his audience has "liberals" as scapegoat for everything (jews anybody?)
and has been taught GWB or his admin are perfect, unquestionable and all the questioning is treason !

He is the kind of person that will first say that you raped a children and then defend himself by saying he exercised freedom of
speech when he said that and he's not accountable for damaging your image ; that unless you want to badmouth him or GWB, then
free speech must be suspended or he'll send security after you.

it is always better to ignore fringe characters rather than rebut them and make them famous.

I would agree with that, controversy kind of illuminate such characters, but unlike other people who want to shock and outrage
to gain attention and notoriety (which is ok as nobody is forced to watch em or have no other choice) O'Reilly sends a message
that being a reactionary bully asshole idolatrizing power figures is OK ..which is NOT...he many times suggested that dissenting and vigorously so is _treason_ which is totally wrong and completely not conductive to democracy.
posted by elpapacito at 1:50 PM on March 16, 2006


This is not to say O'Reilly isn't crazy. Clearly, he's nuts. But what I don't understand is why people who hate him insist on bothering to listen/watch him.
posted by b_thinky at 4:31 PM EST on March 16 [!]

Something about knowing about what you criticize and despise.
posted by juiceCake at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2006


You Republicons just aren't funny any more. You think the Nazi Germany crack is outrageous? The similarities are alarming.

You're the one's who will vote for Bush again, despite all the evidence of his failures.

You people sicken me.

Apparently you think you're superior to liberals simply because your god told you so.

Fuck your god.
posted by rougy at 5:32 PM on March 16, 2006


It will be difficult for anyone to vote for Bush again when he isn't allowed to run for a third term.

(Unless you meant Jeb?)
posted by Evstar at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2006



posted by sharksandwich at 6:26 PM on March 16, 2006


"Nazi Germany." Jesus Christ...
posted by cribcage


Are you calling Christ a Nazi???
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2006


If you're going to call your book "culture warrior" and include a picture of yourself on the cover, you probably a) shouldn't look so demonic and b) shouldn't wear a wind-breaker.
posted by mullacc at 9:29 PM on March 16, 2006


Am I the only one who thought Olberman's segment was better than Franken's? I thought Franken was too awkward, too lost vs Colbert's slickness, like he didn't know whether or not to play it straight.
posted by somethingotherthan at 9:39 PM on March 16, 2006


Franken was like a deer in the headlights. What an ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:54 PM on March 16, 2006


"Are you calling Christ a Nazi???"

Ah crap, I forgot: Jesus Christ? Nazi.

...what's your number?

"Fuck your god."

No, fuck your God, man!

oh yeah, God? Nazi.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:35 PM on March 16, 2006


I played some O'Reilly to my Scottish, intellectual Brother-in-law. It was wicked of me. I have never seen him so shocked.

It is shocking. In the U.S. you seem to have let all this stuff creep over you by degrees. You laugh nervously, make a joke of O'Reilly and Scarborough and the like.

It's not funny. Not at all.

The Nazi jibe is not that far off the mark. Ask Jay Bennish.
posted by grahamwell at 5:41 AM on March 17, 2006


“But what I'm trying to get you to do is to think about these issues more in depth and not to just take things from the surface.”

What the hell is the point of that? You going to make money doing that? Why is Bennish.
taking tax money if he isn’t going to support the system?

(wow, almost thought I was serious myself)

“Strength lies not in defence but in attack”

- to be fair Jack Dempsey (or Lombardi) said that too.

I think it is funny. I thought, and still think, the Nazis were funny. This differs slightly from true humor in that there is no pity in my derision of them. They were - and fascists today are - laughable clowns caught up in their own sense of self-importance. In the Nazi’s case the little symbols, the thousand year reich, all those material attempts at manifesting some sort of immortality. Might as well try cat hearding. But the similar vibe comes from those pundit goofs trying to foster the same sort of sense of baseless righteousness as if righteousness itself was self-justifying and as though something they say or do or make or create will stand as the ultimate thing forever. Like they don’t know who the hell Ozymandias was or what the poem tells us. Or the whole foundation of religious thought (I find it ironic that O’Rly sets himself against ‘secular’ folks when his materialist message is completely antithetical to the whole concept of religion)

It is critical that we not only mercilessly neutralize them (take that however you will) but that we laugh at their strutting pomposity in order to better reveal just how far removed from true human affairs they are.

I’d’ve suggested pies in the face, but that particular little act has gotten hackneyed and a bit vicious (which defeats the purpose - you can’t ridicule if you take them seriously enough to hate them).

A buddy of mine who is Jewish wanted to countermarch against some skinheads who were up here a while back. He wanted to rain bricks on them or something. I suggested getting into silly costumes and mocking them.
Assaulting them simply dignifies their existance as much as hatred recognises what their saying. It is simply not worth it. Ridicule is far more effective and doesn’t come with the hassle of trying to find somewhere to bury the remains.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:22 AM on March 17, 2006


I find US television to be very distressing. I am absolutely appalled that shitheads like O'Reilly not only get a voice, they're heard. And the political advertising seems to be non-stop. And the drug advertising? Oy!

The USA has some very creepy ideas about the role of consumerism and corporations within society.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2006


smedleyman: Yer soundin like a gawddam YIPpie, thar, pardner....
posted by lodurr at 10:33 AM on March 17, 2006


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