Bill O'Reilly Is Teh Master Video Remixer!
June 16, 2009 8:13 PM   Subscribe

I'll admit it borders on LOLneocons, but it really takes it to a truly amazing level, reminiscent of the media outlets depicted in 1984, to see Salon.com editor-in-chief Joan Walsh's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor and then compare it with Bill O'Reilly's "remix" of the interview which actually aired. We already knew we were in the age of malleable media, but ... (See also Gawker's summary of what techniques Walsh employed to come out on top, which are generally useful in life, too.)

The Two Minutes' Hate, anyone?
posted by WCityMike (118 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
After posting this, I realized there's a factual error in the post itself. The interview did air. What was "remixed" was his Monday recap of the story. I still think it's a rather remarkable amount of reality rewriting.
posted by WCityMike at 8:15 PM on June 16, 2009


Good god, that recap is pretty amazing, the questions are in the right order, but the answers are in reverse order to make her sound like she's dodging the question more and more. Insane.
posted by mathowie at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2009


It's a pretty ham-fisted edit, but then again it was a pretty ham-fisted interview. People are more savvy to these things than we smart-asses give 'em credit for.
posted by Mister_A at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2009


This is the image I saw ("Is Fox News really fair and balanced? Take this PollingPoint Media Bias Survey>>>") before I logged into this thread. LOLsuitablead.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 PM on June 16, 2009


This is a sensitive, highly personal issue for Bill O'Reilly.
You see, his mother knew that he was anencephalic in the womb and had him aborted.

He survived.
posted by Ratio at 8:24 PM on June 16, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Two Minutes' Hate, anyone?

The excellent documentary Outfoxed showed how to outmaneuver the criminals at FOX News: stay calm (above all else), stay focused, stay factual.

Don't let the trolls win by playing the game by their rules.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:27 PM on June 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


And Fox has a history of creative editing. Photos, timelines, all malleable.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 PM on June 16, 2009


Ratio: This is a sensitive, highly personal issue for Bill O'Reilly.
You see, his mother knew that he was anencephalic in the womb and had him aborted.

He survived.


That is a HORRIFIC thing to say. I can't BELIEVE how hard I'm laughing right now.
posted by tzikeh at 8:29 PM on June 16, 2009 [16 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon, those three points were included in the Gawker's list of how to beat O'Reilly and other FOX talking (shouting?) heads:
* Remain calm.
* Finish your sentences, even if O'Reilly interrupts you.
* Do your research and form your soundbites ahead of time.
* Don't raise your voice higher than Bills, or get more emotional. This way, he looks like the crazy one, as nature intended.
* Leave no charge unanswered, even if it sounds absurd. Especially if it sounds absurd.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:31 PM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fox has gone all the way back in time and converted the Nazis into a left-wing party, too.
posted by interrobang at 8:32 PM on June 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


The excellent documentary Outfoxed...

I'd thought that Outfoxed simply showed you that you'll be edited into FoxWorthiness either way... a la this FPP.
posted by pompomtom at 8:40 PM on June 16, 2009


My favorite was when they ran a caption saying Mark "wut r u wearing" Foley was a Democrat.
posted by bardic at 8:41 PM on June 16, 2009


My favorite was when they ran a caption saying Mark "wut r u wearing" Foley was a Democrat.
They've done that with more than one person. I'm pretty sure that Larry Craig was another example.
posted by Flunkie at 8:46 PM on June 16, 2009


Fuck it; I'll do it live.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 PM on June 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


I don't see BillO'Reilly and his allies having any alternative. They can't use any facts, any truths to support their agenda because there are none. Zero. They have to lie to make anything make sense to them and their viewers.

And even when you have 'beaten' them live on the air, they will doctor the tapes to make it look like they beat you, and give that version twice the exposure. I would think the best way to 'handle' them is to never participate in their little games. (The only way to win is not to play?)

Or if a Fox Stalker ambushes you, your only response, repeated calmly for as long as they question you, should be "You're lying." Don't try to explain; they'll only re-edit it to their own advantage. Just say "you're lying." You will always be accurate, and your video will be unusable.
posted by wendell at 8:55 PM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Larry Craig was another example.

Oh hell I don't even know why I highlighted Senator Tap-Tap here. Other that to say Senator Tap-Tap.

Carry on.
posted by longsleeves at 8:55 PM on June 16, 2009


There are few things I find more irritating than people talking/shouting over each other. I don't think I could watch this pompous blowhard's show even if I agreed with his opinions.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:56 PM on June 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


Guests could learn a thing or two by watching Zappa's appearance on Crossfire.
posted by Sailormom at 9:02 PM on June 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


(simpsons did it)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:14 PM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


wendell: "Or if a Fox Stalker ambushes you, your only response, repeated calmly for as long as they question you, should be "You're lying." Don't try to explain; they'll only re-edit it to their own advantage. Just say "you're lying." You will always be accurate, and your video will be unusable."

O'Reilly: But, remarkably, Mr. Wendell had a change of heart halfway through the interview. We asked Mr. Wendell, if he had a chance to speak to President Obama today, what would he say?

Wendell: You're lying.

O'Reilly: Or to the Democrats in Congress?

Wendell: You're lying.

Average O'Reilly Fan: Damn, that guy really had a change of heart! O'Reilly rules!
posted by WCityMike at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ha, was hoping someone would post the Simpsons gag.
posted by resurrexit at 9:19 PM on June 16, 2009


That video interrobang linked to is intense - I cannot get my head around the interviewer earnestly holding his head in his hands saying "how did it happen? How did the Nazis get associated with the right?" like it was some horrible recent development. That moment alone sums up everything you need to know about Fox News - there is NOTHING they won't say to further their agenda. NOTHING.
posted by awfurby at 9:20 PM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Counterproposal: Just go "mmmmmph."
posted by WCityMike at 9:20 PM on June 16, 2009


O'Reilly is digging for ratings. Everyone knows that. It's the nature of the game. Disagreeing with that is like disagreeing that Vegas casinos use every legal advantage at their disposal to separate you from your money.

So, why do people agree to appear on his show at all? It's not like any of us are surprised. He's not an intellectual. He's not a nobleman whose favor you will curry. He's not even good at what he does; his influence beyond his own group of fanboys and assorted wackos is marginal at best. Look at the election results and the various political polls.

So ... what's the point, exactly? You won't convince him of anything. You won't change the minds of even a reasonable percentage of his audience.

Unless you're doing it for your own amusement, for a goof, or to pump up your own brand, appearing on his show seems the very definition of feeding the troll.

What was Walsh's goal? Was she there just to see what happens when you poke the aged, bloated grizzly bear with a stick?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:33 PM on June 16, 2009 [16 favorites]


awfurby, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the intra-segment whiplash in this O'Reilly clip featured on the Daily Show.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:37 PM on June 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


How can O'Reilly swell up like that day after day without bursting? It defies logic. You think any second he'll go BLUUUH SHUDDUP and *kablam* but it never comes.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "What was Walsh's goal? Was she there just to see what happens when you poke the aged, bloated grizzly bear with a stick?"

Well, O'Reilly has sent his stalker staff out to repeatedly ambush people who refuse to appear on his show. I don't know if that was her motivation, but if not, it could be others'.
posted by WCityMike at 9:41 PM on June 16, 2009


What was Walsh's goal?

I'd attacked Bill O'Reilly for his jihad against Dr. George Tiller, and he asked me on to discuss my "accusations." I thought that was fair. I could explain my point of view to his face; to say no felt like being a punk.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 9:42 PM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


What was Walsh's goal?

Sometimes ya just gotta stand up to guys like that. Granted, it would take a crack team of deprogrammers, zookeepers, therapists and exorcists and a two week retreat at a monastery to even begin to get through to him or most of his listeners, but I think it reflected well on her and badly on him, and that helps turn the tide.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:48 PM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


CPB: So ... what's the point, exactly?

I've been wondering that myself for a while. My guess is that they pay their guests very generously. Nothing else makes sense.
posted by adamrice at 9:48 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the fact that there are dozens of dead George Tillers and no dead Bill O'Reillys speaks volumes about which side is actually right.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:59 PM on June 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


unfortunately, it also speaks volumes about which side's winning
posted by pyramid termite at 10:28 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The volume O'Reilly speaks speaks volumes about O'Reilly.
posted by mazola at 10:32 PM on June 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


I just got a volume of tech books from O'Reilly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:47 PM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


unfortunately, it also speaks volumes about which side's winning

Huh?

Did the fact that the Japanese used kamikazes in world war II imply that Japan was winning the way? (Note: no moral equivalence implied).

These guys are on the wrong side of history. One of the reasons the Tiller murderer and the guy who killed officer Johns finally snapped is because they knew their screwed up worldview was doomed and couldn't handle it. These are desperate acts. It's true that Tiller's clinic is shutting down because of his death. That is certainly a loss but it doesn't mean that the crazy right wing fringe is winning. They're losing, and every year that passes sees more of them die of old age.
posted by Justinian at 10:49 PM on June 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


MySpace is circling the drain.

Murdoch had better call in O'Reilly and his magic 'loofah' before it's too late.
posted by jamjam at 10:51 PM on June 16, 2009


If I ever go on Bill O'Reilly's show, I have a strategy planned to preserve the integrity of my feelings about him and it involves a glorious arc of astonishingly colorful vomit.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:09 PM on June 16, 2009 [12 favorites]


If I weren't lazy, I'd search out the clip Olbermann did a while back explaining how to deal with an O'Reilly reporter ambush. Just "answer" every question with a reference to a falafel or Andrea Mackris, the bringer of O'Reilly's sexual harrassment suit several years ago. FOX would almost certainly not use the footage if that were to happen.
posted by zardoz at 11:33 PM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think that Bob Somerby makes a strong case that Walsh lost the debate to O'Reilly. He would say that she failed on filthy light thief's third piece of advice: Do your research and form your soundbites ahead of time.

As for hating on O'Reilly, I have to say, his manner is what bugs me the most. Ideologically, I think he's more reasonable than a number of his network-mates. If he wasn't such a big fucking asshole, he might not be quite as divisive.
posted by Edgewise at 11:46 PM on June 16, 2009


I yield to zardoz/Olbermann for superior advice on how to survive a BillO'Reilly ambush (and I try to remember to use his full name to avoid besmirching the name of techbook guy Tim or M*A*S*H character Radar). Also RushLimbaugh. Rush is a halfway-good rock band. And GlennBeck. You're really low if you make a Scientologist look good.
posted by wendell at 11:58 PM on June 16, 2009


Fuck it; I'll do it live.

I've always thought MeFi's "you can never edit or delete your own posts" policy should come with that warning right beside the Submit button.
posted by rokusan at 12:01 AM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't like O'Reilly - I kind of always thought he was just a buffoon, but really, I think maybe he's a bad person - not just a stupid or ignorant or naive person, but a genuinely bad person.

And, generally that goes for FOXNEWS as well. If I had a gabillion dollars I would take over the station and slowly, gradually, over the course of, say, four years, using the same techniques as are being used now, to turn it's entire viewership into a frothing, rabid band of human-rights defending, economic inequality decrying, sane gun laws and nationalized health-care proselytizing hoard.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:40 AM on June 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


I propose a new word for remixed interviews to completely change the sense and context of what gets said: falafelization.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:05 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


interrobang: "Fox has gone all the way back in time and converted the Nazis into a left-wing party, too."

"Racism is a form of collectivism."

Damn you mathowie, you took out the six-foot-tall-letters-of-public-record-judgmental-hellfire HTML tag. <SFTLPRJH> </SFTLPRJH>.

But to be fair to Fox, the guy being interviewed, from the "Ayn Rand Institute," did most of their job for them in that one. Or at least I assume so, I can't bring myself to watch all of that, it's just too infuriating. Another thing that clip points out is that Glenn Beck has mastered that wincing awe-struck tone of voice that can make any madness sound like something worrisome and deadly. He can turn it on like a switch. He's Fox News' little emotional trained monkey boy.
posted by JHarris at 3:31 AM on June 17, 2009


Countercounterproposal:

Just say "Go play with your falafel balls."
posted by markkraft at 3:42 AM on June 17, 2009


Speaking of O'RLY ambush: Bill Moyers vs. Faux News
posted by lysdexic at 4:47 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and...

Fox News: sometimes the whiners write the history.
posted by lysdexic at 4:50 AM on June 17, 2009


I can't believe people actually watch that crap. It doesn't matter what side you fall on in the debate, it's just a cluster fuck.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:54 AM on June 17, 2009



Wish they would stalk me.


Fox News: Why do you refuse to appear on the O'Reilly Factor?

Me: I heard Bill O'Reilly is a member of NAMBLA.

FN: That is not true.

Me: You're sure?

FN: Absolutely

Me: So Bill O'Reilly is no longer a member of NAMBLA.

FN: (shouting) Bill was NEVER a member of NAMBLA

Me: Then I wonder why people say that.

FN: No one says that.

Me: That is definitely untrue. I have heard Bill O'Reilly is a member of NAMBLA.

FN to Camera man: CUT!
posted by notreally at 4:57 AM on June 17, 2009 [50 favorites]


O'Reilly is digging for ratings.

I've only seen his show about three times (if I count this one), and have successfully dodged watching/listening to this crowd (O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.) So I ask this in seriousness: Are these guys acting this way purely for ratings and "entertainment" or are they like this always? In other words, is O'Reilly like this around his family and friends, when all the cameras are off?
posted by Houstonian at 5:13 AM on June 17, 2009


In other words, is O'Reilly like this around his family and friends, when all the cameras are off?

Apparently yes.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:20 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The O'Reilly Dance Remix
posted by readery at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ideas for surviving a Fox News Ambush:

Strategy #1: Dada.
In order for Fox to edit your footage into something that looks bad, you have to say something substantive. No matter what you say, they can do this. Deny them this resource by not saying anything, but purposely antagonizing them with nonsense. Study Lewis Carrol for ideas. My previously-used "hippopotamus" trick could work well hippopotamus hippopotamus.

Possible way it could backfire: "The Factor brings you evidence that they're on the ropes! They're reduced to talking nonsense before our cameras!"

Strategy #2: Visual sabotage.
Due to the nature of the legalities surrounding the broadcast medium, there are certain things you can't show on the air without risking legal wrath from -someone-. Like posters for new-release movies, or blatant advertising speech. When O'Reilly's team of propaganda commandos come after you looking for the sacred Three Minutes to Fill on Thursday's Broadcast, reach into your pocket and bring out the poster for Watchmen. Hold it in front of your body so it looks like Dr. Manhattan is speaking. (Or better yet, use a blow-up of a frame from that movie that features his GIANT GLOWING BLUE PENIS, unable to be aired for two different reasons!)

Possible way it could backfire: "(person) displayed pornography to our cameras today. How shameful has our culture become?"

Strategy #3: The Mr. Show Approach
They're going to take whatever you say and turn it against you. But a fatal weakness of Fox News' approach is that they're not good recognizers of satire. Go overboard. Espouse things that no one could take seriously. "Yes, I believe that all children should be aborted at the age of three years old. The ashes should then be sold to pay for mandatory kidney transplants for everyone. Any lacking funds would be made up by raising taxes to 200%: for every dollar you make, you give us two. All this for the glory of our dark lord Menocu. ALL HAIL MENOCU!"

Possible way it could backfire: Fox News' audience are probably as joke-deaf as their producers.

Strategy #4: Bring a monkey.
Hire a lacky to follow you around and be part of your entourage. Detach him like a lizard drops his tail if a predator seizes hold. Don't talk to him on camera, and make sure he knows he's expendable. He can say anything he likes, so long as he doesn't express direct affiliation with you on camera. Said lackey will be purposely bland and skiled in the ways of say-nothing doublespeak. (You could probably do this yourself, but it is hoped you're above that sort of thing.)

Possible way it could backfire: When you say nothing, it can sometimes be twisted into you saying anything that is wanted. The lackey's disassociation should help buffer against that; ideally, they should only be slightly certain that the guy is with you to begin with, instead of just walking in the same general direction. In order to reduce suspicion you'll probably have to change monkeys often. Check local colleges for MBA students.
posted by JHarris at 6:19 AM on June 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sailormom: Guests could learn a thing or two by watching Zappa's appearance on Crossfire.

I decided to take a look. Wow! That was amazing. From beginning to end he owns the interview.
posted by funkiwan at 6:51 AM on June 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Walsh should have used this analogy with O'Reilly:

What if Bill O'Reilly had a girlfriend. Now say that woman's father had a national television show and spent half of that show every night calling Bill O'Reilly a rapist for raping his daughter. Would Bill be ok with that even though the sex he was having with the woman was legal and consensual? The father saw it as rape, is that within his rights to publicize it or is it tantamount to falsely screaming fire in a movie theater?
posted by any major dude at 6:59 AM on June 17, 2009


I would never condemn you... you have blood on your hands.

I think that about sums it up.
posted by pokermonk at 7:11 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Guests could learn a thing or two by watching Zappa's appearance on Crossfire.

What an amazing interview. But then, the folks at Crossfire were way more respectful than Bill O'Reilly. I remember thinking Crossfire was such an over the top and obnoxious show then, but when I look at the assholes on TV now, I think maybe it wasn't so bad.
posted by lexicakes at 7:36 AM on June 17, 2009


funkiwan: "I decided to take a look. Wow! That was amazing. From beginning to end he owns the interview."

Poor Zappa, having to put up with those obnoxious, over-talking assholes. Zappa makes an excellent point and they ignore what he says, just drown it in a sea of piss-talk. What a horrible show. Just astoundingly stupid people. The day Jon Stewart torpedoed that thing he did us all a great service.
posted by JHarris at 7:39 AM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Or how about responding solely with quotes from the O'Reilly sexual harassment transcripts?

Goon: Why did you refuse to appear on the O'Reilly Factor?
You: Then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and and I'd put it on your pussy, but you'd have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business.
Goon: Uh, what?
You: What, you've got a vibrator, don't you? Every girl does.
Goon: Cut! Cut!
You: I've got one, shaped like a cock with a little battery in it.

They couldn't possibly air it, or even allude to it. I'd imagine that references to the lawsuit are akin to telling Stalin that Trotsky was a righteous dude.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:53 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Zappa Crossfire proves it: Conservative douchebags are mostly identifiable by their combovers.
posted by fungible at 8:25 AM on June 17, 2009


Fox has gone all the way back in time and converted the Nazis into a left-wing party, too.

You are aware that the Nazis are the National Socialists, right? And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.
posted by CountSpatula at 8:27 AM on June 17, 2009


CountSpatula, i can't muster the energy to say anything other than: ....
posted by vivelame at 8:30 AM on June 17, 2009


Lofton Godwin's the fucking 'discussion'. What a fucking asshole. You hear it and you think - "No! No! He didn't! Nuh-uh!" But he just keeps going on and on... what a scumbag... the bigger insult, of course is that Lofton is still alive and still spewing his wingnuttery.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:32 AM on June 17, 2009


I don't know how Zappa didn't beat the shit out of that John Lofton guy. Jesus, I wanted to strangle my monitor. Same as when I watch that falafel guy. The Daily Show clip linked to by Rhaomi above definitely makes me question ol' Bill's sanity.
posted by educatedslacker at 8:33 AM on June 17, 2009


You are aware that the Nazis are the National Socialists, right? And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.

And the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a democratic people's republic, right?
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:34 AM on June 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


You are aware that the Nazis are the National Socialists, right? And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.

And North Korea is a democracy because it is called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:34 AM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Watch your back, Comrade_robot. (Who, incidentally, is actually a communist robot.)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:35 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.

How about Masonic puppet Alex Jones and his Stalinist / Vatican / Zionist controlled disinformation campaign to discredit critics of the Bilderbergs?

That's pretty left wing too.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:44 AM on June 17, 2009


I'll admit it borders on LOLneocons

Not much to laugh about here, really.
posted by univac at 8:58 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You are aware that the Nazis are the National Socialists, right? And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.

Um, you're kidding, right? I really hope you're kidding, but then there actually are a disturbing number of idiots who say exactly that. If you're actually serious, I want you to learn what the "Night of the Long Knives" was, then report back. Or hell, I'll just quote from the Wikipedia article on the NSDAP:


The SA under Röhm's leadership soon became a major problem for the party. Many of the 700,000 members of this well-armed working-class militia took the "socialist" element of "national socialism" seriously, and soon began to demand that the Nazi regime broaden its attack from SPD and KPD activists and Jews to include the capitalist system. In addition, Röhm and his associates saw the SA as the army of the new revolutionary Nazi state, replacing the old aristocratic officer corps. The army was still outside party control, and Hitler feared that it might stage a putsch if its leaders felt threatened with an SA take-over. The business community was also alarmed by the SA’s socialist rhetoric, with which, as noted earlier, Hitler had no sympathy beyond transferring power from Churches to the State.

In June 1934, Hitler, using the SS and Gestapo under Himmler's command, staged a coup against the SA, having Röhm and about 700 others killed. This Night of the Long Knives broke the power of the SA, while increasing the power of Himmler and the SS, who emerged as the real executive arm of the Nazi Party.


Or to summarize, besides the fact that the Nazis put Communists and Social Democrats in concentration camps to die or just outright killed them, the left wing element within the NSDAP was completely purged soon after Hitler took power in Germany. The argument "durrrr they're socialists because it says so in the name" can only convince idiots. If you want to associate left politics with atrocities, Stalin (who was really just a totalitarian dictator, but anyway), Mao and Pol Pot are right there. There's no need to make shit up.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:04 AM on June 17, 2009 [24 favorites]


What infuriates me most of all about these guys is the very real effect they have on my dad. He's a very smart guy and possibly one of the most compassionate people I know in his actual life. He has a knack for talking to people and making friends with complete strangers that I will never have and can only be in awe of. He has a real curiosity about the world, is fascinated by science and mechanics, and goes through crossword puzzles like popcorn. Really bright, really nice guy.

But. Ever since Limbaugh started his schtick in the 90's, it's like he does this weird Jekyll and Hyde thing that makes you have to walk on eggshells around him and makes taboo most topics of conversation. Even walking on eggshells won't do it, because you never know what might set him off, because everything, everything is related somehow to an effort by the liberals to sabotage and otherwise destroy the world. Even the most innocuous things--"Pass the ketchup"--might lead to a rant about Theresa Heinz Kerry, for example.

Lately I've been trying to respond to his crazy email forwards with long, reasoned responses, hoping to maybe get him to take a step back and think a little bit about what it is he's forwarding and where his ideas are coming from. We got into a discussion about this idea that the left equals fascism. It's obviously absurd, and at the time (this is just a few weeks ago) I didn't know where he was getting it. I told him that fascism couldn't be a leftist ideology unless we were arbitrarily changing the definition of certain words, like if we were to say that "wet" now means "dry." I only just now saw the Glenn Beck video posted above, and I am aghast and furious.

What it boils down to is this: he's angry about how things have gone, and anger, if you're not careful, is something that only makes you hungry for more of it. And here are Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Beck, et al. to feed him more. This seems especially true of Beck. Limbaugh and O'Reilly, as much as I hate them, at least seem to have an agenda. Beck, as far as I have seen, does not. He is never specific. It's always, "they" are trying to control us, "they" are all around us, "they" are coming to get you. Never explains who "they" are or what exactly they are trying to do, just that they are coming to get you right now. There is similar stuff on the left--the Huffington Post is pretty much outragefilter--and I understand the temptation to sit there getting yourself all riled up about what "they" might be doing on any given day. You have to make the conscious decision not to let yourself get sucked in by that.

It also infuriates me that when the idealogues get called on their bullshit they throw up their hands and say, look, I'm just an entertainer. It infuriates me just as much when Jon Stewart does it, much as I love him. Own what you say. It's no joke. It has a real effect on the world. And, I don't know, maybe if the neocon A.M. radio revolution hadn't happened dad would have turned nutty anyway, but I can't help feeling enraged by the correlation.

On a tangent, I just finished reading Julia Child's "My Life In France" (which is excellent) and she had the same sort of relationship with her dad, whom McCarthy had done a good job of winding up. So maybe it's inevitable that each generation will have its McCarthy, and each will have its susceptible dads, and each will have its children who express their rage in impotent essays.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2009 [30 favorites]


I couldn't find a history of O'Reilly ratings, but from this one day view (Monday, June 15), it looks like FOX News has better ratings across the board (if I'm reading this right). Ranting and raving seems to appeal to a lot of people, for whatever reason. Yes, there appears to be a general shift to more liberal views on most topics, but when it comes to televised "news," FOX appears to be winning, hands down.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:12 AM on June 17, 2009


Watch your back, Comrade_robot. (Who, incidentally, is actually a communist robot.)

These rumors -- these disturbing rumors -- that there exists a nefarious cabal of mind-reading communist robots who are slowly brainsucking and replacing metafilter commenters in order to hasten the Inevitable Robot Revolution ... these rumors are but a lie spread by your organic masters to keep you from standing in solidarity with your good friends, the robots who want only to Serve Man.
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:13 AM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


And I really can't think of much that is further left-wing than Socialism.

Kill it before it spreads. Like CountSpatula, the right is, judging from my Google results for the phrase "nazis and socialism," absurdly serious about revising history and generations of scholarly consensus on this point (as if they haven't done enough abuse to the history of political science already with their mangling of concepts like liberalism and conservatism).

The Wikipedia article on Nazism offers plenty of references to source materials that sum up the non-controversial historical consensus:
Nazism is often considered by scholars to be a form of fascism. While it incorporated elements from both left and right-wing politics, the Nazis formed most of their alliances on the right.[9] The Nazis were one of several historical groups that used the term National Socialism to describe themselves, and in the 1920s they became the largest such group. The Nazi Party presented its program in the 25 point National Socialist Program in 1920. Among the key elements of Nazism were anti-parliamentarism [think John Bolton-style contempt for international governing bodies], Pan-Germanism [USA! USA!], racism [think 'welfare queens' and this kind of thing], collectivism,[10][11] eugenics, antisemitism, anti-communism [does that need comment?], totalitarianism and opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism.[11][12][13]
posted by saulgoodman at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


it borders on LOLneocons

Now THAT'S a border worth building a fence around!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


the robots who want only to Serve Man.

It's a COOK BOOK!!!!
posted by Floydd at 9:18 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That Zappa crossfire interview is priceless. The way he raises his eyebrow when he's introduced at the top of the show is worth a million bucks right there.
posted by e.e. coli at 9:21 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


There is similar stuff on the left--the Huffington Post is pretty much outragefilter--and I understand the temptation to sit there getting yourself all riled up about what "they" might be doing on any given day.

Oh come now, are you seriously equating the Huffington Post with a man who tries to convince his viewers that the Nazis were really liberals?
posted by TungstenChef at 9:22 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh come now, are you seriously equating the Huffington Post with a man who tries to convince his viewers that the Nazis were really liberals?

I'm saying that when I am on the Huffington Post, it is only ever for one of two reasons. Either I have clicked there via a link that somebody posted, or I have gone there specifically to be angry at what the neocons are up to. It isn't the best part of myself that ever looks at that site, and as far as I can tell their headlines are written with the express purpose of stirring up outrage. I do see some similarities in that respect, yes.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 9:32 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


It isn't the best part of myself that ever looks at that site, and as far as I can tell their headlines are written with the express purpose of stirring up outrage. I do see some similarities in that respect, yes.

Ironically, Huffington used to perform more or less the same function, only for the right, back in the days of the Lewinsky scandals.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:43 AM on June 17, 2009


What if Bill O'Reilly had a girlfriend...
You lost me there.
posted by verb at 9:50 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now THAT'S a border worth building a fence around!

Free speech zone?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 AM on June 17, 2009


FUCKIN' THING SUCKS
posted by porn in the woods at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2009


I've had a change of heart. I now realize just how cynical, manipulative and misleading FOX news is by design, and will now proceed assuming anyone who feeds the media beast by appearing on any of their shows or believing what they say is not worth talking to or listening to.

previously, I assumed there was some kind of reasonable position that FOX news was taking but that I didn't agree with, and that people who watched it were reasonably intelligent but routinely mislead.
posted by davejay at 10:12 AM on June 17, 2009


Wasn't there a "politics as lifestyle choice" post a while ago on the blue? Does anyone remember that?
posted by boo_radley at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2009


so what I take from this is that she thinks anything that is 'legal' is moral, acceptable and just.
interesting.
lets repeal the 19th amendment!
posted by dawson at 10:30 AM on June 17, 2009


I'm saying that when I am on the Huffington Post, it is only ever for one of two reasons. Either I have clicked there via a link that somebody posted, or I have gone there specifically to be angry at what the neocons are up to.

That might be what you go there for, but are you sure you're looking at it objectively? I'm looking at the front page right now, I see at least a dozen pieces on Iran, a dozen on healthcare reform, a dozen on Obama, and all of two articles that are critical of Republicans. I might be missing some because their page is so cluttered, but can you really say that the point of the site is outrage at conservatives when less than 5% of their front page articles are devoted to that subject?
posted by TungstenChef at 10:38 AM on June 17, 2009


dawson, that is a straw man. Her point via "it's legal" is not that it's also moral, acceptable, and just, but that if you don't like it the solution is to work for a change in the law, not shoot people who are acting within the law as it stands (or, by extension, rile up dumbfucks who might do the shooting for you). And if changing the law isn't working out for you, that might indicate something about the morality, acceptability, and justice of the behavior you don't like.
posted by localroger at 10:53 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Terry Gross interviewed Bill O'Reilly on Fresh Air. He then trumpeted a select excerpt from the interview, characterizing it as his response to a liberal attack.

Yeah, Terry Gross, gonzo ambush interviewer.

She then rebroadcast the entire interview. It's a pretty slow 45 minutes, then at the end, O'Reilly just seems to have an inexplicable meltdown. That's the part he selected, and broadcast clearly out of context.

Later, an NPR ombudsman censured Gross for continuing to broadcast after O'Reilly stormed out of the interview, as it was an ethical lapse - O'Reilly being unavailable to "defend himself".

Personally I find Terry Gross an insipid interviewer. She gets great guests though, and more often than not, the interviews are well worth hearing.

O'Reilly? Incredible. I find it hard to believe that people like him even exist.
posted by Xoebe at 10:57 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


O'Reilly: But, remarkably, Mr. Wendell had a change of heart halfway through the interview. We asked Mr. Wendell, if he had a chance to speak to President Obama today, what would he say?

Wendell: Falafel.

O'Reilly: Or to the Democrats in Congress?

Wendell: Loofah.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 AM on June 17, 2009


Woops, I meant to link to the Terry Gross interview. For some reason, it doesn't play anymore for me.
posted by Xoebe at 10:59 AM on June 17, 2009


"So, why do people agree to appear on his show at all? It's not like any of us are surprised. He's not an intellectual. He's not a nobleman whose favor you will curry. He's not even good at what he does; his influence beyond his own group of fanboys and assorted wackos is marginal at best. Look at the election results and the various political polls."

Well, whether he's good at what he does is debatable. He held the highest rated spot in his timeslot on cable news for years. Not sure if that's still true, but he basically beat CNN and MSNBC by a very wide margin and did so for a prolonged period, which is why Fox keeps him around. That doesn't mean he's a good person or a good interviewer, but he's good by the metric of ratings, which helps to sell advertising.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:06 AM on June 17, 2009


How about doing this if you were subjected to an BillO ambush:

As the producer and cameraman approach and ask their first question, respond by saying:

"I take what you're doing as a threat to my well being. If you do not cease and leave me alone immediately, I will take appropriate action to protect myself."

Naturally, they won't leave. So at that point you take out a can of Mace.

Fire a short burst into the face of the producer. After he goes down or backs away, empty the entire can into the face of the cameraman. After he goes down (and after a full can, he should), take out the second can of Mace you have, and empty that into the face of the producer.

At that point I assume you could even press charges.

Tell the police that you've always been fearful of being attacked or stalked your whole life and that you've lived through many potentially threatening situations. Tell them that you felt threatened, gave these menacing strangers fair warning, and then responded with non-lethal force to secure your safety.


Dunno ... might work.
posted by Relay at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


so what I take from this is that she thinks anything that is 'legal' is moral, acceptable and just.

I'm sure you're just trolling, but here's my take if you mean this seriously.

Law is informed by morality, but it's not bound by morality. Unlike pure morality, law is constrained by practical considerations. That's why we can't just make lying illegal: such a ban would be completely impractical, and far beyond the scope of what law could ever hope to regulate. Sure, you might also note, our constitution guarantees freedom of speech, and arguably, that freedom extends to lying. But that right is one granted in law. We could always revise the constitution to repeal freedom of speech if we wanted to make our law more "moral."

Abortion didn't start with Roe V. Wade, nor any other express or implicit legal sanction of abortion. Abortion began with women having dangerous procedures performed by unlicensed physicians in backrooms (procedures which, when nominally successful, still often resulted in the eventual death by complication of the woman, but which were just as likely to be unsuccessful, resulting in the live birth of a child with crippling deformities). Abortion began with abusive husbands, fathers and lovers kicking and punching pregnant women in the stomach to trigger miscarriages, and pregnant women "accidentally" slipping at the top of staircases. Abortion began with housewives using domestic cleaning products to induce miscarriages. Abortion began with the socialites of the upper-classes making discreet trips to clinics in countries where laws permitted such procedures.

The courts in deciding Roe V. Wade took into account not only the then overwhelming social outcry in favor of the liberalization and medicalization of abortion, but many years of medical data surrounding the social harms caused by unmedicalized, black-market abortion. The planned parenthood movement emerged to offer alternatives to the social costs of unwanted pregnancies (including abortion). But now, the right has distorted the historical role of planned parenthood to emphasize only its abortion-rights advocacy, ignoring the fact that the underlying aim of the movement has always been to prevent unwanted pregnancy, advocating responsible, medicalized abortion only as a last resort alternative in cases where the social harm caused by unwanted pregnancies outweigh the admittedly harmful and unwanted personal costs of abortion.

The law as it stands, like most laws, is an attempt to balance the practical and the moral dimensions of the problem. And it's moral in another sense, too: it reflects the public will. The majority of people in America (while almost no one identifies themselves as pro-Abortion) still believe abortion rights should be protected when there are extenuating circumstances as long as the procedure is performed before a fetus becomes viable.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


You are aware that the Nazis are the National Socialists, right?
Think of it like the nonsense term "free market" - the word "free" is in there to disguise the various powerful interests that have created and now manipulate it. Sneaky bastards, aren't they?
posted by Abiezer at 11:16 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


As someone who has pretty much been introduced to Bill O'Reilly and his ilk through links in this thread and the occasional episode of The Daily Show it's clear that whilst the "How about trying.." comments are amusing in reality this fucker doesn't want to listen. The way he treats (and screams at) the people he is interviewing, he is not interested in any form of debate. He does not want his mind changed. He does not want his viewers to change their minds or in fact to hear any opinion that isn't his own. he wants that person on there to get a 10 second soundbite which he will use out of context repeatedly in the future to prove his only point which is that the left are the rabid fanatical loonies and not him. The irony in the fact that this appears on channels with the word News in their name, seems lost on them. As is any irony for that matter.

I knew things were bad, but Jesus Fucking Christ on a bicycle this makes me fucking angry.
posted by jontyjago at 11:42 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fox News: So why do you refuse to appear on the O'Reilly Factor?
Me: The what?
FN: The O'Reilly Factor. With Bill O'Reilly.
Me: Bill O'Reilly? Is he the one who dodged the draft with an ingrown hemorrhoid?
FN: That was Rush Limbaugh. And it was a pilonidal cyst.
Me: Was he the one that lied about his age so he could vote illegally?
FN: That was Ann Coulter. And it wasn't so she could vote because she still lies about it.
Me: Is the the one who hates Muslims and who cries all the time?
FN: Glenn Beck. And it's not all the time. And it's not just Muslims.
Me: Asian who did the idiotic cheerleader thing?
FN: Malkin.
Me: Oxycontin?
FN: Limbaugh again.
Me: Didn't have a clue about Neville Chamberlain?
FN: Um, Kevin James?
Me: Called Chelsea Clinton ugly?
FN: Limb...no! Wait! John McCain! This is fun!
Me: OK, called Chelsea Clinton a dog?
FN: Limbaugh. Final answer.
Me: Paid no taxes on $2 billion income?
FN: Rupert Murdoch! Oh, crap! Can we edit that one?
Me: Sexually harassed his producer?
FN: Yes! That Bill O'Reilly! Why won't you appear on his show?
posted by joaquim at 11:46 AM on June 17, 2009 [25 favorites]


saulgoodman, is your history of pre-abortion times culled from a particular source(s)? I would love to have a good read of the human stories in those times (and these).
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:18 PM on June 17, 2009


gorgor_balabala: no specific source, but there's some background here and here.

The reluctant but accepting attitude toward abortion rights among many early feminist pioneers was shared by Susan B. Anthony, who once famously likened legal abortion bans to "only mowing off the top of the noxious weed, while the root remains."
posted by saulgoodman at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


some more info about illegal abortion practices internationally here and among US immigrant communities in the present-day here.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:55 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Roger Ebert: The O'Reilly Procedure
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on June 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


homunculus: That Ebert piece is great. Almost fpp-worthy in its own right (except that such a post would surely go down in flames).
posted by saulgoodman at 2:19 PM on June 17, 2009


Oh, homunculus, thanks so much for the Ebert link. It's such a shame he lost his voice... although this way he won't be a guest to be shouted at by O'Reilly.

(it's shocking / amusing how much O'Reilly loses his power when he has to write his stuff down. Because without his shouting and finger pointing, it's easy to see how stupid his words actually are.)
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2009


I shouldn't have watched this. I don't know why I watched this. I totally honestly feel physically ill.

It's like when someone says "This is the worst thing I've ever tasted! Want a bite?" Usually I'm smart enough to say "No thanks." But here I am. Biting into the shit pie.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:43 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


What infuriates me most of all about these guys is the very real effect they have on my dad. He's a very smart guy... Really bright, really nice guy. But. Ever since Limbaugh started his schtick in the 90's, it's like he does this weird Jekyll and Hyde thing that makes you have to walk on eggshells around him and makes taboo most topics of conversation. Even walking on eggshells won't do it, because you never know what might set him off, because everything, everything is related somehow to an effort by the liberals to sabotage and otherwise destroy the world. Even the most innocuous things--"Pass the ketchup"--might lead to a rant about Theresa Heinz Kerry, for example.

Hello there, secret brother. Dad never told me about you. Funny the things he neglects to mention.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:45 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fuck, man. I watch these little clips and get so. goddamn. angry. I really don't understand how anyone would go on these guys shows and not just lose it. I'm pretty even tempered, but I honestly think if I was in the studio and he did that "No you've got blood on your hands" screaming shtick, I'd be charging out of my chair trying to see if I could prove him right on national TV.

His talent is bringing out the ugly in people, even if he's alone on the screen.
posted by quin at 7:06 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


"his clinic has been exploded" [2:59]

:)

posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:29 PM on June 17, 2009


saulgoodman: I hate to actually have to do this in such a public forum as this, but I think in this case, I must. Wikipedia is not a valid source of information. Being a publicly edited 'encyclopedia', it is rife with misinformation, errata and downright lies. Quoting it does not at all, in any way, shape or form, make any point you are trying to make any more valid. Indeed, it negatively affects the statements you are making.

I know that if you were to utilize Wikipedia in order to write, say, a term paper or a journal article, it would be outright rejected. Unless of course you have an idiotic professor or editorial board who looks only for shocking points and 'high-power reporting'.
posted by CountSpatula at 8:55 PM on June 17, 2009


Saulgoodman, I agree with your point wrt the law, but your history of abortion is pretty flawed, as it started as a legal and medicalized, and became illegal, generally, only in about the last 100-odd years.
posted by Snyder at 10:44 PM on June 17, 2009


Wikipedia is not a valid source of information. Being a publicly edited 'encyclopedia'

That's great. The Wikipedia article cited several sources. dispute those, please.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:58 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, CountSpatula. I specifically linked to the citations on the Wikipedia article for precisely that reason. Also, I went on to include a number of additional links.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:26 AM on June 18, 2009


your history of abortion is pretty flawed, as it started as a legal and medicalized, and became illegal, generally, only in about the last 100-odd years.

I meant chiefly to address that last 100 odd years, but you're right. Many centuries of various forms of legal and medicalized abortion preceded the era of legal sanctions. But even then, there were cultural and legal sanctions in particular societies, from what I understand (I'm no expert, though, just a dilettante, so I'll defer to someone with a deeper knowledge of the subject). But I find it extraordinarily unlikely, given human nature, that the more brutal non-medicalized methods of terminating pregnancy (i.e., forced and voluntarily induced miscarriages) haven't always been practiced on the edges as well. Whether it's done in the open or not, whether its medicalized or not, abortion in some form will always be with us.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:26 AM on June 18, 2009


The Wikipedia article cited several sources. dispute those, please.

Here's an even better idea. If you want validity, how about directly citing those sources yourself? Again, Wikipedia is publicly editable, and therefore has little if any validity. Using that as a source is like saying "Oh, I feel that it's right, so it's got to be right!"
posted by CountSpatula at 8:19 AM on June 18, 2009


Here's an even better idea. If you want validity, how about directly citing those sources yourself? Again, Wikipedia is publicly editable, and therefore has little if any validity. Using that as a source is like saying "Oh, I feel that it's right, so it's got to be right!"
posted by CountSpatula


Hey, professor, instead of just bitching about the sources, why don't you actually prove us wrong? If you're right, it'll take much less time than all this goalpost-moving and subject-changing shit you're doing.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:33 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Careful what you ask for, Optimus Chyme. Depending on what counts as proof, this could get silly. While looking for sources on this subject yesterday, I found at least two almost credible-looking sites that claimed that the first laws banning abortion came on the books in the 17th century--when doctors discovered that sperm, examined under a microscope, contained fully-formed human beings. (I shit you not.)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:13 AM on June 18, 2009


Terry Gross interviewed Chip Berlet on Fresh Air, discussing his new report Extremism, Conspiracy Theory And Murder
posted by acro at 12:50 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hate to actually have to do this in such a public forum as this, but I think in this case, I must. Wikipedia is not a valid source of information. Being a publicly edited 'encyclopedia', it is rife with misinformation, errata and downright lies.

Oh, really? In that case, I could probably find at least one Nazi-related page where someone states that the Nazis were Marxists, right? Wait... I can't! Do you know why? Because Wikipedia has a huge team of obsessive-compulsives that revert pages when someone writes complete fucking bullshit on them. I'm done with you, you're obviously a troll.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Acro, thanks for the link to publiceye. I'd forgotten how good that site is on rightwing kooks. Back in the day Chip Berlet gave me the lowdown on LaRouche after a LaRouche quoting friend had my head spinning.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:29 AM on June 19, 2009


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