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February 5, 2010 10:33 PM   Subscribe

If you happen to be the sort of person who doesn't watch Fox News Channel—as if!—you may have missed Jon Stewart's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor.

Jon consults his therapist.

Gawker fills you in.

(Stewart interviewed O'Reilly on The Daily Show back in 2008.)
posted by Sys Rq (130 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 


It's interesting how they apparently edited the interview to soften stewart's points. I saw the first half of the interview on TPM the other day, but yeah the raw stuff from gawker was interesting. Nothing Stewart hasn't said on his show, though.
posted by delmoi at 10:42 PM on February 5, 2010


I'm not going to watch it because it's late. So can someone fill me in? Were the culture wars settled there? Can I turn on the TV tomorrow and not expect to see the soft capitalists to be arguing minutiae with the more rigid capitalists?
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:52 PM on February 5, 2010 [9 favorites]


phantom infinitive there. ignore it please and just give me some favorites, okay? I just stopped working 20 minutes ago and like I said it's late.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:55 PM on February 5, 2010 [3 favorites]



phantom infinitive there.

A good nickname for a MeFi account if I ever saw one...
posted by Zinger at 11:05 PM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The unedited copy on the Fox News site ran REALLY SLOWLY for me.

So, I watched it on YouTube instead.

Part 1, Part2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
posted by marsha56 at 11:07 PM on February 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Good interview. I think this is the only interview Jon did that was so long. It would be great if more of Jon's interviews were 45-60 minutes.

I didn't think Fox's cut was too badly edited, but could have been better, of course.
posted by rainy at 11:10 PM on February 5, 2010


..and therapist bit was gold.
posted by rainy at 11:11 PM on February 5, 2010


rainy: You might want to watch these Charlie Rose interviews. They're not current (in the slightest), but they're long!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 PM on February 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sys Rq: I think I saw only one of them before, thanks for the link.
posted by rainy at 11:22 PM on February 5, 2010


Great interview. It's well worth watching the unedited version. Things get interesting around 15 minutes into the full piece. Jon, as usual, shows his really keen understanding of how FOX News and the mainstream media in general are doing their part to undermine democracy and democratic ideals.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 PM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


In Canada we don't get Fox News, and I haven't caught more than one minute of Bill O'Reilly since I last watched Hard Copy 20 years ago.

How can anyone stand to watch that jackass for an entire show? He's a fucking abrasive asshole. I'd rather clean my bathroom.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:06 AM on February 6, 2010 [17 favorites]


That's right KokuRyu: When faced with abrasive assholes, Canadians know what to do. They get out their abrasive cleaning products and scrub until that asshole shines like Elizabeth II on a freshly-minted nickel. If only we Americans would learn!
posted by kaibutsu at 12:12 AM on February 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


So feeding trolls is ok now?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:13 AM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's like watching John have arguments with his dad.
posted by vicx at 12:14 AM on February 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


"are you cognizant of the fact that your audience members are primarily stoned slackers who love obama?"

take THAT journalism!
posted by shmegegge at 12:15 AM on February 6, 2010


"do you feel badly when you, and your pinhead writers, take things out of context?"

aaaaaaaaaaaand THAT!
posted by shmegegge at 12:16 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"so if you, Jon Stewart, think someone's an idiot, you'll do ANYTHING, however dishonest, to make them look bad."

And journalism's down for the count. THE CROWD GOES WILD!
posted by shmegegge at 12:18 AM on February 6, 2010


since I last watched Hard Copy 20 years ago.

It was just about 19 years ago that I walked into a restaurant in the south of Shikoku, and the proprietor politely switched the TV to an English-language feed, which just happened to be a Hard Copy piece about Chicago Bulls fans rioting in celebration of some victory or other.

I was embarrassed on so many different levels...
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:21 AM on February 6, 2010


It's pretty clear that Falafel Bill deeply admires Stewart. Envies him even.

Still a scumbag though.
posted by bardic at 12:48 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


It would be great if more of Jon's interviews were 45-60 minutes.

He's been on Larry King a few times over the years and those have all been full length, I think. He's been on Charlie Rose's show too.

Hie thee to Google! Seek and you shall find.
posted by sparkletone at 12:48 AM on February 6, 2010


Stewart seems to have a way with people. If he can get Bill to engage in minimally reasonable ...I dunno what to call this...debate? discourse?......I actually have a little hope. I hope after this Bill will tone down his pointing yelling thing. Plus after a bit, you hear Bill get quieter and quieter and he even let Stewart have a whole MINUTE to speak.
posted by bam at 2:05 AM on February 6, 2010


I hope after this Bill will tone down his pointing yelling thing.

I've only seen his show a couple of times but Bill usually does the pointing and yelling thing when the person on his show is dodging the (very loaded) question.
posted by katerschluck at 2:16 AM on February 6, 2010


I've only seen his show a couple of times but Bill usually does the pointing and yelling thing when the person on his show is dodging the (very loaded) question.

The question dodging wasn't my point. I just mean to say that shoving a finger in someone's face and yelling at them has not been known to be an effective means of communication. And by communication I mean somebody speaking, and the other person actually listening and responding to the question in the same spirit it was asked.

So which came first? Yelling Finger or Evasive Maneuvers?
posted by bam at 2:24 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


FOX News and the mainstream media in general are doing their part to undermine democracy and democratic ideals.

Fox News is fucking terrible and they've had an awful effect on the public discourse. But just because we don't like the way their viewers vote doesn't mean they're undermining democracy. That is democracy.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:26 AM on February 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Mikey-San - I disagree. Democracy is not merely the way people vote, it is also the structure of institutions and information providers that allows them to cast their vote in a reasonably considered and measured way. Having an awful effect on the public discourse *is* undermining democracy, as surely as stuffing ballot boxes or imprisoning the opposition.
posted by athenian at 3:06 AM on February 6, 2010 [59 favorites]


But just because we don't like the way their viewers vote doesn't mean they're undermining democracy.

I'm not talking about the viewers, but the networks themselves. When O'Reilly let a word in, Stewart touched briefly upon how FOX News and Ailes essentially created the Teabagger Party, if they are not underwriting it in large part. I think that kind of political advocacy does undermine democracy, when said party is involved in threatening violence at town hall meetings and otherwise interrupting government processes by racist panic-mongering, spreading fear and misinformation about policy, and otherwise behaving in a seditious-like manner in a time of war.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:19 AM on February 6, 2010 [28 favorites]


Fox News is fucking terrible and they've had an awful effect on the public discourse. But just because we don't like the way their viewers vote doesn't mean they're undermining democracy. That is democracy.

One of the definitions for "democracy" I found (and the one most appropriate here) is:

The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

What Fox News represents, and what they so endlessly preach and lie about and distort in order to convince their viewers is the truth . . . works pretty much in total opposition to this sense of democracy.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:27 AM on February 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


There's a lot more to democracy than simply voting at elections, and the media have an ill-defined but important role in the maintenance of a healthy democracy - that's why the'yre licenced in the first place.
posted by wilful at 4:45 AM on February 6, 2010


There is a real America.

I think they call it Canada now.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 4:47 AM on February 6, 2010


I think I may have posted this quote in the past, but it is still relevant.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill
posted by chillmost at 5:40 AM on February 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wish Stewart had done a better job of explaining why the concept of "Real America" is so offensive. O'Reilly spent a lot of time trying to get Stewart to admit that different regions of the U.S. are different; he missed the larger point that the differences are irrelevant. A person living in Greenwich Village is no less American than one living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:53 AM on February 6, 2010 [15 favorites]


So feeding trolls is ok now?

Bill IS a classic troll. Every question he asks is a rhetorical question calculated to wipe his ass on his guest's face. And they're usually questions free of content, full of affective name calling, tagging the (antagonistic) guest as a liberal or worse. And once he's done that, it doesn't matter how the guest responds; the audience has already been instructed what to think of the guest and how to evaluate his response - it's lies, he is in fact a liar, a bad man, he is trying to fool you with his so-called facts.

That's his only trick, and he does it all day every day for a living. That he draws a regular audience for it is terrifying.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:54 AM on February 6, 2010 [26 favorites]


With the "taken out of context" bit, I was impressed with Stewart's Rainman-like ability to recite Bill's transcript back to him (he had a better memory for it than O'Reilly did, and O'Reilly had it printed out in front of him).
posted by starman at 6:08 AM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the link; great interview.

I haven't watched the Daily Show in awhile but I'm consistently impressed with Jon Stewart's knowledge of media, policy and politics. It's really telling that the "comedian" host of a Comedy Central program came across as way more informed than the top-rated pundit for a "fair and balanced" network. O'Reilly was on the defensive throughout most of the interview.

Prediction: Jon Stewart will one day host "Meet the Press."
posted by WhoseVoice at 6:11 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can a brother get a soft chair?
posted by Talez at 6:33 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Prediction: Jon Stewart will one day host "Meet the Press."

Can he start soon? Because I used to wake up to watch it; now, even if I try, it puts me back to sleep.
posted by sallybrown at 6:37 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


All the talk about O'Reilly's home made me curious. So, for anyone else who is curious: Photos of the castle.
posted by Houstonian at 6:38 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


the unedited interview was quite good. o'reilly wasn't nearly as disgusting as I had expected him to be. alas, I haven't seen the edited version. I bet they gave stewart devils horns.
posted by krautland at 6:38 AM on February 6, 2010


Fox News is on 24 hours a day. Oreilly, Beck, Hannity all have three hour radio shows. Stewart is on for less than 30mins, but is somehow capable of "destroying" or "eviscerating" or whatever it is people are pretending happens everytime he uses their name in a three minute long segment. Doesn't anyone count anymore? Maybe the FOX Message isn't as invincible as people think it is, unless of course you buy into the modern argument that Neilsen Ratings = Absolute Truth.
posted by lslelel at 7:00 AM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


MegoSteve, that's just what I was wishing he would point out; Greenwich Village or Wasilla Alaska, we're all real Americans. Of course, so are Canadians and Venezuelans.
"United Statesians" is so bulky.
posted by Red Loop at 7:10 AM on February 6, 2010


o'reilly wasn't nearly as disgusting as I had expected him to be

That's pretty good commentary on how low he's sunk. He knows a few things about the political process, but he's horrible when attempting to take cheap pot shots at Stewart.

But, this shows the country's divide. He knows he sounds stupid to Stewart's base while appealing to his own. I'd go so far to say that their sparring is entirely unhelpful to any unity in the country. The average Fox news audience would mostly pick up on the potshots and ignore the nuanced arguments. Stewart's way smarter, but I'm sure that gets lost on the Fox audience.

While O'Reilly is incredibly harmful, Stewart as Democratic spokesman is interesting in that most of the populist critical commentary from the Left is coming out of Comedy Central. That's awesome, but it's also not awesome.

"the thinnest kid at fat camp"

ha.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:20 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


o'reilly calls people "pinheads." i demand a public apology.
posted by Hammond Rye at 7:22 AM on February 6, 2010


That wasn't an interview, that was an assault. O'Reilly was acting like a supreme asshole; hopefully they have a reciprocal agreement where O'Reilly will come on Daily soon. I'm not gonna hold my breath after that one, though.
posted by waraw at 7:33 AM on February 6, 2010


"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

I would say, rather, that a five minute conversation with an average voter is profoundly discouraging to someone who believes in democracy. But then you remember how incredibly badly every other political system has functioned, and you realize that democracy, despite its many flaws and problems, is still the best thing we've managed to come up with.
posted by orange swan at 7:38 AM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


O'Reilley is at his most odious when he's trying to be funny. It's him at his most bullying. It all translates this way:

I FUCKING HATE YOU AND WILL BE AN ASSHOLE TO YOU. THAT'S MY VERSION OF A JOKE.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:42 AM on February 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. - Winston Churchill

orange swan = Winston's sock puppet account???
posted by litleozy at 7:42 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


O'Reilly and Glenn Beck on Stewart's Factor appearance.

(My gift to all you masochists out there.)
posted by Dumsnill at 7:44 AM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


orange swan, don't worry. Winnie has that covered too. He was nothing if not a pithy guy.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:46 AM on February 6, 2010


The first I'd heard about this interview was on the LA Times website. Not having seen the actual video (and never having seen Bill O'Reilly's show), it's interesting to compare the description of Stewart's and O'Reilly's interaction in the LAT article and some people's reactions here. The LAT paints a much more good-natured interaction. At the end of the article, it says

Later, the comedian confronted his host: "Here's your problem and I'm going to tell you this right now: You like me. You don't know what to do with yourself right now because you like me."

So is it true?

"I like Stewart," O'Reilly admitted after the show. "It's a character flaw of mine."

posted by odin53 at 8:00 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Dumsnill's link, O'Reilly and Beck discuss their motives.

O'Reilly: "Your motive is just purely profit, am I, am I wrong?"
Beck, dismissively: "Oh my gosh, ka-ching!"

Beck goes on to explain that his motives were to leave his four children a better America, and to serve as a Paul Revere, sounding the warning to the rest of America. It's not at all the $23 million. Ka-ching!
posted by Houstonian at 8:05 AM on February 6, 2010


I happen to be the sort of person who doesn't watch either Fox News Channel or Comedy Central, so I would have missed this for sure. I know who these two guys are, though, so this was quite entertaining to watch. Perhaps not quite as entertaining as when Stewart killed Crossfire, but maybe that's because O'Reilly didn't seem completely baffled by what was happening.
posted by FishBike at 8:24 AM on February 6, 2010


Jon Stewart is my new role model for patience. He made it all the way to the end before putting his face in both hands.

Also, "He's a Christian, you're a Liberal!" (I think that was the head in hands moment.)

Thanks for posting this.
posted by emhutchinson at 8:25 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: "I FUCKING HATE YOU AND WILL BE AN ASSHOLE TO YOU. THAT'S MY VERSION OF A JOKE."

The definition of conservative "humor." Remember, you shouldn't be so thin-skinned and take Limbaugh so seriously: he's just an entertainer.
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart is my new role model for patience. He made it all the way to the end before putting his face in both hands.

Exactly. I'm sitting on the other side of a very small screen, and I really, really, really want to reach through and choke that smug bastard. I mean really. And I'm only 16 minutes into the thing.

So, so many things I want to refute, but I'd be preaching loud and clear to the choir. The one thing I really like is that you hear those few guys in the background only laughing at Stewart's comments.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I cringe whenever I witness O'Reilly talking down to Stewart, like Stewart is a child that needs to be scolded. Personally, I don't know why Stewart interacts with O'Reilly because he doesn't really listen to a thing Stewart says.
posted by zzazazz at 9:06 AM on February 6, 2010


Oh, oh, oh, I have it! Instead of debates, we'll have the Battle of the Network News Clips. For one week, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report vs. The O'Reilly Factor and Glen Beck's Clusterf*ck or whatever his show is called. Battle of truthiness, and in the end, they'll get their own pollsters to poll the public to see who is the truthiest. Sure, no one will really win, but we'll all have a good time.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:07 AM on February 6, 2010


Stewart has really learned a lot of patience since the Crossfire appearance, and it served him well in this interview. O'Reilly seems to have softened a bit too - I think Jon might be onto something when he says that Bill is now one of the more sensible people on Fox. This is the first time I've seen O'Reilly where he seems to be almost conceding the fact that he's playing an over-the-top character. It was almost like watching an interview between Stewart and the character "Stephen Colbert". Damn good interview, great dialogue, Stewart's points about Fox were great.
posted by scrowdid at 9:09 AM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


He's dead right that there is a narrative thru-line on FOX; there is a story they tell all day long, and pump again and again and again, and then sprinkle in some vaguely newsy people to look like they are a news organization. Totally right about that. It's obvious and it's demonstrable.

But to FOX viewers, that's not a manufactured narrative. It's not a cherry picking of facts to construct a story. It's the truth, because they want to believe it's the trust, and because FOX makes it look like the truth.

And nobody who watches FOX is going to understand Stewart's point as a result.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:14 AM on February 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Good god damn. I made it through that debacle. Yes, the Bill O'Reilly of the past is gone, replaced by a kinder, gentler man. Now he doesn't get so irate and loud, but prefers to put in his jabs quietly, as if everyone understands his words to be truth. Maybe he's getting old, or maybe he's letting Glen Beck be the one to froth at the mouth.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 AM on February 6, 2010


Greenwich Village or Wasilla Alaska, we're all real Americans. Of course, so are Canadians and Venezuelans.

On behalf of my fellow Canadians, lemme say this for the thousandth time: Nuh-uh. "North Americans," yes; "Americans," hell no.

/derail
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Watching the full thing on YouTube (thanks for that). I hadn't forgotten what prick O'Reilly is. Wondering who it is in the crew that keeps laughing. One of Bill's guys? One of Jon's?
posted by mmahaffie at 9:36 AM on February 6, 2010


O'Reilly and Glenn Beck on Stewart's Factor appearance.

OMG: Beck actually defended Obama's birth certificate release to O'Reilly (Who claimed it hadn't been released in order to gin up more birthers)
posted by delmoi at 9:37 AM on February 6, 2010


Punditfilter: I find it useful to subtract all my personal ideology and observe _all_ the cable news networks from the same perspective. I try to keep my bullshit detector up.

I think everything Stewart said about Fox could equally be said about MSNBC. Credit to Stewart that he sometimes comes out on his show and takes a shot at MSNBC.

For my taste, Stewart is neither that bright nor that funny. I would watch occasionally watch the show when Craig Kilborn was the host, but when Stewart took over, knowing nothing of his ideology, I stopped watching because it wasn't funny.

You know--most of the culture right now seems oriented towards taking pot-shots at other people rather than doing something yourself. Keith Olbermann is the worst exemplar of this. God, the incessant hectoring gets repetitive. Even Arianna--why waste time going after an easy target like Glen Beck? (Remember the old Music Machine song, The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly"?).

Whatever side I'm on, I like to check out all sides and see what I can learn. You may find something of interest. I give a bunch of people of all ideologies--even the much reviled O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Chris Matthews--credit for teaching me something useful, however small that might be. Glen Beck is the only person who covers some key economic issues for those who do not watch CNBC.

OK, so I find Rush Limbaugh completely untalented as an entertainer and not very bright. Is he also offensive? Sure.

Dennis Miller I find to be a talented entertainer and very bright.

Bill Maher I find to be a talented entertainer and very bright.

Greg Gutfeld I find to be a talented entertainer and not very bright.

Howard Stern I find to be a talented entertainer and bright.

Joy Behar I find completely untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

Ann Coulter I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

Sean Hannity I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

Al Sharpton I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

Geraldo Rivera I find to be talented as an entertainer and bright.

S. E. Cupp I find to be untalented as an entertainer and bright. And a babe.

Keith Olbermann I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

Greta Van Susteren I find to be untalented as an entertainer and bright.

Rachel Maddow I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright. She knows nothing about economics, for example.

This is not to say my opinions above are anything but my opinions. But I take offense at none of the above personally or in terms of ideology. They are all ideologues, but ultimately it's all theatre. We need a stage for all angles and should keep an eye on all.
posted by supremefiction at 9:45 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


For my taste, Stewart is neither that bright nor that funny.

Well, obviously it would be hard to tell if someone is "bright" or not if you're not very smart yourself.
posted by delmoi at 9:54 AM on February 6, 2010 [32 favorites]


They are all ideologues, but ultimately it's all theatre.

I would love to be able to favorite this a few hundred more times.
posted by Pragmatica at 9:56 AM on February 6, 2010


tl;dr: "i have some opinions"
posted by waraw at 9:59 AM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can't wait to find out what supremefiction thinks about ABBA
posted by found missing at 10:01 AM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I find to be untalented as an entertainer and bright.

You've left out the third axis, "disingenuous."
posted by one_bean at 10:08 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Cyclonic Perpetual Emotion Machine." Just picked up on that. I like that phrase.
posted by mmahaffie at 10:10 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Make a note of it, Darling, I want to use it more often in conversation.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:12 AM on February 6, 2010


My lamp is rather untalented as an entertainer, but really very bright. Maybe it can take over for Joy Behar?
posted by sallybrown at 10:17 AM on February 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


He or she (supremefiction) better not talk smack about ABBA. Nor had anyone else. Better oughtta. To not to. About ABBA.

IS THAT CLEAR?
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on February 6, 2010


The most amusing thing about this was how Jon Stewart's New Jersey accent came out full force. Never heard him do that before. After a while it was like listening to two guys argue in a bar in Secaucus.

"You live in a mansion! You have an infinity pool!" Love it.
posted by fungible at 10:22 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stewart is on for less than 30mins, but is somehow capable of "destroying"

Not to "the average voter." Not to the "real American." They probably saw this interview as O'Reilly destroying Stewart.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:49 AM on February 6, 2010


I would occasionally watch the show when Craig Kilborn was the host,
but when Stewart took over. . . I stopped watching. . .


Supremefiction, you could have saved yourself a lot of typing. This supplies all the context we need for your views on talented entertainers.

Then there's this:

Rachel Maddow.* . . not very bright.

*DPhil, Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar.

No guarantee of brilliance I admit, but a pretty good indication that yours is an extreme minority position.
posted by Herodios at 10:52 AM on February 6, 2010 [20 favorites]


Kris Kristopherson was also a Rhodes Scholar. Which is useful to remember when you watch Blade, and the vampires spend most of the movie using a sophisticated computer program with a 3D rendering engine, but all you have to do is show Whistler a tattered rag of an old scroll with vampire runes written on it, and after declaring that it smells like a vampire whipes his ass on it he'll tell you it's about La Magra, the Blood God.

Bill Clinton and Rachel Maddow are also capable of doing that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:57 AM on February 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


Democracy is not merely the way people vote, it is also the structure of institutions and information providers that allows them to cast their vote in a reasonably considered and measured way.

posted by athenian


Eponysterical!
posted by joe lisboa at 11:04 AM on February 6, 2010


Yes, the Bill O'Reilly of the past is gone, replaced by a kinder, gentler man.

No, he's always like this when interviewing anyone he respects and/or who has their own show. When interviewing little people. he's exactly the same as he always was and always will be.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:31 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Herodios, found missing, delmoi, sallybrown: why the personal attacks?

Did I attack you or say that anything in the above was anything but my opinion? This is all opinion here, no?

I guess my opinion is not worth as much as yours. However, my opinion was about the post, not about you personally.

Herodios: So I think Craig Kilborn is funnier than Jon Stewart. Would you attack somebody who thinks Harold Lloyd is funnier than Buster Keaton? I guess your sense of humor is somehow "better" than mine.

delmoi: You have no idea how bright I am, nor I you. I never claimed to be bright, simply to have an opinion. And opinions, as you know, are like assholes. So why attack me?

So much for my comment about taking pot-shots at other people.
posted by supremefiction at 11:35 AM on February 6, 2010


So I think Craig Kilborn is funnier than Jon Stewart.

Honestly, you're taking potshots at yourself.
posted by found missing at 11:41 AM on February 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


And opinions, as you know, are like assholes.

Indeed. It's usually unpleasant when people shove them in your face, especially when they stink.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:52 AM on February 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: I am brighter than I think you can imagine, and so are you.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:54 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it really that I "missed" it?
posted by JohnBerry at 11:57 AM on February 6, 2010


supremefiction: "So I think Craig Kilborn is funnier than Jon Stewart."

I think you're really wrong, but that's a matter of opinion. On the other hand:

"Would you attack somebody who thinks Harold Lloyd is funnier than Buster Keaton?"

Yes. I would destroy them. With fire.
posted by brundlefly at 11:58 AM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow I find to be untalented as an entertainer and not very bright.

...except for her Rhodes Scholarship and her doctorate from Oxford in Political Philosophy. Which qualifies her as a political commentator more than just about anyone else in television news, I would say.

Interesting that your list equates talent with intelligence. Surely there are some non-talented people who are bright, and vice versa...
posted by hippybear at 12:06 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh, I see there are a few mixed people in your list. my apologies
posted by hippybear at 12:08 PM on February 6, 2010


democracy, despite its many flaws and problems, is still the best thing we've managed to come up with.

Winston Churchill also said something very close to that: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

The beauty of democracy is that it has a negative feedback loop in the form of the voters. Their apathy decreases as the government gets worse, and so long as votes are counted, that drives the country back from whatever brink it is approaching.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:12 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


sysreq: "It's usually unpleasant when people shove them in your face..."

OK, go back and read the wording of my post.

"I think . . . For my taste . . . I find . . . This is not to say my opinions above are anything but my opinions."

I mean, could I have made it any less confrontational? No "you" statements. Is that shoving in your face?

sysreq: ". . . especially when they stink."

Your opinions are better than my opinions?
posted by supremefiction at 12:14 PM on February 6, 2010


Your opinions are better than my opinions?

In my opinion, substantially.
posted by found missing at 12:16 PM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this an outcome of the self-esteem movement, where everyone's opinion is deemed useful and valid, just because it is subjectively held? I say, bullshit, and I won't be subscribing to your Jon Stewart hating newsletter.
posted by found missing at 12:21 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like garlic.

I don't like sugary drinks.

I like biathlon.

I don't like the recent cuts in NASA's budget.

I don't like this dude I met the other day.

I like big butts.

Those are my opinions.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:23 PM on February 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Again about the sense of humor: you can't adjudicate that, sorry.

Herodios and hippybear: I deliberately used the word "bright" and not "intelligent" or "better educated." Because if you take that tack on education:

Bill O'Reilly, MPA Harvard University
Ann Coulter, JD University of Michigan Law School
Lou Dobbs, Harvard BS Economics

I don't.

I am not saying I am bright. Nor am I saying I am brighter than you or anybody on my list. Hence the "I find..." at the beginning of every statement. If you're saying a dumb person has no right to make an assessment of how bright other people are, in the form of an opinion, well sure they can. Does that mean you attack them?

Maybe I'd be interested in your all your opinions of the pundits rather than of me--regardless of how bright I might think you might be--since we're all here and that's what this forum is about. No? Perhaps I misunderstand.

Or maybe you just don't like me. Or maybe you just don't like the tone of my post, despite my honest best effort. Or maybe you're just not very polite. Not sure.
posted by supremefiction at 12:25 PM on February 6, 2010


supremefiction: 'Twas but a wee joke. You can put the gun down.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:25 PM on February 6, 2010


Does that mean you attack them?

You keep using this word, "attack." I do not think it means what you think it means. For example, someone disagreeing with you personally does not necessarily amount to an "attack."

See also, "eviscerate."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


found missing: "In my opinion, substantially."

OK, let's have a pissing contest instead. Isn't this fun! This is what the internet is all about. Happy now?

I never said I hated Jon Steward. Re-read the post.
posted by supremefiction at 12:34 PM on February 6, 2010


In my opinion, by saying that he is neither bright nor funny, you did. That's my opinion. Is your opinion better than mine?
posted by found missing at 12:36 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your opinions are better than my opinions?

The notion that all opinions are equal is just bullshit. I don't want this to sound like a personal attack, but it's just not a very good opinion when you say something like "Rachel Maddow isn't very bright" in spite of the fact that she has a doctorate from one of the most prestigious universities in the world and was a Rhodes scholar
posted by MegoSteve at 12:37 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know--most of the culture right now seems oriented towards taking pot-shots at other people rather than doing something yourself.

This comment makes me wonder if you actually saw the video that this post links to, which is not really about taking pot-shots (for the guest, at least).

It's an interesting talent/untalent list, I guess, but what about the factual substance of what was said in the video?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on February 6, 2010


Thread derails that lead the conversation to focus on the relative talent and intelligence of various partisan political pundits aren't entertaining or very bright.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:46 PM on February 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


it's just not a very good opinion when you say something like "Rachel Maddow isn't very bright" in spite of the fact that she has a doctorate from one of the most prestigious universities in the world and was a Rhodes scholar

No. The problem with that comment is that the user doesn't make the slightest attempt at explaining why he or she holds those opinions, but they still expect us to take them seriously.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:47 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The irony of this derail is that it is so content-free and so vaguely uninformed that it's like watching programming on FOX News itself. The only piece that is missing here is a cut to a commercial break to Cash4Gold or something.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on February 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


MegoSteve:

Thank you for not personalizing your response. I appreciate it.

"The notion that all opinions are equal is just bullshit." In this setting they are. No? Factual errors, yes.

See my post above about "bright" versus "well-educated" and let me now know your opinion of how bright O'Reilly, Dobbs, and Coulter are.

I'm sure Rachel Maddow is intelligent and well educated. Way more than me. Feel better now? But as I said, having a masters in economics, her coverage of the economy is profoundly, factually misinformed.

Why would I say Howard Stern is "brighter" than Rachel Maddow?! That, collectively with the rest of the list, should give you some idea about the sense I'm using it in. Maybe I mean street smart or intuitive insight or adaptive learning or lateral thinking, don't exactly know.

And as I said, if you think I'm full of shit, fine. Maybe I think a bunch of people here are full of shit, but it is not too productive for me to dwell on that, is it.

I'm sure I could comb through the thousands of posts these guys have and find a bunch of stuff they said that does not make sense to me. I didn't think the purpose of this forum was to assess other posters' degree of full-of-shitness. But I guess I was wrong.

And if the reference to the Music Machine doesn't buy me any credibility with somebody, well, I'm sure I could say some things about them too. Because I will not personalize my responses. Unlike the others here.
posted by supremefiction at 12:50 PM on February 6, 2010


found missing: "by saying that he is neither bright nor funny, you did [say you hate Jon Stewart]."

You equate saying someone is not bright or funny with hating them?

You can like someone who is not bright or funny.

They can be kind.

Hate is an awfully strong word.

Look, I didn't mean to derail the discussion, but I have a right to defend myself.

In my original post I did not go after anybody here and I did not say my word was law.

Jeez!
posted by supremefiction at 12:59 PM on February 6, 2010


Why would you share personal opinions about something and then be surprised at all the "personalized responses" you get, supremefication?
posted by zerbinetta at 1:00 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hate can also be an awfully not strong word; e.g. I hate skittles, I hate going to church, I hate the Daily Show, now that the hilarious Craig Kilborn is gone.
posted by found missing at 1:02 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you say "bright" or "not very bright," most everyone is going to understand that you are saying "intelligent" versus "not very intelligent." That's what those words mean. It's not really others' fault for misinterpreting you, if you're using language that's imprecise, making a distinction between two words where others typically would not.
posted by citron at 1:04 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Allow me to summarize: gyob.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:06 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


But as I said, having a masters in economics, her coverage of the economy is profoundly, factually misinformed.

This goes beyond opinion into a factual claim. Do you have anything that substantiates this personalized response to her reporting?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Finally got through the video. Fascinating examination of O'Reilly's techniques, actually. The aggressive gestures toward the person he wants to shut up... The use of his position as host to make little sniping comments to close out a topic and then "move on", leaving the point hanging and unrefuted... The use of loaded terms to define a topic and then either disallowing a restatement without those terms by the guest or following up the restating with even more extreme language...

Stewart really started to work actively against some of O'Reilly's tactics in the second half of the interview. It's like he's studied all these techniques and took some time to assess his opponent and then because to use interview-fu to counter. I especially liked in the latter parts where O'Reilly would create a digression from his chosen topic, and then he would try to declare a new topic and Stewart would repeat the old one and force things back. I also was impressed at how Stewart stopped trying to refute the loaded language after a while and just started making small comments indicating that perhaps there was something to question there and letting it roll along. Add in Stewart's sense of humor and his willingness to let O'Reilly run with a thread for a while before just stomping on it ("I AM NOT RUNNING WITH YOU!")... It was pretty clear who was the better in the conversation, even if O'Reilly was the on home turf and therefore had some advantage.

I've been impressed with Stewart (beyond just liking his show) since his Bill Moyers interview where he had to assess his own conversation with John McCain, and had actual reflective things to say about it and his job. [Transcript also at that link.]
posted by hippybear at 1:08 PM on February 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


OK, look. I apologize for my post. Sorry to all those who took offense.
posted by supremefiction at 1:12 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fox News is on 24 hours a day. Oreilly, Beck, Hannity all have three hour radio shows. Stewart is on for less than 30mins, but is somehow capable of "destroying" or "eviscerating" or whatever it is people are pretending happens everytime he uses their name in a three minute long segment.

The role filled by the Daily Show is in showing everyone who isn't a Fox News android how self-serving they are and how constructed their narrative is. For people who actually think about the news and don't just believe what they're told, it is a powerful resource.

The depressing thing is that, after all this time, it and the Colbert Report remain the only prominent media figures who are willing to do this. Why isn't anyone else, in a reasoned, funny, insightful, non-Olberman way, taking these people down week after week?
posted by JHarris at 1:43 PM on February 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Kris Kristopherson was also a Rhodes Scholar.

Really? So was Kris Kristofferson!
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:04 PM on February 6, 2010


But as I said, having a masters in economics, her coverage of the economy is profoundly, factually misinformed.

I think you mean to accuse her of lying. Because she certainly isn't misinformed.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:07 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


GAWRSH
posted by Electrius at 2:08 PM on February 6, 2010


tl;dr
posted by Clementines4ever at 2:10 PM on February 6, 2010


The depressing thing is that, after all this time, it and the Colbert Report remain the only prominent media figures who are willing to do this. Why isn't anyone else, in a reasoned, funny, insightful, non-Olberman way, taking these people down week after week?

I'm guessing it's because not many people are so willing to risk burning bridges. If Network A puts on a program mocking Network B, Network A is going to get burned right back (because they all make the sausage in the same way, to a degree)--and the higher ups at Network A will have started a feud in a small, rather incestuous professional community. John Smith of Network A doesn't want to feel uncomfortable at Barbara Walters's dinner party--and if he gets fired from Network A, he wants to keep Network B in mind as a job opportunity. Watch Colbert's White House Correspondents Dinner speech and hear the relative silence from the crowd; these people are either missing a sense of humor or cowed by something: fear, a desire for access, a wish to be buddies with the powerful folks they cover?

The idea that objectivity in journalism means never criticizing anyone doesn't help; neither does the tendency of inter-industry stories to become boringly myopic to anyone outside the media bubble.

Think of how far Conan was pushed before he lashed out at NBC. The Conan/Leno fracas is actually a good example of how viciously entertaining such a takedown can be--but also how masturbatory it can seem after a while.
posted by sallybrown at 2:14 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why isn't anyone else, in a reasoned, funny, insightful, non-Olberman way, taking these people down week after week?

It would be nice to see something like Media Matters develop a weekly show, put it on FSTV or something similar. Or any kind of intelligent dissection of what is being fed to us. I don't see why there couldn't be a program on PBS, which surely would be the correct venue for such a thing and would fit right into its mission.

The problem, I think, is that the Media (taken as a monolithic whole, which I know can be a dangerous base assumption) doesn't want to be deconstructed. AdBusters has been trying to find an outlet for itself for years, if not decades, through some kind of national television distribution, and it has been stymied at every turn. The "powers that be" simply won't put up with a public which has been taught to see through its methods. Likewise, The Daily Show, which sprang up largely as a companion piece to Talk Soup, really wasn't a political or even a "news show" when it began. It was much more a parody of news rather than an analysis and commentary on it. It morphed into what it is when Kilborn left and during the Bush administration, because there was literally nobody else speaking truth to power at the time. (Perhaps Amy Goodman is excluded from that statement.) The fact that it has become what it is likely is an aberration, and I don't know if a show with its content and mission (ostensibly a comedy show, but really the Court Jester of America) could spring up whole cloth.

The fact that they manage to put together 2 hours of show a week, and probably 50-75% of that is actual analysis of news and current events, is pretty astounding. I don't know what kind of resources that show demands, but I don't know if a publicly-funded program could summon forth the required number of eyeballs to even assess what has been happening for even a once-a-week, hour-long media literacy show which had any real depth at all. And that doesn't even begin to cover what we REALLY need to educate the public at large about how to read the endless number of streams flowing into their house 24/7.
posted by hippybear at 2:15 PM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the link!
Too bad I had to watch it on Fox's page:)
I sure like Stewart!
It was great when O'Reilly tried to jump him for a miss quote and had to read his own quote then John came back and quoted O'Reilly without needing to see it!
posted by PhilsAlterEgo at 2:40 PM on February 6, 2010


That wasn't an interview, that was an assault. O'Reilly was acting like a supreme asshole; hopefully they have a reciprocal agreement where O'Reilly will come on Daily soon. I'm not gonna hold my breath after that one, though.

Why? They do each other's shows every couple years, and have for a while. Pretty sure that's the case this time around as well.
posted by sparkletone at 3:59 PM on February 6, 2010


Can anyone point me at a "Jon Consults his therapist" link that will work on this side of the water? All the links I'm getting on google (including aol.co.uk) are telling me off for not having an American IP address.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:00 PM on February 6, 2010


sparkletone: not exactly each couple of years, I believe last time was 2004. And there was like maybe one other time before that.
posted by rainy at 4:09 PM on February 6, 2010


That's right KokuRyu: When faced with abrasive assholes, Canadians know what to do. They get out their abrasive cleaning products and scrub until that asshole shines like Elizabeth II on a freshly-minted nickel. If only we Americans would learn!

Having a ridiculous foreign monarch as our head of state is ridiculous, true. Any implication that she wields more power in Canada than zombie-Elvis does in America is horse shit. The idea that Canadians are cowed her abrasive anus-like qualities as well.

In all seriousness, I wonder if it's a virtue having a ridiculous head of state like we (or Sweden*) does. Beats the weird founding founder-worship you guys occasionally engage in.

(* Ja. Det är rätt. Du hörde mig. Jag har sett Carl Gustav sov vid bordet under Nobelfesten på tv. (Ledsen för poopiesvenska.))
posted by ~ at 5:19 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Consults his Therapist for Canadians.
posted by Decimask at 5:51 PM on February 6, 2010


Hippybear, might I suggest Counterspin. It's a radio show but it fairly good job analyzing coverage of top stories. They dig the dirt on all the networks, even NPR. If your local community radio doesn't carry them check out the podcast. It's only half an hour once a week but it's really a show that could be expanded into the TV show you're talking about.
posted by irisclara at 6:16 PM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't believe there's still a deep misunderstanding of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show in general. His show isn't an editorial about the news. His show is an editorial on the media reporting the news. It's meta-news (that's so postmodern, huh-huh hurf-derf). He analyzes the media and its effects, he's not the media reporting the effects of news events. The reason you can't compare the Daily Show with newspapers and cable news channels isn't because he's a comedy show, it's because he's reporting on something entirely different.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:22 PM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


From Bill Moyers to Travis Smiley interviewing George Carlin.
posted by wobh at 7:04 PM on February 6, 2010


Counterspin is always worth listening to, but sometimes they do stray off into near-parody political correctness.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:52 PM on February 6, 2010


That's what I think of Democracy Now.
posted by irisclara at 4:24 PM on February 7, 2010


I'm guessing it's because not many people are so willing to risk burning bridges. If Network A puts on a program mocking Network B, Network A is going to get burned right back (because they all make the sausage in the same way, to a degree)--and the higher ups at Network A will have started a feud in a small, rather incestuous professional community.

Right, and the thing is that Jon Stewart didn't come up through that "network" he ended up on TV through the side door, hosting a random cable show that gained influence in a somewhat random way, since no one else was saying what he was saying.
posted by delmoi at 5:25 PM on February 7, 2010


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