Bill O'Reilly vs. High School Student
June 23, 2007 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Boulder High School involved in a controversy. Here's some background. And here's the smackdown. Here's what some other students think. My favorite moment isn't even anything that's said - it's about 2:46 into the smackdown video when the other student on the panel, Andrew, realizes things are getting ready to kick-off. These are all YouTube links BTW.
posted by philad (68 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could we have a summary for those of us who don't have the ability, at the moment, to view youtube?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:09 PM on June 23, 2007

This isn't a "controversy", this is Bill O'Reilly trying to fill an hour worth of programming.
posted by geoff. at 2:09 PM on June 23, 2007

Could we have a summary for those of us who don't have the ability, at the moment, to view youtube?

Boulder High School had a seminar on sex. There is nothing really controversial if you're not the octogenarian-type who writers into the op-ed section angry at trivial things. Bill O'Reilly is constantly trying to find things that support his so-called hypothesis that there is a "culture war" going on in America. I think the terms he uses are "secular progressive" and "traditional Americans", which is widely ridiculed by anyone that is not Bill O'Reilly.
posted by geoff. at 2:13 PM on June 23, 2007

I thought Bill O'Reilly getting the smackdown from a high school student about something that he wrote condoning drug use was funny. Obviously there's nothing here that merits a national controversy, other than O'Reilly wanting to up his ratings.
posted by grouse at 2:16 PM on June 23, 2007

Always fun watching BillO get his ass handed to him by a high-schooler.

I like how the point of what Jesse is trying to say in the end -- that taking something out of context can lead to total rhetorical chaos -- goes zooming directly over Bill's head. What. A. Douchetard.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:16 PM on June 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

friends don't let friends watch foxnews
posted by pyramid termite at 2:19 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

As others have pointed out, "controversy" is a little off the mark. Apologies.
posted by philad at 2:19 PM on June 23, 2007

Philad, I actually saw the video yesterday, and when I saw your FPP today, I assumed you were using the word "controversy" sort of sarcastically, like, as if to mean "manufactured nonsensical outrage by a Fox News has-been," since there's absolutely no way anyone in the universe besides Douchetard Bill and his slack-jawed fanbase would consider this controversial.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:23 PM on June 23, 2007

hifiparasol - you're on to me! I was being cautious and didn't want to show my liberal-leaning tendencies.
posted by philad at 2:26 PM on June 23, 2007

I almost felt sorry for Billy-boy, watching him being intellectually bested by a 16-year-old. But then I thought, nah, fuck that guy.

Seriously, when the high-schooler you're having on your show to debate is winning, easily, maybe it's time to hang it up.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:32 PM on June 23, 2007

"It's on page 67."

posted by chlorus at 2:33 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was expecting something a bit more satisfying from the "smackdown". Like Bill being stunned into silence and not even being able to yell over the kid, all while blood visibly rises up his face like some enraged cartoon character. That'd be awesome.
posted by CKmtl at 2:36 PM on June 23, 2007

Don't be afraid to show your cards, philad. It's how we get the good discussions going around here. :)

What gets me about this is that the kid who hands BillO his saggy ass is using the absolute simplest of rhetorical techniques: He's quoting his book back to him. That people don't try that on Bill -- or Glenn Beck, or Hannity, or any of these troglodytes -- is a sad state of affairs.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:38 PM on June 23, 2007

And O'Reilly really tried to set Jesse up to fail. He asked the conservative kid questions of the sort that promote ease of discussion, and let him make his point in manageable steps. With Jesse, he didn't even ask a Jesse a question at first-- he just made him talk from a cold start. And Jesse still cleaned his clock. What a great kid.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:39 PM on June 23, 2007

Whenever I'm accidentally exposed to O'Reilly's windbaggery my blood starts to boil with rage. It's not just that I disagree with him on almost every issue, it's that his approach to "debate" is the polar opposite of reasonable discourse. Assert your correctness as self-evident, dominate the conversation by being loudest, cherry-pick your sources (when you even have any), interrupt your opponents, follow a to-do list of logical fallacies, and (when he's on his own show) hit the "mute" button when all else fails.

It's playing at debate with cheat codes enabled, and if we taught the fundamentals of logic and rational discussion in elementary school it wouldn't be tolerated.

Should lecturers be making jokes about ecstasy use to kids in school-funded programs? Maybe, maybe not. Jesse Lange was absolutely right... what matters is the tone with which it's presented, not a three second sound byte which is only incriminating when taken out of context.

The more important issue is that parents shouldn't expect to personally approve of everything their kids are taught. Sometimes the truth is a bit more complicated than the "black and white justice" O'Reilly champions and we're not doing teenagers a service by pretending otherwise.
posted by Riki tiki at 2:39 PM on June 23, 2007 [8 favorites]

Falafel boy got schooled. Again. It's amazing, after that happening umpteen times over the last couple of years (not neccessarily always by high-schoolers) that he has the temerity to just go on, night after night, showing his ass and getting called on it. What a tool.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:40 PM on June 23, 2007

The kinds of people who watch the O'Reilly Factor will either never be swayed by this sort of thing ("I bet the four-year-old was coached by his radical-left, latte-sipping parents!") or already watch it for moments like these and never believe a word O'Reilly says. In other words, this changes nothing.
posted by chrominance at 2:43 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

In other words, this changes nothing.

I don't think any of us are under the impression that it does. It's just enjoyable to watch Bill's unmitigated dumbassery in the face of simple logic. It's like watching someone with a pin get attacked by a Macy's Thanksgiving parade baloon.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:46 PM on June 23, 2007

Bill's unmitigated dumbassery

hifiparasol--I think you just found the title to his next book!
posted by LooseFilter at 2:49 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Y'know, when I was subjected to a similar seminar in high school in the 80s, we had adults from all walks of life come to talk to us about sex and drugs. When the Q&A opened up, no one had anything to say, except one girl who barely squeaked a question out regarding whether or not females can have orgasms. The explosive, nervous laughter from the rest of the class prevented the question from being answered: the bell rang, and we all went back to marginalizing adults as the dimwitted absent-minded people that you see in 80s movies.

We've obviously come a long way, baby, what with the all "you can't even stay hard if you first manage to get the condom on" talk. Kudos.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:49 PM on June 23, 2007

(Or, of course....

Metafilter: Unmitigated Dumbassery)
posted by LooseFilter at 2:54 PM on June 23, 2007
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on June 23, 2007

At work we have televisions in the lunchrooms that alternate between CNN and Fox day to day, and it's my only exposure to TV anymore. What gets me about Fox is that they never address any real issues. It's all loud blather, and mostly about the latest on Paris Hilton, that Holloway gal (still), or the Britney Spears beaver shot. Rather than any kind of analysis, all it is is cheerleading. In this particular case he does his talk over the kid and berate him for taking the quote out of context, but that just makes BO look even more stupid to anyone with intelligence watching. My nephew goes to school at Boulder High, I'll have to have him tell Andrew right on for me.
posted by Eekacat at 3:01 PM on June 23, 2007

Wouldn't it be funny if audiotapes with sexual content were to surface involving Bill O'Reilly? Oh, wait.

Save the Tapes!
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on June 23, 2007

My nephew goes to school at Boulder High, I'll have to have him tell Andrew right on for me.

You mean Jesse. Andrew's the kid who was offended by all the sex and drugs.
posted by CKmtl at 3:13 PM on June 23, 2007

Jesse is my new hero.
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:18 PM on June 23, 2007

Boulder does rock.
posted by reflection at 3:19 PM on June 23, 2007

It definitely looks like the kids in the "Boulder rocks" link were just goofing to get on camera. I sort of wonder if Andrew was doing the same.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:23 PM on June 23, 2007

Bill's unmitigated dumbassery

This replaced "Bigby's clenched fist" in the newest revision of Dungeons and Dragons, right?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:25 PM on June 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

I used "unmitigated dumbassery" because the phrase appears on the hifiparasol family crest.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:34 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Jesse made about, oh, 20 seconds of my afternoon.

But what a 20 seconds it was!
posted by humannaire at 3:54 PM on June 23, 2007

This is one of the "important" stories OREALLY pads his time with rather than old washed up news like the Iraq War.
posted by tkchrist at 4:41 PM on June 23, 2007

O'Reilly is so tough: He called a 16-yr old boy a "pinhead"! Wotta badass!
posted by papakwanz at 4:56 PM on June 23, 2007

Who cares what BillO says or does. This is all just manufactured outrage so he has something to talk about. And of course he went after the littlest guys imaginable, actual high school students. Most serious people wouldn't even bother going on his show.
posted by delmoi at 4:57 PM on June 23, 2007

Good on Jesse for being so well-prepared for O'Reilly's bullshit.
posted by brain_drain at 5:11 PM on June 23, 2007

I'm with Riki tiki. Issues and positions and *-wars aside, what I find disturbing is that Bill O'Reilly has an audience at all. Certainly its not all people goofing on what a blowhard or asshole he is, because they would have become bored and tuned out within 6 weeks of his show hitting the air.

Its the rest of the people who continue to watch him and imagine that their seeing reasoned debate, or getting actual information when it isn't even a decent parody of it. It has to be the mindset of O'Reilly die-hards who have made this country what it has become since the 2000 election. These must be the people who voted twice for Bush.
posted by hwestiii at 5:17 PM on June 23, 2007

Watching O'Reilly - even as he is ripped by a high schooler - still makes my stomach churn.

What a reprehensible human being. I can't wait for his ratings to slip to the point where he is quietly ushered off stage and he spends out the rest of days alone and dejected, a painful reminder to anyone who cares to look of just how close our country was circling the drain during the Bush years.
posted by wfrgms at 5:36 PM on June 23, 2007

I find disturbing is that Bill O'Reilly has an audience at all.

30% of Americans think Bush is doing a bang up job.

But that's nothing, at the height of Watergate, when it was obvious to anyone who thinks above their brain stem that Richard Nixon was a vicious thug, 24% of Americans still approved of the job he was doing.

The point is that no matter how bad things get a solid quarter of us are so disaffected, so out of touch, so self-delusional that we'll roll along with four flat tires oblivious to the cliff we're speeding towards.

People who watch O'Reilly, who buy his books, who agree with his stances, who hold his views and the views of people like Colutre and Rush in high value are intellectually the same fucktards who elected Hitler.
posted by wfrgms at 5:42 PM on June 23, 2007 [4 favorites]

Bill O'Reilly (along with Malkin, Coulter, etc.) is personally helpful to me, and I need to express my gratitude.

If I find that at any time I give a half of a percent of a shit about what he says or thinks, that means it's time to go do some yoga, do a good deed without expectation of reward, call my Mom, etc.

He's a 100% accurate barometer of my spiritual and psychological condition. If I'm straight, it's like he doesn't even exist.

Thanks for being such an outstanding dickweed, Bill! :-)
posted by facetious at 6:15 PM on June 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

That kid should definitely go to a good law school.
posted by nervousfritz at 6:16 PM on June 23, 2007

Fair and balanced opinion:

Bill O'Reilly is a lying sack of shit.
posted by birdhaus at 6:24 PM on June 23, 2007

Metafilter: Half a Percent of a Shit
posted by hifiparasol at 6:48 PM on June 23, 2007

Jesse Lange, a high school student, makes Bill Falafel O'Reilly look like an idiot on his own show. Petulant Bill usually tells his guests to shut up, but Jesse he just calls pinhead.

(this post was terrible though; a little context in the post itself or even in an early comment from the poster would be nice, especially when it is a bunch of videos. i saw this earlier so i knew what to expect, but otherwise i would have just skipped it)
posted by caddis at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2007

Andrew is my new hero.
posted by Flashman at 7:31 PM on June 23, 2007

Well, at least posting my outrage to the internet fixed the problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on June 23, 2007

I live in Boulder, and caught this gem of a letter to the editor in the "Colorado Daily" last week:

"Promoting Sex, Drugs Just Plain Wrong"
I am a Denver residence (sic) and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you guys don't think "boulder high" is doing harm to its kid (sic). How would you react if I said to you (or anyone) in an interview, at a business meeting or during a hike, "I have lots of sex with many different people (boys and girls), unprotected and also experiment with many kinds of drugs" Oh , by the way, I am dating your son (or daughter)." How would you take that??? Would your reply "That's' really cool! man!"? (sic sick sick)
-Andre M., Denver

The moral of this post? There are people in the area who are actually offended by this, they're just real stupid.
posted by danman_d at 8:46 PM on June 23, 2007

30% of Americans think Bush is doing a bang up job.

Actually -- this week Bush's approval rating is at 26%.
"Only 26 percent of Americans, just over one in four, approve of the job the 43rd president is doing; while, a record 65 percent disapprove, including nearly a third of Republicans.

The new numbers—a 2 point drop from the last NEWSWEEK Poll at the beginning of May—are statistically unchanged, given the poll’s 4 point margin of error. But the 26 percent rating puts Bush lower than Jimmy Carter, who sunk to his nadir of 28 percent in a Gallup poll in June 1979. In fact, the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.

...the White House cannot pin his rating on the war alone. Bush scores record or near record lows on every major issue: from the economy (34 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove) to health care (28 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove) to immigration (23 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove). And—in the worst news, perhaps, for the crowded field of Republicans hoping to succeed Bush in 2008—50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of terrorism and homeland security. Only 43 percent approve, on an issue that has been the GOP’s trump card in national elections since 9/11."*
posted by ericb at 8:57 PM on June 23, 2007

re: the last link. oh my god. I may move out to boulder - those hair spray ditsy high school girls were informed and well spoken. The shaggy haired stoner kids were reasonable and polite.

"I think the media is out of stuff to talk about" If i had a son, id let him date her.
posted by nihlton at 9:07 PM on June 23, 2007

andrew, the kid that was so put off by the assembly wasn't even present for it.
posted by andywolf at 9:13 PM on June 23, 2007

andywolf: that's intriguing... mind if I ask your source?
posted by Riki tiki at 9:32 PM on June 23, 2007

yes you may Riki tiki.
news hounds

if you go through the comments it's mentioned a bit. i know that would be rumor, but jesse lange also contributes to the thread and doesn't dispute it. i think he even mentions the kid wasn't there.
posted by andywolf at 9:43 PM on June 23, 2007

oh and yeah, anyone could go on there saying they're jesse. but this was the site digg linked to a couple days ago and his comments seem genuine.
posted by andywolf at 9:51 PM on June 23, 2007

At the end of the clip in the last link, I love that the girl calmly says "I think the media is out of things to talk about, so they just talk about this...."

A pithy analysis of this whole non-issue. What continues to drive me absolutely fucking nuts about Bill O'Reilly is that I keep encountering people who take his bullshit seriously, and are in outrage mode all the time.

Outrage is an apparently bottomless well from which to draw, as his sustained ratings and book sales unfortunately demonstrate. Many people also enjoy a blowhard, daddy-knows-best attitude, something I find unsettling to say the least.

What is encouraging, though, as this girl's comment illustrates, is that BillO and his ilk are becoming the most prominent caricatures of "the media", and--as some well-deserved and entirely-too-late-in-coming skepticism and criticism seems to be brewing in American discourse--it's nice to see our thoroughly reprehensible corporate media being painted with as disrespectfully broad a brush as possible.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:02 PM on June 23, 2007

When I read ericb's numbers, in his quote above, one thing jumps out at me:

The majority of Republicans still support Bush.

That is really alarming.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:38 PM on June 23, 2007

I am not quite sure what is the best way to respond to Bill O'Reilly. I would like to ignore him completely so bereft is he of anything approach either intelligence or decency. On the other had, I'd like to smack him, very hard, in the mouth. Oh well.
posted by vac2003 at 2:11 AM on June 24, 2007

Cheers to the kids in the last linked video! They seem so reasonable and well-adjusted and able to think for themselves that I can hardly imagine any school assembly that would be detrimental to their development.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 3:32 AM on June 24, 2007

I love this high school kid, Jesse. If I had the money, I'd pay to put him through law school myself.
posted by misha at 8:26 AM on June 24, 2007

Cheers to the kids in the last linked video! They seem so reasonable and well-adjusted and able to think for themselves

dude ... that's why people like bill o'reilly get upset
posted by pyramid termite at 8:44 AM on June 24, 2007

Thinking for yourself is the bugaboo of those trending toward neoconnery. Dude, we've already thought of shit for you; don't bother. You're just wasting brainpower you could be using to buy shit.
posted by umberto at 9:22 AM on June 24, 2007

Of course there are still people listening to O'Reily. He's apparently been chosen as the last little bit of his particular tidal pool to dry up which more or less guarantees him a much bigger audience that the roughly ten zillion sane information/infotainment outlets one has to choose from.

If I were Wilford Brimley I'd be nervous right about now.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:33 PM on June 24, 2007

Why was this posted here?
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 9:52 PM on June 24, 2007

who the fuck are you, and why are you asking?
posted by caddis at 9:57 PM on June 24, 2007

Because there's no controversy here, not even a story. It's just Bill O'reilly's agenda. I suppose you could say that Bill's manipulations are worth discussion, but I don't think this should have been given so much publicity.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 4:09 AM on June 25, 2007

oh, and, btw, who the fuck are you?
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 6:03 AM on June 25, 2007

Radar Online: 'Pinhead' 16-Year-Old Schools O'Reilly.
posted by ericb at 2:47 PM on June 25, 2007

"As for what it's like being the kid who put a hurting on Bill O'Reilly, Lange says he is getting 'a couple hundred Facebook requests a day' and letters from college professors, 'just asking me to consider their schools when I apply to college.' (He's also single, ladies.) As for any fallout with O'Reilly, Lange says Bill isn't so tough when he's not on the air, 'He didn't say anything to me when the segment ended ... he just had his producers cut off my feed.'"
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on June 25, 2007

It's amazing how Fox News has ruined the phrase "fair and balanced". As soon as I heard O'Reilly describing one newspaper's coverage of the incident as "fair and balanced" I instantly thought "Hmm, never reading that newspaper."
posted by Deathalicious at 5:26 AM on June 26, 2007

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