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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Friday, January 06, 2006
Letterman "rips" O'Reilly
Perhaps you've heard about David Letterman's takedown of Bill O'Reilly on the former's show recently? Here's a transcript.

Now, I have no special love nor hate for O'Reilly. I have never seen his show. I have listened to his radio show before, but never for more than a few minutes at a time.

But I love Letterman. I don't watch show anymore, since I'm hopefully asleep when it comes on (11:30 pacific) and I'd have no time to watch a tape if I recorded it. But I pretty much grew up watching him. Came of age. Whatever you like.

But this whole thing is asnine. I think he proved himself woefully uninformed, unskilled in a debate of substance, and downright nasty. Although I do love Christmas, I'm not really perturbed by the "Happy Holidays" stuff, and it's fine for Letterman to say he doesn't think it's a big deal. But the Iraq, and especially Cindy Sheehan comments, were just plain dumb. Then he calls O'Reilly a liar but can't give any examples. he even says he's never watched O'Reilly's show, but just "Because of things that I've read, things that I know." That's just lame.

And he takes the time to point out that O'Reilly does not "represent an objective viewpoint." Dave, Bill is a commentator, not a reporter. His role is explicitly subjective.
Ralphie (I'm sorry, I can only think of Christmas Story when I say your name): I love Letterman...been watching since the 70's when he was just a stand-up comedian. I think he is brilliantly funny and quick-witted, better than Leno will ever be.I loved that he went after O'Reilly, and gave us a hint of where he stands politically. But he didn't do the greatest job of backing himself up. He is certainly known for his irreverant humor at times, but he seemed to be genuinely peeved with O'Reilly. The whole interview definitely stood out as different (kinda like the time Madonna cursed through her whole interview with Dave!)
Going after O'Reilly (or anyone) is fine (though admittedly odd on a comedy program). But you have to do it coherently. What bothers me is how obviously lame Letterman's attack was in substance, but how much play it has received as taking down O'Reilly. (O'Reilly might be playing into it himself by giving it so much attention.)
I heard this discussed on one of the conservative radio talk shows last week. Don't remember which one. (Hugh Hewitt?) It sounded too me like Letterman really potentially alienated half his audience by coming so strongly out of the liberal closet. Carson always had the class to remember who his customers were and to always make good natured political jokes against both sides.

I predict Letterman will pay in the ratings.
Doc...You are absolutely right about Carson. You never knew where he stood politically, and although Letterman has given us enough hints, I was surprised he came out full boar(sp)with O'Reilly.
My guess is,it won't effect the ratings much...people tend to forget.
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