Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Television--- Bill O'Reilly and David Letterman Engage in Sissy Slap-Fight for the Ages
As you may or may not have heard by now, Bill O'Reilly's appearance on David Letterman's latenight comedy show on Tuesday night ended up having very little to do with comedy. I saw the show as it aired, and if you want to know what I thought of the interview, keep reading. (If you don't want to know what I thought of the interview, you should probably not keep reading.)
First, let me say that I have been a big David Letterman fan for many, many years... as in years before Bill O'Reilly's TV show even existed. Also, I watch David Letterman's show far more often than I watch Bill O'Reilly's show. I would say it's an average of two-to-three times per week that I watch Letterman's show, and once every week or so for O'Reilly nowadays.
With all of that said...
I think it's great that David Letterman feels he can debate someone about specific topics while simultaneously admitting that he knows absolutely nothing about the topic(s).
I think it's great that when presented with facts that contradicted what Letterman thought about certain things going into the interview, Letterman had no response whatsoever other than to change the subject in one case, or in the other case to simply say that he thinks 60% of what O'Reilly says is crap.
I think it's great that after initially dismissing anything related to Christmas talk because of "what he has read" about O'Reilly (and you can imagine what that might be), Letterman responded to a series of facts and examples about the topic simply by pretending that it all must be fiction or just one or two isolated incidents.
I think it's great that Letterman can use the phrase "people like you" repeatedly and not get called on it like anyone else (including O'Reilly) would be and should be if they repeatedly used that phrase.
I think it's great that Letterman can say that O'Reilly is "not objective" while at the same time admitting that he has never seen O'Reilly's show.
As off-the-wall as Letterman was, O'Reilly was insincere when he tried to claim that he didn't consider himself a big fan of the Bush administration. He was biased, but he was still presenting facts within that interview, which is more than I can say for Letterman. Better to be a biased fool than a completely ignorant fool.
Letterman clearly hates O'Reilly with a passion... so he had him on his show why, exactly? The answer could theoretically be to have a debate, if it weren't for the fact that Letterman did the exact opposite of having a debate in the interview. Letterman ran from any semblance of a debate, in favor of a personal pissing contest that was neither a comedy segment nor a valid debate segment. (On a side note, if Letterman and O'Reilly ever end up settling their differences in a mixed martial arts bout, it should be put on the same card as Joe Rogan vs. Wesley Snipes...)
Honestly, Letterman's political views going into the interview were not a secret. Letterman's liberal leanings and Leno's conservative leanings are no secret, but at least Leno tries to maintain a semblance of keeping the jokes fairly even between anti-Republican jokes and anti-Democrat jokes on his comedy show (or at least not 90 percent to 10 percent).
Letterman is "just a comedian" in the end, which is something that people who are "just comedians" are far too eager to fall back on as a safety net when their complete lack of any knowledge whatsoever on one topic or another is exposed.
Letterman is a damn good comedian who really needs to stick to areas in which he has a shred of knowledge. If he had done any research beforehand, Letterman would have found that there are a good half-dozen issues that he could have delved into that actually would have made O'Reilly look very bad if he tried to take the opposite position. But that's not what happened.
Letterman was just shooting off into the dark and had nothing to back up anything he was saying. If Letterman was going to call O'Reilly on any of the topics that he could have called him on, that would have required Letterman to go into the interview with something in his mind other than, "I hate this person because of what I've heard about him, so I'm going to pick a fight."
Labels: Television (Non-MMA)