Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fox News Watch

Bill O'Reilly was stunning last night. He has slowly descended into self-parody (if only by revealing who he really is over time... he always was a self-parody), and yesterday's interview with Bob Woodward was a perfect example. Stephen Colbert's parody of right wing talk show hosts hinges on the utter transparency of his arguments. As he told Frank Rich last week: "This issue is bigger than you and me... it's about me, and my need to outsell Hugo Chavez."

O'Reilly's thought process was on display last night: the truth serves at the pleasure of the president. Or O'Reilly. Example:

WOODWARD: You rally with the truth. You rally with the truth.
Look at the times this country has been at war when presidents have come out and said, you know, look, we've got a big difficulty here. And -- but we're going to go do the job.
I -- look, you talk about "no spin" and "straight talk" and so forth. You know what the American people like? Straight talk. And even if it's bad news. This is a big…

O'REILLY: This is a different situation, Mr. Woodward. And I'm going to politely disagree with you here.

It's different, because O'Reilly's viewers fuckin' know the truth, 'cuz he tells 'em, see? Who's to say that if the president is forthright, we'll know what to think? We won't have anyone to tell us what to think. It'd be a disaster.

I also love the inference that the President has a different situation on his hands, as if you can only use "straight talk" when it, you know, doesn't matter. I think that's what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker: "With great power comes the ability to discern when to tell the truth and when to lie. Here's a hint: Arabs + 'imminent threat' = lie.

And, oh, there's so much more. O'Reilly suggested Woodward is being used by Americans who hate America and "want us to lose" the war. Woodward said, "But what's the alternative, Bill? Do I then not write the truth as I find it as a reporter?"

Side-note: Bill's voice seems to be laboring lately, when he tries to make a point to anyone who disagrees with him on the show. He's hoarse, worn. Hilarious.

Another great part: Woodward talks about how troops who have come home have talked to him about what a mess it is over there, and O'Reilly says he's heard the same, but for every troop with such a sentiment, there's one who says 'we have them on the run,' or 'the tide is turning.' Flatly, Woodward says, "I haven't heard that once." O'Reilly completely drops the subject. It was stunning television.


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