Letterman Kicking O’Reilly’s Behind (UPDATE TWO)



NOTE: This was run yesterday and since an update was added later in the day we’ve redated this post to run it today out of its regular posting order.

Crooks and Liars has a video up of David Letterman kicking O’Reilly’s behind. From the transcript:

Letterman: Let me ask you a question — was there more heinous, more dangerous violence taking place before in Iraq, or is there more heinous, dangerous violence taking place now in Iraq?

O’Reilly: Oh, stop it. Saddam Hussein slaughtered 300,000 to 400,000 people, all right, so knock it off… It isn’t so black and white, Dave — it isn’t, ‘We’re a bad country. Bush is an evil liar.’ That’s not true.

Letterman: I didn’t say he was an evil liar. You’re putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!

Heh.

Letterman took on Fox, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly in a hilarious manner.

Watch it yourself.

UPDATE BY JOE:
I added this to comments and Michael vdG asked me to add it as an update under this post. This actually contains my two comments posted underneath this post:

If you listen carefully to what Letterman is saying, he’s basically giving the view of MANY centrist and independent voters who gave the administration the benefit of the doubt and now feel snookered. It all boils down to issues of credibility and highly-regimented partisan thinking. He’s not talking to O’Reilly as a Democratic partisan or a Bush partisan. He’s clearly upset and frustrated at what was [officially] stated, where we are now and precisely what justifies existing policy when people are dying.

Just a “trust us” is no good anymore. Except for lockstep Republicans such as Rush, Hannity and those who get their intellectual marching orders from them, Americans of BOTH parties and independents are looking at things, reaching conclusions and waiting for answers that are not being delivered.

Note that [Bob Woodward's]State of Denial is clearly a book with key sources who were closer to the first President Bush who don’t like what they see and where we’re going. I was going to link this right now but see Michael did it. They key here is that Letterman is not giving an Air America regurgitation or a “yes you’re right” Rush/Sean pat on the back to the administration. He is thinking things through, not just giving a pro- or anti-war line.

The preening O’Reilly isn’t about that kind of thing, nor are most talk show hosts on the radio. Thought=weakness=wishiwashiness.

FYI when I worked at the Wichita Eagle-Beacon years ago, one of my favorite people was an editorial writer named Gretchen. She eventually married one of my other favorite people, a business writer named Bob. It was only towards the end of my stay there that I learned she was David Letterman’s sister. I moved on and so did they. I was a huge David Letterman fan from his very first appearances and remain so.

What’s remarkable about this clip is that he’s coming from a space that many of us come from right now.

I have repeatedly said that the GOP could not have the kind of control it did without some independent support; independent voters have either been split (because it’s iffy as to whether they wanted to vote for the GOP or not, but that’s the nature of being an independent) or gave the GOP the benefit of the doubt. Now they are moving towards the Democrats. It’s partially because of the way the war has gone but it is also I believe because of a sense that a) they have been had and b) the administration and its supporters go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to either deny or downplay that they have been had. I think the latter point is what’s going to cost the GOP independent support.

The Letterman clip is unusual in that it encapsulates this aspect so totally and also shows Letterman in a mode that few people have seen him ever in. Even the way he ends it is devastating to O’Reilly.

FOR ADDITIONAL READING SEE:
Washington Post account
Huffington Post
Newsbusters
Discourse.net
Ezra Klein
The Reaction (our co-blogger Michael Sticking’s fine site)

Author: michaelvdg

17 Comments

  1. OReilly’s ego is unbelievable. The last time he was on Letterman – Dave said all his thoughts are CRAP. He will go on Fox and his radio show and sing how vicous the Librul are to independents like Bill.

  2. Mikey:

    I had high hopes for you. Just a short time ago you were singing the praises of “Rumstud” and showing Israel didn’t kill any civilians in Lebanon that it was all liberal lies and jumping on the apeasers and now you’re jumping on Bush and calling him a murdering liar while you defend Saddam.

    I can’t believe the libel and anti semitism you leftists sink to. So you think Iran should be allowed to nuke Israel?

  3. People are “depressedâ€? and want to watch “Dancing with the Stars“, that is why they question the war? That statement speaks volumes about the contempt O’Reilly has for his dottohead audience. Hilarious that he can make such a contemptuous statement and it does go right over their [ditto] heads.

  4. People are “depressedâ€? and want to watch “Dancing with the Stars“, that is why they question the war? That statement speaks volumes about the contempt O’Reilly has for his dottohead audience. Hilarious that he can make such a contemptuous statement and it does go right over their [ditto] heads.

    Grognard I agree.

  5. If you listen carefully to what Letterman is saying, he’s basically giving the view of MANY centrist and independent voters who gave the administration the benefit of the doubt and now feel snookered. It all boils down to issues of credibility and high regimented partisan thinking. He’s not talking to O’Reilly as a Democratic partisan or a Bush partisan. He’s clearly upset and frustrated at what was state, where we are now and precisely what justifies existing policy when people are dying. Just a “trust us” is no good anymore. Except for lockstep Republicans such as Rush, Hannity and those who get their intellectual marching orders from them, Americans of BOTH parties and independents are looking at things, reaching conclusions and waiting for answers that are not being delivered. Note that State of Denial is clearly a book with key sources who were closer to the first Presideng Bush who don’t like what they see and where we’re going. I was going to link this right now but see Michael did it. They key here is that Letterman is not giving an Air America regurgitation or a “yes you’re right” Rush/Sean pat on the back to the administration. He is thinking things through, not just giving a pro or antiwar line. The preening O’Reilly isn’t about that kind of thing, nor are most talk show hosts on the radio. Thought=weakness=wishiwashiness.

  6. Joe I agree completely. That is why I believe people should simply watch the video. He handled it very well and it is quite obvious that he supported the war and is now opposed the US presence in Iraq, not because he’s anti-Bush, but because he believes they’re messing it up.

  7. FYI when I worked at the Wichita Eagle-Beacon years ago, one of my favorite people was an editorial writers was named Gretchen. She eventully married one of my other favorite people, a businesswriter named Bob. It was only towards the end of my stay there that I learned she was David Letterman’s sister. I moved on and so did they. I was a huge David Letterman fan from his very first appearances and remain so. What’s remarkable about this clip is that he’s coming from a space that many of us come from right now. I have repeatedly said that the GOP could not have the kind of control it did without some independent support; independent voters have either been split (because it’s iffy as to whether they wanted to vote for the GOP or not, but that’s the nature of being an independent) or gave the GOP the benefit of the doubt. Now they are moving towards the democrats. Its partially because of the way the war has gone but it is also I believe because of a sense that a)they have been had and b)the administration and its supporters go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to either deny or downplay that they have been had. I think the latter point is what’s going to cost the GOP independent support. The Letterman clip is unusual in that it capsualizes this aspect so totally but it also shows Letterman in a mode that few people have seen him ever in. Even the way he ends it is devasting to O’Reilly.

  8. I would love to see O’Reilly go on Jon Stewart’s show or the Colbert Report== because to me Bushspeak= truthiness-O’Reilly really never wants to hear those pesky little factinistas that contradict his viewpoints. How can anyone view OReilly , Hannity or Limbaugh, as anything but shills for the administration??? If asked about it, all three find a token issue that they find fault with Bush on- immigration or overspending. But they never doubt him on the hallmark issue of his presidency, the war.

  9. I watched this last night. It was funny in the “pain of the reality hurts” way, and I was extremely unsettled. The constriction of the format, the pretension of civility, almost squeezed the passions of both men into tears. And no outlet toward humor could alleviate the tension. Letterman’s seething emotion was more genuinely dramatic than anything I’ve seen on TV this season.

  10. People need to quit watching the so called reality shows, and check out real reality.

    Theres this big thing called life just out your front door. You’ve seen it on TV, and its calling for you to go be in it.

    Letterman’s seething emotion was more genuinely dramatic than anything I’ve seen on TV this season.

    Case in point. Real life beats fiction every time.

  11. KR OReilly was on Stewarts show in AUGUST 2005. Here is a link to a local C&L search:
    JS OReilly

  12. Wow- they really could barely control their dislike and contempt for each other, could they? I think their exchange summarized the partisan divide over Iraq in a nutshell.

    Maybe if this administration had been more forthright, and admitted the whole thing has been about oil and not WMD’s, the country would not be where it is today. Its pretty easy to understand two oil men with heavy backing from the oil industry wanting to protect access to the ME oil supply. Its not pretty, and I don’t condone it but it makes a lot more sense than some of the other rationale we’ve been hearing for invading Iraq.

    I personally think we have erred grievously by not tackling energy independence through alternative fuel sources like Brazil did. Our entire foreign policy is convoluted around our addiction to oil.But I guess it sounds better to say that we have brought democracy to Iraq.

  13. I wish Letterman would have smacked Billo with his stupid book and thrown him off his stage. The “lets pretend to get along” was so phony…….

  14. I got the feeling listening to the tape that Letterman would have dearly loved to show Billo exactly what he thinks of him! I don’t think anyone got the impression that they actually get along on anything.

  15. Wow- they really could barely control their dislike and contempt for each other, could they?

    Interesting tactic O’Reilly took to attempt to disarm the audience response, claiming that Letterman is his friend and that it was all an act.

    That was a non-responsive non-answer to the reasonable questions and barbs being thrown his way.

  16. Kim — I’d also love to see O’R on the Colbert Report. I’m impressed with Colbert’s agility during his interviews. He manages to a) stay in character, b) whip out quick comebacks, and c) get laughs. I’d love to see how he would seemingly “agree” with every word O’R says while simultaneously skewering him.

  17. gal- I love Colbert- he’s a satiric genius, but very subtle . Sometimes I wonder if the subject of his interviews even realizes that he’s being played for a fool by the seemingly foolish Colbert. Billo is too smart to go on that show!

Submit a Comment