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Posted by on Jun 8, 2008 in Media | 18 comments

Bill O’Reilly’s Producer Tries To Ambush PBS’s Bill Moyers

and he gets ambushed.

WATCH IT HERE.

Some notes:

1. Moyers correctly notes that “Bill is not a journalist, he’s a pugilist…”
2. O’Reilly’s producer starts playing the victim card when he is put on the defensive.
3. In the 70s and 80s there was a controversy over “ambush journalism.” Now there is the “ambush talk show segment.” Same idea (the glare of the camera will make someone agree to talk or else they’ll look bad and guilty) but the goal is to score a pre-arranged ideological point.
4. Note that the O’Reilly producer won’t engage extensively on the question of the kind of show O’Reilly’s show is and what O’Reilly is (he is an ideological entertainer-broadcaster in his present incarnation). It becomes a choice of if you don’t go on Bill’s show you have something to hide or must be afraid — rather than the possibility that some people don’t want to appear on his show due to what the show actually is (and it IS highly entertaining).

It boils down to the fact that controversy, rage and whipping up resentments build audiences. What better way to do that than to send someone over to someone, shove a camera in their face and try to force them to give the answer you want answered (or else)?

O’Reilly once was a journalist. A good network journalist.

But today Bill O’Reilly is to real journalism what cardboard is to board (which probably means I am now a “bad American”…).

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