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Old 01-05-2006, 04:06 PM   #1
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Bill O'Reilly On Letterman

Did anyone see it? I taped it Tuesday night because Eric Bana was on and also I knew O'Reilly would make for a great laugh. Letterman really gave it to him in his usual subtle but deadly way, it was great O'Reilly looked pissed.

I will try to find a transcript/article. Basically Dave laughed at Bill's whole war on Christmas thing and said he didn't want to hear any more about it, and criticized him for criticizing Cindy Sheehan. At one point Dave even said something to the effect of "honest to Christ, you're really not going to criticize her" and asked him why we are even there, etc.

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Old 01-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #2
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from the Late Show web site

Dave: "So how was your holiday?"
Bill: "I had a nice winter solstice."
After a beat, Bill explains, "We can't say ‘Christmas' anymore." Dave was unaware of this turn of events. Bill says it started with Sears and K-Mart where their employees are not allowed to say the word "Christmas" and it is spreading out from there. Bill exclaims that he received a card this season which read, "Have a Blessed Winter." Dave laughs at the silliness of it all, saying how it doesn't affect him and adding he does and says what he wants. Bill gives an example of just how bad it is getting. A school in Wisconsin put on a play and changed the words to "Silent Night." Does that make any sense?
Dave brushes off the outrage and likens it to the type of thing that comes around every 20 years or so where someone wants to put horses in diapers. "Won't this too just go away? Isn't this just nothing?"
Bill says it isn't nothing. It's going to the courts. In Plano, Texas, school children were told not to bring in napkins with Christmas colors. No red or green napkins. Again, Dave says that these are just two minor examples. Bill pipes that he's got millions more he can share. A church wanted to advertise at the local library their Christmas pageant by using the nativity scene. The library agreed, but stipulated they couldn't use the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or the Three Wise Men. An urgent Bill O'Reilly exclaims, "Do you think I'm making this up?" Dave says, "Yes, I think you're making this up."

The conversation turned to Bush and Iraq. Bill says beating up Bush on every turn is not helping in our struggle in Iraq. Democracy in the Mid-East is good for the West. Bill lauds our noble soldiers for what they have been ordered to do on this world stage and adds that for Cindy Sheehan to call the insurgents as "freedom fighters" was awful and we should be careful with what we say. Dave jumps in and says, "Well, you should be careful with what you say also." When asked to expand, Dave says "How can you possible take exception with the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan?" Bill says although he feels bad for the woman, he believe she's being led by far-left elements in the country. Dave counters with, "Have you lost family members in armed conflict?" Bill says he hasn't. "Well, then you can hardly speak for her, can you?" Dave follows.
Dave asks about Bush admitting that we went into Iraq because of a mistakes made in intelligence. Whose intelligence? O'Reilly says the intelligence came from the CIA. "So why are we there in the first place?" Dave continues. O'Reilly agrees the intelligence from the CIA was obviously flawed and their information gathering may have to be revamped, but we received the same intelligence from Britain, from Russia, and from Egypt. And so that made it right to go into Iraq, even if our intelligence from more than one source was wrong? "No, it doesn't make it right," says Bill.

Dave concludes his side of this topic with, "I'm very concerned about people like yourself who don't have nothing but endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan."
Bill counters that there is no way a terrorist who blows up women and children is going to be called a ‘freedom fighter' on his program.
Dave: "I am not smart enough to debate you point by point on this, but I have a feeling about 60% of what you say is crap. . . . but I don't know that for a fact." Dave says to Paul Shaffer, "Yeah, 60%. I'm just spit-balling here."
To finish up, Dave says about Bill and his "O'Reilly Factor" program, "I don't think you represent an objective viewpoint."
Bill wants to know specifics. Examples.
Dave: "Well, I don't watch your show so that would be impossible." Then adds happily and extending a hand, "Always a pleasure."

Well, that was something. Very interesting, very entertaining, edge of your seat fun.

Back from commercial, Dave asks Paul, "How do you think that went?" Paul called it "good TV."
Dave says, "I'm told that during that last segment, the kitty called 9-1-1."

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Old 01-05-2006, 04:18 PM   #3
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I saw a clip of the exchange. The audience was cheering on both sides like a prize fight.

Not much credibility on Dave's part to attack O'Reilly's character without ever watching his show. Opinions based on someone else's talking points turns into empty insult tossing.
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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Letterman wasn't really prepped well for the interview...his retorts to O'Reilly were basically put downs, not any fact-based arguments.

Though he may have been on to something when he said that 60% of whatever O'Reilly says is crap. This from

On the January 3 edition of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly appeared as a guest and resurrected his false claim that a Wisconsin elementary school banned the singing of the Christmas hymn "Silent Night." As he discussed his Christmas crusade with Late Show host David Letterman, O'Reilly told Letterman that the school "[k]nocked out the words [to "Silent Night"] and told the little kids to sing" alternative lyrics. According to O'Reilly, this incident "proves there are pinheads at the Ridgewell [sic] Elementary School in Wisconsin. That's what it proves."

But as the weblog Think Progress first noted, O'Reilly and others have falsely attributed the changed lyrics to political correctness. For example, on the December 9 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly stated that Ridgewood Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, "forced the kids to sing" the different lyrics. The conservative legal group Liberty Counsel condemned what it called the "secularized rendition" of the song, which it claimed "mocks one of the world's best-known Christmas songs," and threatened to sue the school district.

In fact, the new song lyrics are part of a 1988 Christmas play called The Little Tree's Christmas Gift, in which a scraggly Christmas tree is informed it may not be sold and will instead become firewood, prompting it to croon the revised version of "Silent Night" while lamenting its situation. Think Progress further explained that the play's creator, Dwight Elrich, is the musical director of the New Covenant Singers at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles -- which a December 20 Washington Post article noted was "former president Ronald and Nancy Reagan's church in California" -- and his play has been performed by churches across the country. According to Elrich 's website, his products "make it easy for you to produce a fantastic Kids Christmas Musical Program." Elrich told the Post: "I'm just flabbergasted. I'm a choir director in a church! I perform 'Silent Night' 40 or 50 times each year! I thought the play was a really charming, wonderful, positive story about love and acceptance ... removing it from the Christian tradition was something I never thought anyone could ever come up with. We were telling a story about a little tree, so we used a familiar tune to help the kids get it."

A December 27 article in the Wisconsin State Journal by columnist Susan Lampert Smith reported that the uproar over the adapted lyrics, spurred on by Moral Majority Coalition founder and chairman Jerry Falwell and Liberty Counsel, ultimately forced the school to sing the original version of "Silent Night." For the winter concert, the elementary students performed "Silent Night" along with other Christmas carols and then, during the play, the child playing the sad tree merely recited the changed lyrics.

Later in the interview, Letterman admonished O'Reilly, asserting "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. ... I don't think that you represent an objective viewpoint," to which O'Reilly replied, "I respect your opinion, you should respect mine."
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:37 PM   #5
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I loved it anyway, no matter how factually inaccurate it was or no matter how ill prepared Dave may have been

Do you really have to watch the O'Reilly Factor to know what he is all about? I agree, he should watch the show but I'm sure he can't stomach it I'm biased, I love Dave

Then again it is Letterman and not CNN
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:50 PM   #6
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Letterman 1 - O'Reilly 0

"I have the feeling that 60% of what you say is crap..." and with that Dave Letterman captured the essence of what is Bill O'Reilly. Earlier in the segment Bill O'Reilly said, "The Soldiers and Marines are noble they are not terrorists and when people call them that like Cindy Sheehan; called the insurgents freedom fighters we don't like that. " This quotation is a perfect example of O'Reilly's sophistry. Notice where he pauses, not after that, but rather after Cindy Sheehan, implying not only that does she view the insurgents as freedom fighters but that she views the troops as terrorists. It is exactly the same technique Bush used in linking Iraq and 9/11. It wasn't simply an awkward sentence but a device O'Reilly uses frequently to smear others. You don't debate with someone who has no respect for the facts, for someone who quotes out of context. You point out as Dave did that it is crap. You don't argue the fine points you can never win that sort of argument with a LIAR. When someone flings shit like O'Reilly does, you don't need to identify it point by point you can smell it."

the second site has the full quicktime video


On Wednesday, Letterman and his reps had no comment on the previous evening's verbal joust.

O'Reilly, however, went on the offensive on The O'Reilly Factor and his noon radio show. On the TV program he declared that "the culture war plays out on the David Letterman program!" then added that "right now there are two main issues dominating the culture war in America: the role of God in the public arena and the war on terror."

On the radio, O'Reilly called Letterman a card-carrying member of the "secular progressive movement." funny that never occurs to me when I think about how funny and sexy he is Of his own appearance on Late Show, O'Reilly said of its host: "See, I'm not some dopey movie star that comes in there who is intimidated by him. ... And most of his guests want his approval, and he knows that. So he has a very strong advantage point."
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
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I wish I had watched that!
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:36 PM   #8
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saw clips of it...pretty funny, but Dave should've been better prepared. He also shouldn't have said he never watches O'Reilly, that didn't help him much.
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:46 PM   #9
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
from the Late Show web site

Dave: "I am not smart enough to debate you point by point on this, but I have a feeling about 60% of what you say is crap. . . . but I don't know that for a fact."
I think Letterman was being generous with this figure.
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #10
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Well it definitely made for good TV. But am I the only one who thinks its pointless to invite a guest on just to insult their character? Even for the sake of good TV? I dunno, maybe I'm just not into Letterman really. Always been a Leno fan lol

I really could care less about Bill and what he thinks, same goes for any other political pundit on either side of the spectrum, but he really held his own and actually made good points to which were just basically thrown aside for a "you suck" contest by Dave. I have a feeling if Bill had been just as rude or worse than Letterman people would be calling him a jackass Republican that "can't take a joke" but it's ok for the late-night host who admittedly doesn't even watch the show.
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:13 PM   #11
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Have you listened to O'Reilly's radio show? A little tit for tat. And he can use the next day's two hours to eviscerate the previous day's guest when the guest's not there to defend himself. Mr. O'Reilly does NOT take criticism well. That being said, I find him highly entertaining and listen to him a lot. He's a local boy after all, writing seques for Uncle Ted's Monster Hour here.
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:33 PM   #12
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I haven't watched Letterman in ages, so I missed this. Thanks for the play-by-play.

I wish Dave had done his homework, though. He would have been able to skewer O'Liely a lot more effectively that way.

(Edited to add Dave actually let him off pretty easily, considering he didn't even mention the notorious phone sex tapes/sexual harrassment allegations).
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:41 PM   #13
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I found it frustrating. Letterman could have killed him, but didn't do his homework. O'Reilly deserves to be made to look like a complete arse in front of millions, not just a half arse,and it shouldn't be too difficult. Letterman is a smart guy, could have/should have done better. I think the result was Letterman 1, O'Reilly 1.

And I agree, 60% is being very very generous.
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:05 PM   #14
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O'Reilly will take free advertising for his show every day of the week and twice on Sundays. People like Letterman and some of the print media play right into his hand. I thought O'Reilly was very well behaved considering the attitude that Letterman brought to the interview.
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:13 PM   #15
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Letterman has 100 times the talent of O'Liely. O'Liely makes me ashamed to be Irish.

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