A very good segment.
This article in Salon by Joe Muto is an excerpt from his book An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal’s Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media, and it’s a very good read on the inner workings of Fox News, with this excerpt focusing on The O’Reilly Factor, and how O’Reilly works within it, and he often doesn’t cope very well.
But in terms of how a typical O’Reilly show is put together, this quote leapt out at me:
When O’Reilly picked the topics for the show, he’d usually have a specific guest in mind. Sometimes he’d give it to one of our “regulars,” guests who appear every week. (These include, in addition to the aforementioned Messrs. Rove, Morris, and Goldberg, figures like comedian Dennis Miller and Fox daytime anchor Megyn Kelly.) But sometimes he’d want a guest who was not one of the regulars but, rather, someone who would take a certain side on an issue, or an expert with certain biographical details.
Often these requests got hilariously specific: “We’re doing a gay marriage segment — get me a black lesbian civil rights attorney!” or “I want to do a segment on the Super Bowl next week — find me a funny white sports expert under forty! But he can’t be bald.”
One of the most important things the segment producer did was the pre-interview, which was exactly what it sounds like— we’d interview the guest a few hours before Bill interviewed them. We tried to think of the same questions Bill would ask, and would take notes, condensing and bullet-pointing whatever the guest said. Eventually, we’d give this “POV” to Bill, along with research on the topic.
The end result was that, barring the occasional surprise, Bill knew exactly what his guest was going to say in the interview, sometimes down to the last word. In this way, cable news somewhat resembled professional wrestling: The outcomes were predetermined, with the host not only choosing his guests based specifically on the stance he knew they were going to take, but actually getting a preview of their arguments several hours in advance so he could formulate his counterarguments.
It’s long, but it’s a fascinating article, and you should read the whole thing.
And something about a feud with Rush Limbaugh that the clip on this page seems to have missed the beginning of. Still, this is some pretty good argument porn. Extra marks for serial eye-rolling and constant interruption.
In a rather unusual takedown of a conservative, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly slammed Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on The O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, calling her attacks on President Barack Obama in a speech last week “trivial.”
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Bachmann criticized Obama for “lavish” spending and using taxpayer dollars to fund, among other items, a dog walker. Some of these claims were challenged, which led to an awkward hallway encounter between Bachmann and CNN reporter Dana Bash on Wednesday.
In an extensive piece on Gawker.com, John Cooks exposes more of the bitter ugliness of O’Reilly as he tried to annul his marriage to his ex-wife and get her kicked out of the Catholic Church. Mr. “Traditionalist” now joins the consevative ranks of a divorcés along with Limbaugh, Rudy, Newt, Ted ‘Poopy Pants’ Nugent, etc., etc., etc.,
Check out the entire lengthy and revealing piece over at Gawker entitled: “Bill O’Reilly’s Divorce Is So Ugly, God Got Involved”. A few interesting tidbits:
We have now confirmed that O’Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy have been formally divorced, that she has since married the detective, and that O’Reilly is in the midst of a scorched-earth custody battle—dubbed, appropriately enough, Anonymous v. Anonymous—over the ex-couple’s two children.
In May 2010, O’Reilly and his wife began living in separate houses less than half a mile from each other on Long Island. In 2011, O’Reilly used his connections with the Nassau County Police Department (and the potential for donations to a nonprofit affiliated with the department) to try to launch an internal affairs investigation into McPhilmy’s new boyfriend—a Nassau County detective—for the crime of sleeping with Bill O’Reilly’s wife. With the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union, we are currently suing the NCPD for access to public records, including O’Reilly’s correspondence with former commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, about the episode. That case is on appeal to the Second Department of New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.
In October 2011, McPhilmy took O’Reilly to court after learning that the woman she thought had been a neutral therapist serving the needs of her children was in fact a member of her ex-husband’s household staff. The therapist, a Long Island licensed social worker named Lynne Kulakowski, was working long days and some evenings in O’Reilly’s house, on his payroll, and basically acting as the children’s nanny.
Gawker has learned, seeking an annulment of his 15-year marriage, which produced two children. Null and void. Invalid in the eyes of God. Never happened. This despite his manifest belief in the “stability” that straight marriage brings to the culture and concern at the (purportedly) declining marriage rates in countries that allow gay people to marry one another. If successful, the annulment would presumably render his 2004 escapade with former producer Andrea Mackris, whom he repeatedly and vividly sexually harassed with threats to take “the falafel thing…and put it on your pussy,” retroactively kosher with Jesus. (It would also make him even more of an asshole than his familial nemesis Joseph Kennedy, who tried and failed to have his 12-year marriage annulled.)
Bill O’Reilly blew up at the usually sedate Alan Colmes on his show last night when Colmes consistently provided specific examples of programs - namely Medicare - President Obama has offered to cut in order to end the sequester. O’Reilly’s response was simply to say they weren’t specific, even though they are specific, and he repeatedly called Colmes a liar, as well as repeating the tired old wingnut meme that Obama is making people suffer on purpose.
He even came close to using a bad word.
Let’s go to the tape:
*This is the headline Media Matters used for the story, even though O’Reilly didn’t actually say that.
Media Matters did, however, post a chart indicating specific programs the President would cut to end the sequester:
Billo seems to agree. Of course ‘better’ in this context can only mean even more grotesquely stupid, ignorant and bigoted than we’ve seen yet.
Jon Stewart reminds Bill O’Reilly and Bernie Goldberg that the wealthy descendants of immigrants shitting on those fresh off the boat is our American heritage.
There is really nothing to say about this infamous clip from Election Night, because it speaks volumes. “People want stuff,” Or…translated into racist wingnut, “Mo’ free shit!”
Such as Obama phones.
Go to 3:49
H/T Crooks and Liars
While there are vast gulfs between my opinions and Bill’s in many areas, I don’t mind saying he gets this right.
O’Reilly calls the One Million Moms action a form of McCarthyism and a “witch hunt”.
Says Rios: “It isn’t about Ellen Degeneres, but it is about mainstreaming something that is not acceptable to Christian and traditional family people all over the country.”
Asks O’Reilly: “What is the difference between a McCarthy-era Communist blacklist and the Million Moms saying hey, JC Penney, don’t you hire any gay people. Don’t you dare. What is the difference?”
Says Rios: “The problem is that Ellen DeGeneres has chosen to act out her lesbian lifestyle, marry her partner, and what that represents…we are seeing homosexuality so embedded in our culture in alarming ways.”