Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bill O'Reilly on David Letterman

I really find Dave Letterman the most amusing person to watch on TV. When you add the second least amusing person (thank gosh for Glenn Beck)  it doesn't really cancel itself out like a law of physics. It was fun watching Dave be gracious and it was fun watching Bill O'Reilly try to sound less idiotic than he does on Fox News and succeed. Books to sell.

Before this gracious interview, however, Dave had set up two phrases for the audience to watch for. Dave had arranged that he would say "That's a lie" when Dave, himself, was too stupid and confused to make sense of an argument. He also said the word "blowhard" would come up during the interview. He was implicitly making fun of  a person who often used such language and who has come selling books on Letterman's show even though Dave had once uncharacteristically said "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap." Dave used the phrases expertly during the interview. Jon Stewart's cosiness to O'Reilly is always disappointing but Dave likes "found" humor, where something is funny just because it exists.

While O'Reilly can parody himself without any help, unfortunately the audience who believes him can have a skewed view of the world. In particular, O'Reilly has given Barack Obama two years to get out of the Bush Depression. Apparently, it's all on Obama's head. O'Reilly used the statistic that 52 percent of the people now feel they are worse off than they were under Bush. The wheels turned in Letterman's head and he said that a cut on his hand might seem like only a nick at first but years later, if he hadn't taken care of the cut he might bleed out and certainly be worse off than he was before. It was a very quickly thought up analogy that was very effective.

My problem is that people actually believe O'Reilly when he says Obama has failed. The phrase "Rome wasn't built in a day" comes to mind. But, my real problem is, whatever headway Obama has made to make the Bush Depression less than a Great Depression is taken for granted. Even the trillions of dollars in bailouts the Bush administration made helped to put a bandage on a cut that would have bled us all dry.
I was talking with someone the other day who had said he had to have his fix of Fox News every night to get his head straight (i.e. know how to think.) I was gracious enough not to comment as I have in the past when he was around me. I was reading my ebook reader and was content. Then he commented on my ebook reader and he said he had tried one and just couldn't get into it. He didn't use the typical excuses I have always used like "I like the feel of a good book in my hands." He just couldn't get into books basically. I pondered a while (I didn't have to respond right away as he was destined to be around me for a while.)

Finally, I said, well, there are other things you can do besides read books, I like to read the New York Times. He taunted "YOU DON'T READ THE NEW YORK TIMES, do you?"  Well, yes, I admitted. The New York Times might have 10 pages on one news item whereas other newspapers usually had very short articles.

Then I said something that was both paradoxical and amusing apparently only to me, "Never trust anything that can be said in a short amount of words."   :)