Saturday, February 16, 2008

Maybe O'Reilly really is the world's worst person

I should start off with a bit of honesty here. I don't actually watch Bill O'Reilly's show. I've never seen a complete episode, but I have listened to his radio show. What I know of him, I've seen in interviews and clips on YouTube. Oh, and there's also all the times that he says ridiculous shit that gets made fun of on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I also don't watch Keith Olbermann's show. Even though I agree with his politics, I found myself to be somewhat bored when I watched his show. I guess I don't need a show that "feels the news at me" as Colbert says. Well, unless the guy is consistently making me laugh, that is. My experience with Olbermann is pretty much the same as the one I have with O'Reilly, except he doesn't have a radio show as far as I know.

I'll start with O'Reilly. He's an idiot. I'd like to just end it there, but then I'll be doing what he basically does. For starters, he touts his show as being a "No Spin Zone." If you believe that his show has no spin, then I have a bridge for you. I mean, the guy is constantly giving his opinions on what's going on in the news. He insults his guests. (I don't have specifics - do a search for O'Reilly on YouTube and try to deny that he does this.) His show is NOTHING BUT spin!

He also seems to be factually challenged. Al Franken refers to him as "Bill O'Liely" and I'm thinking that's pretty accurate. I actually have a specific on this one. When interviewing Jon Stewart, he referred to Stewart's audience as "stoned slackers". The funny thing is, shortly after he said that, a study was done on Stewart's audience and O'Reilly's audience. Guess who was more educated and informed on what was going on in the world? Stewart's, dammit.

Okay, so Bill made a mistake. But guess what? Sometime later after he had Colbert on his show, he was talking with some people about the popularity of the comedy/news shows and he AGAIN claimed that Stewart's audience was made up of "stoned slackers." What's worse, he referred to the study and said that the study confirmed that! Ummm...actually, it confirmed the EXACT OPPOSITE. Somehow I doubt that most of his audience bothered to factcheck him on that one.

This brings us to Keith Olbermann. He apparently targets O'Reilly quite often, the most damning is the following:

Okay now, maybe I'm just partial to anybody who can make a Simpsons reference back-to-back with a classical allusion (Sideshow Bob and Sissyphus, in case you're not well versed in either.) Still, the facts speak for themselves on this one, don't they? It's pretty impossible to defend O'Reilly's actions on this one - especially what Fox did on the website (and Orwellian is most certainly the right word for it!)

Olbermann goes after O'Reilly quite often - I do a YouTube search at least once a week, and O'Reilly is frequently named the "Worst Person in the World." Is this over the top? Yeah, probably. Is it vitriolic? Sure. But everytime Olbermann goes after him, he points out an instance of O'Reilly being FACTUALLY INCORRECT. (And at least Olbermann doesn't make a pretense of being impartial.)

Does Olbermann have his detractors? It sure looks that way, and there's even an Olberman Watch website. I've looked through it a few times, and I'm pretty unimpressed. I mean, I suppose that I can understand somebody not liking Olbermann, but I couldn't find any instances of Olbermann making any factual errors, especially not any on the level of O'Reilly's. Shoot, up on the site right now are a bunch of articles about something that some other guy said about Chelsea Clinton. Ummm...okay.

So, I'm hardly an Olbermann fan, but O'Reilly fans who are upset about Olbermann's constant attacks on him are focusing their anger in the wrong direction. Perhaps if O'Reilly didn't consistently say things that know...WRONG, then Olbermann wouldn't have so much material to use against him.


Gary Fouse said...

Looks like O"Reilly shot from the hip again and got it wrong. He does do that sometimes. Malmedy was definitely committed by Germans against American prisoners.

I wrote a blog on Keith a few months back on my site- Keith Olbermann on Meltdown-or something like that.

I don't know what O'Reilly did to Keith to incur his hatred, but hardly a night goes by that Keith doesn't go after him. It really is hatred.

Olbermann is witty and quite intelligent, but hardly fair and balanced.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Yeah, but he doesn't pretend to be...unlike O'Reilly. As I stated, Bill should stop giving him so much material.

The scary thing about the whole mess was how Fox altered the transcript of the show to make it look like he said what he didn't. I'm sorry to invoke Orwell yet again, but that's EXACTLY the sort of thing that Winston Smith did in 1984.

Gary Fouse said...

Maybe Keith Olbermann doesn't pretend to me fair and balanced on his own show, but how fair and balanced is it for MSNBC to use Olbermann (and Matthews) as commentators on Primary night coverage-or as moderators on debates?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey, I agree with you there. It doesn't make O'Reilly any less of a distorter of the truth. You know, that whole thing about two wrongs and whatnot.