Bill O'Reilly on "Fresh Air" tonight

From Joe Conason at Salon:

Too bad my car had its radio stolen. Hopefully I can try streaming it tomorrow…

Knock yourself out.

Good thing my NPR station replays Fresh Air at 4 am.

I loves me a good O’Reilly meltdown.

As someone who pretty regularly listens to Fresh Air, Ms. Gross was being a bit antagonistic, especially considering her interview with Al Franken consisted mostly of making jokes about John Ashcroft and Bill O’Reilly’s claims he grew up in Levittown, or wherever he says he said he grew up. She extended the invite to O’Reilly in the first place because Franken was so hard on him.

I’m not a huge O’Reilly fan, but I’m not sure he was entirely in the wrong.

Whoa, heard about half of this on the way home. Wow. Went worse than the Gene Simmons interview.

From what I heard it seemed like he was way overreacting…

“What did you think about Catholic school?” “Tell me about this passage in your book about you father.” “Let me read you this paragraph from a review of your book in People”
O’Reilly: “I’ve spent the last 50 minutes defending myself against defamatory statements! NPR “Fair and Balanced” Hah! This interview is over” click.

Of course, I paraphrase.

I caught about five minutes of it on my ride home from the gym. Much to my shock and dismay Bill seemed genuinely outraged about his treatment by Gross, Franken, and anyone who doesn’t eat conservatism for breakfast in general. This guy blows a gasket more often than an eastern European sports car. He should start hanging out with Rush, there’s gotta be some valium lying around he can score.

Seriously, I might be more inclined to give Bill O’Riley the benefit of the doubt if he managed to muster even 10 minutes of composure at any one time. But as it stands he’s a grade A, classless, jackass.

Oh my gosh, he destroyed her. I’m no O’Reilly fan, believe me, but I got a kick out of that. Best Terry Gross interview EVER!

I just listened to the inteview in it’s entirety (thanks Miller), a. Gross does indeed do an awful job interviewing him, and b. Bill is a seriously deluded person.

I’m not going to defend Bill on much of any level. But why does NPR get to use tax money to be so decidedly leftist? I just today wrote a strong email to an NPR station manager about this. The “news” team was appalled at Arnold getting elected. Wow, that’s some impartial analysis there.

Jeez, I must be on a distant dimension. This was a leftist interview? Exactly how?

I listened to that interview (did you?!?) and I thought Terry Gross deferred to Bill O quite often. She didn’t challenge him on many outrageous things he said where a more ‘biased’ interviewer could have skewered him. For the most part, it was a softball interview.

The middle 20 minutes of the interview was all chatty & huggy about his background and upbringing; Bill was allowed to say whatever he wanted.

The last 10 minutes was a meltdown. Ms Gross brought up (but was not allowed by Bill to quote) a People magazine book review, and Bill attacked the her at length, called the interview a sham, and then walked out. Terry’s contribution was “but…” as he ranted.

NPR ran this taped interview for broadcast. They didn’t have to do this, but they did. Bill had his say, as did the interviewer. So: this shows how biased and wierd NPR is?!? What dimension do you live in ?

NPR? Tax money? How/when/why?

I thought part of the whole point was that Bill was given a good grilling, and he blew up and made a fool of himself. I guess not.

As for NPR getting tax money, I give part of the act creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:

Wow, very different from most episodes of Fresh Air. What a fascinating experience to hear two professional interviewers each try to control the same interview in such radically different ways!

This is the first time I’ve ever heard Bill O’Reilly, so I was curious about him. I gotta say, he didn’t impress me. The man clearly excels at short tirades, and at cornering people in conversations. But he was so inconsistent.

Terry Gross caught him in the same trap over and over: asking him about some extreme reaction to a newspaper article, letting him characterize the article to defend his response, and then reading the actual article he had just described. Every time his characterization was way off base!

And then there was the whole “I don’t remember registering as a Republican” thing, and “It’s a fact: I never claimed I won a Peabody. I just said that I won a Polk. But instead of ‘Polk’ I said ‘Peabody’.” And that weird rant about sectarians trying to destroy Christmas. What the heck was that?

Yep, that’s pretty much what he does. I often listen to his show at lunchtime just for kicks. The thing that really gives me a chuckle is how he goes on and on and on about not being right-wing, conservative, etc.–he says he plays it down the middle and calls it as he sees it. His main point is that he picks on Republicans just as much as Democrats, so that makes him middle-of-the-road. The thing is, he picks on Republicans, sure, but he bashes them for not being conservative enough. I’m off to listen to that interview now. . .

Internal Server Error. Crap.

I just heard the tail end of the interview, right before he walked out. To me, he sounded like a bully, sticking out his chest and (figuratively) stabbing at Terry with his index finger in an aggressive male display.

I was actually pretty happy with the way Terry handled herself in the face of all that bluster and blow. She didn’t try to defend herself against his accusations (that would have just wound him up more, I think), she just kinda let him rant on. After he walked out, I was shouting at the radio, “NOW read the People magazine excerpt, Terry!! Read it now!” And she did a few minutes later.

I don’t know Bill O’Reilly from Adam’s house cat, but he sure didn’t impress me in that interview.

(Full disclosure: I like Terry Gross and the way she interviews people. I don’t like people who bluster and don’t give their interviewer a chance to respond to thier bluster.)

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting supports public television, not public radio. The vast majority of the funding for public radio comes from the fees it charges NPR member stations. To the extent your local NPR station receives tax dollars, those dollars could be used to purchase programming from NPR, but I doubt you’ll be able to find any direct federal grants for NPR.

I don’t understand yet. The local stations are getting tax money, and using it to buy the syndicated programs? ALL the rest of their money comes from listeners? I find that hard to believe. Plus, shouldn’t a federally created “national” system try to be the voice of cool detachment?

I don’t know.

The beginning of the “Fresh Air” program played a snippet from O’Reilly’s show. O’Reilly said he was invited to talk about his new book. Now, assuming that’s true, I suppose it’s plausible that he agreed to come on with the understanding he’d be talking primarily about the book—perhaps some Franken stuff, but mainly his book.

Well, I’m nearly 15 minutes into the interview now, and no mention of the book except for just that—a mention of the book. Nothing about the book, though.

Now, no doubt O’Reilly feigned naivette when he said the interview was supposed to be about the book and instead he was slammed—it just feeds into the whole “Everybody beats up on O’Reilly” thing he has. But Gross doesn’t look so good so far, especially if it’s true that he basically gave Franken a pass (I didn’t hear that interview).

Can’t wait for the meltdown, though. :wally

They talked about the book plenty. She also asked him a fair number of harder questions. But so what? Is O’Reilly claiming he treats every single guest that walks onto his program exactly equally? If so, he’s lying.

It’s not like it was some hatchet job. She didn’t talk over him. She didn’t yell at him to shut up. She asked him questions, allowed him to respond, and often followed up with snippets that seemed to contradict his claims. If he wasn’t prepared for an actual interview, he shouldn’t have bothered showing up.