Bill O'Reilly: Reasonable, likeable, and witty.

At least, that was my impression of him on The Daily Show tonight.

What’s up with that? Does he ever represent himself that well on his own show?

Is he not really a pugnacious, brow-beating, rabidly right-wing lunatic?

(I don’t have the opportunity to see The O’Reilly Factor up here in the sodden North, so I have no way of knowing of just how typical/atypical this behaviour is.)

He does swing a lot. His problem is that when he gets stumped or has a flaw found in his argument, he tends to get pissed and then his ability to make a good argument just fizzles.

I actually think he’s been improving in that regard lately, but then, I see about seventeen seconds of him, total, every week…

<Karnak the Magnificent>

“A: Reasonable, likeable, and witty.”


“Q: Name three words that don’t apply to Bill O’Reilly.”

</Karnak the Magnificent>
Oh, come on, I know I’m not the only one who thought this after reading the title of this thread… :smiley:

Is there a clip or a transcript up yet?

I saw the interview. I almost thought he must have an evil twin. He did have one idiotic moment, though. Stewart asked him something to the effect of whether Bush had a tendency to never admit when he’s wrong. O’Reilly agreed that Bush is like that, but went on to say that Kerry is too. But his example was that Kerry won’t admit that raising taxes on the rich won’t hurt the economy. No, Bill - that’s called a difference of opinion.

I saw it, too. I think Jon was being exceedingly nice to him, despite the fact that O’Reilly kept making cheapshots about TDS that weren’t funny.

I thought he was an utter ass, but then again I’ve never had the intestinal fortitude to actually watch his show on Fox.

Bowled a mean leg-break too …

I was stuck doing midnight shifts in a “war room” during the first month of the Iraq War, and the TVs were tuned to CNN (muted) and Fox News (volume up). We could watch both sets of coverage and switch the volume if anything changed. Other than Mohammed Al-Sahaf’s hysterical press briefings each morning, the funniest part of my shift was when they’d do a re-run of “The Factor.”

Bill is a master of controlling the terms of a debate and keeping the argument on a track that he knows he can win. The ‘mailbag’ segment is a great bit, where he takes clueless minions – from both sides of the aisle – down a few pegs. Are they hand-picked? Sure. Is it a straw man? You bet your ass. Is it good television? Absolutely.

He’s courteous, but cocky. He admits when he’s wrong, which is rare these days, and he’s not afraid to point out when the Administration does or says something stupid or against their own stated principles. He gets a bad reputation, but the GOP could do a lot worse than to field a candidate with his attitude, charm, and convictions. In fact, they already have done worse.

If you want a fun read, get Al Franken’s book and read his chapter on Bill O’Reilly.

Well, I’m talking from complete ignorance here, having neither seen his show or his appearance on The Daily Show, but perhaps he is smart enough to realize that the audience for TDS is much different than for his own show, and he played to the different audience.

I’ve disliked him ever since he was mean to Jenna Jameson.

I’ve noticed he’s much more reasonable when he is off his show and on someone else’s. Also I can’t believe he gets away with saying he’s still undecided.

Maybe he had to be nicer- after all, he couldn’t just have Jon Stewart’s microphone shut off if Jon disagreed with him… :smiley:

Was she a guest on his show?

That was a giant whoosh wasn’t it, right Jurph?

I saw Bill O’Reilly speak here in New York about a week before 9-11 happened. He made fun of GWB more than any Democrat. He was quite entertaining. One thing that stood out was how he made fun of Bush for all of the vacation he took in his first year. After 9-11, I couldn’t help but think how his vacations may have hurt our chances of preventing it.

This year, Sean Hannity spoke. Most people agreed that Hannity is just an ignorant ass. I’d trust O’Reilly over Hannity any day of the week.

Yeah, I saw it on her E True Hollywood Story. She went on there to talk about pornography and he was pretty insulting. She’s actually a very impressive speaker, and has an interesting viewpoint on the topic. He looked down his nose at her, but then asked her for some videos after he did the interview.

I’m trying to find an article about it. I’ll try to post something later.

The first part there is the key – someone trying to pull a Zell Miller him, would not have Bill be the one telling them to get out of the audience’s face, because he would not get on the air to begin with.

However, when he is NOT in control, he has to moderate himself, as we saw here. BUT he has shown some difficulty with letting you do unto him as he does unto others. In the Terry Gross NPR interview he quickly got all bent out of shape, over he being the one getting sandbagged this time around (can’t take as good as he gives?). But he could pull that because, of course, walking out on those publicly-funded effete snobs at NPR plays good to his market segment.

The genius of the Daily Show, of course, is that they know better than to attempt to beat him at his game. And in that context, he woul feel obligated to be a Good Sport about it.

His admissions of being wrong are fine, but that still leaves us to consider the sheer vehemence with which he makes his stand while he thinks he’s right and you’re wrong, up to and including the above-mentioned mise-en-scene of guests and letter-writers that he knows he can corner, cow and strut over. This, accompanied by his patented affectation of nyah-nyah smugness, just rubs the “wanna wipe that smirk off yer face” nerve in some people.

O’Reilly evolved into the abrasive, full-of-himself persona we know as he got the swing of where his show was getting the ratings. Back in 2001 he was almost refreshing. But then he got the Big Ratings and seemed to start carrying himself as if he really believed he was All That, and it gets really confusing at times, if it is all straight or an act for effect?

Am I the ONLY person on the whole planet who thinks that Bill O’Reilly is an actor playing a role and that if he influences any jackass’s opinion that’s because some people don’t understand that he is not really a qualified political expert but that he is basically a sort of male model hired to play the role of “Rush Limbaugh-type TV host”?

Jon Stewart doesn’t play along with the whole “Bill O’Reily is an important 21st centrury American thinker with an extensive background in Political Science and Journalism” thing and instead treats him like the member of the infotainment industry that he is. Jon Stewart actually has a grip on reality.

Holy crow, it’s not REAL! I wish there was an easy way to tell who understands this and who doesn’t. Like, for example, a t-shirt or badge. I just highly doubt that Bill O’Reilly’s passion is anything more than method acting at best. If he got fired and the only job he could get was “stoned slacker ex hippie panel member” he’d probably be very good at that too.

Did they talk about “O’Reilly Factor for Kids”? It’s kind of scary. It’s one thing to mess with the minds of stupid adults but is it really fair to play games with impressionable kids? :frowning: I don’t know what the book is about but I can’t imagine it’s about watching less TV and reading history books.

I always figured him as “Howard Stern does politics for Fox”, i.e., 85% Mister Bigmouth Outrageous act.