Tuesday, July 20, 2004


And Another Thing…

“…I want Holyfield! I want Holyfield! I’ve shown what these guns could do in the Middle East, now I’m gonna show what they can do in the ring. This summer! Atlantic City! The Taj Mahal! Holyfield-Schwarzkopf. It’s the War on the Shore! I will whale and prevail!” That’s a little long for the headline, and it’s more difficult than most of the pop culture questions I toss out in the headlines, but the question remains: What TV show? What actor? I’ll give you a hint. The show is still on the air and the actor in question is no longer living (can it get any easier?).

So what’s the point? Well O’Reilly had a similar moment today in his Talking Points segment. Although the Fox News web site still defies me, I may have noticed they run the Talking Point from the previous night the next day on the O’Reilly Factor page of the site. Consider checking there later tonight or tomorrow. I’ll do my best to accurately paraphrase what was said.

O’Reilly noted a review in the NYT of an FNC critical movie. This reviewer simply adored the movie and took some shots at O’Reilly. O’Reilly also noted a number of other examples of the NYT not seeing things correctly. You might wonder how this is any different from someone like Michael Moore giving examples of how the right doesn’t see things correctly.

Here’s one difference: Remember how “Roger and Me” made such a big deal about how the big, evil, powerful executive would do everything he could do to avoid Moore and his cameras, and how that was just another symbol of his big, evil powerfulness? In this movie, Roger is the executive and Moore is the “Me.” Years go by. A young man has a message he wants to pass on to America. He decides a documentary about a big, evil, powerful corporation would be the perfect framework for the story he has to tell. As it turns out, the executive for this corporation is just as camera-shy as Roger. The executive in question? None other than Michael Moore. Info about the film, “Michael Moore Hates America,” can be found here. You go look now! So Moore can dish it out but he can’t take it. What about O’Reilly?

Of course he has a standing invitation to any number of people who refuse to come on the show. He made a more precise challenge today in Talking Points. He offered to debate any editor or columnist from the NYT. And it wasn’t a hollow gesture. Removing the “O’Reilly has home field advantage” question from the table, he went on to say that he had asked Charlie Rose of PBS to host and moderate the debate on his show. Rose agreed. And so do I. I’d love to see a debate, not just the “latest sound bite topic of the day” typical gabfest, but something more like the presidential debates with speakers from right and left. It would be beneficial to everyone to see articulations of the beliefs of both sides, rather than the articulation of how the belief responds to this or that news item we see every day. But enough daydreaming. I may be wrong, but I would be very surprised to see his challenge taken up.
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