Friday, January 06, 2006

'Late Show' Smackdown

I can’t believe I missed the Letterman-O’Reilly clash on Tuesday’s “Late Show!”

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel came on Letterman’s show, but the interview was not your typical late night happy talk. Dave let him have it.

It started with ridiculing O’Reilly’s war on “the war on Christmas.” Then things really heated up when they started talking about Iraq and Cindy Sheehan.

At one point Letterman told O’Reilly:
“I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.”

Newsday has a transcript of the whole interview. If you like, skip to page 3 where the sparks really start to fly. Or better yet, watch the video clip.

This is why Letterman’s show is so much better than “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Something like this would never happen during a Jay Leno interview. Remember when Letterman had Oprah on last month? He started asking her serious questions about her relief efforts in Africa and she seemed quite taken aback and surprised by his tone, asking him at one point, “Do you really want to talk about this?”

Letterman can handle diving into serious topics when he wants to. When he finally retires from late night TV (sooner rather than later I suspect), he will probably fade into private life like the late Johnny Carson did. But I think it would be fun to see him hosting a 30-minute Larry King-style show.

In this case, after reading the transcript and watching the clip, I sometimes agreed with Letterman and sometimes agreed with O’Reilly. But the problem with O’Reilly is that he’s such a blowhard, such an abrasive personality and so full of himself that even when I agree with him I still dislike him.


Aaron said...

I haven't figured out yet why people are freaking over the "Christmas is dead" issue. As most of you know, I was born and raised a Christian and I believe that Christmas is the best time of the year…I love everything about it. With that said, I am also aware that when someone says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Whatever to me, I take it at the basic level that the person is addressing me in a POSITIVE manner. People like O’Riley need to realize this. Who cares what people say as long as it is in a positive, joyous, respectful manner. I would be high as a kite if people say Happy Hanukkah to me everyday. Why??? Because they are addressing me in a positive light. Can’t we be happy that people are treating others in a positive light?

As for the Target and K-mart “killing” Christmas…well that’s garbage too. The last I knew the company has a right market anyway the wish and if they feel they will appeal to a larger audience by having “holiday sales”, then so be it. They are again approaching the season in a positive manner.

R.B. said...

O'Reilly is dead on - enough with all the political correctness crap - and if you read, and take a moment to understand, the comments he made about Cindy Sheehan (and Letterman or his staffers clearly did not), he's chastizing her for complimenting the insurgents and terrorists as "freedom fighters." It appears that the only freedom fighters are the brave young men and women of the US (and coalition) armed forces, and the developing Iraqi army. People who are blowing up Iraqis and soldiers dedicated to helping the Iraqis gain freedom, are hardly freedom fighters.
Bill's problem is he frequently doesn't know when to shut up....
And come on, telling youngsters not to bring in red or green colored napkins for a party around the holidays.......changing the lyrics to "Silent Night".....are you freaking kidding me?
We're all sitting here weeping for the Iraqis. It's about damn time we started weeping for ourselves.

Hal Halladay said...

I watched it. I blogged about it. I read about it.

O'Reilly is a blowhard and gets on these rants that seem not to matter to anyone but him. I do agree with his points on Sheehan. On the other hand, Letterman seems blind about what is behind Sheehan and I think he stopped being funny at that point of the show. It was good TV and a fiery exchange. Much different than the Oprah interview.

Roon said...

You nailed it, Hal. I couldn't have said it better.

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