Friday, January 06, 2006

ironically, sixty is a conservative estimate


“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.”



Ladies and gentlemen, it’s only the first week of 2006 and we already have a prime candidate for Quote Of The Year.

What you see above is pretty much the perfect wording of what one side of opinion in the USA these days would like to say to the other; sort of a "BushBashers' Creed" if you will. Sure, it has taken them a long time to say it, but when it was finally delivered, it packed one hell of a punch.

The paradoxical genius in the wording of the quote is in the reference to personal intellectual shortcomings, which has often actually been used in rhetoric by no less than Dubya himself to court American popular opinion.

It was said by David Letterman, a cultural icon in his own right for his innovative weeknight talk show, to Bill O’Reilly, bigwig broadcaster from FoxNews and renowned poster child for right wing American media.

All in all it was the kind of discussion that I’m sure was held all over America around Christmastime as families came together and people with polar opposite views were virtually forced into the same room together and could not resist bringing up the Iraq debate.

Now don’t get me wrong – this does not mean O’Reilly took a beating on the night by a long chalk. It was quite amusing to google the two protagonists’ names and see as many post titles from blogs reading “O’Reilly-1 Letterman-0” as there were vice versa.

One little faux pas I noticed was when Bill was being challenged on the BushAdmin’s poor intelligence before going into Iraq. He came back with the age old argument that it wasn’t just the Yanks that had the dodgy info, and he referred to the British intelligence agency as M“one”6 as opposed to M“I”6. Maybe he had his own prep work done for him by the C“one”A.

You can read a full transcript of the dialogue plus a link to video clips here.

3 comments:

sex scenes at starbucks said...

hahaha! I'll have to read this. Letterman is by far the savviest interviewer I've ever seen. He can make you look smart or dumb, whichever he chooses.

Heidi said...

I read the transcript, and I was laughing so hard... Letterman really let it rip on O'Reilly! Man...

It's been awhile since I've watched Letterman, but I've never seen him rip into a guest quite like that before. Dang. He's getting mighty feisty in his old age. (and I like it!) ;)

James Howard Shott said...

Actually, from what I saw, O'Reilly gave as good as he got, considering that he was in Letterman's house. Letterman looked like a bully. It's really a cheap shot to invite a guest on an entertainment show and then treat him with contempt, as Letterman did with O'Reilly.

Another quote worth remembering is this exchange:

O'Reilly: Then why would you come to that conclusion if you don't watch the program?

Letterman: Because of things that I've read, things that I know.

O'Reilly: Oh come on, you're going to take things that you've read. You know what say about you?