Weekdays With Bernie: Analysis of Bill’s debate with Jon Stewart.

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  • http://berniegoldberg.com David

    I think you were being respectful to Bill because I felt you thought Jon won that debate, like me. That being said I don’t respect Jon so much because he tries to come across as a middle of the road, rational thinker when in fact he is as liberal as they come, albeit more rational than most like you correctly pointed out. What bothers me most about him is his constant attacks on Fox News while ignoring the other big networks who are blatantly liberal.
    Last point, I beleive you’re right based on your Ted Nuggent analogy however because the left dominates virtually every media outlet, be it entertainment, news magazines, news papers and news television, it’s as though conservatives need to strain their voices just to be heard, so when a Nuggent fires off stupid comments it’s sometimes ignored because of how often the left ignores it’s own ..it doesn’t make it right anymore than liberal hypocrisy does but I think that if things were balanced this same hypocrisy wouldn’t go without criticism. Imagine a world like this?!
    You’re the best, keep up the great work!

  • Bob Hadley

    I agree with Stewart that O’Reilly was putting himself in a smaller and smaller box. First, his gripe was that a rapper who glorified cop killers was invited to the White House because, among other concerns, it sends the wrong message. Then Stewart pointed out the selective outrage factor, e.g. that Bush invited Bono, who wrote a song sympathetic to the guy convicted of killing two (I think it was two) FBI agents, to the White House with no critcism–much less outrage–by O’Reilly or FNC.

    At that point, O’Reilly said but,but, but Bono wasn’t glorifying that convicted killer. When Stewart pointed out that he was pettifogging, then O’Reilly again suddenly switched to saying but, but, but Common visited one of the convicted cop killers in Cuba. When Stewart pointed out that that was a minor distinction and was not his original gripe, then O’Reilly once again suddenly switched to saying but, but, but President Obama or his aids should have known better than to invite Common to the White House because it adds to the perception that he associates with dubious people, as if he was really only looking out for Obama’s reputation.

    O’Reilly does have some good debate on his show, and is often fair. But, he sometimes does go along with or is taken in by FNC’s selective outrage. Yes, FNC does have some diversity of opinion. But liberals are often brought in to play defense. FNC’s over-all agenda is usually slanted to the right.

    • Paul Courtney

      Bob, as a regular O’Reilly viewer, I’ll say you have aptly summarized Bill O’s two step, and I won’t disagree about FNC’s slant. But where shall I turn? Consider this- Jon Stewart is a comedian who uses FNC as a punching bag, often and to great effect. Yet Bill O’ brings him on, for two segments, well promoted. Though the piece was obviously edited, Stewart appeared effective and Bill (who controls the final cut, No?) did not. That strikes me as, well, fair and balanced! Seriously, though, which network can I tune in, giving it’s severe critics air time on its flagship show? Would ABC have J Stossel back, NBC give Brent Bozell a feature, CBS promote an appearance by Bernie to cover bias @ CBS? Heaven forbid it should help their ratings.

    • Paul Courtney

      Bob: As an O’Reilly regular, I’ll say you have aptly summarized Bill’s two-step, and FNC slants right. But consider this- Stewart is a comedian who savages FNC often and to great effect. Yet Bill O’ has him on, no holds barred, he didn’t just play defense, he had his say. Though Bill obviously controls editing, and the piece was obviously edited, all viewers were allowed to see what you saw. Finally, Stewart’s hastily arranged appearance was well-promoted by FNC. Any other Network promoting an appearance by a critic, or even bringing on a critic? Would NBC have Bill in for a segment on NBC bias, or God forbid CBS have Bernie on with Katie to ask when she plans to ask Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, what they read?

      • Bob Hadley


        I appreciate your candor, but can’t your television or cable provider allow for more than one station at a time? I have to watch several different networks to get a balanced picture of the news. FNC very often filters facts from its political coverage to please its base. Other networks also do not have complete reporting. And the political coverage is frequently different. You have to use the clicker and actually think critically while watching news shows (and I do mean “shows”). Blame it on the commercialization of news reporting, at least in large part.

        If you’ve read my postings on this website, including the one above, you should know that I always/almost always qualify my criticisms of FNC and O’Reilly by saying that they do sometimes have serious debates on real issues and they do have some fair and balanced reporting and, that on the other hand, other networks are often slanted in the other direction.

        Now let’s look at other networks. Most or all other news networks/programs give voice to differing opinions. George Will and others on ABC. Bill Bennet and others on CNN. Heck, even Roger Ailes was on This Week. I’ve seen O’Reilly on a bunch of other networks. As I recall, I first saw Bernie on network (non-FNC) news talking about his book “Bias.” Even MSNBC regularly has some conservatives, albeit not as many as FNC. I’ve seen conservatives such as O’Reilly, Newt and Rumsfeld on the Daily Show. But liberals are often brought on FNC to play defense to a conservative agenda. And, yes, there’s often a liberal agenda on other networks. And, yes, conservative viewpoints are often subject to an unconscious and restrictive quota on these other networks. Ergo, how sweet the clicker is!

        Bernie makes the point that there’s a big difference as to how conservatives and liberals are interviewed on the other networks. This is often true, but the reverse is true of FNC. Although they’re usually a better now, FNC anchors would have a love fest with a conservative and then an anchor would say “Because we’re fair and balanced we have a liberal point of view.” Then the anchor would fire questions at the liberal and interrupt him before he could fully make his point. FNC’s talk show host are often worse. Have you ever compared FNC’s interviews between Pres. GW Bush and Pres. Obama?

        Remember the 1994 “Gingrich Revolution”? I’m almost certain that the coverage CNN (right wingers often called it the Clinton News Network or the Castro News Network) gave to Republicans was a large factor in the ’94 takeover of Congress. In the eight months or so leading up to the ’94 elections, Republicans came on CNN talk shows and interviews en masse and pounded away at their talking points without interruption. FNC would never give Dems that open opportunity.

        Unfortunately, many do not have the time to get a fair and balanced view of things. That’s one reason why so many are misinformed. Another reason, of course, is that some ideologues do not want to be challenged by facts or informed and compelling analysis. This latter bunch feed into many of the ratings-driven talk show hosts and consider any show that’s not tilted in their direction as biased.

        Here, I define an ideologue as someone who puts on handcuffs and blinders in preparation for analyzing issues or problem solving.

        • Bob Hadley

          One more thing Paul. What’s with Katie asking Palin what she reads? Are you saying that was a gotcha question? I’m sure Obama, Biden, Reid and Pelosi could answer that question in their sleep (as could O’Reilly :) )

          Remember, the 1988 VP debate. I think it was Brit Hume (although I’m not certain) who asked the two VP candidates about two books they’d recently read. Even Quale answered the question with little difficulty. And no, I don’t think Quale is an idiot. He’s good enough in his own setting–primarily one-on-one or small group settings without high scrutiny, But he wasn’t ready for that particular race.

  • Noel

    You are so predictable. You are just a mutual admiration groupie. Same old stuff on the show.