October 08, 2004

O'Reilly on the Daily Show

Bill O'Reilly was on the Daily Show last night, doing a reasonable job of sounding like an undecided voter, and presumably trying to make up for the 'stoned slacker' remark.

When the subject turned to politics, Stewart asked O'Reilly to name anything good the Bush administration had done. After praising the administration's intelligence community reorganization, O'Reilly said, "They promised us rich guys a tax cut, and they came through. Credit where credit is due."

Later, in talking about how out of touch politicians are with the world the rest of us live in, he sent another zinger Bush's way. "The Bush family doesn't care about outsourcing because they have $18 gazillion. [Outsourcing], so what?" He then went on to describe both candidates as "two silver spooners," and said that more regular people needed to get into politics.

Apparently, O'Reilly is sufficiently insulated from getting hit with a charge of being part of the liberal media that he can call Bush's tax cut for what it is, and names Bush first in the litany of wealthy politicians. That this is unusual should be all the proof anyone needs that the media is far from liberal, and barely pays attention to the deep vein of economic populism in the country.

That we should be reduced to waiting to hear these things from Bill O'Reilly, well I ask you, what's the world coming to?

Posted by natasha at October 8, 2004 09:20 AM | Media | Technorati links |
Comments

Natasha writes:

When the subject turned to politics, Stewart asked O'Reilly to name anything good the Bush administration had done. After praising the administration's intelligence community reorganization, O'Reilly said, "They promised us rich guys a tax cut, and they came through. Credit where credit is due."

Close, but my take was a bit different.

When the question was asked, the first thing O'Reilly said, and he said it quite seriously, was "Yeah, a couple of things: We haven't been hit again [by al Qaeda]. And the economy..." At that, Jon Stewart, my hubby and I all three said, in unison, "WHAAAT?" The comments Natasha mentions above actually came a little later as O'Reilly was trying to explain (no, really) that Bushco deserves credit for these 2 things.

LAME. If this is the best they can do, they oughtta just pack up and go on home.

Posted by: CaliforniaDrySherry at October 8, 2004 03:34 PM

I agree with you that he was saying it seriously, and he did bizarrely claim that the economy was doing better. But the Republican talking points about tax cuts revolve around pretending that it was all about the middle class, ending the marriage penalty, and providing child tax credits, and avoiding at all costs a mention of how much the cuts favored the wealthy. I guess what I was saying is that his comment created a different impression of the tax cuts than the Republican talking points, or the news media sheeple who repeat them or let them pass unchallenged.

Yes, the other comments did come later, as I acknowledged. But again, they match more closely in tone with the other comment mentioned, having a decidedly populist slant.

I guess my point was that there's a bent towards this sort of argument, just as was argued in 'What's the Matter with Kansas,' towards economic populism that transcends party line. I think it's an untapped vein of votes that the Democratic party has been ignoring for a long time at its peril.

We can't ignore those points on which we have things in common with partisan conservatives, because those are the points on which the party that moves first gets the advantage that it's hard to argue against what you agree with in principle anyway. Those issues are where the opportunity is to build a consensus, to consolidate loyalty, and to retake the terms of the debate. Every single opening of this nature needs to be watched for and seized on.

Posted by: natasha at October 9, 2004 12:25 AM