The most interesting thing that happened when Bill O’Reilly appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” last night could have been when he walked out with a plastic shield. It could have been Letterman’s prediction that he hoped he would have the chance to call the conservative a bonehead. It could been when that prediction came true. It could even have been their predictable debate about the war in Iraq.
But it wasn’t any of that.
This was the most interesting quote of the night:
“This whole thing is a big act,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly, responding to a heckler, exclaimed that he and the talk show host were actually good friends and this whole banter or arguing or rivalry, or whatever it is to be called, is fake and merely an act for entertainment purposes.
The Fox pundit. The arch-enemy of the bleeding heart. The scourge of the Clinton administration is acting?
It is entirely possible that O’Reilly and Letterman are friends. The media makes for strange bedfellows, and much stranger than these two have emerged in the past. It’s also plausible that when the cameras stop rolling and they’ve both made their political points that they are utterly civil and perhaps even cordial to each other. The best debaters in the world make their point when it counts and don’t take it or the responding contentions personally. It’s like a rugby match where you basically kill the other team all game and then go out for beers afterwards. But the killing is real and the debating is real and none of it is (supposed to be) an act.
CNN did report on the exchange.
Otherwise, we did get to see a great exchange between media figures, and the war in Iraq was a hot topic as always. But, now the question sits in the back of our minds now: Did O’Reilly snap and drop the acting card on the audience or was he just pissed