I caught David Letterman last night, and he went a couple of rounds with Bill O'Reilly. Letterman is a smart guy. I think his on-air feeling otherwise is just schtick. Anyway, methinks that Oh Really came away from the encounter more than a little bruised. Here is the transcript
O'Reilly: Okay, so let's stop with the lying and the this and the that and the undermining and let's get him. That is putting us all in danger. So our philosophy is we call it as we see it. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. Robust debate is good. But we believe that the United States, particularly the military, are doing a noble thing, a noble thing. The soldiers and Marines are noble. They're not terrorists. And when people call them that, like Cindy Sheehan called the insurgents 'freedom fighters,' we don't like that. It is a vitally important time in American history. And we should all take it very seriously. Be very careful with what we say.
Letterman: Well, and you should be very careful with what you say also.
O'Reilly: Give me an example.
Letterman: How can you possibly take exception with the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan?
O'Reilly: Because I think she's run by far-left elements in this country. I feel bad for the woman.
Letterman: Have you lost family members in armed conflict?
O'Reilly: No, I have not.
Letterman: Well, then you can hardly speak for her, can you?
Letterman: Yeah, so why are we there in the first place? I agree to you, with you that we have to support the troops. They are there, they are the best and the brightest of this country. [audience applause] There's no doubt about that. And I also agree that now we're in it it's going to take a long, long time. People who expect it's going to be solved and wrapped up in a couple of years, unrealistic, it's not going to happen. However, however, that does not eliminate the legitimate speculation and concern and questioning of Why the Hell are we there to begin with?
O'Reilly: If you want to question that, and then revamp an intelligence agency that's obviously flawed, the CIA, okay. But remember, MI-6 in Britain said the same thing. Putin's people in Russia said the same thing, and so did Mubarak's intelligence agency in Egypt.
Letterman: Well then that makes it all right?
O'Reilly: No it doesn't make it right.
Letterman: That intelligence agencies across the board makes it alright that we're there?
O'Reilly: It doesn't make it right.
Letterman: See, I'm very concerned about people like yourself who don't have nothing but endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan. Honest to Christ.
Letterman: 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. [audience laughter] But I don't know that for a fact.
[more audience applause]
Paul Shafer: Sixty percent.
Letterman: Sixty percent. I'm just spit-balling here.
O'Reilly: Listen, I respect your opinion. You should respect mine.
Letterman: Well, ah, I, okay. But I think you're-
O'Reilly: Our analysis is based on the best evidence we can get.
Letterman: Yeah, but I think there's something, this fair and balanced. I'm not sure that it's, I don't think that you represent an objective viewpoint.
O'Reilly: Well, you're going to have to give me an example if you're going to make those claims.
Letterman: Well I don't watch your show so that would be impossible.
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? Come on. Watch it for a couple, look, watch it for a half hour. You'll get addicted. You'll be a Factor fan, we'll send you a hat.
Letterman: You'll send me a hat. Well, send Cindy Sheehan a hat.
O'Reilly: I'll be happy to.