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Tuesday November 11, 2003
08:15 AM

The internet by mail

[ #15701 ]

sburke sent me two CDs full of stuff. I discovered a folder of Fresh Air! MP3s, and haven't really looked at the other stuff. I spent a great deal of my night listening to Terry Gross, until I got to her show with Bill O'Reilly, whom I do not particularly like, trounce her when she tried to play hardball with him. It was almost as bad as her interview with Gene Simmons.

He also sent a bunch of StrongBad files---a little piece of home since my wife really likes that.

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  • I especially enjoyed it when Terry tried to differentiate between a satirist (Al Franken, who is a comedian) and someone writing non-fiction like Bill O'Reilly, and he wouldn't acknowledge the distinction. Does that mean he's admitting that he's really more of a comedian/entertainer than hardcore commentator and journalist?

    Terry also hit the mark when she basically described what he was going to do (grandstand and then hang up) and he did it.
    • Still, I was disappointed with her performance. If she's going to attack him, she needs to be better prepared.

      Personally, my favorite parts of the interview were the parts where he talked about his upbringing, and his religion.

      He said that Catholic school was good for him because it taught him to submit to authority figures.

      He said that his dad hit him for no reason, but that this was not abuse. He said his dad only stopped hitting him when he started hitting back.

      His reasons given for being Catholic:
      • I mostly agree with you. I thought Terry could have done a much better job if she was better prepared. For instance, he crucified her for not actually watching the episodes she wanted to talk to him about, and rightfully so.

        Also, I think that a lot of people miss Bill's humor. I personally do not like him all that much, but I recognize a dry humor that I think gets caught up in the bluster for most people. Terry took him way to seriously, and that was a shame.

        • I really didn't pick up any humor in his voice. Plenty of bluster, though -- thanks for coming up with the right word. :)

          In addition to not watching the relevant episodes, it sounded to me like she hadn't read the book they were supposed to be discussing, either.
      • His reasons given for being Catholic:

              1) Play it safe (in case it's all true, he doesn't want to go to Hell)
              2) He has a hard time believing that the complexity of nature could happen without divine intent

        Well, I'm not a Christian scholar, but my understanding is that the emphasis in the Bible is on faith, rather than calculating, "play-it-safe" tactics.

        I agree in re: 1), but in re: 2), that seems reasonable. I don't think you understand what he is talking about,
      • BTW, not to defend O'Reilly ... I can't stand the guy. He makes some good points, he is not a total idiot, but IMO he thinks way too highly of himself, and he is really second-rate, at best. His arguments usually lack any significant depth or insight. Plus, he's a plain old jerk.