So you may or may not have heard the interview of known Fox News jackass Bill O’Reilly by Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air.” (If you’d like to listen to it before continuing to read this, you can listen to it by clicking the link above.) Among frequent NPR listeners, it’s been a hot topic this week, as O’Reilly ends it with typical decorum by whining about how biased NPR is and actually storming out of the interview.
I listened to the entire interview as it was aired; there may have been more of it than I heard, as “Fresh Air” tapes very long interviews, usually an hour and a half or so, then edits them down to the most interesting stuff.
The middle of it was kind of interesting. After the first ten minutes or so, wherein Terry Gross challenged some of his more retarded public assertions (among them that he won a Peabody Award while working for “Hard Copy,” or some crap show like it; Gross actually did win a Peabody Award for “Fresh Air,” but this is no doubt due to liberal bias by the good folks at the Peabody Awards), prompting him to deny obvious facts, she kind of gave up on that tack and asked him about what growing up was like for him, which was actually kind of interesting to me. In the way asking, say, Jeffrey Dahmer about his childhood would be.
By the end, though, he got all incensed about how she was being harder on him (a political commentator, who bills himself as such) than she was on Al Franken (a political satirist, who bills himself as such) when he was on the show. He did so without letting her finish a sentence, except when he kept yelling the question, “WERE YOU THIS HARD ON FRANKEN? WERE YOU THIS HARD ON FRANKEN?” in a way that made me fear for his children, if he has any. He capped things off by blustering about how biased NPR is, and, as mentioned before, leaving.
I understand there’s some stuff on O’Reilly’s Web site about the interview; I haven’t investigated, as the second I opened the site up I felt like I was entering some horrible, forbidden corner of the web. (Seriously, I’ve seen porn pictures of a woman taking a dump in some guy’s mouth, and I felt about equally dirty typing “www.foxnews.com” into my browser.) At any rate, it’s all basically to say that the interview went about like you’d expect it to.
If anything, I thought Terry Gross was too easy on him at the end, when he started bellowing at her like a drunk dad, and that she didn’t push her rebuttal about Franken being a satirist far enough. But she’s always been a soft touch, and very nonconfrontational, so I imagine she was a little rattled by the whole thing. It’s worth listening to if you’re looking to irritate yourself on a Saturday afternoon; they’re replaying the interview on “Fresh Air Weekend” this weekend, so if your local NPR affiliate carries the show you can hear it there.
Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I work for KWGS, Tulsa’s NPR affiliate. I tried to work for Fox News, but they muttered something about my “lack of trainability.”