March 21, 2006

"O’Reilly has become baroque, and 'The O’Reilly Factor' is complex affair, dense with self-references...."

So says Nicholas Lemann, quite strangely. I don't watch O'Reilly, though I used to, so I can't say for sure. I do watch "The Colbert Report," so I get some indirect information about what's going on in the world of O'Reilly. I prefer my O'Reilly taken through the filter of the sublime Stephen Colbert, don't you?

Lemann also talks about Colbert:
Stephen Colbert has obviously made a close study of O’Reilly’s mannerisms and opinions, just as Colbert’s producers have made a close study of the overblown red-white-and-blue swirled graphics that open “The O’Reilly Factor.” (Colbert adds eagles and flags.) But Colbert is too young and too thin to mimic the physical presence of the six-foot-four O’Reilly, and he appears to realize this. So he delivers O’Reilly’s brusque, jabbing hand gestures, and his primary-colored opinions, with a goofy half-smile, as if he were a kid playing dress-up in his dad’s clothes.
Why is Lemann disrespecting Colbert? I think it is to make room for his own critique, laid out extensively, in The New Yorker. Would you rather have your O'Reilly filtered through Colbert or Lemann? Or are you hardcore, taking your O'Reilly straight?

21 comments:

Dave said...

I don't watch either, and I don't understand Lehmann's "baroque" reference.

Fitz said...

I take my O'Reilly shaken...not stirred.

PatCA said...

It is baroque in the sense that it has become more about him and an exaggeration of his production conventions, his shtick, than actual news. I started watching him after 9/11 and kept on because he reminds me of all the Irish Catholic wiseacres I grew up with. And he does make fun of himself and his pomposity, much better than Colbert does, so I don't watch Colbert.

But now that the Grand March of History has slowed down, his show wears thin. I love to see him land a good body blow to his cultural arch enemies but this latest sexual/criminal obsession is just too tabloid and I don't watch much.

Paula Zahn on CNN opposite him looks like she's drugged so I work out instead.

Marghlar said...

Lehmann's piece was interesting, but I'd always prefer Colbert...when dealing with the ridiculous, satire is a much more interesting response than is description.

paul a'barge said...

I watch O'Reilly every night, and compared to any of the competition, he is "the nuts", as far as I'm concerned.

You may not like his "manliness" (today's new word), but he nails those who deserve it.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

How can O'Reilly be baroque? He's a squillionaire.

chezDiva said...

I stopped watching O'Reilly about a year ago. I can't stomach his show or his pompous pontificating attitude. I find O'Reilly so distasteful that I can't even watch it filtered through the Colbert Report.

John in Nashville said...

Lehmann says that O'Reilly, when attacked by other media figures, "is not one to turn the other cheek." Doesn't that depend on to which pair of cheeks one refers?

John in Nashville said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said...

Ruth Anne, that was great.

I think there are shots I'd need updated before I could watch that asshat.

Elizabeth said...

I guess if all you do is swing a stick around, smacking people, eventually you'll hit someone who deserves it.

Ross said...

On my local AM radio dial, O'Reilly is the only one who seems sane anymore. Go figure.

Bob said...

You've got a dial? Lucky. I'm stuck with buttons.

Seven Machos said...

Why is the Left and the Mainstream Media so bothered by Fox News? It boggles the mind. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

I vividly remember this guy in a bar finding out I am a dreaded conservative, and making this raging critique of Fox News, as if there would be no conservatism if this illegitimate news organization did not exist.

I don't watch Fox News so I'm not sure what Lehman and the raging bar guy are so upset about, but I think we are all adults here. Change the channel, dudes.

knoxgirl said...

ugh, I can't stand Bill O'Reilly.

I can't get into the Colbert Report because the O'Reilly Factor itself seems like such a parody it just seems pointless.

AJ Lynch said...

Who the heck is Nicholas Lehman?

O'Reiley is the best. Can dissect poltics better than anyone and may be the smartest on his feet. So, I watch him for that.

Though I don't care for him when he gets on the soapbox re crime and sentences, etc.

Colbert is great too and who cares if it's a play on O'Reilley. Colbert is a friggin genius- he will make America forget who the hell Jon Stewart is. And that is a good thing.

Oat said...

I’ll sometimes bop over to the 11 o’clock rebroadcast of the Factor while watching the Daily Show, often when Stewart does something that I find irksome. O’Reilly is an ass, but he’s his own ass. Stewart is increasingly becoming a hack for the DNC (kind of like Hannity is for the GOP, only Stewart’s funnier). I’m even beginning to think that Stewart is an intellectual chicken. Stewart (and his writers) so thoroughly danced around the cartoon issue, flirting with the free speech issues involved in showing the Mohammed cartoons (but never showing those cartoons) and then quickly shifting to and lingering over images offensive to many Christians and Jews. It seemed Stewart and his correspondents were saying, “Look how brave we are showing these offensive images of Mary splattered in dung and Jews drinking blood. Look everyone, we’re making this bold gesture in defense of free speech.” The only thing that registered with me was their hypocrisy and intellectual cowardice.

Coco said...

WHile I know that many people probably do watch O'Reilly or these other guys as if it really is informative news or analysis(and I think that some people probably watch the Daily SHow for that same reason - or at least part of it), it seems clear to me at least that its all pure entertainment. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are pretty clear about that, but O'Reilly obviously makes it look like he's serious. I have no way of knowing whether he actually does take himself seriously and views himself as a "thinker" rather than an "entertainer." Any guesses?

Coco said...

"he will make America forget who the hell Jon Stewart is. And that is a good thing."

Why is that a good thing? Is this a pure political viewpoint or are you suggesting something meaningful?

AJ Lynch said...

Coco:

My view of Stewart is partly political and maybe meaningful. I think Stewart is a smug elitist who lives in Manhattan and is way over-rated. He seems to get great press just because he hosts the Daily Show and not because of his talent or what he does. I recall watching shows when Colbert was still a regular and thinking Stewart's cast had far more talent than Stewart.

So, bottom line is I don't get his appeal. A great comic mind like old Johnnie Carson lampooned everyone- Stewart regularly fawns over a certain segment of his guests..i.e John Kerry.

I think the news media should consider becoming much more like a blend of Orelly and Colbert- news does not have to be serious. The Rather/anchor model is passe and they don't know it.

What specifically do you like about Stewart?

AJ Lynch said...

Coco:
And I forgot to add if the MSM networks had any brains, they would consider a guy like Oreilly to replace Rather.

Cause like I said that old anchor model (faking being straight down the middle) is way broken and decrepit.