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David Letterman — Just Another Liberal Who Refuses to Understand Conservatives

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:14 am - January 6, 2006.
Filed under: Conservative Discrimination,Liberals,New Media

Like Malcontent, I rarely tune into the O’Reilly Factor. I find Bill O’Reilly pretentious, obnoxious and even boorish. He often brings thoughtful guests on the air, but frequently cuts them off before they have a chance to make their points.

Yet, occasionally, he has done a good show. A while ago, he had a “right-to-die” advocate on to discuss the Terry Schiavo case. He let this guest speak and together they did a good job of outlining the complex issues in this situation, presenting both sides. So, despite my distaste for O’Reilly, I realize that from time to time he can put on a good show. (Maybe he has done more shows like this since I stopped watching his program regularly about five years ago. Malcontent’s post on his latest show on “the gays” suggests not.)

If people ask me what I think of the show, I’ll note I rarely watch it for the reasons I articulated above.

But, there’s a huge difference between my criticism of O’Reilly and that which David Letterman leveled earlier this week. That late-night talk show host acknowledged that while he doesn’t watch O’Reilly’s show, he has a “feeling” that “about 60 percent” of what O’Reilly says “ is crap.” Why couldn’t Letterman just say that he doesn’t watch the show so can’t evaluate its content? Or say that he found O’Reilly irritating the few times he watched the show and so longer watches it?

But, because O’Reilly has the reputation of being a conservative, many in the media feel it incumbent on themselves to loudly dismiss his ideas — as they dismiss other conservatives — even when they are not familiar with them. (In the 1990s, a friend insisted Rush Limbaugh was anti-woman, but acknowledged she had never listened to his radio program nor read a word he wrote.) When someone is labeled conservative, many in the media, just like those on the left, always have this feeling his (or her) ideas are “crap” (or some similar pejorative) even when they’re clueless as to what those ideas are.

I see the same thing in the comments to this blog (and some of my e-mail) where readers, having heard about this gay conservative blog, decide savage us withouth having a clue as to what we believe. They misrepresent our points, oftentimes claiming we hold to ideas and policies we have criticized in previous posts — and on a number of occasions in the very post to which they attach their comments. (Though sometimes, our critics make solid arguments taking issue with the points we’ve made as some did in comments to my last post.)

It’s just another sign of those on the left and in the media taking issue with conservative ideas (or policies) they refuse to understand. And Letterman’s comment makes me strangely sympathetic with a man whose on-screen persona never ceases to annoy me.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

ADDENDUM: The Anchoress has a related post — Emotionalism: bad fuel for the press which I highly recommend.

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28 Comments

  1. I used to hate Rush and I had never heard him actually speak either. He has issues and I still don’t really like him but I have listened to his show and I have agreed with many things he said and received a good deal of information on a subject that I might not have known otherwise.

    The best part of the show is the leftists callers who can never call him on anything he actually says but always go to calling him names and attributing fascist objectives to him. Every time. Exactly what Bill O’ has to deal with.

    I don’t really like Bill either but he has the guts to bring up issues no other public voice would dare. He’s the only one I know who can call Al Sharpton to his show and tell him before a TV audience what Al’s real motivations are to his face. Meanwhile, those brave Democrat presidential candidates danced around Sharpton during the ’04 debates like eunuchs. They were going to defend America against terrorism and couldn’t even look a blatant home-grown bigot in the eye for even one debate.

    Polarization is ugly but necessary. Its a good thing because I’m confident which pole will win when both ends get to be heard equally.

    Comment by VinceTN — January 6, 2006 @ 8:42 am - January 6, 2006

  2. Being something of a smartass myself, I know the joys of that attitude, but perhaps it is my age that makes me see the kind of humor that Letterman specializes in as a kind of toxin. In bits, it’s amusing, but over time –especially if it presumes to ascend from comedy to serious social comment– its adolescent nihilistic energy starts to show through.

    Too many folks, I fear, get their news-and-opinion from comedians these days: Leno, Letterman, The Daily Show, to say nothing of the excecrable and meretricious Maher.

    Comment by EssEm — January 6, 2006 @ 8:51 am - January 6, 2006

  3. Ah yes, ever the victim, ever the persecuted… poor GP West, and poor Bill O’Reilly. Maybe you should stop watching Letterman if its too much for your delicate sensibilities. I am not sure what’s more pathetic, the uber-PC of the far left, or the humorless persecution syndrome of the far right.

    Comment by RealValues — January 6, 2006 @ 9:04 am - January 6, 2006

  4. RealValues, actually what’s more pathetic is vapid opinion parading as insight. You da kettle; me the pot. Drop your leftwing moonbat mindset and think outside the DNC talking points for a bit, ok?

    I think GP’s post has it nailed to the wall and it ain’t squirming. And that pisses you off. Fair enough?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 6, 2006 @ 9:41 am - January 6, 2006

  5. Dude, that response doesn’t even make sense. Seriously.

    Comment by RealValues — January 6, 2006 @ 9:49 am - January 6, 2006

  6. O’Reillys’ “apoplexy” has become as tired and phony an act, as Lettermans’ smug irony.

    Comment by hank — January 6, 2006 @ 9:55 am - January 6, 2006

  7. Get over it. This victim-playing is tired. Letterman is a comedian, for chris sake.

    Comment by Jeremy — January 6, 2006 @ 10:02 am - January 6, 2006

  8. I had no problem with O’Reilly at first. In fact, I liked it many times when he interrupted guests that didn’t answer O’Reilly’s questions, but spout out crap unrelated to the question. I also liked that sometimes his opinions evolved as well. But he lost a lot of credibility points when he settled that lawsuit. Can’t watch him any more.

    Comment by Pat — January 6, 2006 @ 10:19 am - January 6, 2006

  9. #3 is a perfect example. No substance. No facts. No debate. Just name-calling.

    That said, I’ve always thought that Bill O’Reilly was a pompous windbag, and this doesn’t change that. But when Letterman said, (paraphrasing), “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, but I think 60% of what you say is crap,” that illustrates leftist debate perfectly: “I don’t care what the facts are, I just feel that you’re wrong.”

    I think people who are ruled by feelings can’t be persuaded by facts. Similarly, people who base their positions on facts are unlikely to be persuaded by ‘feelings.’

    Comment by V the K — January 6, 2006 @ 10:47 am - January 6, 2006

  10. O’Reilly’s worst “sin” IMHO is that he does way too frequently cut off those with whom he disagrees – and he himself “bloviates” too often.

    Still, I think that the guy does do more to present all sides of an issue much more than many other pundit shows do – and O’Reilly also will take positions that “traditional conservatives” would disavow. More than many, he seems to contemplate issues and try to weigh them fairly – not come to some canned response to them.

    What I most love, however, about those who routinely slam O’Reilly & Rush and other conservatives is that these slammers don’t even listen to the evil demons’ shows! “Oh, you’re sooooooooo unfair to people on your show,” they squeal. And how do they know this? Because others tell them so!

    Geesh.

    Comment by Peg K — January 6, 2006 @ 10:55 am - January 6, 2006

  11. Let me join those who can’t stand O’Reilly because he is so pompous / full of himself.

    I don’t mean to put down anyone who likes O’Reilly. I concede that, with a thin market for conservative voices out there, he probably manages to do some good.

    I like Rush more today than I did, say, 10-15 years ago. It’s probably mostly me having changed in my politics; his liberal-bashing makes more sense to me today. But I also believe Rush himself has improved, or learned not to do some of his (former) worst excesses.

    Sean Hannity I like a little bit, although, I wish like hell he would (1) stop talking over his guests, (2) stop ‘dumbing it down’ or repeating the same talking points so relentlessly.

    We all know gay people, and/or Left-liberals, who refer to Rush and Sean as “hate radio”. I tell those folks openly: sorry, but have you listened to the shows? Nuh-uh.

    Such people keep claiming that Rush/Sean say gay-negative things, but in about 18 months of semi-regular listening (let’s say a couple hours a week), I personally have yet to hear them even so much as mention a gay topic.

    And yeah they bash Left-liberal views a lot – but never anything that would deny a liberal’s First Amendment rights. Sean Hannity is sometimes even kind and sympathetic (though still disagreeing) with liberal callers and guests.

    Comment by Calarato — January 6, 2006 @ 11:29 am - January 6, 2006

  12. I see the same thing in the comments to this blog (and some of my e-mail) where readers, having heard about this gay conservative blog, decide savage us withouth having a clue as to what we believe. They misrepresent our points, oftentimes claiming we hold to ideas and policies we have criticized in previous posts — and on a number of occasions in the very post to which they attach their comments. (Though sometimes, our critics make solid arguments taking issue with the points we’ve made as some did in comments to my last post.)

    I always think of a good line from Monty Python that sums up this situation perfectly:

    “Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 6, 2006 @ 11:34 am - January 6, 2006

  13. According to the left (see #3) anyone who speaks up for themselves is guilty of “persecution syndrome” and should probably be quiet. Of course “anyone” does not include those on the left.

    I found Rush a few years ago, shortly after the War started. I was so depressed by what I was hearing on the tv news. One day a light bulb went off in my head. I remembered that my dad listened to am radio and was generally a happy guy. Somehow my mind made a connection there which led me to WLS talk radio in Chicago and a nice line up of conservative talk radio. It was such a huge relief to hear Rush talk about our country’s efforts in a positive and optimistic way. And I found it plain entertaining to hear him put silly reporters and democrats in their place. My general mood really improved!

    I became ever more disenchanted with the left which I had always felt I must be a part of. Since college I’d heard that Republicans, Conservatives and especially Rush are horrible, evil people. It was the constant drum beat of anti-right propaganda from the left that had me mired in the non-sense of a left-thinking world view for far too long. What a waste of time and energy!

    I still listen to Rush and now I watch O’Reilly regularly. I don’t always agree with them. But I find them entertaining. I do like how O’Reilly keeps guests on point. That can be lots of work when dealing with a leftist!

    I found Letterman to be pretty unpleasant. I especially disliked his smug assertion that Bill has no right to criticize Cindy Sheehan because he has not also lost a son in combat. What a stupid standard! But it’s what I’ve come to expect from the left. It’s just another thread in a web of tactics to stifle expression of opinion.

    Comment by Dave — January 6, 2006 @ 11:40 am - January 6, 2006

  14. RealValues, ok… let’s slow it down for you.

    No name calling needed, dude.

    The problem with your observation is that is was vapid, off-point, and sounded more like talking points from the DNC and the land of LibLeft than anything meaningful to the discussion. I made a stale, insubstantial post to underscore yours. I thought you’d get it given your rants elsewhere. Vapid.

    We’ll go slow.

    Reread GP’s post. His point, among many, is that when the LibLeft demeans sensible discourse from conservatives by characterizing it as “crap”, DaveyL tries to be a serious social commentator rather than what he actually is: a tv late night show host and sometime comedian. Good God, he’s swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

    Like many in the LaLaMSM land, he takes himself seriously and dude, that’s where JonStewart and others fall short of their gift. They think reading someone else’s material makes them insightful, hip, or meaningful. It’s only tv. And it’s tv for the late night crowd.

    RealValues, what bugged you about GPs post is that he’s right. You and the blogroll compatroits you huddle with miss the primary political trend of the last 30 yrs –America is moving to the right in the political spectrum. And you can’t handle it. You scream, foam, vent and decry the shear market support FoxNews, conservatives, and other “right wing” issues garner. It bugs you. It torments you.

    That’s why your and your blogroll compatriots are still nailed to the wall and squirming. And you don’t like it.

    Slow enough for you? I mean get serious, dude. In your first post –dismissing GPs observation– you did exactly what GP was pointing out. Kettle… pot… both black? GP offered in his post that DaveyL and others like him are “clueless” as to what conservative ideas are or why they dominant our culture –and you don’t get it, either.

    But it’s cool. Rant on with the DNC talking points.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 6, 2006 @ 12:28 pm - January 6, 2006

  15. Real Values, it is your comment in #3 that doesn’t make much sense. I’m not playing the victim, merely pointing out the facts. Thanks, Dave in #13, for nailing it when you note that the left accuses conservatives of being guilty of the “persecution syndrome” whenever we take issue with liberal attacks on our ideas (or their representatives).

    And because I have found Letterman far less entertaining, far less funny in fact, than he was in the 1980s and 1990s. I watch his show about as often as I watch O’Reilly’s.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 6, 2006 @ 12:30 pm - January 6, 2006

  16. I used to be a regular watcher of O’Reilly. I quit because I got tired of having to turn the TV volume down. Lots of times it seems as if the Fox network is the screaming network. Someone is always yelling about something. My primary beef with O’Reilly is that he always insists his is the “no spin” zone. It’s a tone of moral righteousness that he has not earned.

    I get all my news from the internet now. It’s just as timely and far more informative. I don’t think I watch more than 20 minutes of tv a week now. And allthough I’m a former TV addict, I don’t miss it a bit.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — January 6, 2006 @ 12:50 pm - January 6, 2006

  17. Me too GPW. They have honed their respective personas’ to the point (or rather a very dull edge) to where they are flip sides of the same ‘cartoon’ coin.
    The great thing? “Click”, and they’re gone:)

    Comment by hank — January 6, 2006 @ 12:52 pm - January 6, 2006

  18. #16 – Very funny, Gryph! (Since Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Mathews, etc. are the actual Kings of the Screamers.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 6, 2006 @ 1:28 pm - January 6, 2006

  19. Funny, isn’t it, how both the DNC and al-Qaeda are using the same talking points these days?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 6, 2006 @ 3:52 pm - January 6, 2006

  20. I have to agree with the screamfest observation. I used to watch the opinion type shows, but in general they all just seem to degenerate into guests and host screaming at and over each other. I would just rather read the paper, read the net, and read the comments sections at various blogs.

    O’Reilly is definitely arroggant and annoying at times, but I find the lefts assumption that conservatives automatically spew crap is even more so.

    Comment by Just Me — January 6, 2006 @ 4:18 pm - January 6, 2006

  21. On my way to the gym, I realized how much comment #3 proves a point of this post. How our critics label us without understanding our ideas. For while I criticize such liberals, in the very post to which this person attached his short screed, I noted that sometimes our critics make solid arguments and even cited the comments to a recent post as an example of such discourse.

    Guess, his anti-conservative “feeling” was so strong, he felt he didn’t need check the views of the person he was attacking.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 6, 2006 @ 5:44 pm - January 6, 2006

  22. Puh-leeze. Letterman hasn’t been funny for 10 years. Ever since the geezer’s wife had that baby a couple of years back, he’s apparently ‘found’ that the sun doesn’t rise and set on him. How quaint. How charming. How utterly vomit-inducing.

    I haven’t watched him since a few months after Sept. 11, 2001 when he started in on the Bush-bashing schtick. I don’t need to patronize morons with TV shows and, as his ratings over the past decade have proved, most Americans agree with me.

    Bottom line: Letterman’s just an angry old man who’s day in the sun has long past, the result of which are the kinds of bilious displays the likes of which we witnessed this past week. He deserves as much attention as the local crank who writes weekly letters to the local newspaper editor bitching about nothing in particular.

    Comment by glisteny — January 7, 2006 @ 12:36 am - January 7, 2006

  23. #12

    No it isn’t.

    😉

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 7, 2006 @ 1:20 am - January 7, 2006

  24. When one is a bloviating airhead like O’Reilly, it’s rare he gets his facts right. Like Pat Robertson, the two speak before they think (assuming either has cognitive abilities). And like Michael Moore on the Left, much of America finds little to interest them with idiots like these on the Right.

    Comment by Stephen — January 7, 2006 @ 6:26 am - January 7, 2006

  25. I am really getting into reading gaypatriot. Thanks!
    As for DL and BO’R… The hell with them both! I stopped watching TV completely (except for malcolm in middle, King of the Hill and Simpsons… local fox’s dinner line-up) about 4 years ago. Even then Letterman was a has been. People on TV/HOLLYWOOD should only be allowed 2 years of fame. I am now a talk show junky.
    Rush, Hannity, Savage and rarely Orielly. Rush knows his stuff and is right-on in his views on the MSM and the left. Hannity, who talks over his guests way, way too much, has good guests on. Savage rules! When he is on his game he is brilliant. Orielly… well, only when I am really bored.
    Anyway, who cares what letterman has to say. His audiences is the same as Howard Sterns (need i say more)… simpletons who easily laugh when prompted to.
    Turn off your TV’s and turn up your radios. TV Depresses me (except for the afore mentioned Fox dinner line-up) and Radio and the net entertain and inform me.

    Comment by gaywhatever — January 8, 2006 @ 6:00 pm - January 8, 2006

  26. Mr. Letterman left himself a convenient out. After he admitted to not waching O’Reilly, I was more than a little surprised that he could offer some type of critic. But he covered his A** nicely by saying he suspects 60% is crap. It is an opinion and left him some room to say that it is possible that there is some truth in the man.

    Or he could be like me, I hate O’Reilly and do not make a point to watch him, but I may listen to parts here and there. From these snippets, I can figure out when he is speaking out of his butthole and when he is a mouthpiece. Mr. Letterman may have watched just enough to get a similar gut feel.

    Comment by ralph — January 9, 2006 @ 4:55 am - January 9, 2006

  27. Dan,
    I am 15 years old and after reading this post I worry for my future generation. You complain about the left wing for jumping to conclusions. Yet in your article your doing the same thing. I’ll I hear is complaining from both sides and no real solutions. Is this what I have to look forward to when I get older? A bunch of complaining and whining? Who is better and who is worse? It sounds like nobody really grows up. If I wanted to hear complaining and whining I would listen to my brother. I wish I had real people to look up to. Where does the hate end? My mom raised me to be conservative but I don’t push my beliefs on others.

    Danille
    Palo High School

    Comment by Dani — September 14, 2008 @ 1:53 pm - September 14, 2008

  28. You should worry about your future. You’re being indoctrinated to accept the coming Muslim invasion and cultural breakdown of the US

    Comment by Vince P — September 14, 2008 @ 2:46 pm - September 14, 2008

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