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The only difference between Colbert and O'Reilly

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Initial post: Sep 2, 2007 12:57:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2007 12:59:02 PM PDT
The only difference between The Colbert Report and The O'Reilly Factor is that the audience at the Colbert Report understands that the host is supposed to be laughed at.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2007 1:22:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2007 1:23:44 AM PDT
Now you're just being silly...

When Colbert gets laughs it is from statements that are much more off the wall than the things O'Reilly says on the Factor.

I mean, give me ONE example of a statement O'Reilly has made in earnest that would've worked as a laugh line for Colbert.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2007 6:12:46 AM PDT
"If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.'" -FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, after San Francisco voted to ban military recruiters from city schools, Nov. 8, 2005

At the end of a discussion about violence against women on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly tells Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: "All right. Well, I think that's an offensive comment, but that's all right. You're entitled to it. This is America. And we have freedom here to say that. But if we didn't fight for that freedom, professor, you would be going like this: 'Heil Hitler.' And we appreciate your time." March 8 2002

"If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?" -on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, March 18, 2003

I could go on forever. Most of O'Reilly's lines can be repeated verbatim by Colbert and it would be hilarious. Half of Colbert's bits are rehashes of O'Reillys. This last week it was on O'Reilly calling the Daily Kos "like the Nazi Party.. like the KKK". You just can't get any funnier then that.

But there are whole websites dedicated to O'Reilly's ridiculous quotes if you are interested. Of course if you are a die-hard O'Reilly lover, there is nothing that I can say to convince you otherwise. Just know that the longer he is on the air the more outrageous he has to be to keep his audience. At some point he just ends up being Jerry Springer with a Neoconservative message and book publisher.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007 3:57:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2007 4:02:33 AM PDT
It was obvious from the context that when O'Reilly meant Daily Kos is like the Nazi Party in terms of the consistency and intensity of the hatred expressed in its Political Rhetoric.

Now I don't know if you know this or not, but very often when people use the word "Like", it's a sign they're using a Simile, and a Simile is defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica as a "figure of speech involving a comparison between two unlike entities."

In other words, it is very possible to say A is like B even if A and B are different in very significant ways (so long as they are meaningfully similar in a key point).

Now I'll admit that if some group was like the Nazis in terms of something relatively trivial like being in favor of a ban on Smoking, saying they're "like the Nazis" would be something to be avoided by the fair-minded (even if it would be, strictly speaking, an accurate statement). However, when we're talking about Hatefulness in Political Rhetoric, we're talking about a CENTRAL trait of the Nazi Party, and one which certainly played a causative role in the monumental bloodshed their rule led to (this is not to say that the excessive Political Rhetoric of necessity led to the Bloodshed, certainly, only that without the Rhetoric it is almost impossible to imagine the Bloodshed occurring).

Now of course it should be understood that highly hate-filled rhetoric doesn't always lead to horrific bloodshed. For instance, the renowned German Statesman Otto von Bismarck unloaded a great deal of very hateful rhetoric on his political opponents and yet he and his followers failed to perpetuate great bloodshed upon them.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that many Mainstream Historians feel that Bismarck normalized hateful and coarse political rhetoric in Germany by his bad example and that without this normalization of coarse rhetoric, there would've been a far greater chance that the Nazis and their excessively hate-filled rhetoric would have been rejected by the German Polis and that a great Historical Tragedy would've been averted.

And please bear in mind that the Nazis weren't really the Political Descendants of Bismarck (however, that CERTAINLY didn't stop them from benefiting from Bismarck's reckless undermining of useful Political Speech Taboos).

Now if it is your viewpoint that O'Reilly Historical Analogy between the Hatefulness of the Political Rhetoric of The Daily Kos and the Nazi Party is inaccurate and/or invalid, then it would behoove you greatly to make evidence based arguments in favor of the proposition that O'Reilly's analogy is inaccurate and/or invalid.

Now as for your statement that O'Reilly will have to get more and more outrageous to keep his audience, I am extremely skeptical of its truthfulness given that:

1. My understanding is that The O'Reilly Factor is doing exceedingly well in the Ratings as of late (for instance, it has been reported in major newspapers that he Dominates his Timeslot, beating every other Cable News Program on ratings).


2. I have not noticed anything resembling an amping up of the Outrageousness of the O'Reilly Factor as of late.

Now if it's true that O'Reilly is doing very well in the ratings as late (after having been on the air for a good long time) and that he has accomplished this without amping up the outrageousness, what basis in reality do you have for your prediction that O'Reilly will have to amp up the outrageousness to keep his audience?

And if those two statements are inaccurate, can you provide me with evidence that they are inaccurate?

And in conclusion, in reference to your evident belief that O'Reilly is on the road to becoming the next Jerry Springer, I ask you one simple question:

"When has a Scientist of Richard Dawkins' importance and eminence ever appeared on the Jerry Springer Show?"

Thank you in advance for any answers you may provide.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2007 11:01:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2007 8:38:37 AM PDT
I can't believe you are trying to rationalize and defend a comment like that. Do you have any idea how desperate and sad you sound? Hitler's party killed 5 million Jews, caused one of the largest wars this world has ever seen, and left a scar on several generations. The Daily Kos is a website that lets anyone put up anything they want in a completely open and Democratic manner. To think that some random person online saying outlandish things is in any way equal to the level of gassing, beating, and torturing five million souls is pure bull and you know it. Don't defend O'Reilly's hopeless tactics to label everyone who doesn't have his neoconservative mindset as pure evil, you are better then that.

Why does he do it? Basically it comes down to the fact that he didn't like what they were saying, but didn't have enough of an argument or intellect to convince anyone else that what they were saying was actually that bad. It is his way of telling the world that he just doesn't have the brains to make some random nobody's comments on an open forum as evil as he sees them. Anytime you hear anyone claiming that someone is "like Hitler", "like the Nazi Party", or even "like the Ku Klux Klan", just know that they are a dimwitted person desperately trying to make you believe something that is not true. People who compare anyone to Hitler are so filled with hate that they want to destroy our very constitution so that they could ban the free speech that they do not agree with. These are the true people who hate our country and our way of life.

Dominating his time slot means nothing. Everyone from The Simpsons, to I Love Lucy, to, well, Jerry Springer, have spent time dominating theirs. In no way does that mean that I am going to look to Lucile Ball for information on the events in Darfur -- it just means that they are entertaining. I also loved that you add "as of late" to show that you know that he's said all sorts of "outrageousness" to get where he is. Also, The Jerry Springer Show, which I am in no way defending against being absolutely repugnant, has had guest such as Jessie Jackson and Oliver North. And if you've ever seen The Da Ali G Show with guests such as Dr. C. Everett Koop, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, all the way to Buzz Aldrin, you know that credible guests do not make a show credible.

Bill O'Reilly is nothing more then political infotainment with a extremist neoconservative bend. I feel sorry for you if you don't see the real reasons behind The Colbert Report. It is to mock the overall "outrageous" behavior of Bill O'Reilly and his ilk. It is to point out the absolute absurdity of Bill O'Reilly. We know that the only difference between the two shows is that Stephen knows he's joking when he repeats Bill. Or to quote from the appearance of Bill O'Reilly on the Colbert Report, O'Reilly: is it tough being me? Colbert: It's hard for me to be you. I'll tell you that much. Good grief, even Bill gets what you don't.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007 11:14:01 AM PDT
Carter Adler says:
My favorite was a week or two ago (August 2007), when O'Reilly kept repeating that he didn't want ALL illegal immigrants arrested, just those who break our laws.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007 11:24:56 AM PDT
Molly R. says:
I agree with your assertion that comparing Hitler to anything democratic is ludicrous, but let's not FORGET the behavior and actions that allowed him to come into power. It took a national incident, threats of terrorism to make immediate laws to limit freedom and an all too willing population. When I visited Dachau, the monument says "Never Again". I agree with that yet we can't forget how it happened if we are truly never going to let it happen again (We have black sites, torture and "dissappeareds"; no one is doing anything about it). So, in my opinion we should notice similar opportunities that lead evil men into power. It might not be as devastating and sick as 8-11 million dead this time, but it might not be completely race based this time - it could happen again, and we should never forget how it happened.

And to the O'Reilly supporter...let's not confuse Democracy with Communism - Just because he has high ratings doesn't mean he is stating facts. On American Idol, the ratings are high - but the fact is there is not one ounce of talent on that show, lest you believe they are stating facts just because their ratings are high. You are being entertained by reactionary snaps and quips by O'Reilly of his hate du jour. He creates imaginary threats because some people always want someone to hate (gays, women, "ethnics", etc.) He gives it to you and you eat it up. I quite like having someone parody his silliness. It points out the ludicrousness of his claims, and makes staunch O'Reilly supporters either 1) feel silly and smarten up or 2) close off from reality even more, thereby allowing O'Reily to serve up some more threats about learning anything from facts. And they say democrats are whinters and complainers. That is all I have ever heard come out of O'Reillys mouth.

Stephen Colbert on facts:
"that's because you looked it up in a book, next time try looking it up in your gut"

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007 11:25:19 AM PDT
Molly R. says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007 11:25:20 AM PDT
Molly R. says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2007 12:26:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2007 12:52:43 AM PDT
Wow! William Seiter, you have clearly articulated and demonstrated that you are Bill O'Reilly's soul mate! Faux News Alert, a great deal of us actually laugh at you (not unlike we laugh at Bill O'Reilly) not with you. Brian Hamilton is correct in stating that O'Reilly is like Jerry Springer. I have another comparison...

Bill O'Reilly is like (similie which you demonstrated) Howard Stern. The more he more and more outrageous, then more and more people watch him. It is a proven fact that half the people that listen to Howard Stern are outraged by the things he and his guests say and do, we hate it. But those of us in that category listen because we want to see what crazy thing he is going to say or do next. All that matters is ratings, they don't care if it's people who approve or disapprove of what they are doing. The more controversial, the higher the ratings. The higher the ratings, the richer everyone gets.

Same with Bill O'Reilly! I Tivo him (because I appreciate the mind of Keith Olberman and prefer to watch him live) & watch O'Reilly later on even though I disagree with half of the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. He is rude to guests, shouts at them, regardless of whether they are respected senators or just reporters who are there to support his very own view point. He does this as shtick. It is what gets his ratings up. He throws softballs to Republican candiates who come on his show such as Rudy Guliani and does not question his position on sanctuary cities in NYC as mayor. Yet, O'Reilly rails about illegal immigration and sanctuary cities every single episode!

He is a total hypocrite! And when someone actually comes on his show and points out his hypocricy, he shouts at them, calls them a liar and then cuts off their mike. I have seen it hapen 3 times in the last few months. If you don't believe me, request his transcripts. Sara Carter, Washington Post reporter week of 9/7/07, as well as Jane from his Bernie and Jane segments, and a kid who came on from Boulder high school to talk about the liberal sex and and drug seminar the students had to attend. Anyone who watches his show nightly knows he does it. So, many of us watching think he is a joke. Yes, I agree with him on a few issues, but for the most part I don't, and for him to claim to be fair and balanced is a outright contradiction in terms. He is the most biased person on televsion,aside from Sean Hannity.

He laughs all the way to the bank, half of us scream at the tv, and the rest of you drink the Kool Aid and believe everything he says is true. NO Spin Zone??? Please, he spins everything far far to right. If you are a neconservative, that's fine, but call it what it is, and fair and balanced it is not. He is PURE spin. Don't delude yourself.

"Bill O'Reilly is nothing more then political infotainment with a extremist neoconservative bend" states Brian Hamilton. Exactly!
Colbert IS so funny because he is mocking Bill O'Reilly, & those of you who don't see that really need to open your minds.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2007 9:38:59 AM PDT
COME ON! Everything said by William Seiter is valid for a discussion and he politely uses logic and reason to make his points. The rest of you are just showing that a public school education has not equiped you to counter his assersions with anything other than "your gut". I can't believe this guy had 0 votes for adding to the discussion when it fact he is the discussion. The rest of you are preaching to the choir using your gut in place of your brain. Obviously, Stephen's advice about just using you gut and not your brain has been put in play. I'll give you the last word!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2007 5:25:36 PM PDT
For years we just rolled our eyes, shook our heads, and knew that this whole Neoconservative thing would end poorly -- and it is finally in the process of ending now. Between the hypocrisy, the lying, and the abject failure of the policy changes, we've needed something, anything, to show us that we are not alone for avoiding the O'Reilly/Neoconservative Kool-Aid.

We, the Colbert audience, know exactly what people like O'Reilly are going to say on any given subject. People like Seiter must believe almost everything O'Reilly says so that we can laugh when Colbert mocks that blind faith. And when O'Reilly becomes completely irreverent, Colbert will, unfortunately, loose his appeal.

So just because something is valid for a discussion doesn't mean that it's credible or right in the least. It just means that it is a different point of view. And in my view, he was hilariously wrong. I mean, defending O'Reilly calling people "like Hitler"? Pretending that O'Reilly doesn't say absolutely outlandish things when we all know that there is video of it online? Watching O'Reilly's hatred expressed as political rhetoric everyday and not being able to identify it as hate filled political rhetoric? Don't pretend that Seiter didn't have it coming. If it hadn't been me, it would have been any of the other 90% of people who will read this board.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 6:55:23 AM PDT
matt says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 12:44:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2007 12:47:05 PM PDT
Show up late, claim the other person is a liberal and therefore not worth arguing with, and then insult them on your way out the door. Sorry, but those tactics are both played out and sad. Even Stephen Colbert doesn't use this approach on his show anymore. We've all moved past it and just use quotes now. That is why I posted all of those O'Reilly quotes to show him that was William was claiming was incorrect. If you need, I can probably find the videos. But I have this strange feeling that you could have been two feet away from him at that shows and would still not admit that O'Reilly says some hilariously inane things. Now if you would like, go ahead and call me a liberal, tell me that you refuse to argue with me because of it, and then leave quickly again. Whatever makes you feel justified and intelligent.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 10:08:22 PM PDT
LuKasAV6 says:
Here's another O'Reilly quote - "I was wrong. I am not pleased about it..." -on ABC's "Good Morning America," making good on his promise to publicly apologize if WMDs were not found Iraq, Feb. 10, 2004.

Shouldn't he be pleased that he was wrong? Or maybe it's more important to be right in the land of O'Reilly. We could list laughable, nonsensical O'Reilly quotes for eons.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2007 2:18:53 PM PDT
"...when O'Reilly becomes completely irreverent..."

Brian, your claims about O'Reilly's coming irrelevance on this thread have a history of irrationality, and thus they lack credibility.

For instance, you claimed O'Reilly would have to keep getting more and more outrageous to keep his audience in spite of the obvious fact that he hasn't increased his outrageousness lately, and has actually gained audience.

I mean, if you're hiding a reason for your predictions besides mere weak-minded wishful thinking, let me know.

Also, your reference to Da Ali G show getting certain well thought of guests is foolish given that they were invited on the show under false pretences; by which I mean they thought the show was serious and not a comedy show.

Even more importantly, they very clearly had never seen the program (which they thought was some Youth-Pandering show trying to get them interested in Politics), and thus their decision to appear simply could not be accounted an endorsement of it.

In contrast, Dawkins obviously would've seen The O'Reilly Factor before agreeing to go on it, and thus his decision to do so can reasonably be accounted, at the very least, an action that so sophisticated a man as Dawkins would not have undertaken unless he was essentially okay with legitimizing The Factor.

Anyway, more interesting than all this is the complete failure of any of the Anti-O'Reilly people here to make an argument against (or even a denial of) the proposition that the Daily Kos' Rhetoric is as consistently and intensely hateful as the Rhetoric of the Nazis was.

This is either a sad commentary on the Daily Kos, or a sad comment on the Anti-O'Reilly people who've posted here.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2007 12:17:21 PM PDT
J. Jones says:
"Anyway, more interesting than all this is the complete failure of any of the Anti-O'Reilly people here to make an argument against (or even a denial of) the proposition that the Daily Kos' Rhetoric is as consistently and intensely hateful as the Rhetoric of the Nazis was."

More interesting is your lack of evidence to back up O'Reilly's claim about Daily Kos. O'Reilly's minions stalked Daily Kos to cherry-pick any sort of outrageous comments made by a few users (possibly Republican trolls) out of the hundreds of thousands of active visitors. First of all, it is impossible to police every registered user of Daily Kos; second, neither you nor O'Reilly have any evidence of front-page Daily Kos diarists who use the "intensely hateful" rhetoric you and O'Reilly reference. When you can produce something worth denying, I might believe you have an argument. Until then, you--like O'Reilly--are just spouting nonsense.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2007 7:22:02 AM PDT
p24t says:
All O'Reilly does is spew more hate. Whether I think he's wrong or not (I do), feeding hate is his only job. "People want someone to hate" - wrong. People can band together because of hate (see Bill's mentions, KKK, Nazi, etc) - but this is also a known tactic to draw attention away from other, more important things.

The Germans were convinced to hate the Jewish, so they ignored what their government was doing. How many people do you know who dislike / hate Muslims? Even just the ones in the Middle East. Hatred is a powerful tool, and people are easily manipulated.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2007 9:13:36 PM PDT
Actually, O'Reilly's ratings are falling while Keith Olbermann's are rising rapidly. In fact, he beat Bill-O in the ratings earlier this month.

More importantly, he beats him in the all-important (to advertisers) 25-54 demographic.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2007 3:55:05 PM PDT
Brian H. says:
Wow. Public school education? What a douche.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2007 6:24:12 PM PDT
I feel that the difference between O'reilly and Colbert is that...Colbert is handsome and funny, while O'reilly is creepy and offinsive. Thank God for the handsome people otherwise 90% of America wouldn't give waste 2 mins to post a pointless blog.
May the love of Colbert follow you always.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2007 6:26:57 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2007 5:17:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2007 5:19:17 PM PDT
J. Jones,

Where is your evidence that O'Reilly's "Minions" got him the offensive Daily Kos postings? I assume O'Reilly knows how to use the internet and if I am right in that assumption he could've EASILY found hundreds of highly hateful postings anytime he had a couple hours free.

Also, it would in fact be very easy for Daily Kos to police every registered poster's posts on Daily Kos as EVERY post onto their site has to go through them to get on said site.

Also, didn't Zuniga respond to the deaths of Military Contractors in Iraq with a hateful vulgarity directed toward the dead individuals?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2007 5:29:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2007 5:35:30 PM PDT
"Actually, O'Reilly's ratings are falling while Keith Olbermann's are rising rapidly."

Over what period of time did this alleged trend start? (Without that information, the highly convenient claim of this post cannot easily be evaluated for truthfulness.)

"In fact, he beat Bill-O in the ratings earlier this month."

One victory out of thousands of match-ups! You really knocked my socks off, man... Funny how the trend supposedly is that O'Reilly goes down while Olber goes up and yet Left is Right says Olber won one month ago while somehow managing not to repeat his victory.

Evidently the precious trend broke down and died.

"More importantly, he beats him in the all-important (to advertisers) 25-54 demographic."

Of what possible relevance is that? The younger someone is the more likely they may be to fritter away their money on this and that, but they're also much less likely to vote.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2007 6:11:25 PM PDT
asphlex says:
Going back to the initial germ of this discussion, focusing more on Colbert-as-parody of O'Reilly instead of an increasingly shrill and petty (on every side) debate, complete with ultimately meaningless statistics that can be used to support whatever point whomever wishes to make--in going back to the initial comparison I have to say that I believe this whole argument is wrong.

No, Bill O'Reilly and every other politically biased talk show host (from whichever side of the political spectrum) are frankly nothing more than drive time sports talk show hosts. They bloat a smug and self-righteous opinion in terms of absolute certainty, rip apart anyone who disagrees with them, hang up on callers (or cut the mike on in studio guests) without informing the audience of having done so and then lambast the presumed ignorance of this defenseless victim for a few moments longer until the audience believes the hosts has rendered the opposition both moot and utterly silent.

Political talk shows are nothing more than rabid Yankees fans or Cowboys fans or name-your-college football fans or any other team of any other arena you wish to name (and politics, after all, are little more as the media displays them than a particularly virulent blood sport). Even the politicians reduce world affairs to cheap sports analogies, as though life and death, war and peace, economic stagnation or recovery were just some game, some stategic puzzle where part of the goal is to destroy all opposition.

This is who Bill O'Reilly is, a fan of the Republicans who gets drunk at the tailgate outside of the convention and throws down with the snivelling but equally vicious Democratic partisan at the SUV on the other side of the lot. That is surely the most apt simile to make my comparison.

Enjoy . . .
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Initial post:  Sep 2, 2007
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I Am America (And So Can You!) by Michael C. Brumm (Hardcover - October 9, 2007)
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