Sunday, June 8, 2008

O’Reilly’s Ambusher Gets Whacked

Via Crooks & Liars: At the National Conference for Media Reform, Bill O'Reilly producer Porter Barry ambushes journalist Bill Moyers and asks him why he won't appear on The O'Reilly Factor. Moyers, a class act to the last, makes Barry look like the small and petty man he is. But the joke is on Barry, because other journalists turned tables on ol’ Porter and gave him a little taste of the FOX News-style ambush journalism.

The Moderate Voice weighs in:

1. Moyers correctly notes that “Bill is not a journalist, he’s a pugilist…”

2. O’Reilly’s producer starts playing the victim card when he is put on the defensive.

3. In the 70s and 80s there was a controversy over “ambush journalism.” Now there is the “ambush talk show segment.” Same idea (the glare of the camera will make someone agree to talk or else they’ll look bad and guilty) but the goal is to score a pre-arranged ideological point.

4. Note that the O’Reilly producer won’t engage extensively on the question of the kind of show O’Reilly’s show is and what O’Reilly is (he is an ideological entertainer-broadcaster in his present incarnation). It becomes a choice of if you don’t go on Bill’s show you have something to hide or must be afraid — rather than the possibility that some people don’t want to appear on his show due to what the show actually is (and it IS highly entertaining).