Friday, January 19, 2007

O'Reilly Vs. Colbert: It's A Tie

Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert guested on each other's shows last night and it was a friendly, amusing affair. Both treated the situation with the right amount of mock seriousness, with Colbert never blinking in his love and admiration for Papa Bear O'Reilly. (Anything else would have been grossly out of character.) O'Reilly MIGHT have grilled Colbert on his routine in front of Bush at that annual reporter's event and he could have done it in a way that wasn't off-putting. But he didn't. On Colbert's show, O'Reilly continued in a good humor as Colbert showed a picture of O'Reilly's face photoshopped onto a muscle guy in tight shorts, showed off an O'Reilly painting and teased more since he was on home turf. No word on the ratings yet.

If you watched all of O'Reilly, two things struck me. One, the idiots O'Reilly had on to discuss the popularity of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Two, the hot water O'Reilly was in for discussing the poor kid in the kidnapping case and wondering aloud "based on the facts" as O'Reilly repeatedly said, as to why he didn't run away and whether he enjoyed not going to school and playing video games all day. O'Reilly isn't alone in this: the front page of USA Today asked the same question (which left me aghast) and countless reports raised the same question. The fact that the answers as to why are myriad, obvious and speculative don't seem to bother anyone. Obviously, if the kid was molested he might have felt ashamed to come home. He might also have felt ashamed for getting kidnapped and every day he DIDN'T get away increased that shame and feeling he should never have let it happen and should have run away before, making it HARDER to do so now. There's a third kid that vile man might have kidnapped and for all we know this kid watched that other kid be molested and killed. Gee, think that might upset and frighten him? However this kid coped by shutting down in a nightmarish situation, God bless him. The reasons why he felt incapable of running away are something for him and his psychiatrist and family to deal with privately, though it will all come out in court I'm sure. O'Reilly was on better grounds saying he never would have brought his kid on Oprah, but in the same breath saying if he had been offered the interview he would have taken it as well.

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