Fate can be unkind to us at times. For me it is my inability to stay up much beyond 9pm anymore, except for those evenings when my body’s metabolism reacts to the one-too-many-cookies I had for my after-dinner treat. That’s a shame because now I will not be able to watch one of my favorite comedians who will be taking over the reins from David Letterman as he departs CBS’s “The Late Show”. But where fate taketh away it gives back in knowing that this late night change will likely irk one of my least favorite people.
I’m sure you are all aware that Stephen Colbert has been selected to replace David Letterman in 2015 as the host for CBS’s “The Late Show”. I can’t think of a better replacement but I know at least one person who is feeling some angst about this selection – FOX’s Bill O’Reilly.
Call it coincidence if you will but this move up the ladder for Colbert follows on the heels of what we might call an “O’Reilly bump”. Several nights ago it appears Bill O’Reilly was channeling American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer by attributing the “rampage” of UCONN students celebrating their team’s NCAA basketball championship to what O’Reilly sees as a “breakdown of respect for property and authority”. He asserts on his show that this comes from the “mindset [for] grievance and entitlement” because of the “myth” of inequality being pushed by Progressives in this country. According to O’Reilly this mindset is also responsible for high consumer prices and taxes, low wages, a sluggish job market leading people to “look for handouts”, the collapse of the traditional American family, our reluctance to go to war, a corrupt educational system and an entertainment industry that feeds our children “garbage”.
Whew! That was a lot of dot-connecting by O’Reilly to blame over-zealous student enthusiasms on the liberal, socialist Obama. But that is what those who work at the FOX network do. The casual observer will notice that this litany of complaints is the standard fare by FOX broadcasters who represent the GOP in their telecasts. The only thing O’Reilly seems to have omitted from his list is his “war on Christmas” rant.
Anyway, O’Reilly went on to point out how Steven Colbert was acting as an instigator of such disrespect after the satirization Colbert so marvelously does mimicking O’Reilly in his Comedy Central Show “The Colbert Report”. Here’s what got O’Reilly miffed.
In O’Reilly’s rant about Colbert he took a dig at the comedian by pointing out that “only about a million people watch his late night program …”. O’Reilly loves to tout FOX’s audience numbers as well as his own but the fact of the matter is that O’Reilly’s program may at best get 2-3 million people viewing his program on most given nights. Colbert’s jump to CBS will now match O’Reilly’s and depending on what precedes The Late Show, could well exceed those numbers.
THE HUMORLESS RIGHT WING
Remember back in 2007 when FOX tried to do a satire like Stewart’s The Daily Show? It was called the Half-hour News Hour and starred Dennis Miller and a couple of unknowns, Jenn Robertson and Kurt Long. It was so awwwfull that it flopped after barely making it through its original 15 episode run.
Why? For the same reason that Bill O’Reilly cried about how Colbert satirized him. The people at FOX take themselves too seriously and simply don’t know how to approach humor.
Needless to say the right-wing media is out to make sure none of their serious people begin to consider that Colbert has some gravitatis as a political satirist. I don’t think any of us would be surprised to find that the bloggers over at Breitbart’s do not find Colbert funny. Kyle Smith refers to him as a “low-rated” comedian who serves as “a Jester to the State and the elites that protect and feed off of The State.” But then Smith and his ilk tend to be in a continuous state of constipation. If the shit’s not coming out of the one end it has to come out of the other.
O’Reilly, who gets paid millions for his rambling ideological metrics served up with extreme doses of hyperbole, has the gall to define Colbert as a “deceeeeeiver” who is “misguided in the extreme”. What people like he and Kyle Smith can’t seem to grasp is that Colbert is not trying to be serious like they are, nor do people rely on his sketches to guide them in forming life long social and political views that affect their voice at town hall meetings or in the voting booths, as do too many people who tune in to the O’Reilly Factor each week. Those who do on either side of this issue are simply fools.
O’Reilly, Smith and all the other serious people should take a page out of Colbert’s book on how to turn criticism around and play it back on those who try to piss on you.
Bing, bing, bing!