Monday, March 01, 2010

What Bill O'Reilly edited out of his interviews with Jon Stewart: Total evisceration!

Orcinus back in the first week of February:

If you thought, after watching the two segments of Jon Stewart's interview with Bill O'Reilly this week, that Stewart landed some telling observations, but he seemed to pull his punches a bit -- or at least they seemed to have been pulled for him -- you were right.

If you also noticed, as I did while making the clip, that the segments were pretty hamhandedly edited -- the continuity, especially in terms of Stewart's demeanor, was jarring -- it turns out you were also right.

Fox actually put the entire, unedited version of the interview up on its site, and the difference is jaw-dropping.

John Cook at Gawker (with the help of a couple of interns) got ahold of the full interview first, and provides a nice dissection that you should read (and watch) in full.

We've clipped some of the highlights for our own video, above.

If nothing else, the unedited video will be long remembered for the following quip:

I know what this is. I come from Jersey—it's the same thing: "I'm not saying your mother's a whore. I'm just saying she has sex for money. With people." [F]ox News used to be all about, you don't criticize a president during wartime. It's unacceptable, it's treasonous, it gives aid and comfort to the enemy. All of a sudden, for some reason you can run out there and say, "Barack Obama is destroying the fabric of this country."
More here, including video of the exchange.

How did did I miss this? Oh yeah, that's right. I, along with the rest of the New Orleans area, was gearing up for both the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. You can't blame a guy for having his priorities, can you? Well, I'm paying attention now.

No surprise that Bill O'Reilly would play fast and loose with the interview in terms of editing. After all, that's the big butthole's method of operations. For years, he's taken more than full advantage of the fact that it's his show, in his studio, pushing his ideas. Usually, this doesn't go much further than interviewing softball "liberals," who understand that they don't get to be on TV if they don't play by the house rules, or using the interview format to enable views of conservatives with whom O'Reilly agrees. But on several occasions the butthole has shown himself to be totally willing to go so far as literally turning off the microphone for guests who decide to not play by house rules. He likes to yell, too, when his "interviews" go off the beaten path.

Of course, Stewart presents O'Reilly with a problem. The butthole knows that bringing him on the show is good for ratings, and boasting rights, too, if O'Reilly can score some some legitimate debating points. But the tried and true tactics he usually uses won't work with someone like Stewart. He's too smart and too liberal to stay on script. He's too respected and popular to be the target of butthole rage. And you just can't turn the mike off on Stewart--I mean, how would that play the next day on The Daily Show?

So O'Reilly resorts to editing. Really, this wasn't such a good idea, given that the conversation breaks were so obvious, but I suppose it was the least worst idea from FOX's point of view.

Anyway, go check it out. If you click through, you can see six minutes worth of editing room floor highlights, but there are also links to the version that aired on FOX, as well as to the full unedited version. Nothing like watching a TV guy I love skewering a TV guy I love to hate.