Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bill O'Reilly vs. Scott McClellan

I have to admit, I don't know exactly where I stand on Bill O'Reilly. This is surprising, because I have always felt pretty confident on developing my views of individuals and Bill O'Reilly has certainly given me plenty of material to work with. However, O'Reilly is gruff and he is as quick to take on a friend as he is a foe (part of his effort to maintain a no-spin zone). However, his performance last night on the Factor is, without question, one of the finest I have seen on any interview program.

O'Reilly's guest was Scott McClellan, the former White House Press Secretary that many see as a Benedict Arnold in his own right. McClellan's book is scandalous, not so much of its depiction of the things he saw and hated in the White House, but because of what he wrote about those years. Strong individuals tell their bosses that they disagree with what they have seen. If that doesn't work, they turn in their resignations and get a job somewhere else. They don't write about it, because who wants to admit that they were so weak that they stayed in a situation they despised (in McClellan's case) for years? That reflects far more poorly on McClellan than the people in the White House he attacks.
In the interview, O'Reilly was masterful at putting McClellan at ease and even finding areas to affirm him on a personal level at the beginning. Then he systematically challenged McClellan's approach to his topic, considered outside influences that may have altered the wayward Press Secretary's views (in other words, those views not actually being McClellan's), and left the audience wondering about the integrity of the process behind this controversial book. McClellan tried desperately (and obviously) to adhere to talking points planned in advance. It wasn't pretty. I can't do the interview justice. It must be seen to be appreciated. This interview helped me understand a little more why O'Reilly's show is the highest rated news program on cable.
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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous John Gill said...

I saw the interview too. Very strong.

3:11 PM  

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