I came from a bipartisan household. Mom was an old-school Republican, and Nana was a true-blue Democrat. She and I would watch the afternoon news & talk shows, and later, she and Mom would debate the day's events over dinner. When I was real young, I'd interrupt and demand they "stop fighting!", only to be greeted with warm laughter and assurances that they were "just arguing". Getting my 5-year old head around that distinction, I'm sure, had a formative impact on me, but I digress...
One of Nana's favorite shows was Phil Donahue's chat program. She taught me all about hollering back at the TV, whether in passionate support or scathing disagreement (normally with a panel guest), and I grew up thinking that's how everyone reacted to politics: With Passion.
In the years since, I've obviously discovered that this is not, in fact, the case. The MSM (Fox especially, the bastards) have played this "fairness" thing to such an absurd degree that issues are presented as inherently balanced, no matter what the realities -- see: "teach the (ID) controversy" for an example. In trying to make sure that "both sides" are covered, the MSM doles out credibility to a host of absurdities and falsehoods like cheap Halloween candy. (Something I was pleased to hear Andrea Mitchell cop to on Bill Maher last night, incidentally). The only strong opinions we get anymore are of the Bill O'Reilly variety, over which I'd generally prefer a strict diet of boogers.
This clip has gotten a lot of blog attention, and finally having had a chance to watch it, the reasons why are obvious. Probably thinking he could bully him into a cowering ball under the desk, Bill O'Reilly had Phil Donahue on his show the other day. Their exchange may very well be the best thing I've ever seen on Fox. Phil hollers at "Billy" throughout, saying he won't be intimidated and that he's not "another Jeremy Glick".
Crooks and Liars has the video clip and News Hounds has the transcript (my thanks to both).
Seeing this makes me miss the irreverent Mr. Donahue more than ever, and I like to think that if there's a shift coming in the MSM, the end result will include his new show.