Saturday, October 28, 2006

David Letterman vs. Bill O'Reilly

This past week entertainment talk show host, David Letterman, got in a huge verbal jousting with political talk show host, Bill O'Reilly, about the Iraq War.

Twenty years ago I was a HUGE fan of Letterman. I found his sense of humour very dry and hilarious. But I haven't seen his show in years. I did make a point of seeing this segment though.

In many ways, it offered a perfect example of the huge debate that Americans are going through right now about what to do with the situation in Iraq. Letterman's answer is to pull all the troops home immediately. But O'Reilly asked a very important question: "And then what?" The answer, of course, is that Iran and Syria would immediately move in and quash the fledgling democracy, just like their proxies are trying to do now. This would greatly inspire the Muslim terrorists in every corner of the world and, I fear, signal the start of a much wider, much more dangerous conflict.

As O'Reilly said, people don't want to think about such possibilities. So many of us are so comfortable in our lives, exactly like they have been since WW2. But it's a very dangerous world out there and I, for one, have never believed that our freedom and lifestyle is guaranteed by doing nothing.

I was most disappointed that Letterman had not taken the time to prepare himself for the interview. He admitted that he does not really follow the news. This again is very representative of the public at large: They read headlines but never take the time to read more about the complexity of the issues, let alone to think about them. This is terribly sad because there can't be true debate when only one side has any semblance of facts and the other is just speaking from emotion and uttering 'talking points' - prepared soundbites that sound really good but which they can't at all back up.

P.S. A great article on the far-sighted vs. the blind can be read here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have never watched Letterman, but I found your post interesting. It made me wonder what people like Letterman would say if they are asked if they support the troops. Here in Canada, I had a discussion with a lefty who was adamant that he supports our troops so much that he doesn't want them to die in Afghanistan. I found that quite odd. He supports the troops but doesn't want them to act like troops.

John M Reynolds