The first thing the viewer notices about O'Reilly, in addition to his habit of not even making a pretense of objective journalism, is his substitution of bluster and attitude for presentation of fact and ad hominem attacks on his guests for reasoned argument. Of course this is due to the fact that in 99 out 100 programs, O'Reilly has no argument on which to base his rants, something that quickly becomes apparent to even the most casual viewer of his program. Frequent libertarian guests such as Congressman Ron Paul and Judge Napolitano routinely rip O'Reilly's warped neoconservative screeds to shreds, which is why O'Reilly never lets any of his guests who disagree with him (i.e., most of them) finish a sentence; to do so would expose him as the acerebral bloviator that he clearly is. Think of him as the Morton Downey, Jr. of “serious” cable news networks (complete with occasional outbursts of profanity, as this off-air clip from May, 2208 shows). While this is not Judge Napolitano's first appearance on O'Reilly's program, it ought to be his last. To appear again on again O'Reilly's program is to confer upon it a respect and dignity it doesn't deserve.
The subject of O'Reilly's “interview” was the impending criminal trial in New York of the self-confessed “planner” of the 911 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and several of his associates, recently captured in Pakistan and extradited to United States. O'Reilly, like the rest of his neocon cohorts, is dead set against the idea of trying these men in U.S. civilian courts, quite possibly due to the fact that he, like the government he professes to hate but in fact worships, is horrified at the prospect of such a trial forcing the U.S. government to product evidence of the men's guilt that it doesn't have. Judge Napolitano, a man of great judicial experience, attempted to explain to O'Reilly why he thought that it was absolutely the proper course of action to try these men in civilian court. O'Reilly, true to form, and horrified at the idea of being made to look the idiot that he is, cut the judge off mid-sentence during each answer, liberally and patronizingly firing off his favorite term, “pinhead”, in an attempt to demean the judge. It didn't work, as the judge maintained the calm, dignified composure for which he is well known, making O'Reilly look again like the classless thug he is. While O'Reilly apparently shocked many viewers with his deprecatory dismissal of the Constitution and the rights that it guarantees everyone accused of a crime by the government (even neoconservative fascists who despise it and would deny its protections to those they hate), that really didn't alarm me at all, and shouldn't have alarmed anyone who has seen O'Reilly in action even once. Hatred of the Constitution is, after all, a key tenet of the neocon creed, their loud and belligerent assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. What should horrify every decent American who values liberty and the rule of law is that a crass thug like O'Reilly represents not only the reigning Establishment (whatever its partisan label), but a huge percentage of the compliant, belligerent, bigoted, ignorant television-fed sheeple who allow it keep its grip on and expand its power.
I truly look forward to the day when O'Reilly is compelled to appear on someone else's program and gets a taste of his own verbal medicine. Alas, that's unlikely to happen, and for two reasons. First, O'Reilly is far too much of an intellectually and morally bankrupt coward to allow himself to be given his own medicine, especially in a venue not under his complete control. Second, I'm hard pressed to think of a reputable talk news show host as classless and tactless on air as O'Reilly, which would be
a prerequisite to any such "medication." I guess we can always dream, though, can't we?
Meanwhile, let us all continue to support Judge Napolitano, who has apparently garnered such high viewer ratings on his internet Freedom Watch program that Fox is considering promoting his show to the Fox News channel (thanks to the Future of Freedom Foundation's Jacob Hornberger for this update). What a coup that would be! It would be even sweeter if O'Reilly's ratings tanked at the same time to the point where his show was canceled.
Again, we can always dream!