Two of the more colorful characters in Denver this week are "Fox News Guy," who carries a large, hand-lettered sign on cardboard bragging about the excellence of Fox News, and "Right Wing Deprogrammer," who carries a nicer sign and a "right wing dunce cap" and tries to rebut conservative memes.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be standing outside the Pepsi Center's "Green Zone" style security perimeter - the Secret Service having told me they'd never seen a blogger's press pass before and refusing to let me in - when Fox News Guy had a peak experience. Papa Bear himself, Bill O'Reilly, looking unhealthily gray but clothed in an expensive suit and accompanied by a posse of half a dozen serious-countenanced acolytes, left the Convention and noticed him. O'Reilly's face gave his feelings away - maybe I'm wrong, but I read it as, "Aw, crap, I've gotta deal with rifraff like this?" - but he did the right thing, stopped, shook his hand, and autographed a book:
Today, Fox News Guy told me that was the first time he'd met O'Reilly, and that if he had his way, O'Reilly would be President.
The interesting thing today, though, was that Fox News Guy and Right Wing Deprogrammer had found each other. Just as cops can't flourish without robbers, and Superman has his doppelganger in Bizarro Superman, the two seemed to realize they need each other - but, happily, they also seem, almost, to enjoy each other's company. They argued, of course - Right Wing Deprogrammer playfully, Fox News Guy with more seriousness - but shared a kind of comraderie as well:
And then, like former NFL rivals Bubba Smith and Dick Butkus in the 1970s, the two antagonists shifted their debate to the highest plane of political discourse - a sophisticated repartee fit even for the sophistication of the Fox News Channel:
Update: another post on the same character, by OTB blogger Brad Listi, here.