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Colbert and O'Reilly: Arrogance as an Art Form

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On a typical weekday night, 11:30 pm is a moment of domestic decision: watch as the clock winds down on Iron Chef or switch over to the Colbert Report.

My appetite for Colbert -- billed as a "mega-American" in the show's intro -- was whetted by Fox's Bill O'Reilly, a man whose arrogance attains heights (or should I say depths) unmatched in (fake) journalism. Colbert's spoof of O'Reilly-style reporting elevates O'Reilly's arrogance to an art form. Monday's highlights included a report on what Colbert labeled the "so-called separation" of church and state. "In God We Trust is right there where Jesus would want it, on our money," intones Colbert, in his uber-American, love-it-or-leave-it voice.

In my recent media blogging on the Daou Report Repohr, I've focused on the insidious effects of pro-Bush narratives pervading the supposedly 'neutral' press, narratives peddled by the likes of Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, Paula Zahn, Kyra Phillips, Cokie Roberts, Tom Brokaw, Jim VandeHei, Bob Schieffer, Bill Schneider, Tim Russert, Howard Fineman, Norah O'Donnell, Elizabeth Bumiller, Adam Nagourney, and Bob Woodward. (Examples here and here.)

However, I can't avoid the abysmal fact that O'Reilly -- or Papa Bear, as Colbert calls him -- and his Fox cohorts exert significant influence on the national discourse. In the pantheon of rightwing drum-beaters, O'Reilly's overblown ego is unmatched. Here's a taste of his bloviating courtesy of O'Reilly's arch nemesis, Media Matters:

O'Reilly: "They've got all kinds of Muslim crazies up in Canada running around"

O'Reilly: news media "hate Bush and Cheney," but Fox will give you "the fair story"

O'Reilly: U.S. should leave Iraq "as fast as humanly possible" because "there are so many nuts in the country"

In list of "left-wing papers," O'Reilly included five that endorsed Bush for president

O'Reilly: Five percent of S.F. police officers using excessive force "not so bad"

O'Reilly: CNN's Amanpour has "rooting interest" in Iraq war being a disaster

O'Reilly cited, then denied personal knowledge of, internal Republican polling data

O'Reilly: "[I]f ... Stalin was still alive, he'd be the UNICEF spokesperson"

The porpoise-driven wife: O'Reilly links same-sex marriage to UK woman who "married" dolphin