I'm sorry. I just can't do it justice. You'll just have to watch it yourself. Surprisingly, it doesn't take a strong stomach. It's remarkably entertaining. O'Reilly's sad, thirty minute attempt to scold Scott McClellan left Bill a frustrated and defeated bully.
Less an interview than a failed effort to get McClellan to acknowledge that he was being used by the Bush Haters, O'Reilly was man-handled by McClellan. If McClellan had been this good at the White House mike he'd still be there.
But I guess being armed with the truth makes for a far more confident performance.
"Didn't it make your skin crawl?" asked O'Reilly, which at first seemed like he was referring to his own ghastly excuse for an interview. But Bill's intent was never to examine the book's details. He wanted to nail NBC, Keith Olbermann and the Left. Instead he provided Olbermann with more "Worst Person" material and Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller with enough "Right Wing World" sound-bites than either could handle in one week, let alone one show.
Instead of nailing McClellan with a "gotcha!" moment, he ended up actually making the formerly tongue-tied, brow-sweating, mouth piece for the Bush White House look like a world-beater. While O'Reilly kept interrupting McClellan's claims made in the book with just dazzling challenges to logic -- "Nuclear weapons are not WMDs" -- McClellan, smiling and confident, just stuck with the facts. While O'Reilly tried to defend Fox Contributor, Karl Rove, and soon-to-be Fox contributor, George W. Bush, McClellan could only defend himself with his first person witnessing of their transgressions.
So blinded by his own all-encompassing hate for NBC and the Left, he never realized that he committed the interviewer's worst faux-pas: he allowed McClellan to grasp total control. He even didn't understand that McClellan's hope that the hate spewed on both sides had to end was a direct slap at Bill.
While it would be tough to top Bill's Inside Edition meltdown, or his Geraldo mano-a-mano meltdown, or his turning-off-the-mike, dress-down of his own sidekick meltdown, the McClellan interview may go down in TV history as the worst interview... EVER; an instructional video for young journalism majors on how NOT to do an interview; a tutorial for young debaters on how to lose a debate, and embarrass yourself as the same time.
On his radio show, Bill said that how McClellan's book would sell no more that 40,000 copies and is now in its second printing was only Scott's opinion. McClellan said it was fact. Watch the tape and decide for yourself who's sporting the facts and who's pulling it out of his arse.
Of course, the fun will be today, when on Bill's Radio Factor he will tell the Folks™ how he totally exposed McClellan as a tool of the Left. Let me know what he says, as my doctor won't allow me to listen. As entertaining as last night was, two days in a row of O'Reilly tends to make me break out.
Get out the popcorn and enjoy, I'm sure Keith and Stephanie's producers are taking notes.
Award-winning television writer and author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful, Steve Young's "All The News That's Fit To Spoof" appears in L.A. Daily News op-eds every Sunday on the same page as Bill O'Reilly's... really.