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Letterman Vs. O'Reilly: Who Won?

Blogophile is written by's Melissa P. McNamara.

When Bill O'Reilly appeared on David Letterman's "Late Show" for the second time, he came armed with a plastic shield. Turns out, he needed it for the war of words between them. Their chat was the talk of the blogosphere. Plus, the iPod turns five. And Bush uses "the Google," much to bloggers' amusement. Bloggers also debate whether a South Park featuring the late Crocodile Hunter is distasteful.

Letterman V. O'Reilly: Part Deux

When Fox News' Bill O'Reilly appeared on David Letterman's "Late Show" last week, he was armed with a plastic shield.

And for those hoping for a rematch of O'Reilly's January appearance – when Letterman told him "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap" – weren't disappointed. "I'm secretly hoping when Bill O'Reilly comes out here, I'll have the opportunity to call him a bonehead," Letterman said, even before O"Reilly came out. (He did, indeed.)

Their chat grew heated on the subject of Iraq. O'Reilly told Letterman to "stop it" when Letterman questioned whether the situation in Iraq is better now than it was before the U.S. invaded in 2003. But when O'Reilly said Saddam Hussein slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his people, so it's wrong to portray the United States as a bad country and President Bush as an evil liar, Letterman returned fire. He said O'Reilly was putting words in his mouth, "just the way you put artificial facts in your head!"

The debate made for entertaining television, and even better fodder for the blogosphere, with many bloggers giving Letterman the win. Letterman was one of the most searched personalities on blogs, and the YouTube clip of the show was a top video.

"Bill O'Reilly gets pummelled by Dave Letterman," Jonathan writes at Past Peak. "I don't think we've ever seen Letterman so steady," J.T. at Parkdale Pictures adds.

But others said the comedian didn't offer good counterpunches. "Do you suppose that David Letterman was more annoyed by Bill O'Reilly's view of the war in Iraq, or by the fact that he didn't really have one of his own?," Kevin at Beyond The Punchline blogs. "Much like his previous appearance, Bill O'Reilly proved that he is a skilled debater ..."

But some bloggers said the recent showdown portrayed a kindler, gentler confrontation. "Unlike the January 3 confrontation, however, each time it seemed to get too personal, O'Reilly would always -- and Letterman sometimes too -- interject a humorous rejoinder to try to keep the interview from becoming too hard-edged," Pat Campbell blogs at PC540.

Lefty at A La Gauche agrees. "This one was good, too. But it wasn't as hot as the first one I think. I wonder if O'Reilly is telling the truth when he says that he and Dave are pals," he blogs.

Some bloggers who are not fans of O'Reilly questioned why Letterman had him on his show, again. "...Why did he have him on the show again anyway? Doesn't he have final say who sits on the couch? Please, Dave, don't give him anymore face time than he already has!," Blacklidge blogs.

Still, regardless of their views, many bloggers echoed the sentiment of Ronnie at Hearing/Loss, who said, "you have to give Bill O'Reilly credit for" appearing on the show.

Did We Ever Not Have iPods?

Five years ago last week, Apple was about to unveil a new product that had lots of people talking. It was the birth of the iPod. Today, it's hard to even remember there was such a time when iPods didn't exist. A search on Technorati shows nearly three million people mentioning "iPod" on their blogs alone. Three million!

At the time, chief executive Steve Jobs proclaimed that "listening to music will never be the same again." Since the original, the iPod has gone through six iterations, including the Mini, the Nano and the Shuffle. It has also contributed to Apple's sky-high profits.

But five years ago, many had their doubts the newfangled device would be a hit. A blogger at the iPod Hacks includes comments from their forum right after the iPod was unveiled five years ago. Comments like this were typical: "I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!"

"I remember the launch of the iPod ... I thought Jobs had lost his mind," Ronn Taylor writes at A Burst Of Light.

Many bloggers now are amused by those naysers five years ago. "Five years ago today, millions shrugged asSteve Jobsannounced Apple's entry into the MP3 player market. Pundits wagged their fingers, predicting the iPod would only serve to help piracy proliferate," a blogger at Trendizy writes.

Nearly everyone has praise for it. "Apple changed how music and data was used by creating a music player that was durable, fashionable, and unique," a blogger at 100uses writes.

"Sure, there are other MP3 players, but no other device sparks the deep emotional connection of the iPod," a blogger at Principled Innovation writes. "The iPod is one of those rare products that has transcended its original purpose to become a genuine cultural icon." And, he should know. He and his wife own six.

A blogger at Tingilinde says it has even made his life better, representing "a significant improvement in how we consume music and the spoken word. By making regular exercise easy, it has positively impacted my health and quality of life."

Many bloggers were shocked that a whole five years has flown by. "I can't remember not having one. Is it just me, or did that half decade just whip by?," Michael Seaton writes at The Client Side. And Sebi Meyer adds, "Has it really been five years? Geesh, times flies when you're having fun."

And five years later, some think the iPod is even better now. "What's amazing is how much better it's gotten in five years while still retaining the spirit of the original (a brief let-down with the horrible controls of the iPod 3G were quickly forgiven)," Paul Thurrott writes at Internet Nexus.

Using The Internets

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, sure got grief for his description of the "tubes" that either make up the Internet. But President Bush's online knowledge has trumped that, after he said in an interview that he uses "the Google" occasionally to look at satellite photos of his Texas ranch.

One of the top blog posts was the liberal Think Progress' links to the CNBC interview in which the President said:

"One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see — I've forgot the name of the program — but you get the satellite, and you can — like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It reminds me of where I wanna be sometimes."

Many Web savvy bloggers were amused. The YouTube clip of the president has been viewed 71,462 times and counting.

"Thank you Mr. Bush for those wonderful insights into the realm of cyberspace," M.L.Zuppan writes at CreationIS. "Good to know he's so advanced he's keeping an eye on things with 'the Google,'" Joe adds at Random Comedy Ramblings. "It is quite obvious that our President has not taken Internet 101," a blogger at I Want My ESS writes.

"Like lonely people across the planet, the president turns to Google to make a connection," Harry Fuller writes at

Others took it as an occasion for a political potshot. "Maybe he's too busy listening to some inaccurate intels, he doesn't have any time to care for the new technology. First it's 'The Internets' and now it's 'The Google,'" Jade blogs at Jade Garden.

"If you don't remember how many times you said 'stay the course' in the last two years, then perhaps you should go back to the ranch and stay there, instead of looking it up on "the google,'" Jim writes at Bored Stiff Geeks.

Then again, for some, all politics is local. "I guess I can safely assume that he will never read my Blog because he probably does not know what a 'THE Blog' is!," Time Magician blogs at Looking Forward.


South Park is hardly known for its subtle humor, but when a recent episode showing Satan preparing for a Halloween party, featured an animated Steve Irwin in hell with a stingray attached to his bleeding chest, bloggers cried "crikey!" Other guests include Princess Diana, Hitler and rapper Notorious B.I.G. reports that Steve Irwin's widow Terri is reportedly "devastated" by the episode, and while the show already aired in the U.S., Australian TV channel SBS said it is planning to air the episode in Australia next year or in 2008.

Many bloggers thought the scene was very insensitive, especially so soon after the crocodile hunter's death from a stingray barb while filming a segment for his daughter's new TV show. You can judge for yourself on YouTube.

"There's a time and place for everything, but 'South Park' creators recently crossed the line with their senseless and distasteful entertainment," a blogger at Exposay writes.

But some thought the episode wasn't that offensive, at least compared to other South Parks. "It is awfully soon for them to be going after Irwin already, but they kept it short and didn't go overboard with the bit. It was a tasteful as tasteful can be on South Park and, to be honest, it wasn't even that funny by South Park standards," a blogger at dingoRue writes.

"Personally I think it's ok and Steve Irwin would probably had a laugh at it too. My only concern is that it might upset his family," Peter Parka blogs.

Others remain conflicted. "I haven't yet seen the episode but agree that mocking Irwin so soon after his death is rather tacky. Still, Irwin was a celebrity and that's the path he chose," James Joyner writes at Outside the Beltway. "His death was big news, he was mourned in a giant state funeral, and he's been mocked publicly."

Spicey at Celebrity Smack seems to summarize the opinion of many. "I'm just glad it isn't someone from my family. Because it's easy to laugh long as it isn't you," she writes at Celebrity Smack.

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By Melissa McNamara

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