07 September, 2008

Adversarial journalism at work

Check out this interview between Papa Bear O'Reilly and Barack Obama. This is actually a really good discussion, in part because O'Reilly, as a political adversary, is constantly trying to prove Obama wrong, rather than glossing over areas of possible contradiction or vague-ness. Granted, many of O'Reilly's interviews are bullshit, but this one is very informative, if energetic. 


spencer said...

Wow, I wish there was more already. I guess I'll have to wait for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Papa Bear is definitely on his best behavior. He admits that Obama was right about the Iraq War from the beginning!

I think it's fantastic that O'Reilly calls Obama out where he's being intentionally vague. For example, Obama says he'll leave the military option on the table. But that's not a credible threat if we're not ready to go into Iran, so O'Reilly pushes further, asking whether Obama will prepare for military conflict with Iran. This is a huge improvement over Russertism (may it rest in peace), where the next question would instead be "But didn't you in fact write in a college paper in 1986 that...".

What doesn't happen is that no one really cares about figuring out whether Iran actually will be receptive to non-military threats and diplomacy. Obama says they will, O'Reilly says they won't, and they agree to disagree. But surely there are experts on Iran who may have some insight into this seemingly crucial question.

The problem with a system based *entirely* on adversarial journalism seems to be that a lot of information gets lost in the mix if neither side particularly cares about it.

Cassady said...

I do think Obama's answer to O'Riled-up's Iran prodding was very presidential in tenor.

He said that it wouldn't be good policy for either of the two presidential candidates to tip their hand concerning the most probable theater of military action in our near future.

I tend to agree with this. Especially since I'm one of the people who get more than a little agitated when the media seems to be releasing strategic information before it even gets implemented.

At any rate, that might be for a whole other discussion.

Second point. I love that O'Reilly came out the other day and said that Obama isn't, "a wimpy guy." He looked him right in the eye, and saw that the Big O is no wussy. Love it.