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February 13, 2003
Bill O'Reilly: Menace to Propriety

"Get out of my studio before I tear you to fucking pieces!"

According to Jeremy Glick, this is what free speech advocate and truth boycotter Bill O'Reilly told him after O'Reilly abruptly ended their recent "O'Reilly Factor" interview.

Once O'Reilly killed Glick's microphone and the show took a commercial break, Glick says he told O'Reilly that O'Reilly was the "invert of Fox's show Joe Millionaire..."

"O'Reilly then stood up, slammed his fists on the table, and said, quote, 'Get out of my studio before I tear you to fucking pieces,'" Glick explained during a recent radio interview. "I left, went into the lounge. His staff apologized to me, almost unanimously, every staff member. They called me to wonder what my intention was sticking around the station. I said I was just trying to relax, have a cup of coffee. They were concerned that if I stuck around and Bill saw me in the lobby, he perhaps might end up in jail. So I just, you know, called my ride and went back to New Jersey."

Listen to Glick describe his encounter in detail on Democracy Now. (Scroll down for RealAudio link.)

My only question: when does Notorious B.O.R. release his first gangsta rap CD?

Posted by Greg Beato at 12:34 PM
February 12, 2003
Cite Club

A couple weeks ago, Eric Alterman announced he was looking for more blogs to add to his links list. And since I'm convinced is the true engine of the blogosphere, I jumped at the chance to submit for this honor.

But I wasn't particularly optimistic about my chances: in the past, I've sent email to Alterman asking him to link to articles I've written and he's never replied. I figured either he wasn't aware of my work, or even worse, he was and didn't like it.

Now, however, I'm more hopeful. Why?

Because I'm currently reading his new book, What Liberal Media?

It's got some interesting stuff in it, particularly about foundations and think tanks and the role they've played in shaping and disseminating conservative ideology. When I finish the book completely, I'm going to write more about it here.

What's really caught my eye so far, however, is the following not particularly remarkable passage about Matt Drudge's book, Drudge Manifesto:

"Of the 247 pages contained in The Drudge Manifesto, the reader is treated to forty blank pages; thirty-one pages filled with fan mail; twenty-four pages of old Drudge Reports, a thirteen-page Q & A from Drudge's National Press Club speech; ten pages of titles and the like; six pages of quotes from various personalities like Ms. Lewinsky and Madonna; four pages of a chat transcript; and, well, a great deal more filler. That leaves the reader with just 112 pages or barely 45 percent of actual book. (And even nine of these are Drudge poetry.)

I have a pretty bad memory, so when I first read it, I thought, "Hah! I knocked Drudge for all the blank pages he stuffed his book with too. Great minds think alike..."

Then, as I looked at the paragraph a little more closely, it began to seem increasingly familiar. So I checked out the review I had written, which originally appeared in The Washington Post on October 9th, 2000. It included the following paragraph:

Indeed, while Drudge Manifesto runs 247 pages, it takes a lot of filler to reach that length: 40 blank pages; 31 pages of fan mail; 24 pages of Drudge Report reruns; 13 pages of a Q & A that Drudge did at the National Press Club three years ago; 10 pages of titles and other book boilerplate; six pages of quotes from Drudge's favorite philosophers (Monica, Madonna, etc.); four pages of a chat transcript; three pages that include nothing but a large zero; two pages that include nothing but a large numeral 1; one page that includes nothing but a tiny zero; and one page that includes Drudge's favorite Web sites. Which leaves, in the end, 112 pages of new material, including nine pages of poetry.

Alterman's version is a pretty unaltermanned echo of mine, incorporating no less than 10 (or as he might write it, "ten") of the same details I presented, in the exact same order I presented them. If some conservative pundit had done this, well, whatever, but Alterman is a liberal, which means he's compassionate, which means he must realize how painful it was for me to study Drudge's book closely enough to obtain those various page-counts. And, hell, Alterman includes 875 footnotes in his book as it is - would one more have killed him?

Still, Alterman's familiarity with my review was a kind of silver lining, and when I came across the following passage in his book, my heart really started to soar: "Reviews, recall, are frequently written by people with fewer qualifications than the writers themselves; often a journalist or general interest writer with only a passing knowledge of a topic will be asked to review the contribution of a scholar who devoted his or her entire professional life to its study."

Few qualifications? Passing knowledge? That's the perfect description of me!

And, thus, I realize now that all my worry about whether Alterman knew who I was or liked my work was for naught: obviously, he's been watching me from afar, marveling at my passingly knowledgable way of faking a point. Of course, there's more talent in the blogosphere than there are bombs in Baghdad, so who knows if I'll end up getting that link on his page. But at the very least, I know I've got a fan.

UPDATE: After a series of email exchanges that I initiated, Eric Alterman added the following entry to the Errata section of his "What Liberal Media?" website: "pp.78-79 The count I did here of the pages of Drudge's book, was originally inspired by another count in a review by G. Beato. While both the research and the prose are entirely my own, Mr. Beato has asked for a footnote. His review appeared in The Washington Post on October 9, 2000, p.C02."

To which I will simply add the following observations:

1. In creating the various categories I used, I grouped "titles and other book boilerplate" together, when I could have just as easily grouped them as separate things: "X pages of titles, X pages of dedications and publishers info." Alterman used this same somewhat arbitrary grouping (changing the verbiage to "titles and the like"), and came up with the same total (10) that I did, even though what constitutes "book boilerplate" isn't really written in stone anywhere.

2. In the category I described as "poetry," I was taking a bit of poetic license myself, because while Drudge includes some pages that are clearly "poetry" in that he labeled them an "Ode" (pages 117 - 119 in the hardcover edition), a "ronde" (page 77), or simply used rhyme (page 45), there were also pages that I deemed "poetry" because they struck me as Ginsberg-like chanting (pages 79 - 80) and improvisational free verse (pages 170 - 171). Certainly, Alterman and I might share the same sense of humor about what qualifies as poetry or not, but if you asked a dozen people to count up how many pages of "poetry" were in the book, I'd be pretty surprised if the consistent answer was 9.

3. Out of all the people whose quotations Drudge includes in his book (ten by my count), Alterman cited the same two (Madonna and Monica Lewinsky) that I cited.

4. There were blank pages at both the beginning and the end of the book, but I didn't count them in the total of 40; I counted only blank pages that fell between the numbered pages 1 and page 247. This was the most logical thing to do, since I was using 247 as the total pages of the book, but even so the presence of those other blank pages introduces the possibility of different interpretations/results. Alterman arrived at the same number I did, however: 40.

5. When counting the number of pages comprised by Drudge Report reruns, I counted as 1 page any page where at least some portion of a previously published Drudge Report appeared on it. (This was easy to do, as the the book used a different typeface for these entries.) In at least one instance, the entry was just a paragraph or two of the actual whole page, but for simplicity's sake, I counted it as 1 page. Another person counting up these pages might have taken the same approach, but just as easily might not have. Alterman arrived at the same number I did: 24.

Posted by Greg Beato at 09:30 PM