Author/blogger David Kline appeared last night on the O’Reilly Factor, purportedly to talk about the role of blogs in modern politics. As Kline noted today on his website, he was very clear with O’Reilly’s producers about what he was interested in discussing:
I told [O'Reilly producer Ron] Mitchell: “Look, if you’re hoping I’m going to trash political blogs as harmful to the country, forget it. Because I think they’re the best thing to happen to American politics since … well, since the advent of the TV talk show. They encourage public participation in the democratic process.”
“Perfect,” said Mitchell. “That’s exactly what we want.”
As it turns out, O’Reilly spent the entire segment smearing political websites and blogs — Media Matters in particular — as “assassins” and “zombies,” and pressing Kline to join in. Given the way O’Reilly introduced the segment, it seems this was his plan all along:
Tonight — political smear sites! They operate on both sides of the political spectrum. There are no rules. These people will do and say pretty much anything to harm people with whom they disagree politically.
But the final insult didn’t come until later:
When I got back to my office after the show, I had a voice mail from O’Reilly Factor producer Rob Monaco:
MONACO: “We just wanted to thank you for appearing on the show. I realize the segment didn’t turn out exactly the way we had discussed, but we think you did a great job. And Bill was very pleased.”