Bill O’Reilly Agrees With Al Franken: Jason Mattera Should Just Shut Up

Earlier this week, conservative activist Jason Mattera released a video of him ambushing Senator Al Franken, ostensibly to ask him about problems he had with the health care bill. But Mattera revealed that he was more interested in creating a cheap and sophomoric stunt than conducting a serious interview, as he never really gave Franken the courtesy to respond (and at one point called him “Senator Smalley”.) Bill O’Reilly invited Mattera on his show last night, and didn’t really hide his contempt for the young video producer. That’s right: Bill O’Reilly was siding with Al Franken. (No, that is NOT an April Fools joke!)

In a rather famous New Yorker profile, writer Nicholas Lemman compared O’Reilly to that classic trope of the Irish beat cop:

He’s the beat cop for the American neighborhood, who may have been a little excessive at times, may occasionally have run afoul of Internal Affairs, but law-abiding folks trust him because they know he’s on their side. His liberal guests are like suspects he’s pulled over: in the end, he’s probably just going to frisk them and let them go with a genial warning, but if they try anything, well, he carries a nightstick for a reason.

Watching the video below, one gets the feeling that O’Reilly really just wants to slap the self-satisfied smirk of the this young punks mug (and he’s most likely not alone.)

When this video was released earlier this week, Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher fairly criticized Mattera thusly:

Now, I only use the term “ambush interview” because that’s what people call an unplanned, impromptu on-camera exchange. I have absolutely no problem with the so-called “ambush interview,” as I’ve said before. For a journalist with a smaller outlet, or no outlet, it can be the only way to get any interviews at all.

I also have no problem with interrupting a subject who is evading or deflecting my questions.

Mattera wastes a golden opportunity here, as Franken actually sticks around and tries to answer Mattera. The problem is that Mattera’s not at all interested in getting answers to his questions, because his questions are complete crap. He’s done this before. He will take a doltish misreading of some sliver of legislation, hassle some legislator on camera about it, then enjoy the high-fives and dull exclamations of “Heh-heh. You said Senator Smalley” from his toadies.

Oddly, that is almost exactly the point that Bill O’Reilly makes to Mattera. He blew a golden opportunity because he was too interested in his own schtick, and revealed that he wasn’t really interested in what the sitting U.S. Senator had to say. Forget the renegade journalism – that’s just downright disrespectful.

In an interview with NewsBusters, Mattera was asked about Christopher’s criticisms and replied “Tommy Christopher’s a joke. Nobody reads him. It’s probably him and his two moms. That’s about it.”

The “two moms” comment appears to be some sort of strange, junior high level and homophobic burn, that truly reveals the sensibility and character of Mattera. For more examples of his unique brand of immaturity check out his Twitter feed.

As for Mattera’s claim that no one reads Tommy Christopher, actually in the last month his posts have been read by nearly half a million readers, and his work has been linked by both Drudge, Hot Air and RawStory. No, he hasn’t made it on national television like Mattera, but he also wasn’t publicly scolded nor made a fool of himself either.

Jon Stewart On Palin/McCain Team-Up: “Lady And The Gramps”

The Daily Show is never going to miss an opportunity to take a swing at Sarah Palin or John McCain, and the recent reunion of the two while McCain struggles to keep his job as a U.S. Senator is prime picking. Jon Stewart does raise a good point though: “No matter what Sarah Palin is saying about John McCain, she can’t help but make him look bad. Just by sitting next to her…he’s just sitting there in her radiant aura.” While Stewart is poking fun, there’s little doubt that at this point Palin is the star of the show and McCain comes off as not the man who plucked her out of obscurity, but merely the object of her latest endorsement.

Keith Olbermann’s Preemptive Strike Against Sarah Palin’s Show

Fox is having some problems with their Sarah Palin special tomorrow, namely that two of the segments stars, LL Cool J and Toby Keith, have claimed that their interviews have been lifted from year-old videos they did for the station, and that they were unaware they’d be featured on Palin’s new program. Which makes the former Alaskan governor an absurdly easy target for Keith Olbermann tonight, albeit a little unfairly. Palin didn’t put together this program, Fox producers did, and with all the commotion surrounding tomorrow’s special, what’s the MSNBC host doing except giving the show more lip-service than its already been paid? If your goal is to boost the ratings for tomorrow Keith, you did a fine job.

Robert Gibbs Gets Defensive On “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

The Obama administration may be following due process for repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy,” but that doesn’t mean it’s happened yet. And for Congressman Barney Frank, an openly gay politician, the White House hasn’t been clear enough in their time line for the repeal…or if it even plans to take legislative action at all. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gets a little bit snippy as he answers The Advocate’s senior White House correspondent, Kerry Eleveld’s questions about the president “ducking” this (possibly) historic precedent of allowing openly gay members into the armed forces.

Pam Stout Appears On Letterman: Becomes New Face Of Tea Party Movement?

There’s no arguing that the grassroots Tea Party movement hasn’t been portrayed in a very positive light recently. After the P.R. debacle on Capital Hill during the passing of the Health Care bill, when members of the party were accused of shouting slurs at Democratic Congressmen and and throwing money at a sick man, the campaign needed a new face if it was ever going stop being so easily demonized by the left. And last night, a new candidate emerged from the most unlikely of places in the form of the well-spoken middle-aged Pam Stout from Idaho, appearing as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman.

While some may be scratching their heads to why Letterman would have chosen Stout as a guest (it’s no secret that David’s had some bad run-ins with the GOP, most notably when John McCain canceled on him during the 2008 elections) the decision was actually brilliant. Not only as ratings gold, but a chance for the late night host to insert himself back into the news cycle. As Entertainment Weekly noted:

Stout was the mildest of souls, calm and remarkably composed for someone probably not used to the glare of network TV cameras. And Letterman loves this sort of person — a Midwestern citizen, a non-celeb; while raising serious points, he made a point of keeping things light .

Stout may have voted herself into a prime position in the Tea Party, but now that’s she had a platform to show herself as the more genial and articulate version of some in the movement, it will be Letterman she can thank when she’s put on the 2012 ballot.

Stephen Colbert “Shocked” To Find Out Ricky Martin Is Gay

Monday’s shocking revelation for most people wasn’t that Menudo singer Ricky Martin was a “fortunate homosexual,” but that the 90s pop icon was coming out of the closet now, years after his turn in the American spotlight. Then we found out he was pitching his autobiography, and that made a little more (business) sense. But there was at least one person for whom Martin’s sexuality was a total “surprise”: as Stephen Colbert said on his Comedy Central program, “I knew he was livin’ la vida loca…just not that loca.”

We hope that Colbert’s producers can convince Ricky to come on the program for an interview…we’d love for an excuse to see Stephen in that belly-shirt again.