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Saturday, October 6, 2012

This 'Rumble': More Like Ali-Wepner Than Ali-Foreman

UPDATE:  Since so many missed the "rumble," either on purpose or because of glitch, here's the whole thing.  See my "Review" below.

Judging from my Twitter comments I'd say therewas a widespread "glitch" problem (there's already a Twitter petition calling for the stars to donate ALL instead of half their profits to charity due to the glitches).

Anyway, as for the "debate."  Jon, of course, won easily--laughably easy, though there weren't that many laughs.  Jon played it straight, most of the time, though he had a bunch of fun moments and some offhand great putdowns of O'Reilly, some of which seemed to go right over his very high head.  Though Bill-o seemed to bristle after the tenth reference to "Bullshit Mountain" (Jon had crowned him its mayor).

Jon: "More Fox viewers believe Obama is a Muslim than believe in evolution," polls show.  Also: "Give me the 800 billion dollars spent for the Iraq war and --it's rubbers for everyone, on me."   He backed:  getting rid of Electoral College; a single-payer health system; more aid for vets; one-year mandatory service (of some kind) for all youths. 

Issues were broad and largely serious, from the deficit to Libya to entitlements to the "war on Christmas"  (some fun Steweart quips on the latter).   Jon was especially strong in beating back the "begrudging" attitude of O'Reilly while GOPers back tax cuts for the rich and "entitlements" for companies.  

Bill kept saying the deficit would take a nice hit if we would just stop funding Bill Moyers.  Seriously.  And he kept holding up a card with a picture of Bill and another saying something like "Don't blame it on Bush."  Also, his solution to Iran and nukes was for Obama and Bibi to go on a "double date," which would scare the Iranians.

When Bill made a Gerry & The Pacemakers reference, Jon mocked him for being so old, but then applauded when Bill dropped a "Lil Wayne."

Near the end O'Reilly said he thought Clint Eastwood should be president--joking or not--and Jon jumped out of his seat and started asking the chair questions.  Jon said his political idol was Robert F. Kennedy.  Asked what advice he'd give to young people, he said "avoid the seeds."  Then: "Don't call me a moocher when I'm on Social Security."  NYT review here.

In other news, hear me talk about another amazing campaign--the wild hugely influential 1934 governor's race in California starring socialist Upton Sinclair--on NPR's "On the Media" this week, related to my book.   This campaign inspired the birth of the modern political campaign, including the first use of the screen for attacks ads--created by Hollywood saint, Irving Thalberg. 

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