Man Without Qualities

Monday, August 09, 2004

Bill O'Reilly Finds That Peeling Off All The Spin From Herr Doktorprofessor ...

.... Paul Von Krugman to find the substance of his arguments is like peeling off all the skins to find the substance of an onion.

There's no there there.

Don Luskin was there and gives the amazing highlights with great commentary.

I do have one quibble. The Russert face off was somewhat asymmetrical. A symmetrical pairing would have been more like Krugman v. Hannity - not O'Reilly. Paul Krugman has made himself into something of a generic spokesman for a certain quarter of the loonier left, in the process tossing out almost all of the interesting economic substance from his writing. Herr Doktorprofessor may have made a good trade there, since even his most serious writings were never as interesting or as substantive as his admirers maintain. He is good at self promotion.

But while he is surely more conservative than Herr Doktorprofessor, O'Reilly is not a generic spokesman for any quarter of the right. He is more of a political eclectic a majority of whose views happen to tilt right. The views he presents on his show are not particularly conservative in any consistent manner. O'Reilly points that out all the time, and he's correct.

But in a face off with Herr Doktorprofessor O'Reilly will almost of necessity seem consistently conservative. Don notes that he hadn't seen Bill O'Reilly before this face off. So it's understandable that Don construes O'Reilly as more of a conservative than O'Reilly really seems to be.

A quibble.

UPDATE: Luskin thinks O'Reilly was all the more effective for not being Krugman's conservative mirror image. His point is well taken. Don also posts the transcript, which is hilarious and very telling. More from Luskin at NRO.

And Henry Hanks at Croooow Blog is on the case.

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