Interviewalley's Blog

February 8, 2010

What You Didn’t See in the Interview

Filed under: Uncategorized — interviewalley @ 10:10 pm

Here’s another take on celebrity interviews.  It helps when an interview takes places via video.  That way, you can do a lot more editing (or cutting) when something offensive crops up.  Here in Lillian’s Interview Alley, there’s all types of interviews left in the alley.  Check out this latest celebrity blow-up between two comedic anchor-men.

‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart and Fox’s kingpin Bill O’Reilly exchanged some good-natured shots last Wednesday during Stewart’s appearance on a network he relishes mocking – but it looks like the audience only saw the tip of the iceberg. Sites like Gawker allege that edits made to create the aired version of the interview were strategically executed to cast Stewart in a bad light.

FOX posted an unedited video of the entire interview online, and O’Reilly insists, “Some of these idiots in the press who hate us, [saying] ‘O’Reilly cut the interview to make Stewart look’ – OK, all of that is bull. It’s a fair cut. And then when you watch the cut and watch the whole interview you’ll see it.” But were Stewart’s most persuasive points scrubbed out of the televised segment?

Some have argued that Stewart’s appearance was stripped down to contain only his weaker jokes and incomplete arguments. One of the pieces missing, Gawker complains, is a “cogent analysis” of FOXNews’ news gathering techniques. In the full interview, Stewart accused the network of introducing GOP talking points during ‘Fox and Friends’ – then reintroducing them later as viral hot topics during more hard-hitting news segments.

One of Stewart’s more cutting lines was also edited out of the aired version. The comedian told O’Reilly that he disagrees with FOXNews host Neil Cavuto’s practice of suggesting that President Obama is a Stalinist: “I know what this is. I come from Jersey – it’s the same thing: ‘I’m not saying your mother’s a whore. I’m just saying she has sex for money. With people.’ FOXNews used to be all about, you don’t criticize a president during wartime. It’s unacceptable, it’s treasonous, it gives aid and comfort to the enemy. All of a sudden, for some reason you can run out there and say, ‘Barack Obama is destroying the fabric of this country.'”

In the full interview, Stewart and O’Reilly actually discuss the practice of editing discourse, with O’Reilly accusing the ‘Daily Show’ host of “taking a clip, cutting it up, and making someone look like an idiot.” He says that Stewart used a clip of O’Reilly “criticizing the Bush protesters, but you didn’t use the whole clip.” O’Reilly’s edit, Gawker suggests, didn’t “unfairly present Stewart – it just deliberately removed his most effective arguments.”

Stewart and O’Reilly have made appearances on each other’s shows; this was Stewart’s first time visiting O’Reilly since 2004. O’Reilly has appeared three times on ‘The Daily Show,’ most recently in November 2008. O’Reilly once made enemies at Comedy Central by calling Stewart’s audience primarily “stoned slackers” – on Wednesday, the FOXNews host amended it to “stoned slackers who love Obama.”

The much-hyped – and relatively cordial – war of words was aired on FOX in two parts. In the first aired segment, Stewart landed a zinger, telling O’Reilly that the “no spin zone” ringleader had become the voice of sanity on his network – although, Stewart added, “that’s like being the thinnest kid at fat camp.”

As you can see, there are no holds bar during an interview.

Stay tuned.

Tomorrow’s posting will deal with Sarah Palin’s first political interview by the media.  Remember that one?  Tell me if you think she’s improved any since that first one.  We’ll go through the interview point by point or sinker by sinker.

C’ya then!

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