Whenever Bill O'Reilly appears on the David Letterman show you just know sparks are going to fly due to Letterman's inability to keep his anger managed and last night's show did not disappoint although it seems that Letterman now appreciates the ratings O'Reilly brings him. First Letterman established once again his liberal credentials in the opening monologue by slamming Republicans but, of course, not Democrats. First he did a bit about an image "PSA" about saying "yes" to shady contracts with Halliburton and torturing Gitmo prisoners. This was followed by "Cool/Not Cool. Of course Barack Obama was "cool" compared to "Not Cool."
DAVID LETTERMAN (holding up O'Reilly's book): I want to tell you and this book is a crazy best seller. How many weeks has it been on the best seller list?
BILL O'REILLY: Six months on the best seller list.
LETTERMAN: Here's what breaks my heart about this. Because in my mind I think of you as a goon. But then when you look at this picture, look at how sweet and adorable that kid is and it breaks my heart because I have a sweet and adorable kid like that and I think, "Oh great! What if he too becomes a goon!
Letterman obsessed at length about Rush Limbaugh to the extent of cheap shot smears until Reilly flustered Dave with this exchange:
LETTERMAN: He's tubby. For a long time he had his housekeeper buy him illegal drugs...
O'REILLY: Do you really think it's nice to do that to Limbaugh? I mean really. This is a serious question. They set him up as a strawman. Nobody takes this seriously.
LETTERMAN: I think he set himself up.
O'REILLY: Why? He's a radio talk show guy. He goes on the radio just like you go on TV. He does a show. You either like it or you don't. Nobody forces you to watch or listen to you or Limbaugh. Why cheap shot the guy? I mean why bother?
[A visibly flustered Letterman sighs and speaks softly for a moment as if to himself.]
LETTERMAN: That's a good question.
[Then Letterman, tries to scream somewhat humorously past his self-embarrassment.]
LETTERMAN: YEAH! OH YEAH! WHATEVER! CAN YOU PROVE THAT?
O'REILLY: Now you know why I'm number one for a hundred months.
A few moments later, O'Reilly tried to say something which elicited this screaming reaction from Letterman trying to be funny although he seemed somewhat angry underneath:
LETTERMAN: PLEASE! PLEASE! WILL YOU JUST GIVE ME A MINUTE!!!
Further along, David admits that, despite his many criticisms of Bill O'Reilly, he never watches the show:
O'REILLY: I'm going to send over some tapes so you can watch the show and know what the hell is going on. Alright?
LETTERMAN: I have no idea. I can't find the show. I don't know where it is.
O'REILLY: If you have watched the show you would be much smarter.
LETTERMAN: I can't stay up that late.
O'REILLY: It's on at 8 PM, Dave.
Your humble correspondent isn't sure if Dave was serious about never watching O'Reilly but he sure seemed proud of his ignorance. However, Letterman can always be sure of big ratings when Bill O'Reilly is on as was shown by this exchange towards the end of the interview:
O'REILLY: My mom is watching. Is your mom is watching?
LETTERMAN: My mom is watching Leno.
O'REILLY: Is she? Not if I'm on.