Monday, January 30, 2006

So, the weekend.

Saw Walk The Line on Saturday afternoon. It’s great great great. Great. Loved it.

Mmmmm. Intense love. Can’t beat it.

Then on Saturday night I saw The White Stripes at Festy Hall. They were, of course, fantastic. As if they wouldn’t be. I was especially glad they played Red Rain. However, the support act, The Greenhornes, were a bit so-so. Not much to get excited about, but the drum sound was good. Anyway, I’m loving Jack’s new pants, and the extra belt with like, garter things hanging off the back. That’s pretty excellent.

On Sunday, it was Big Day Out, and these are the acts I saw:

The Grates

British India

Sarah Blasko

Cut Copy


The Go! Team

Kings Of Leon


Iggy & The Stooges

The White Stripes

The Grates were fine, and well-dressed. British India was also fine, and I think they dressed well too. And Sarah Blasko was also fine and well-dressed. But things didn’t really get super exciting until Cut Copy. You really cannot see this band too many times. And during Sleater-Kinney there were two levels of fun: 1) discovering that Sleater-Kinney are damn great, and 2) watching Jack White watch Sleater-Kinney. He was nodding his head and everything, like a normal person. REVELATION. The Go! Team were better when I saw them at the Corner last year, but that’s true of most things Big Day Out [see: The Grates]. For example, watching the Kings Of Leon, from a great distance and in intense heat, is not so much fun as watching them, you know, inside somewhere. And being able to see them play, for the most part. However, the glimpses I got of them in their scanty black singlets/waistcoats will have to be enough for me this time around, as a few months ago I had to make the heartbreaking decision between seeing them and M.I.A, after evil scheduling put both sideshows on the same night. And I chose M.I.A. Who was great too, by the way. With the dancing, and the running in slow-motion, and the great songs, etc. Before she was on, I also saw a bit of LCD Soundsystem dude being a DJ. So, you know, I'm ticking off boxes. And then I saw IGGY POP… from a great distance. But I still saw him, and heard him. And he was funny. And played I Wanna Be Your Dog twice, for some reason. Also, for some reason, there were strange homophobic text messages running along the top of the big screen during the Stooges' set. People were using the opportunity of big screen texting to say, like, how some guy was gay and liked it up the ass or something. HA HA. Sure, there were a whole bunch of different messages, from "I lost my shoe" to "RIP some friend who died recently. Rock on!", etc, but the homo stuff was a theme often repeated. Which I found a little odd. What's up with the kids today, etc etc? Anyway, finished the day with The White Stripes, this time from a much greater distance than the night before. But damn, when he wears that hat, he looks so hot and eerie. Especially from a great distance with bright lights behind him and dark clouds amassing, etc.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I saw it this afternoon, and I wasn't going to blog about it until tomorrow, need my rest and all that. But I can't get to sleep as I keep welling up with tears and wanting to discreetly expel some kind of noise, so my throat's all tight etc etc. So I might as well do this now. First of all, I was already about to break up as the first screenshot came on, so I may have been a little overly 'on' for this outing. And when it finished, I didn't quite know what to say. I wasn't as blown away as I thought I'd be, I was just quite seriously affected by it. It is a lovely film, okay. And it breaks your heart quite a bit, especially Jake Gyllenhaal. He's so open and... I'm sorry, but I'm going to cry again. And that's the thing. It's not the constant impassioned tragedy I was expecting, but, at the same time, it is, if you get my meaning. And I like it more for that. The whole thing. All the parts. It's like, you think you're just going along, watching the everyday lives of people, biding your time until you get to the good stuff, when the two of them meet up again so you can get some feeling, but the parts in between are just as much a part of the tragedy as the intense heartbreaking outbursts that make you cry and cry. So yes, what a relief. It's a great film. It felt honest and true. I love fiction like that, where the characters feel real and are allowed to be themselves. A bunch of decent people living with undercurrents of dissatisfaction and frustration and hope and longing and mundanity and bliss and loss, fighting little battles for pride and dignity and missing out on so much joy. And that's really fucking sad, okay?



Here is a grab bag of today's ickiness.

ICK #1

Approaching his 10th anniversary as Prime Minister, Mr Howard also hailed research showing that fewer Australians were ashamed of the nation's past. "I welcome this corrective in our national sense of self."

Ucking feck! An incorrect lack of shame is not a corrective. I BLAME YOU FOR THIS.

"Young people are at risk of being disinherited from their community if that community lacks the courage and confidence to teach its history."

True. However, you don't mean it like I mean it, do you. See, I think we are being disinherited of our history because your view - that history should be tailored so that it instils feelings of pride in people - is holding sway in the public discourse. Which is backwards and wrong. We SHOULD KNOW, at a very immediate and ingrained level, what it took to get us here, and how intertwined our 'achievement' is with the systematic and ideologically supported abuse of indigenous peoples, for ONE thing. So dude, YOU are the one that lacks courage and confidence. YOU are the one who is ripping us off. You'd prefer to give people a false impression, and then crow that the false impression has taken root. INSANE, dude. The study of history is supposed to be a thoughtful and critical engagement with the past, placing heavy emphasis on, you know, facts-slash-the evaluation of a variety of possible veracities. This is not dodgy relativism, it's JUST THE WAY IT IS. And so, to flip it up on ya, I think you'll find that understanding that there is more to history than one overriding 'structured narrative' [structured by who? etc etc] actually IS true blue, Aussie as, realism and balance. DICK.

He warned that, in the search for the right balance in the age of terrorism between the legitimate interest of the community and individual civil rights, a bill of rights was not the way to go. "I believe it would lessen our ability to manage and resolve conflict in a free society."

PLEASE EXPLAIN. What on earth does that mean? Having rights makes things too complicated when you need to lock people up incommunicado?

ICK #2

I have bolded the most objectionable bits. And have sometimes been unable to restrain myself from commenting on them. These comments are italicised in square brackets. (Full scale ick can be read here.)

No country has absorbed as many people from as many nations and as many cultures as Australia and done it so well. The strength of a culturally diverse community, united by an overriding and unifying commitment to Australia, is one of our greatest achievements and one of our greatest national assets.
Some have questioned my optimism, especially in the wake of the violence in Sydney earlier this summer. These events brought shame on all involved. Australians, whatever their background, deserve to be treated with tolerance and with respect.
Racial intolerance is incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be. Within limits, all Australians have the right to express their culture and beliefs and to participate freely in our national life. And all Australians have a civic responsibility to support the basic structures and values of Australian society which guarantee us our freedom and equality.
The criminal behaviour of last December should be met with the full force of the law. I do not believe it calls for either national self-flagellation or moral panic. Our response should reflect this nation's unswerving commitment to racial equality, coupled with an absolute determination to ensure that all sections of the Australian community are fully integrated into the mainstream of our national life.
On these bedrock principles rest both rights and responsibilities that apply to all Australians. In the 21st century, maintaining our social cohesion will remain the highest test of the Australian achievement. It demands the best Australian ideals of tolerance and decency, as well as the best Australian traditions of realism and balance.
Australia's ethnic diversity is one of the enduring strengths of our nation. Yet our celebration of diversity must not be at the expense of the common values that bind us together as one people - respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, a commitment to the rule of law, the equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need. [GAH! That you of all people can speak of fairness and compassion.]
Nor should it be at the expense of ongoing pride in what are commonly regarded as the values, traditions and accomplishments of the old Australia.
A sense of shared values is our social cement. Without it we risk becoming a society governed by coercion rather than consent. [DUDE, you've already made it one of those. To an unprecedented degree. Anti-terrorism bill, much?] That is not an Australia I want to live in. [Me neither. And yet, we do. BECAUSE OF YOU] Again, our goal must be to strive for a balance in questions of national identity and cultural diversity. And for the most part I think we achieve it. We've drawn back from being too obsessed with diversity to a point where Australians are now better able to appreciate the enduring values of the national character that we proudly celebrate and preserve. [Most honest you've ever been about your agenda.]
We've moved on from a time when multiculturalism, in the words of the historian Gregory Melleuish, came to be associated with "the transformation of Australia from a bad old Australia that was xenophobic, racist and monocultural to a good new Australia that is culturally diverse, tolerant and exciting". [WHY, WHY, WHY DID WE MOVE ON FROM THAT TIME? Again, I blame you.] Such a view was always a distortion and a caricature.
Most nations experience some level of cultural diversity while also having a dominant cultural pattern running through them. Our dominant pattern comprises Judeo-Christian ethics, the progressive spirit of the Enlightenment and the institutions and values of British political culture. Its democratic and egalitarian temper also bears the imprint of distinct Irish and non-conformist traditions. [Quit trying to stamp them out then, if you love them so much.] Of course, each wave of new settlers to Australia influences our culture and character, helping to forge new attitudes and traditions. From our art and literature to our scholarship and diplomacy, greater cultural diversity has changed how we see ourselves and how we view the world. It has contributed to our more enterprising and entrepreneurial society. We should have faith in what we have achieved and what we have become.
I believe the time has also come for root and branch renewal of the teaching of Australian history in our schools, both in terms of the numbers learning and the way it is taught. For many years, fewer than one in four senior secondary students in Australia has taken a history subject, and only a fraction of this study relates to Australian history. Real concerns also surround the teaching of Australian history in lower secondary and primary schools.
Too often, Australian history has fallen victim in an ever more crowded curriculum to subjects deemed more "relevant" to today. Too often, it is taught without any sense of structured narrative, replaced by a fragmented stew of "themes" and "issues". And too often, history, along with other subjects in the humanities, has succumbed to a postmodern culture of relativism where any objective record of achievement is questioned or repudiated. [Questioning is GOOD.]
Part of preparing young Australians to be informed and active citizens is to teach them the central currents of our nation's development. [Racism, exploitation, violence... So that we may tackle them and stop the pattern from repeating. Denial. Isn't. Working.] The subject matter should include indigenous history as part of the whole national inheritance. It should also cover the great and enduring heritage of Western civilisation, those nations that became the major tributaries of European settlement and in turn a sense of the original ways in which Australians from diverse backgrounds have created our own distinct history.
In the end, young people are at risk of being disinherited from their community if that community lacks the courage and confidence to teach its history. [True.] This applies as much to the children of seventh generation Australians or indigenous children as it does to those of recent migrants, young Australian Muslims, or any other category one might want to mention.
When it comes to being an Australian, there is no hierarchy of descent. Whether our ancestors were here thousands of years ago, whether they came on the First Fleet or in the 19th century, or whether we or our ancestors are among the millions of Australians who have come to our shores since the Second World War, we are all equally Australians - one no better than the other.
So let us indeed celebrate our diversity. But we should also affirm the sentiment that propelled our nation to Federation 105 years ago - one People, One Destiny.

ICK #3

"The other observation I will make is there is no reluctance on the part of those who are already Australian in accepting people who have chosen to make this country home."

AS LONG AS you are prepared to change and we don't have to for a second. Also, we reserve the right to turn on you the moment you start to think maybe that's unfair.

ICK #4

Patriotism is spiking. The Australian flag is outside more public buildings and suburban homes than ever before, according to Melbourne's oldest flag manufacturer, Evan Evans. Sales have increased three-fold in the past five years, with the most notable rise among private rather than corporate buyers.



Dr Kwan attributes much of the current rise in patriotism, especially among the young, to the activity of conservative lobby groups and policies of the Federal Government…

…Dr Kwan said Americans' preoccupation with their flag, "Old Glory", began in the 1880s as their cities were flooded with non-English-speaking immigrants. She wonders whether the same thing might be happening in Australia, as our migrant intake has shifted from mainly Anglo-Saxon to larger numbers of people from Asia and the Middle East.
"Groups pushing the anti-change-to-the-flag line have an attitude of hanging on to what they see as the old Australia, an Anglo-Saxon Australia," she said.

Even so, the xenophobia that has typified much of Australian history and was the dark undercurrent at Cronulla, is now part, for a significant number of Australians, of what it means to be Australian. This is borne out in the acceptance of mandatory detention and in suspicion displacing charity towards asylum seekers.

Anyway, let's not think about that now. Today isn't even Australia Day, really. Because....


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Sign this. And don’t say it’s naff. Sure, “With fire in our bellies and love in our hearts”, is naff, but war is naffer, yo. I mean, for serious.

And most definitely sign this one. Because there is absolutely no reason at all to deny women access to mifepristone. And, there is extra extra no reason for this to be the ONLY drug which requires the Health Minister to go before parliament and ask for it to be approved. Bastard. Harradine. Bastard. In conclusion, it's safer than a surgical abortion, it's safer than continuing a pregnancy. Dr Caroline de Costa told me that. And yes, she's a DOCTOR. So don't believe the haters. FIGHT the haters.

Friday, January 20, 2006

New musical obsession.

Went to see Antony and the Johnsons tonight, and while it was lovely to find out that he is also a warmly funny man, all I can really say is COCO!!!!!! ROSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie. CocoRosie.

Quite possibly, most probably, THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN... EVER.

And I'm seeing them again on Sunday night at the Northcote Social Club. You really should too. I MEAN IT. It will most likely be the best experience of your entire life. NO JOKE. For example, they make me feel like that childhood period when I wore tracksuit pants on my head in public was my coolest ever. POWERFUL.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Some things I have lately consumed:

Wolf Creek. I saw it at the Moonlight Cinema the other night. I only mention the venue because it appears to make an impression on people, and they say things like, "You're brave/Are you crazy?". However, I don't think the setting really made a lot of difference. The film was okay. Not super scary in any spooky way. More about how some guy is really cruel and mean, and that is quite a bad thing - how people can be so mean. The main thing I liked about the film was the young male lead's discomfort with the sexism from other men that he was expected to respond to in kind, or to not make a fuss about. It really pissed him off, and I thought that was done really well. Otherwise, it was basically an okay movie, and it makes me get phantom twinges in my mid-spine area every once in a while.

Good Night And Good Luck. This is bloody terrific. You will love it. It's so honourable and you really appreciate the precision of the language and the thinking etc. It is near perfect, the only flaw occuring in the first few moments of the film, when words appear on screen to situate the time and context, and, unforgiveably, this happens:
" the 1940's and 1950's..."
Shameful, I know. Indefensible. However, don't let that turn you off this fantastic, GREAT movie.

Broken Flowers. This was so-so. I liked its pace, and Bill Murray is still cool and there's a lovely warmth to the home of his neighbour, and the visit to Frances Conroy is particularly good, and I like the lack of resolution, especially the awkwardness of dealing in reality [well, the character's reality] with something that only seems likely because of the expectation of narrative resolution, so that even Bill Murray's character believes for a moment, 'huh, nothing's really happened. At all... And why should it? But, wait a second, out of nowhere, could this be...?' etc, and then all he does is freak out some kid. That was cool. But still, I think I expected it to be better. It seems quite a slight film.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Best Potter movie yet. I'm sorry, but I really enjoy the books, have a real fondness for them, etc. And all the movies so far have been EXTREME disappointments. But I was gleeful when I walked out of this one. You see, THEY'VE FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE A POTTER MOVIE. Thank fuck.

King Kong. I thought this was really good, but way too fucking long. I usually don't have a problem with length, but in this one you really felt the length of some scenes. They really dragged after a while, so even if they were action-packed, you were like, 'it's been 15 minutes. Enough already. Kill that giant beast, please. Oh god, now there's another giant beast to kill. Could you make it a quickie, please? Holy fuck, we are still on this fucking island.' There was also a laughable sub-plot involving little Jimmy and his wish to be brave and his self-sacrificing mentor dude being all, "Run Jimmy. It's not cowardly to run", etc. Which was all pretty funny. All that said, it's definitely a good movie. The three leads (Kong, Naomi Watts, and Adrien Brody) were all very appealing. The scene in which Naomi was freaking out in Kong's paw was really great - shown first from her perspective of being totally shitscared and thinking Kong meant to dash her brains out against some rock, and then zooming out to see that he was behaving quite naturally, just swinging his arms and displaying no intent to harm [big race relations/culture clash subtext here if I am not mistaken]. I actually found the film very emotionally powerful [translation: I cried], especially from the scene where Kong is finally subdued on the island onwards. You really felt the themes of dignity and pity etc, etc. Sad.

Thursday, January 05, 2006



UPDATE: Although I’m deeply indebted to the link above for the transcript, I can’t really handle the typos, so I’m posting up my proofed and enhanced version of it. I just really want you all to experience the thing. Here it is.

Letterman: Our first guest is the host of cable television's number one news program, The O'Reilly Factor. It can be seen five nights a week on Fox News. Ladies and gentlemen, here's Bill O'Reilly. Bill come on out. Welcome back.

O'Reilly: Thank you.

Letterman: Happy New Year. Welcome back to the show. Tell me and people what you did before the O'Reilly Factor, Fox News thing.

O'Reilly: I was running the deli downstairs with that guy they have.

[OUTRAGE! Rupert Jee is NOT ‘that guy they have’, you insensitive boob! – Elanor reads Dave’s mind too.]

Letterman: Is that a fact? [YOU COCK]

O'Reilly: So, you can build on that career he's making.

Letterman: Yeah, but seriously. [If you go there again, I will cut you. Rupert Jee is quintuple the man you are. Move along, creep.]

O'Reilly: I did a show called Inside Edition. Then, before that, I was a correspondent for ABC News, Peter Jennings, and before that CBS News.

Letterman: So, you're a life-long news journalist? [Best. Joke. Ever.]

O'Reilly: Yeah.

Letterman: How were your holidays? Good?


O'Reilly: I had a nice Winter Solstice, yeah.

[long pause and laughter]

Letterman: Okay.

O'Reilly: You can't say - you can't say Christmas.

Letterman: You can't say Christmas?

O'Reilly: No.

Letterman: Why is that?

O'Reilly: Because it is politically incorrect and we did a lot of reporting on this and uh, that was the big thing we were doing leading up to that. While you were in St. Barts, we were leading up to the Christmas holidays by saying ‘hey, how come we can't say Christmas?’

Letterman: I wasn't aware that you couldn't say Christmas. When did this happen?

O'Reilly: Sears Kmart started it, said no more Christmas. It's all Happy Holidays or Winter Solstice. I actually got a card from a friend of mine, it said have a Blessed Winter. I live in New York. You know what you can do with your blessed winter. You know what I'm talking about? Are you with me Dave?

[Absolutely not.]

Letterman: I wasn't aware that this had happened.

O'Reilly: You weren't aware of the Big Giant Controversy over Christmas?

Letterman: Well, I ignore stuff like that. It doesn't really affect me. I go ahead and do what I wanna do, and you know, I say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah.

O'Reilly: Here's why it matters - you with me on this?

Letterman: Yeah.

[Except not.]

O'Reilly: Okay. Ridgewood elementary school in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The song Silent NightSilent Night, you know? Knocked out the words and told the little kids to sing: ‘cold in the night, no one in sight, winter winds wind and bite, how I wish I was happy and warm, safe with my family, out of the storm.’ They replaced the words to Silent Night with that. Now, with all due respect, I even think the baby Jesus would say, ‘gimme a break’. You know? You want another one?

Letterman: No, but let’s - I don't…

O'Reilly: Whoa, whoa, whoa. When great tradition…

Letterman: But what does this prove? It proves that one community…

O'Reilly: It proves there are pinheads at the Ridgewell, uh, elementary school in Wisconsin.

Letterman: Right.

O'Reilly: That's what it proves.

Letterman: Right.

O'Reilly: Here’s another one. You want another one? Or are you bored with this?

Letterman: I'm kinda - think we should move on… I mean, but isn't this the kind of thing, uh, once or twice every twenty years, somebody gets outraged and says ‘oh by god, we gotta put diapers on horses’? Isn't it just about… it's just, So What. Let it go, it'll take care of itself.

O’Reilly: No. There is a movement in this country by politically correct people to erode traditions and this Christmas tradition is the most cherished in the country. Look. How absurd is it?

Letterman: But I don't -

[talking over each other]

Letterman: I don't feel threatened.

O'Reilly: It's not matter of you feel threatened.

Letterman: I don't think this is an actual threat. I think this is something that happened here and it happened there and so people like you are trying to make us think that it's a threat.

O'Reilly: Wrong.

Letterman: Because nobody said Happy Holidays to me and then said ‘Merry Christmas… oh I can't say Merry Christmas’.

O'Reilly: Well, here's why it gets to be more than that, because it's in court. There are lawsuits. In Plano, Texas, another grammar school, umm the kids were told not to bring in any Christmas colours, like napkins that are red and green. That's in court. That's being litigated. Now, you can say ‘oh that's just a little thing, it doesn't affect you’, but it isn't. The erosion of the culture and the protection of tradition is important in this country.

Letterman: Yeah, but are we really describing an erosion here? It’s two examples, one in Wisconsin and one in Texas.

O'Reilly: I got a million of them.

Letterman: Oh you got a million of them. Okay. Fine.

O'Reilly: Umm and they're funny ones. Memphis, Tennessee - bible belt - library they have a little display where you can, say you are in a duck hunting club you can bring in a dead duck and put it there and advertise your duck hunting club. We kill ducks. Show up at 9 o’clock and we'll blow some ducks out of the air. Okay. There was a church that wanted to advertise a Christmas pageant so they brought in the manger scene and the library said, ‘you can have the manger scene in Memphis, Tennessee, but you can't have the baby Jesus, Joseph, or Mary or the wise men. We’re not sure about the shepherds’. That was a big debate. Now how stupid and crazy is this?

Letterman: I don't believe you.

O'Reilly: It's true

Letterman: I don't believe you. I don't...I don't believe you.

O'Reilly: You think I'm making this up?

Letterman: I do.

O'Reilly: Then I could write for your show. This mine?

[referring to mug of beverage]

Letterman: Yes. Let’s talk about your friends in the Bush Administration. Things seem to be darker now…

O'Reilly: [interjects] They don't like me.

Letterman: …than they might have been a year before. How do things look to you?

O'Reilly: It's pretty rough, but they're not my friends in the Bush Administration. They're not kicking the door down to be on my show. In fact you have an easier time getting President Bush to come on here than I have getting him to come on the Factor. But I think that the Iraq thing has been full of unintended consequences, and it’s a vital thing for the country and it's brutal, it’s absolutely brutal. We should all take it very seriously. This simplistic stuff about hating Bush or ‘he lied’ and all this stuff, does the country no good at all. We've got to win this thing. You have to win it. And even though it's a screw-up, giant, massive, all right - right now, for everybody's protection, it's best for the world to have a democracy in that country functioning and friendly to the West, is it not?

David Letterman: Yes, absolutely.

O'Reilly: Okay, so let's stop with the lying and the this and the that and the undermining and ‘let's get him’. That is putting us all in danger. So our philosophy is, we call it as we see it. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. Robust debate is good. But we believe that the United States, particularly the military, are doing a noble thing. A noble thing. The soldiers and Marines are noble. They're not terrorists. And when people call them that, like Cindy Sheehan, called the insurgents 'freedom fighters’, we don't like that. It is a vitally important time in American history. And we should all take it very seriously. Be very careful with what we say.

Letterman: Well, and you should be very careful with what you say also.

[audience applause]

O'Reilly: Give me an example.

Letterman: How can you possibly take exception with the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan?

O'Reilly: Because I think she’s run by far-left elements in this country. I feel bad for the woman.

Letterman: Have you lost family members in armed conflict?

O'Reilly: No, I have not.

Letterman: Well, then you can hardly speak for her, can you?


O'Reilly: I'm not speaking for her. Let me ask you this question.

Letterman: Let's go back to your little red and green stories.

O'Reilly: This is important, this is important. Cindy Sheehan lost a son, a professional soldier in Iraq, correct? She has a right to grieve any way she wants, she has a right to say whatever she wants. When she says to The Public that the insurgents and terrorists are 'freedom fighters’ how do you think, David Letterman, that makes people who lost loved ones, by these people blowing the hell out of them, how do you think they feel? What about their feelings, sir?

Letterman: What about, why are we there in the first place? [applause] The President himself, less than a month ago, said we are there because of a mistake made in intelligence. Well, whose intelligence? Was it just somebody got off a bus and handed it to him?

O'Reilly: No.

Letterman: No, it was the intelligence gathered by his administration.

O'Reilly: By the CIA.

Letterman: Yeah, so why are we there in the first place? I agree to you, with you, that we have to support the troops. They are there, they are the best and the brightest of this country. [audience applause] There's no doubt about that. And I also agree that now we're in it it's going to take a long, long time. People who expect it's going to be solved and wrapped up in a couple of years – unrealistic. It's not going to happen. However, however, that does not eliminate the legitimate speculation and concern and questioning of why the hell are we there to begin with?

O'Reilly: If you want to question that, and then revamp an intelligence agency that's obviously flawed, the CIA, okay. But remember, MI-6 in Britain [he pronounces it 'M-one-six'. Wrong.] said the same thing. Putin's people in Russia said the same thing, and so did Mubarak's intelligence agency in Egypt.

Letterman: Well then that makes it all right?

O'Reilly: No it doesn't make it right.

Letterman: That the intelligence across the board makes it alright that we're there?

O'Reilly: It doesn't make it right.

Letterman: See, I'm very concerned about people like yourself, who don't have nothing but endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan. Honest to christ!

[audience applause]

O'Reilly: No, I'm sorry.

Letterman: Honest to christ!

O'Reilly: No way. [waits for applause to die down] No way you're going to get me, no way that a terrorist who blows up women and children…

Letterman: [interjects] Do you have children?

O'Reilly: Yes I do. I have a son the same age as yours. No way a terrorist who blows up women and children is going to be called a ‘freedom fighter’ on my program.

[mild audience applause]

Letterman: I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. [audience laughter. Paul yells “AAA-AH!” in a so-Paul way.] But I don't know that for a fact.

[more audience applause]

Paul Shaffer: Sixty percent.

Letterman: Sixty percent. I'm just spit-balling here.

O'Reilly: Listen, I respect your opinion. You should respect mine.

[not going to happen]

Letterman: Well, ah, I, okay. But I think you're - […scum]

O'Reilly: Our analysis is based on the best evidence we can get.

Letterman: Yeah, but I think there's something - this fair and balanced. I'm not sure that it's, I don't think that you represent an objective viewpoint.

O'Reilly: Well, you're going to have to give me an example if you're going to make those claims.

Letterman: [delivered impeccably] Well, I don't watch your show so that would be impossible.

O'Reilly: Then why would you come to that conclusion if you don't watch the program?

Letterman: Because of things that I've read, things that I know.

O'Reilly: Oh come on, you're going to take things that you've read? You know what they say about you? Come on. Watch it for a couple, look, watch it for a half hour. You'll get addicted. You'll be a Factor Fan, we'll send you a hat.

Letterman: You'll send me a hat. Well, send Cindy Sheehan a hat.

O'Reilly: I'll be happy to.

Letterman: Uh, Bill, it's always a pleasure.

O'Reilly: Thank you very much. Happy New Year.

Letterman: Same to you.