Thursday, April 9, 2009

Actual Smart Person Roger Ebert Pwns Bill O'Reilly

This is kind of neat, actually. One doesn't get two beautiful examples of textbook pwnage in one week. First, it was "Charlie" knocking Mr. Limbaugh off his routine so much that "sticking it" at the end was simply not possible, then, Roger Ebert dials Bill O'Reilly's number ... and nails it utterly.

One point of reference in my universe is that Roger Ebert is a national treasure. He is an incredibly gifted and readable writer. Yeah, I know, he does all that movie reviewin' and stuff, but can you name any other movie reviewer that's won the ever-loviin' Pulitizer for his reviewing?

Trick question. There isn't another (at least not at this writing).

Now comes along Mr. O'Reilly, who's a very important pivotal sort of person (and if you don't believe him, just ask him). He has taken it upon himself to compile a "Hall Of Shame" of doubleplusungood media outlets that he doedn't like, nosirree. And Ebert's employer, the Chicago Sun-Times, is new on the list, in the "Media Outlets That Traffic in Defamation" list.

At this point, it may be helpful to note that to get on this list, all one has to do is, they believe, to have "regularly helped distribute defamatory, false or non-newsworthy information supplied by far left websites".

By that metric, one can cut and paste three words from a Media Matters press release and qualify. And I may not be a lawyer but I have a feeling that defamation might not mean what they think it does. But for the moment we'll concede the point.

How does an Actual Smart Writerly Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Person return the favor? With reality, served with a side of dry wit and a droll chaser:

I understand you believe one of the Sun-Times misdemeanors was dropping your syndicated column. My editor informs me that "very few" readers complained about the disappearance of your column, adding, "many more complained about Nancy." I know I did. That was the famous Ernie Bushmiller comic strip in which Sluggo explained that "wow" was "mom" spelled upside-down.

Your column ran in our paper while it was owned by the right-wing polemicists Conrad Black (Baron Black of Coldharbour) and David Radler. We dropped it to save a little money after they looted the paper of millions. Now you call for an advertising boycott. It is unusual to observe a journalist cheering for a newspaper to fail. At present the Sun-Times has no bank debt, but labors under the weight of millions of dollars in tax penalties incurred by Lord Black, who is serving an eight-year stretch for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. We also had to pay for his legal expenses.

So there. I'll not show you the rest, as that would be rude (and legally actionable); use the above link to read it yourself.

As for the rest of us, I think Mr. O'Reilly can consider himself pwned.

I doubt it will make much of a difference; after all, in Mr. O'Reilly's world, he never actually loses.

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