Rumble On The Stump!

by matttbastard


Bill O’Reilly has effing lost it:

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama aide after O’Reilly started screaming at him as he tried to get Barack Obama’s attention following a rally here. O’Reilly eventually did chat briefly with Obama and asked him to be a guest on his show.

The incident was triggered when O’Reilly–with a Fox News crew shooting–was screaming at Obama National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson “Move” so he could get Obama’s attention, according to several eyewitnesses. “O’Reilly was yelling at him, yelling at his face,” a photographer shooting the scene said.

O’Reilly grabbed Nicholson’s arm and shoved him, another eyewitness said. Nicholson, who is 6’8, said O’Reilly called him “low class.”

“He grabbed me with both his hands here,” Nicholson said, gesturing to his left arm and O’Reilly “started shoving me.” Nicholson said, ” He was pretty upset. He was yelling at me.”

Secret Service agents who were nearby flanked O ‘Reilly after he pushed Nicholson. They told O’Reilly he needed to calm down and get behind the fence-like barricade that contained the press.

John Amato of Crooks & Liars gives us El Falafal’s rather selective version of events:

O’Reilly: Some guy comes over, he’s about six foot eight according to the press reports and he stands in front of the Factor camera. So I asked him fairly nicely, “you’re blocking our shot sir, you need to move a little bit.

…so I had to gently remove him from that position. No scuffle, I just moved him from the spot.. I might have called him an SOB, that’s possible, nothing more than that. No one on this earth is going block a shot on the O’Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen.

Oh my stars and garters, the ego has landed in Nashua. “Motherfucker, give me my shot!” Via Brave New Films, John Dickerson of Slate provides an eyewitness blow-by-blow account of the exchange:

At first, the railing where O’Reilly stood wasn’t very populated. Then, as the Obama team saw who was laying in wait, they started to huddle. Staffers started to arrive at the scene. Three policemen showed up, too. One of them stood in front of O’Reilly until O’Reilly asked him to move. One of Obama’s staffers Marvin Nicholson, took up the same post, standing in front of the Fox camera as Obama neared the door.

“You’re blocking our shot,” yelled O’Reilly.

“Oh, am I?” asked the Obama staffer, not entirely sincerely and not moving.

This is not a new trick. When staffers block you because you’re being too aggressive, the standard thing to do is give them a little business and then move to another spot. O’Reilly didn’t do this. He shoved the Obama aide. There was an exchange and a little more shoving. I didn’t fully capture because as I looked at O’Reilly in his black leather Fox jacket, which resembled the kind we wore during football season in high school, I swore I could hear him challenge the staffer to a rumble out by the drive-in.

“That’s really low class, pal,” said O’Reilly.


I have a confession. During the shoving, I found myself yelling at O’Reilly to grow up, which was thoroughly unprofessional, except that I have little kids and I think it’s important to discipline misbehavior immediately. If I don’t dare to discipline, they’ll grow up to be like, well, Bill O’Reilly.

Oh, snap!

(More @ Memeorandum.)

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Dream Country

by matttbastard 

“Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the folks going to caucus last night… . If you ware willing to reach for what you know in your gut is possible. If you believe, as I believe, that we have to reach out and give the next generation the same chances that somebody gave us, if you believe in keeping the dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity and still thirst for justice, then I am absolutely convinced that we will win the New Hampshire primary in four days.” 

 – Barack Obama, from a campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., 01.04.08 

I left the humans that very day, to spread the good news. And now I travel from place to place. I have walked for leagues beyond measure. I have starved, sometimes, and often I have been hurt. But I have walked on.

In a metal machine I crossed the cold waters. I have preached to solitary feral cars in empty places. I have shouted my message to the stars from rooftops and whispered it to dying cats in alleyways.

I have spoken to one cat, and to many. And wherever I have gone, my message is the same…

Dream it!

Dream the world. Not this pallid shadow of reality. Dream the world the way it truly is. A world in which all cats are queens and kings of creation. That is my message.

– Neil Gaiman, A Dream of a Thousand Cats (Sandman #18)

Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa this past Thursday–and that wonderful, spine-chilling speech–seems to have instilled quite a lot of hope within so many–“resonance”, as my friend Gary Farber put it over @ Obsidian Wings.

As displayed by his caucus performance, Obama really connects with disparate groups of people. His appeal defies–obliterates–demographics, with youth, women, and white independent midwesterners all coming together in enthusiastic support.  And then there are so-called ‘Obama Republicans’ like Andrew Sullivan, who believes that Obama could turn out to be “the Reagan of the Left”, a transformational figure who could “do to conservatism what Reagan did to liberalism” in 1980: give it a well-deserved “shellacking.”

Obama also seems to hold great respect for the Executive Office and American democracy, as displayed by the almost reverential manner in which he refers to both within his speeches. In contrast, the current resident-in-chief, with his willfully indifferent scorn and disregard for the Constitution and the Rule of Law, appears entirely possessed by partisan contempt for everything that is supposed to make America ‘America’, to the detriment of the nation both domestically and globally. I really believe that, fundamental policy and ideological differences aside, an Obama presidency would be healing, a symbolic catalyst that could help unify a world still desperately seeking post-9/11 (and post-November 2000) closure.

Above all, Obama is the first truly presidential candidate in years, someone who seems entirely comfortable and confident in the role for all the right reasons. Not because he harbours a lust for power, a pathological need to make it to the top no matter what; but out of a genuine sense of resposibility and civic duty: because serving the public is the right thing to do. That refressing ingenuousness touches something in people, melts away well-deserved cynicism hardened by years of politics-as-usual.


Hope. HOPE! A dream can still transform a world consumed by darkness, “this pallid shadow of reality.”

“Dream the world the way it truly is.”

More from Atrios and Kevin Drum, who, though still somewhat skeptical, are both beginning to sense something big may be happening.

(Expanded from a comment @ Politics’n’Poetry.)

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