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January 04, 2006

David Letterman Precisely Estimates O'Reilly Crap Content

As you may know, David Letterman said this to Bill O'Reilly when O'Reilly was on Letterman last night:

LETTERMAN: I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. Sixty percent, that's just a -- I'm just spitballing here now.

As crap estimates go, this is extremely impressive work. I think it coincides almost exactly with a detailed analysis. Let's take a look.

At about 8:45 during the O'Reilly segment, there was this exchange:

LETTERMAN: The president said less than a month ago that we're [in Iraq] because of a mistake in intelligence. Well, whose intelligence? Somebody just got off a bus and handed it to him?


O'REILLY: If you want to question that and then revamp an intelligence agency that's obviously flawed, the Central Intelligence Agency...Remember, M16 [sic] in Britain said the same thing. Putin's people in Russia said the same thing. And so did Mubarak's intelligence agency in Egypt.

We can break O'Reilly's statement into four claims.

1. The CIA is "obviously flawed"

We could quibble about why exactly the CIA is flawed, but there's no question it is.

25% out of a possible 25%

2. " M16 [sic] in Britain said the same thing"

Again, we could argue about why MI6 said the same thing, but they pretty much did. However, it's "MI6" (letter m, letter i, number 6) rather than what O'Reilly said, "M16" (letter m, number 1, number 6). The letters MI stand for Military Intelligence. This isn't the most important mistake on earth, but in this context it does make O'Reilly sound like a huge dumbass. It's like referring to the CIA as the C1A. So O'Reilly only gets partial credit.

15% out of a possible 25%

3. "Putin's people in Russia said the same thing"

This claim seems to have originated in an undisclosed location deep within O'Reilly's ass. Here's a Guardian story from October 12, 2002:

Vladimir Putin yesterday rejected Anglo-American claims that Saddam Hussein already possesses weapons of mass destruction...

With a tense Mr Blair alongside him at his dacha near Moscow, the Russian president took the unusual step of citing this week's sceptical CIA report on the Iraqi military threat to assert: "Fears are one thing, hard facts are another".

"Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data that supports the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received any such information from our partners as yet.

0% out of a possible 25%

4. " did Mubarak's intelligence agency in Egypt"

This is another ass-based statement. Here's a statement by Mubarak on October 30, 2002:

I hope Iraqi latest statements that they do not possess Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) would prove right and accept the unconditional return of UN weapons inspectors to Baghdad.

Here's an AP story from November 25, 2002:

Arab leaders have anxiously watched the U.S.-Iraq standoff over allegations Iraq is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Mubarak and other Arab leaders, saying a U.S.-Iraq war would plunge their already volatile neighborhood into chaos, have urged the United States to act with caution and await the outcome of U.N. inspections.

And from the MENA news agency in Egypt, on January 1, 2003 (not online):

As for the Iraqi crisis, President Mubarak voiced hope that Iraq would abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and would not give any chance for war to break out. This could be done through Baghdad's full cooperation with international inspectors and to prove that it does not possess any weapons of mass destruction whether nuclear, chemical or biological, he said.

0% out of a possible 25%


Or, to put it another way:

60% CRAP

Posted at January 4, 2006 09:52 PM | TrackBack