This has been blogged about almost everywhere since yesterday, so I didn’t cover it. But then a reader sent me a link. If you haven’t seen it already, head over to Crooks and Liars to see Phil Donahue administer a truly beautiful smackdown to Bill O’Reilly, on O’Reilly’s own show. You can also read the transcript, but mere words don’t do it justice. It must be seen. Phil matches Bill in both content and volume, and even gets Bill — who did his best to worth up a good head of steam — to shut up for and listen for a minute. It’s enough to make you wish Phil was back on the tube more often.
Of course, I’m a bit biased, and not just due to my views on the war. I remember when Donahue still had his daytime talk show (before Oprah pretty much sent him into retirement). When I was growing up in Georgia, I used to watch his show during the summer months when I was out of school. It was the first place I actually saw other gay people — real gay people, not the way they were portrayed in movies or television. Of course, I knew I wasn’t the only one, but to see others on television, as normal and healthy as anyone else, and standing up for themselves.
It was the kind of thing that gave a skinny, effeminate, black, gay boy growing up in the south during the Reagan era a little bit of hope. What’s best about it was that Phil, though he tried to play devil’s advocate sometimes, was basically on our side.
For that, the man has a place in my heart. With this, he just renewed the lease.