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May 12, 2008

Bill O'Reilly's teleprompter temper tantrum (video)

ThinkProgress discovered an outtake from Bill O'Reilly's stint as host of the tabloid TV news magazine Inside Edition (1989-1995). Update: The video got pulled from YouTube, but Crooks and Liars has it.


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Poor guy didn't want to ad lib the wrap up of the show.

"I can't do this!"

What an ass.

I wouldn't hold it against a Democrat if he got mad when a teleprompter wasn't working, and so I'm not going to hold this against Bill O'Reilly.

I'd laugh at a Democrat who had a similar meltdown or a similar toupee.

Was the teleprompter not working, or did he just not like the phrase "to play us out"? It seems like when he yells "they're no words there" he just means "this doesn't make sense to me."

I actually would hold it against a democratic candidate if he blew up at a subordinate like that.

Homer Simpson was possesed by an evil toupee once, if I remember correctly.

rob helpy-chalk -

If the teleprompter previously had the words for him to say, and then without prior notice it just said "to play us out" as an instruction for him to make something up, it's understandable that he'd get upset.

But didn't any of you see this other video with Bill's temper?:

Be patient, you have to watch Ann Coulter it's a montage video.

Not fair! That link is no longer available.

But its still here

He went overboard against a technician with less power, but he had every right to be upset in that situation.

Wow, looks like baby's got himself some diaper rash.

On the bright side, I guess it's good to see that a basket case emotional cripple can still find employment. The entertainment industry evidently has rather looser standards of conduct than the fields most the rest of us work in.

Re: My Damn Channel video:

Coulter- Nervous doe chews cud.

O'Reilly- What's with this guy? He desperately needs a drink, a smoke, to get laid, more sleep, a laxative, something.

While Bill O'Reilly shouted, he didn't call the guy off-camera names.

He was shouting that the situation (no words for him to say on the teleprompter) sucked.

I'm not offended by this.

I am offended by what Bill O'Reilly says during "The O'Reilly Factor."

Such as when Bill O'Reilly tells his audience about Daily Kos that the "hate this website traffics in rivals the KKK and Nazi websites."

For me, it's not a matter of being offended, it's a matter of being amused. O'Reilly looks ridiculous ranting and raving and throwing his jacket around because he doesn't understand a standard broadcasting term like "play us out."

The rules were apparently changed on Bill O'Reilly without prior notice when he was in the middle of pre-recording segments of "Inside Edition."

Suddenly instead of reading from teleprompter, he has to make stuff up.

It's like if a right-handed baseball pitcher were told by the umpire in the middle-of-a-game that he has to pitch left-handed for the rest of the game.

We don't know what the norms of Inside Edition were. Maybe this was an unusual stage direction, but I kind of doubt it. TV presenters and broadcast journalists are accustomed to generating patter for transitions.

We know O'Reilly threw a hissy fit in front of his whole crew. Maybe someone made a mistake with the stage directions. Regardless, O'Reilly looks incredibly silly.

Oh please, Eric...pros know what "play this out" means...pros are supposed to ad lib from time to time - especially at the end of segments, when the timing may be a few seconds off.

Anyway, it wouldn't have been a crew problem, it would have been a writer/producer problem.

And yes, we are all offended by what Oh Really says on his show - that goes without saying.

You know all he really needed to calm himself down? A tall cool glass of Sylvia's Famous Motherfucking Iced Tea.

mudkitty -

O'Reilly says, "I've never seen that" regarding the words on the teleprompter ("to play us out.")

When you say, "'pros know what "play this out' means" are you saying that O'Reilly isn't a pro?

Or that he's lying when he says he didn't see the phrase before?

Not then, he wasn't. And I still don't think he's a "pro" when it comes to journalism.

What? Are you saying broadcastcasters aren't prepared to adlib from time to time, and are you saying that the meaning of "play it out" isn't obvious?

Yes, I'm saying that the meaning of "play it out" isn't obvious.

It might mean to say goodbye to the audience, or to stretch out a segment, or to tell the audience about the next segment, etc.

If the producers of "Inside Edition" decided they wanted O'Reilly to ad-lib, then they should have told him at least a day in advance, and discussed with him what kinds of things they had in mind, and what phrase would appear on the teleprompter when he should ad-lib.

Eric, none of this makes O'Reilly seem any less ridiculous for throwing a tantrum.

Where are you getting the "day in advance" rule? Ad libbing means ad libbing. We have no idea what O'Reilly was normally asked to do. I'm pretty sure that it was normal for him to make up a sentence or two on his own every so often.

Even if this was an unusual request, or a miscommunication, the total meltdown was unprofessional.

I get asked to do things on unreasonably short notice all the time, as does everyone else, it's not an excuse to go to pieces.

Really, he should have known what "play us out" meant. It's not an obscure term of art. Sometimes it even used on the air. Larry King used it in an interview with Rosemary Clooney on CNN, for example. "Play us out" gets used the radio all the time. It just means closing a segment with music. All he was being asked to do was come up with one sentence to the effect that they were going to close this segment with a cut from Sting's new album.

For whatever reason he didn't know. Instead of asking, he started ranting and raving and throwing his jacket. These types of outbursts from O'Reilly are especially amusing given how much he likes to berate bloggers for being foul-mouthed and uncivil.

Lindsay Beyerstein -

A "day in advance" is a minimum amount of time that it's polite to tell someone about a significant change in one's job. A week in advance (or more) would be better yet.

Bill O'Reilly's argument against "The Daily Kos" isn't that it contains expletives. I'm offended at the way that O'Reilly takes the words of Commenters at "The Daily Kos" and twists what they wrote to misrepresent them and the website. But I don't relate it to his shouting expletives in an "Inside Edition" outtake.

Why do you think it was a significant change in his job? He was being asked to come up with one sentence on cue, based on directions on a teleprompter. I used to volunteer at a community TV station. Running the teleprompter was one of my tasks. Not everything is written out word-for-word. Sometimes, it's more like speaking from notes and following cues.

At this point, O'Reilly had an MA in broadcast journalism and plenty of experience as a show host and a field reporter for TV. Coming up with a one-sentence paraphrase of a stage direction would not have been unusual for him. I'm sure he did this kind of thing several times in each broadcast.

As a reporter he did "stand ups" in the field, where the correspondent typically speaks extemporaneously for several seconds.

He just didn't understand the prompt and freaked out.

Why would any unexpected request justify a public tantrum?

My impression from watching the outtake video is that the producers of "Inside Edition" had NOT asked Bill O'Reilly to ad-lib before.

If my impression is wrong, and they had asked him to ad-lib before, then his shouting was unjustified.

He should have learned the "meaning" in broadcasting school. Come on. Stop making excuses for this guy - oh! Too late.

"A day in advance?" Sometimes it's just not possible. That's why trained broadcasters are trained in ad-libbing - although few are good at it.

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