The elegant put down

I am a great admirer of polite and urbane but devastating put-downs of bullies and blowhards. Bill Moyers delivered a beautiful one to Bill O’Reilly for something the latter said in his recent debate with Jon Stewart.

Well played, Bill Moyers.


  1. dmcclean says

    The best polite (well, mostly) put down of Bill O’Reilly still belongs to none other than Bill O’Reilly when, called to task for saying on air that his atheist interlocutor couldn’t explain the regularity of the tides, he fell back to these rhetorical questions:

    How’d the moon get here? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How’d the moon get here? How’d the sun get there? How’d it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn’t have it?

    (emphasis added)

    The perfect summary of Bill O’Reilly. He could live a hundred years and never live down the shame for such an astonishingly arrogant lack of research and reflection when confronted with evidence of his initial error.

  2. dmgregory says

    “I’ll even introduce him to our fact checkers, some of the best in the world!

    …We use them, too”

    Oooooooh. Dry and delicious. 😀

  3. JagerBaBomb says

    With the nature of political discourse and the internet being what they are, I’d say that this is largely unavoidable.

  4. Tim says

    Gotta love Mr. Moyers! His articulate discourse is a breath of fresh air in this presidential election year.

    As a related aside, I was recently reading a book about the Vietnam conflict and Bill Moyers’ name popped up in a discussion of the Johnson administration. Apparently, Mr. Moyers worked in the White House under Kennedy and Johnson.

    Didn’t know that.

  5. Mano Singham says

    Yes, he was Johnson’s press secretary, the low point of his career since he had to be the public face of Johnson’s war and lies in Vietnam. I think he has spent the rest of his life atoning.

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