Bruce Kluger is the kind of newspaper columnist I like: He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the story. In this case, he’s willing to subject himself to The O’Reilly Factor.
Despite his wife’s cogent reaction (“You’re nuts!”), Kluger entered the pathetic world of talk TV ready to…what? Well, he wanted to see how he would fare in the “hot seat”–a cathartic test of personal fortitude. So, apparently, TV can offer print journalists the opportunity to embark on a mythic hero-journey, slay the demon, and return with boons:
Still, the question remains: Did I win my face-off with the dean of mean? Hard to tell. The most I got from my friends was, “You held your own,” “You looked good” and “Hey, at least you didn’t cry.”
But I do know I got under the guy’s skin. After the taping, when most hosts drop the showbiz artifice and extend a hand to thank their guests, O’Reilly kept his head down, pretending to study his notes. The silence was embarrassing, so I left.
I suppose the lesson is: Listen to your wife.