Video: O’Reilly browbeats Mary Katharine Ham about the perils of Internet video

posted at 9:45 pm on November 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

In which a visibly uncomfortable MK tries to keep her good cheer in the face of an increasingly serious and accusatory O’R. Bill’s basic point about the erosion of privacy is sound; inflating that into an omnibus condemnation is not, and implicating MK in it is simply … odd. Why have her on as your “Internet cop” if you think she’s aiding and abetting a medium that’s destroying the culture? A weird segment.

Also tonight: Drugs are bad, and glorifying drugs is also bad.

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Ah yes. The “Culture Warrior” who makes phone sex calls to his secretary while using a vibrator on himself.

SoulGlo on November 28, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Conflating invasions of privacy that are irrelevant to the law (eg, celebrity embarassment) with the ability to monitor police officers who break the rules (or, conversely, protect them from unfair accusations) is incredibly stupid. And any poltiician who looks cross-eyed? Yeah, great example, Bill. Totally outweighs the net’s ability to catch contradictory or unintentionally candid statements.

Alex K on November 28, 2007 at 9:58 PM

Yea and she gave bill a piece of her mind

Gwillie on November 28, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Bill, sometimes you really don’t speak for me. Sounds like he’s a little worried about getting caught doing something wrong. And it’s a little scary to think he would like the Police to be able to abuse someone in private.

MKH, I’m still your friend…(I wish!:)

KMC1 on November 28, 2007 at 10:06 PM

A little unconfortable, but not squirming.

Most of the points Bill made are pretty accurate. “Don’t Tase Me Bro” was out of line. The guy should have followed the police officer’s directions. The bimbo jumping out of the car and freaking out is lucky the officer didn’t go after her. Was the officer out of line? I think a little. Was the driver an ass? Totally. Police officers face a lot of danger, if the suspect doesn’t do exactly what he is told, what is an officer to think? How many officers are killed because they were too lenient?

Mary has a good point, the new cool becomes old news fast. Everything has a saturation point and becomes past tense. The problem is that everyone has the ability to become Big Brother. Basically courts have said if you do something in public (including something visible from your home) it is fair game. Many people are happy to make a quick buck, or get their 15 minutes of fame at someone else’s expense.

A lot of things get taken out of context and distilled to it’s most base form. What you usually see on YouToube is a very small portion of whatever incident happened, and you don’t know what led up to the event.

I also agree with Bill about VH1, they probably leaked the drug use scenes as teasers for their series. Free promotion is the best promotion. But it is ludicrous when, even though VH1 says it is about rehab, the scenes get used to glorify drug use.

Rode Werk on November 28, 2007 at 10:11 PM

That seemed like a conversation by two people who just didn’t wanna talk to each other.

Tony737 on November 28, 2007 at 10:14 PM

Bill seems cranky. But I wish we had more privacy.

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM

SoulGlo on November 28, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Did he break the law?

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Bill has gone off the deep end. “You see how much more difficult policing is now, because everyone’s got the little camera […]” How much of a jack-booted authoritarian thug do you have to be to see citizen scruitiny of the government as a bad thing?! That doesn’t mean that we nickle and dime our LEOs and disrespect them, but it does mean that cops can’t treat every interaction with a civilian as if it happened in a dark alley with no witnesses. And that is absolutely a good thing. Police aren’t private citizens — they’re public servants. They should expect a bright light to be shone on them. Much is expected of people to whom much authority is given.

And seriously, Bill needs to lay off the Internet. It’s not all pedophiles and snuff films out here.

Mark Jaquith on November 28, 2007 at 10:28 PM

“Children: That’s what watching VH1.” There are so many ways in which that sentence is wrong.

calbear on November 28, 2007 at 10:29 PM

That was a police cam ya dumb a-s.
Bill is A fool.

TheSitRep on November 28, 2007 at 10:29 PM

She could’ve handled it better. It’s not always easy when you are unexpectedly being attacked from someone you considered friendly. I am sure she will learn from it and not be caught off guard next time! O’Reilly was just being cheap. Tabloid cheap! It’s called freedom! The internet is just an extension of t he rest of the world, for crying out loud! What is he actually saying here?? Is he saying that the internet has no place in exposing abuse??? Or is that only reserved for TV and print?? Oh,, I get it,, he is concerned because some people put trash on the internet??!! Like that never happens on TV or in print??!! Trash never ever makes its way to TV news/talk shows!! Kids never ever tune into something trashy on TV or pick up any trashy magazines!! Horrors of horrors! I guess we gotta stop making people cry so much and I guess mom and dad need to actually act like parents and set boundaries with their kids!! No, O’Reilly,, it isn’t good when someone is unfairly maligned or unfairly accused or if something is taken out of context on the internet,, just as it is not fair when it happens on TV or in print! THAT IS WHY FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS SO IMPORTANT AND WHY THE INTERNET MUST REMAIN FREE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION! O’Reilly never thought of that, though!

JellyToast on November 28, 2007 at 10:30 PM

I didn’t catch this show tonight, but I’ve been trying to separate myself from O’Reilly since the segment a few nights ago when he lambasted the USO for not getting enough (in his eyes, anyway) celebrities to go to a war zone.

My husband has been very satisfied. He and his soldiers know who the people are that are going there, and it is morale boosting.

LindsayK on November 28, 2007 at 10:30 PM

Bill has gone off the deep end. “You see how much more difficult policing is now, because everyone’s got the little camera

Not to mention the fact that it is a camera owned by the state, mounted on the dashboard of a police cruiser with the express intent of making law enforcement incidents and criminals accountable. The cameras are there to protect the police officers as much or more as they are there to protect citizens.

BillINDC on November 28, 2007 at 10:31 PM

When it comes to Bill O’Rielly and this “internet thing” there is no single person or entity that can be held accountable. This isn’t the first time he’s taken a hapless guest and expect him/her to talk about and defend everything that shows up on the internet. When Bill gets in this mode, you’re expecting him to demand the whole internet be shut off immediately.

Kudos to MKH for being such a class act (once again).

highhopes on November 28, 2007 at 10:31 PM

“You see how much more difficult policing is now, because everyone’s got the little camera

Oh yeah,, I almost forgot that comment,, the government seems to have a few of it’s own cameras as well, don’t they!! No problems there, though,, I guess!

JellyToast on November 28, 2007 at 10:35 PM

I know Hotair is supposed to be all pro-MKH and that O’Reilley is something prehistoric. Yet, despite being the RINOest frequent commenter on Hotair, I found myself oddly liking what Bill had to say here. I’m not even sure what the point is here, but it is unexpected and perhaps even interesting.

thuja on November 28, 2007 at 10:36 PM

Those little cameras help the innocent and help convict the guilty.

TheSitRep on November 28, 2007 at 10:36 PM

I found myself oddly liking what Bill had to say here.

Like I say, it’s fair to think the camcorder nation has its excesses. To berate MK for it for thinking it has its good points too is dopey.

Allahpundit on November 28, 2007 at 10:39 PM

I don’t understand how MKH can be a on-air commentator if she has such a problem speaking… She is a very good writer and I read her TownHall blog regularly… but she cannot speak a coherent sentence clearly… She stutters, slurs her point, and tries very hard but ends up voicing half a sentence… She just is no good on-air. I had hoped she would relax during these segments but instead she keeps getting worse… She should return to her keboard. She’s a good writer but a terrible speaker…

IntheNet on November 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM

WOW Bill let MKH talk.

abinitioadinfinitum on November 28, 2007 at 10:46 PM

Allahpundit, we missed you on the live webcast! You gonna be at the next one?

As for this segment…totally unsatisfying. MKH is the only reason to visit this site (well, and the Catholic flame wars and robot videos). I demand chipper, good natured entertainment!

tlynch001 on November 28, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Mark Jaquith on November 28, 2007 at 10:28 PM

Sure, accountability of public officials/officers is good, but how about all the private citizens getting posted on the web. How ’bout getting plastered and saying something idiotic and everyone seeing it? The net magnifies a momentary error into a life-changing event.

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 10:47 PM

MKH is the only reason to visit this site (well, and the Catholic flame wars and robot videos).

Yeah, I don’t think you’re alone among our readers anymore in thinking that. What readers we have left, I should say.

Allahpundit on November 28, 2007 at 10:54 PM

Bill O’Reilly, the pompous guy he is feels threatened by having cameras everywhere.

StuLongIsland on November 28, 2007 at 10:55 PM

So what did Bill get caught on video doing?

– The Cat

MirCat on November 28, 2007 at 10:59 PM

what we’ve got here is ….
in case you missed it in the last thread :)

abinitioadinfinitum on November 28, 2007 at 11:08 PM

MKH is the only reason to visit this site (well, and the Catholic flame wars and robot videos).

Yeah, I don’t think you’re alone among our readers anymore in thinking that. What readers we have left, I should say.

This site is too sophisticated for the masses!

Alex K on November 28, 2007 at 11:09 PM

What readers we have left, I should say.

Oh, is the party over? Can you give me a link to a site for good news site for alpha males? :)

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 11:10 PM

There was a time I really looked forward to watching Mr. Bill. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, O’Reilly is getting older, weirder and whiter. I can’t stand when he becomes so dismissive (referring to the cop taser video, which I won’t go into again here since it was the longest thread in HotAir history).

Yeah, I don’t think you’re alone among our readers anymore in thinking that. What readers we have left, I should say.

Referring to MKH, I do enjoy her work, so to speak, but MM rules! She would have had a more appropriate response to the all-knowing guy who is looking out for you…

yubley on November 28, 2007 at 11:13 PM

The net magnifies a momentary error into a life-changing event.

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Yep. The other thing that I do not like about how some private citizens use the power of internet video is to frame issues using selective editing. It is bad enough when the mass media selectively edits video or selectively edits a story to only release certain facts about an issue to frame the public’s opinion of the issue (a prime example being the reporting on the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israel-Hezb’Allah war effort in Lebanon, etc). But now we also have private citizens taking video on their camera phones and such and then selectively editing it, putting it up on YouTube and framing an issue in a way they want it.

One example that I can think of is something that went “viral” on MySpace among some of the people I have on my friends list (basically, I have a network of people who support the military or are part of the military). This one gentleman posted a YouTube video from a soldier who claimed that he was unjustly beaten by law enforcement at the airport. The soldier and his family were trying to gain support for his court case. Initially, I think everyone (including me) was sympathetic simply because we reflexively take the side of the soldier and wanting them to be treated well. However, I watched the videos that he provided and I did not see it as clear cut as they were presenting it. From what I could tell, the soldier was actually going out of his way to cause trouble after being held up by security, which then caused him to miss his flight, since the security checks took so long. And then the key part of the case, where he was supposedly beaten unjustly, there was not a clear view of what happened on the provided video. In addition, the full story was not shown in the video. However, this did not stop people from completely sympathizing with the soldier, mostly simply because he was military, and completely condemning the airport law enforcement.

There was another former MySpace friend of mine who posted a video that was taken by some teens who were stopped by a cop for skateboarding in a part of the local downtown area where it was illegal. The video starts with the cop yelling at the kids and in the process of cuffing one kid and putting him to the ground and then running off to chase after a few of the other kids. In addition, you hear the teens in the video asking angelically “what did we do wrong? why are you doing this?” This looks bad, of course, and, of course, most of the people commenting on this blog were bashing the cop and sticking up for the kids. “All they wanted to do was skateboard. That mean, mean cop! What’s his problem!?” Well, first of all, we don’t know the history of these teens with this cop. We also don’t know what happened prior to the cop taking the kid down and putting him in cuffs on the ground. But that didn’t stop people from making up their minds about the entire situation and labeling the law enforcement baaaad and the teens just angelic, innocent angels who just wanted to skateboard (in an area where it was illegal).

And these are only two examples. There are also plenty of examples of kids doing this in school to try to get teachers in trouble. There is definitey the possibility for this sort of thing to get completely out of hand, especially with kids getting more and more internet savvy. And especially in an era in which kids are given more and more ‘power’. ‘Back in the day’, parents could enforce discipline in their own homes with their children, but now just think of a kid getting spanked or slapped by their parents for being a brat and misbehaving, but getting it on video somehow and then turning around and putting it up on YouTube to make their parents look like abusive parents.

It’s really out of hand. And these are just a few examples.

My solution is not to deny people the right to do this, but simply to make sure people are aware that this happens and that we cannot believe everything that is posted on the internet. In fact, a good rule of thumb would probably be to assume everything is not true or only partially true until we can verify everything.

Michael in MI on November 28, 2007 at 11:23 PM

In which a visibly uncomfortable MK…

I was thinking this meant MK being uncomfortable trying to defend her positions. But I saw it as MK being uncomfortable having to not say “O”Reilly, quit acting like such a dweeb!”

What readers we have left…

You can’t believe Sitemeter was actually operational Saturday and Sunday can you?

eeyore on November 28, 2007 at 11:25 PM

Bill, get yourslef one of these and stop whining…please?

Ropera on November 28, 2007 at 11:35 PM

Michael in MI on November 28, 2007 at 11:23 PM

Good points. I hadn’t even thought of the parental discipline aspect.

Years ago, pre-cell phone videos everywhere, I did something at a major sporting event once that was very atypical of me. Not criminal, but if it got posted on the web, I’d still be mortified to this day. Seems to me the web makes it harder to close the door on certain mortifying events in life.

Spirit of 1776 on November 28, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Yeah, I don’t think you’re alone among our readers anymore in thinking that. What readers we have left, I should say.

Allahpundit on November 28, 2007 at 10:54 PM

Oh come on AP, your alexa is 20,000. Traffic normally fluctuates (especially when you get as much traffic as you do) and you are on the low end of the downward trend. It should start trending back up again due to normal fluctuations by this time next week.

I actually miss seeing MM’s videos. I bet if you could talk the boss into doing a video for Hot Air each week traffic would dramatically rise. Every media outlet could use a little eye candy b-roll from time to time.

I’ll lay off the Catholics if you think that’s driving away the viewers. They are just such an easy target. . . and generally it’s the non-Catholic Christians that get most of the ridicule here if it isn’t from me. I’m just calling it like I see it.

Don’t get so depressed AP, that’s my job.

ThackerAgency on November 28, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Bill should either ask MKH out on a date already or better yet, get on his goddamn hands and knees and beg for Michelle’s forgiveness.

awake on November 29, 2007 at 12:01 AM

C’mon O’Reilly, get a freaking clue. Do you enjoy being an ornery old fart? MKH can do better than your whiny show.

infidel4life on November 29, 2007 at 12:02 AM

Bill has jumped the shark. he did it a long time ago when he gave credence to CAIR. He has become a blow hard sad to say like Olberdouche.

pjf626 on November 29, 2007 at 12:19 AM

Someone needs to bite the bullet and ask MKH to come over to HotAir as a vlogger full time. Enough of these teaser clips from her voluminous appearances on cable news shows (some of which prolly have fewer viewers than this web site).

And when is the “Girls of Hot Air” calendar coming out? It’s almost Christmas time and I needs a new calendar (in case I forget the order of the months or.. something..).

Neo on November 29, 2007 at 12:28 AM

You would know better than me AP but it seems like there is a good flow of traffic here. The only comment on my blog I’ve received called me an idiot. Just one comment and it was not encouraging. SO hang in there don’t give up just yet.

mjkazee on November 29, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Excellent job, Mary Katherine! She handled it/him well.

I think he really needs to pass the torch, he’s sounding tired, like the spark has gone out.

AprilOrit on November 29, 2007 at 12:33 AM

You call that brow beating?

Rob Taylor on November 29, 2007 at 1:14 AM

“Also tonight: Drugs are bad, and glorifying drugs is also bad.”

Cr*p. Is taking drugs also bad? Because I’m totally hooked on this prilosec stuff.

Kevin M on November 29, 2007 at 5:10 AM

The cop taser video wasnt the first one. In another state reported not long ago a civilian 20 something had his own car cam and caught a cop abusing him on tape.

CAM SHOULD BE EVERYWHERE and every public vehicle and delivery truck should be equipped with a GPS.

dogsoldier on November 29, 2007 at 7:07 AM

If she had any guts, she’d have called out O’Reilly on the fact that the company that syndicates his radio show, syndicates Dr. Drew’s radio show (Dr. Drew hosts celebrity rehab). His radio show is also heard by kids, and it’s disgusting–yet he’s not complaining about that or disclosing that the host Dr. Drew is his colleague at Westwood One. But, hey, why get into Bill’s hypocrisy?

Debbie Schlussel on November 29, 2007 at 9:59 AM

If she had any guts


But, hey, why get into Bill’s hypocrisy?

If you are serious, instead of just taking shots at MKH, send it to his ombudswoman.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:06 AM

I think MKH was distracted in that segment (probably by the upcoming debate she was covering) and wasn’t on her best game, especially given the odd nature of O’Reilly’s questions.

O’Reilly’s concerns about police dash-cams are misplaced. Most law enforcement types I know or have heard from say they are a net benefit to police. While the dash-cams do catch police misconduct (as may be the case in the Utah clip O’Reilly showed), they also (1) protect honest police from false allegations of police brutality and (2) provide an objective “witness” to police stops to record things like suspects consenting to searches, suspects running from or assaulting police, and the like.

Outlander on November 29, 2007 at 10:52 AM

MKH needs a classier platform than O’Reilly’s show. I’ve always considered him a poseur and an overbearing buffoon. He trivializes and grossly oversimplifies serious issues with his “I’m for the little guy” phony working-class hero shtick. Compared to him, Hannity comes off like Alistair Cooke. Yuck.

Travis Bickle on November 29, 2007 at 12:34 PM

I love these segments, if only for O’Reilly’s confusion about, and thinly veiled hatred toward, this new internet thing he keeps hearing about. MKH has the unenviable role of trying in vain to assure Bill that the internet is useful for other things than being an illustration of all that’s wrong with society. It perfectly encapsulates a lot of what I dislike about “The Factor.”

As for the actual argument that Bill makes, I think Mary Katherine rightly pointed out that he’s inordinately obsessed with the negative. The fact is, complete privacy at home in your own personal property should be preserved, period. Anything diminishing that even slightly is worth taking serious issue with. When I step outside, though, and enter the company of strangers whose actions I have no control over, I don’t mind this kind of monitoring and displaying things on the internet for the public to judge.

Because I just read the post about Romney’s Red Sox gaffe, I’m reminded of a relevant event. I was at the celebration near Fenway Park after the ALCS Championship win in 2004. Despite how delighted Romney and most of the city was after that win, a girl was killed because of it and, more generally, it brought out some of the worst aspects of human nature that I’ve ever witnessed first-hand. I’ve only been able to find video of the celebration/riots after the World Series win, and, having attended both, I remember that as being a relatively more subdued affair and, to the credit of the Boston police, the response to it seemed much safer and more organized. Still, some of the videos are pretty ugly ( I could go on a lot longer (even though I fear I’ve already gone on too long), but my main point is that I wish there had been more videotaping of the scene and more of an internet/YouTube culture at the time so that the appropriate people might’ve been held accountable. Both the crowd and the police behaved very aggressively and it would be wrong to assign all the blame to one group or a few individuals without video evidence. (For my own part, I must say that I never felt unsafe or threatened until the police started opening fire with their “less-lethal” bean bag bullet things which really ignited the crowd, but a lot was happening and unfortunately I only have my memory to rely on.)

Anyways, I’ll cut myself short here. Really sorry for the length and the tangent…

Yoosaion on November 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM