Cavuto versus O’Reilly: “You push this populist nonsense that doesn’t make sense”

posted at 2:57 pm on September 17, 2008 by Allahpundit

Palate-cleansing light comedy from last night’s Factor, courtesy of TV Newser. Are the bloodsucking oil companies really gouging Americans to oblivion? Or is O’R arbitrarily deciding what constitutes a fair price, in much the same way advocates of a tax on, ahem, “windfall profits” do? If it’s the former, why has gas historically been so cheap?

The folks demand guidance, my friends.

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Whoa, didn’t think I’d see Bill getting schooled like that

Baphomet on September 17, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Bah. Gas prices popped up nearly two bits due to hurricane fears, and they still haven’t budged a dime despite oil falling to about $92/barrel. It’s enough to tempt me to the Dark Side and demand that Congress do something.

Paul_in_NJ on September 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM

As with a lot of people, I’ve completely given up on O’Reilly. Really, who needs to see O’Teilly sit across from the MESSIAH and give him a “monica lewinsky” on national t.v.?

This lowlife genuinely believes if he’ll just act like MSM, then the MSM will accept him as one of their own. What a deluded clown! Bill, no matter how much you grovel, the MSM will never even acknowledge your existence.

In the meantime, you’ve abandoned your roots (i.e. a conservative audience) in search of fame and wasted your erstwhile ‘career’ currying favor with those who despise you. Consequently, you’ve fallen through the crack and become irrelevant to everybody. Good job, moron!

alwyr on September 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM

On of the simplest rules of economics is that competition drives down prices. If company “A” provides a service with 8% profit, and company “B” decides it can live with only 4% profit, then company “B” can provide the service at a lower price. It will provide the service to more customers and it’s market share will grow until “A” finds a way to lower it’s prices or provides a better service worth the additional price.

If we really want to stabilize and reduce prices, we need to allow a more free flow of venture capitol.

Micheal on September 17, 2008 at 5:49 PM

This ass kicking by Cavuto was long over due. O’Reilly is a big bag of wind and it was about time somebody stuck a pin in him. O’Reilly might have an Ivy League degree but Cavuto is truly intelligent.

Good job Neil!

rplat on September 17, 2008 at 5:57 PM

“They’ve never lost money!”

Bill O’Reilly

In the mid-80s, the price of a barrel of oil dropped to $8, and the entire Houston area fell into an economic depression. The housing industry turned to shit there, with no one able to sell their home, because there was no one who could buy it.

Whole subdivisions and neighborhoods turned to crap, with weeds growing up through cracks in the street. The housing mess bounced to the northeast and then California. Billions lost, lives ruined, from an oil glut and the collapse of the price.

Hey, but gas was cheap. O’Reilly’s a liar and an idiot. Harvard is a fraud – they produced Bill O’Reilly and Barry Obamama.

Jaibones on September 17, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Cavuto is a prissy bed-wetter. Is there a real man anywhere on network television?

Name him.

Jaibones on September 17, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Jaibones on September 17, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Jai, it was also WY and OK and KY (if I remember right) that also hit an all time slump due to the oil. Alaska came a few months later… and about 1/3rd of Alaska’s population moved out. No Joke!

But then we are talking memory… his and ours.

upinak on September 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I like Bill O’Reilly and really don’t have much use for “Big Oil” whatever that might be. Having said that Bill failed completely to answer Neil’s question about why oil and gas prices should be in lockstep when they decline but not when they rise.

TooTall on September 17, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Love Cavuto!

Kevin71 on September 17, 2008 at 6:22 PM

Let’s see if Bill O’R is man enough to put up any “Cavuto pwned you last night” emails that will surely have been sent to him.

If he would, I’d have a little more respect for him.

Marybeth on September 17, 2008 at 6:27 PM

O’Reilly needs to be challenged like that more often….I’d bet that with the size of Bill’s ego, we wont see Cavuto back for a while. Bill was schooled!

He should just look at the % of return for oil companies compared to other industries. All they ever see is the big dollar signs.

I worry more about gas station owners than the oil company. Not to mention Uncle Sam and State Gvt riding the backs of “big oil” making the prices soar.

OSUBuciz1 on September 17, 2008 at 6:50 PM

You paid $4.63 while I only paid $3.69?
As they say, something is rotten in Denmark!
And quite frankly, both of us are being had.

pocomoco on September 17, 2008 at 5:30 PM

The gas stations that where selling gas for $3.79-$3.99 were out of gas. only because the gas station where i got gas increased its price to 44.63 was it able to have gas. Again it is not a matter of price it is a matter of supply. If the higher price enables the supply to be there for needed things like getting to work then I’m fine with it. I don’t like it but at least I was able to get to work. Now if all gas stations had gas and just that one was charging $4.63 I would be upset but all the ones who did not raise prices were out of gas. Supply/demand works. It sucks at times but the price function works to ensure supply.

unseen on September 17, 2008 at 6:59 PM

O’Reilly suffers from East-Coast, Ivy League prejudices. He thinks the smart people are the liberal arts majors from Harvard. When it comes to smarts, I’ll take an engineer from Louisiana Tech over a Harvard lawyer any day. Scientists create progress and wealth. Lawyers are bullshitters who redistribute your hard-earned dollars.

O’Reilly never offers any evidence for his accusations against Big Oil. His populism stems from his greed for ratings. What an East-Coast elitist jerk O’Reilly is.

chipandcharge on September 17, 2008 at 6:59 PM

It always brings a smile to my face when I see Bill crushed. I don’t know who is better at his schtick, him or Colbert. At least with Colbert you know it is schtick. O’Reilly counts on people believing the crap that comes out of his mouth and assuming that they really think he is “lookin’ out for the folks.” That song and dance is getting very tired.

Mormon Doc on September 17, 2008 at 7:24 PM

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I like Bill O’Reilly and really don’t have much use for “Big Oil” whatever that might be.

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I like “Big Oil” and really don’t have much use for Bill O’Reilly whatever that might be.

“Big Oil” has done more to make cars, trucks, trains and planes run (and thus the engine of free enterprise) than Bill O’Reilly ever has.

electric-rascal on September 17, 2008 at 7:34 PM

a free market without morals is bound to fail.

No, a society without morals is bound to fail. A market is the interaction between supply and demand – nothing more, nothing less. What morals does a barrel of oil have? How about a dollar bill?

a free market without morals leads to revolutions. (see Obama’s recent poll numbers)

As a matter of fact, Obama’s poll numbers are illustrative of the success of free markets. Only in countries as rich as those of the West could a metrosexual weakling like Obama rise to such national prominence.

A free market is not amoral unless the people that live under that free market are amoral

Some people buy a gun at Dick’s Sporting Goods to protect their homes and families. Some people buy a gun at Dick’s Sporting Goods to kill convenience store clerks.

Tell me: do they pay different prices according to their moral intent?

The market is what it is.

the difference is that people can not just quit buying gasoline. They NEED it.

Once again, you’re incorrect. People need food, water, and oxygen. And depending on climate, shelter from the elements. That’s it. People want gasoline; albeit, badly. But in the end, that doesn’t really matter. The market is what it is. And people pay what the market will bear – no more, no less.

That would be like saying if some company could corner the market on water. that company would be entitled to charge whatever the market would bear for that water.

This is completely pointless because there is no monopoly on oil. Dozens of countries around the world produce oil – some more, some less. That oil is traded in an open market, no different than oranges or gold.

Your problem is that you just don’t seem to be capable of comprehending that oil companies are doing nothing different than any other business: they produce a product and they sell it at the price that the market will bear. Period.

…the oil companies and gov thru their policies/lobbying/ and strong arm tactics have made gasoline/disel the only transportation fuel in this country.

Please provide some proof in the form of documentation for that claim. I know that it’s a favorite conspiracy theory of the Left, but just like Roswell, until I see a body, there’s no “there” there.

This means that they no longer have the right to act like any other company.

As long as they are privately held companies, they most certainly do. Whether or not you like that fact is beside the point.

the oil industry itself with mergers has gotten rid of internal competition. So they have destoryed the competiton both internal and external and now can be considered a monoploy.

“Competition” is “destroyed” everyday, in the form of mergers and acquisitions. There are several US oil companies. They compete against one another for customers. The end.

The gov has said over the course of its history that they have a right to control monoplies for the commmon good.

Then that kind of throws water on your “oil companies are a monopoly” shtick, doesn’t it?

Therefore saying the oil companies should be allowed to act like any other type of company is wrong.

Why? Because you say so?

Price controls are not the answer. The answer is requiring oil companies to increase supplies…

That’s a great idea. Mind telling us how all how you’re going to make OPEC, Russia, and Canada produce more oil?

…to have a control on thier profit margins. A flat return no matter what the price of oil is.

I’m asking this in all seriousness: are you 15 or something?…and just found your older brother’s “Rage Against The Machine” albums?

rvastar on September 17, 2008 at 8:05 PM

That was pretty awesome.

I wouldn’t say “yeah woo O’Reilly got his ass kicked!’ etc etc, as I thought both brought up valid points and I got to see some actual thoughtful discussion on the program for the first time in quite a while. Admittedly I don’t watch it much anymore so.. hmm. But yes.

And I do like how everyone seemed all nicey-nice at the end of it, too.

Aaaaaaaaaand ultimately I liked his line about prices not being 3 times as much. Might have to pull that one out the next time a customer with no memory bitches about why the price of petrol per litre hasn’t come down because the price of a barrel of oil has..

Reaps on September 17, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Just saw on the show:

Dennis Miller : “How you doing tonight, Bill? I understand Neil Cavuto sleeps with the fishes.”

Bill O’Reilly : (wipes smile from face, tries his best to look confused) “What do you mean? Explain yourself.”

Marcus on September 17, 2008 at 8:43 PM

I too have given up on O’Reilly. He has become a charicature of himself. His interview style is hard to watch, and his arrogance gets in the way of rational thought.

cannonball on September 17, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Well done, Neil!

Whenever O’Reilly starts shooting his mouth off about market economics, I picture him with a tie dye T-Shirt, three day old beard, and a seashell necklace. Suddenly, it’s easier to accept his blunt ignorance on the subject.

Saltysam on September 17, 2008 at 9:04 PM

I’ve watched O’R even though I think he’s a complete idiot on oil prices. Now that I’ve seen this I can no longer watch his show. If he is SO wrong on something that is SO simple to understand, how can I take anything he says seriously?

Thanks Allahpundit for saving me 30-40 minutes a day. (TiVo and blast past the stuff I didn’t care about). I had given up on H&C long ago because Colmes is such an idiot on EVERY subject I can’t watch it any more. That leaves only the best news show on TV, Special Report.

darwin-t on September 17, 2008 at 9:11 PM

On of the simplest rules of economics is that competition drives down prices

You have a very naive understanding of the business world.

What if the competition doesn’t lower prices… knowing that lowering prices won’t increase market share, it will only cause your competitors to also lower prices. This happens all the time. When companies formally communicate pricing plans to one another, it’s called collusion. Or as ADM executives would profess during their major price fixing operations of 80’s and 90’s, ‘the customer is the enemy’.

“They’ve never lost money!”

Bill O’Reilly

In the mid-80s, the price of a barrel of oil dropped to $8, and the entire Houston area fell into an economic depression

O’Reilly wasn’t talking about the 80’s, he was talking about the last 4 years. Big difference between an era with rising oil prices and tanking oil prices. If you took the time to do any research, you’d also see that in the 80’s there were more refinery owners and far more competition.

O’Reilly might be running with a populist message to boost his tv ratings, but Cavuto isn’t much better. Cavuto would still defend Exxon if they gang raped his mother.

foreverright on September 17, 2008 at 9:22 PM

O’Reilly, stay off my side.

BDavis on September 17, 2008 at 9:23 PM

If he is SO wrong on something that is SO simple to understand, how can I take anything he says seriously?

Are you sure that it’s really so simple? That’s a sweeping statement to make. I can’t say with 100% certainty that I know there’s nothing improper going on in the market.

foreverright on September 17, 2008 at 9:24 PM

Bill should have SARAH on about EXACTLY THIS. She understands THIS point. Bill could do an extremely informative show on this. PALIN has had to deal with ALL SIDES of this, and ALL of the parties concerned. It would be nice to see someone present the ACTUAL situation.

bigmike on September 17, 2008 at 9:53 PM

Bill lookin’ dumb.

Ronnie on September 17, 2008 at 10:26 PM

He followed up when he could. He had a limited amount of time to ask as many questions as he could. He tried, he moved on. The fact is that no one else (to my knowledge) asked Obama about Ayers. And if anyone did, I could have been Olbermann is a ‘can you beleive these A*hole neocons trying to derail your campaign’ types of ‘questions’ about Ayers. And while some people on the left claim that O’Reilly shouted him down and was the typical neocon puppet of Roger Ailes doing the evil right wing’s smear job by asking the Ayers and rev. Wright questions, I think it’s pretty amusing that some here think that O’Reilly is in the tank for Obama. And that’s clearly not the case.

wise_man on September 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Well you’re wrong. Two O’Reilly had time to chit chat about his basketball prowess, when he could have been the “hard hitting” interviewer he claims to be. And two, Obama would not have given all those answers I listed in quotes if others had not aked him about Ayers before.(I can’t believe I had to explain that last part.) But I guess you have forgotten Stephanopoulos aking him about Ayers during the April debate with Clinton and that’s only one example.

And questioning O’Reilly’s willingness to be what he claims, a hard hitting interviewer, is not saying he’s in the tank for Obama. Although I am beginning to wonder.

Deanna on September 17, 2008 at 10:53 PM

But then we are talking memory… his and ours.

upinak on September 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I didn’t mean to isolate the problem, so much as the beginning. That mess started in Houston and the Texas oil industry, but spread throughout the country.

Jaibones on September 17, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Suddenly Cavuto is my hero. Do you guys know how long I have dreamed for someone to take O’Reilly to task on his BS over big bad oil companies. Bill, leave economics to the big boys, geez. And why is this show the number one rated news show in America?

Faramir on September 18, 2008 at 2:15 AM

Thank You Cavuto! I’ve been waiting for someone to poke at O’Reilly’ baseless attacks on Companies as Robber Barons. That is the Marxist view on economics. His attacks on companies is the primary reason why I stopped watching his show.

Egfrow on September 18, 2008 at 3:18 AM

Neil Cavuto is my hero.

Cylor on September 18, 2008 at 5:06 AM

Cavuto for Treasury Secretary.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 18, 2008 at 10:52 AM


Sorry for the delay in a response. I got booted yesterday from the computer and am just now getting back on. I appreciate your apology and owe you one of my own. I shouldn’t be so sensitive. Rereading my own post, I guess one could make the assumption that I hate Billo. I do not, I’m just not as impressed with him as I used to be.

Jvette on September 18, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Since I don’t have Fox & my server blocks plug in downloads, I can only guess what this interview was about. When I did have Fox, I watched O’Reilly for a few years & even bought a book & read it. I liked him until he started going ape&^%t over stupid stuff & was giving people like Letterman the time of day. I soon lost interest & pretty much categorized Bill as a windbag.
From what I’ve seen from Cavuto, I’m impressed. I know about the oil industry in WY & ND & can tell you from a geology industry point of view that the 80’s SUCKED for oil profits. Everybody was laid off or had to go work overseas.
You can thank the EPA & stupid enviro lawsuits for all of that. Now that oil is making some $$ again the geo industry is up again. I don’t have a problem with that bcs it brings in revenue for the states (& yes the oil companies,too). It also brings JOBS. Nothing wrong with that.
What’s wrong with making $$? Supply & demand anyone?

Badger40 on September 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM

“One of the simplest rules of economics is that competition drives down prices”
BTW-I’m not so naive to think collusion hasn’t or doesn’t happen.
Look at the cattle prices. Packers collude all the time. Nobody’s stopping that. Nobody in the media talks about it either unless it’s an ag source.
Want to know why your steaks cost so much? It isn’t because I’m getting the $$ when I sell my calves in the fall.On top of that, as a cattle producer I get to pay a buck a head to advertise for the packer. They FORCE me to pay that. Ain’t that nice?
I imagine gas can work the same way. Competition CAN drive down prices if the rules are being followed-and someone MAKES them follow them.

Badger40 on September 18, 2008 at 2:01 PM

i like cavuto. he has balls.

anna on September 19, 2008 at 11:04 PM