MSNBC contributor Andy Dehnart was underwhelmed…
The long-awaited meetings between Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert were not epic, televised confrontations that resulted in verbal worldplay. Nor did their appearances result in someone coming across as a winner and the other as the loser.
That’s because, when each guested on the other’s program Thursday night, Stephen Colbert stayed in character, and Bill O’Reilly remained out of character. Colbert, as usual, played the part of an irrational, extremely conservative talk show host, while O’Reilly atypically softballed his guest and played along.
Had they both stayed true to who they are on their own shows, but not when they appeared as a guest on the other’s program, we might have actually learned something. Instead, the two appearances came across mostly as a lark, a promotional stunt designed to help both hosts and hurt neither.