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Bill O'Reilly will go one-on-one on Maher's "Real Time" but won't face a panel. But who's asking him?

Reported by Chrish - January 14, 2008 -

Former White House spokesman and FOX News employee Tony Snow appeared with Bill Maher on Real Time last Friday night 1/11/08 and was surrounded by libertarians and liberals. Bill O'Reilly had Mark Smith, author of the "Official Right-wing conspiracy Handbook" rion to excoriate the tactics of the "farleft," and announced that HE'd go on Real Time with Bill Maher, but only one-on-one, not with the usual panel (of three - "Mark Cuban, Catherine Crier, and the other nut"). Is that Bill O'Reilly we see hiding under his desk?

O'Reilly said Snow went on the show hoping to reach a new audience but O'Reilly and guest agreed that those "farleft loons" were beyond reach.

O'Reilly also said this "incident" "reinforces the bitterness and attack strategy of the farleft" - but in the clips shown it was Snow who was calling Bill Maher and his ideas whacked. He saw Snow's appearance as almost "self-defeating," going before an unreceptive audience with the panel stacked against him: "I don't know if you accomplish anything putting yourself in that position." (Kind of like a Democrat going on FOX, huh?)

Smith, who must have seen different clips than we did, said Snow was "trying to have a serious, engaging debate on the issues of the day and the liberals were attacking with vitriol and ad hominem attacks."

O'Reilly inserted himself again in a hypothetical appearance: "I'll go with Maher, one on one" (so tough! swoons) but he's not going to do "a dog and pony show with three people who don't know anything," (Talking about the judge-cum-journalist, the self-made billionaire, and the other professional political journalist.)

Smith doubts that Maher or Cuban or the others will change their minds because "...they can't afford to. I think the Democrats in America have no choice but to frankly, in many ways, cheer against America." O'Reilly started to agree with him "well, we've been saying that," but remembered the memo to tone it down and, looking pained, finished " - I don't know if it's against America but it's against the war."

The issue is off the table, said O'Reilly, because the "elite media" won't cover it anymore since it's all going so swell - now it's the economy. The conversation quickly segued into the election and O'Reilly marvelled that the Republicans are "having a lively debate" but nothing like the vitriol on the left. Odd, earlier he said the gloves were off on both sides.

Smith tried to blame the liberal media recently having competition so now Democrats have to deal with opposing views, but O'Reilly reminded him that FOX News has been around 12 years and talk radio for 25, inadvertantly admitting that both FOX and talk radio are the voice of the right.