Colbert to meet Papa Bear

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Well, Watercooler knows where we'll be the evening of Jan. 18-tuning in to a "colossal media event a year and a half in the making!" Comedy Central just released the news that, at long last, Stephen Colbert will venture into the "No Spin Zone" to make his debut guest appearance on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8 p.m. Later that evening, Bill O'Reilly will head over to Comedy Central for his debut appearance on "The Colbert Report," airing at 11:30 p.m.

In Comedy Central's release on the stunt, Colbert summed up his feelings thusly: "I look forward to the evening. It is an honor to speak face-to-face with a broadcasting legend, and I feel the same way about Mr. O'Reilly." For his part, Mr. O'Reilly is "really looking forward to speaking to a man who owes his entire career to me!"

Watercooler is not sure how O'Reilly, not exactly known for his ability to laugh at himself, will do when confronted with the comic who has honed his comic persona on the Fox News commentator's more grating personality traits. But given the comments in his syndicated newspaper column this week, Watercooler thinks we've discovered his true motive.

O'Reilly's column starts off with the prediction that Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" will win an Oscar and the Dixie Chicks will win a Grammy this year. Why? Because of all those liberals running America's media outlets. He then goes on a search for a TV critic who is a registered Republican (his staff couldn't find one, nor a music, book or film critic, other than Michael Medved). This is bad for America, as is Stephen Colbert. But all those people are the ones who get America's attention. O'Reilly writes, "Entertainers like Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Stephen Colbert have become purveyors of information for many young Americans. Also, the pronounced left-wing media 'groupthink' inhibits dissenting points of view." Last time we checked, people with top-rated cable news talk shows, books, newspaper columns, radio shows and websites aren't inhibited in getting their views out there, but maybe it's hard to be heard in the no-spin zone.
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