October 27, 2003

I am Scheduled to Be on the...

I am Scheduled to Be on the Bill O'Reilly Show Tonight: Stop laughing. It'll be at 5:20 pm & 8:20 pm PDT, they think. Will be talking about government incentives to build homes in fire country.

Posted by at October 27, 2003 11:28 AM
Comments

TV or radio?

Posted by: Eric Neel at October 27, 2003 11:52 AM

That time implies TV, rather than radio ... am I correct?

Posted by: Howard Owens at October 27, 2003 11:53 AM

It's hilarious that you have to talk about such boring things.

Look at this: in an article talking about World Series ratings...

"and Anaheim's seven-game defeat of San Francisco last season (11.9/20), which was the lowest-rated ever."

Lower than A's/Giants? It's not real meaningful anyway in that the true hardcore baseball fans watch every series. I mean, I was saying, "Yankees/Marlins? At least I don't have to waste my time watching it..." Next day: where's the sports page? What time's the game?

Posted by: ct at October 27, 2003 11:57 AM

Don't let him know you have a website, because all those guys are child pornographers, dontcha know.

Posted by: Paul at October 27, 2003 11:59 AM

It's TV ... can't decide between my patriotic power-tie, or an enormous-collared red disco shirt....

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 12:04 PM

There's some reason not to do both the tie AND the shirt?

Posted by: Eric Neel at October 27, 2003 12:16 PM

Mention Al Franken, and you're a god.

Posted by: Steve Smith at October 27, 2003 12:21 PM

at the end say bababooey

then say tsar rules!

Posted by: tony at October 27, 2003 12:34 PM

Matt, I bet if you wore a dress and that funky hat from the picture over yonder to the left, people would be talking about you for *weeks*.

Posted by: Emily at October 27, 2003 12:34 PM

p.s. nice job getting on there.

about time america woke up!

Posted by: tony at October 27, 2003 12:37 PM

From the Fox Website:

"Plus, as deadly wildfires ravage Southern California, does the state encourage its citizens to build homes in fire zones? Why are taxpayers paying for government subsidized fire insurance? Should it?"

Sounds like he's going to attack the state's FAIR plan, which is the insurance of last resort for people who live in high-risk areas...

Fact is, there are FAIR plans (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) not just in California, but in at least 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

These taxpayer-subsidized plans provide an insurance provider of last-resort to people who live in high-risk areas. Those risks may range from fire, to hurricanes, to civil disturbance to urban crime.

Among the largest FAIR plan in the country is New York's NYPUIA, the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association.

Roughly one-fourth of all properties and businesses covered by NYPUIA are in high-flood areas on Long Island -- where, Bill O'Reilly lives. Is he proposing pulling the rug out from under his neighbors?

Posted by: FAIR Play at October 27, 2003 12:38 PM

Wear a fuckin' Corvids girly t-shirt, paper "Happy New Years" Top Hat, an Angels cap over that, and a Reason bumper sticker around your neck. Hot! And keep referring to O'Reilly as "Sandy."

Posted by: Ken Layne at October 27, 2003 12:42 PM

Let's rehearse:

Shut up. SHUT UP!!!

Posted by: JFT at October 27, 2003 12:50 PM

Don't forget to mention the Peabody

Posted by: jj at October 27, 2003 01:13 PM

Funny. Two of my major pet peeves these days. Bill O'Reilly, and govt subsidized insurance that I help pay for. Wifey just got thru chewing me out Stdy nite for being such an asshole for having absolutely no sympathy for these fire tempting homeowners I was haranging. I'm not versed in the details like FAIR Play but gotta feeling we're about to get screwed.

Posted by: Lloyd at October 27, 2003 04:02 PM

ACK!! Don't watch it, K? Or at least, watch it if you must, but just don't write anything about it here, ever. I wasn't horrible, probably, but I stammered out of the gate, looked at my shoes, and probably had a dumb-ass half-grin on most of the time. Strangely wasn't nervous, but I just didn't know what I was going to be talking about exactly until it happened, and, well, let's just say I learned a lot about this particular issue this morning....

Bill and I exchanged pleasantries (I was staring at blank teevee/camera thingie). He also made some startling claim on the broadcast about "saving Dick Van Dyke" or suchlike, to which I might have burbled an approval (of having the bizarro 'nads to say "I saved Dick Van Dyke") ...

But let's just say I have no intention of seeing it, ever. I have a voice and face built for print, this is clear.

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 04:17 PM

Watching you right now, you corporate poster boy! "Don't ask us to bail you out if you want to live in Malibu" Turns out that I'm a Matt Welch conservative!

Posted by: Martin at October 27, 2003 05:27 PM

I disagree, Mr. Welch, it was a damn fine piece, seemed to run smooth and was kind of interesting. Excellent work, sir.

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at October 27, 2003 05:28 PM

You did great! And if I recall correctly, after the Painted Cave fire, at least one UCSB official told me his house burned down and his insurance co. refeused to pay him anything unless he rebuilt at the same location.

Posted by: Amy Langfield at October 27, 2003 05:29 PM

Also, you did sound impressed by the Dick Van Dyck story....

Posted by: Martin at October 27, 2003 05:30 PM

Matt, just saw you on O Reilly, and I'm laughing, but not for the reason you think.

At the top of your website, there is this picture of a rugged, handsome cowboy. I turn on O'Reilly and I see this Silicon Valley nerd type in coke-bottle black rims.

WTF? Will the real Matt Welch please stand up? Where can I find a picture of the real you? Please advise.

(But I still love the website and Reason. Regardless of what you look like, you rock!)

Thanks!

- WBB

Posted by: WBB at October 27, 2003 05:32 PM

WBB -- Well, I went a little thick on the hair-gel, which is always a problem. Also, I didn't know whether this was going to be adversarial, so I wanted to make sure I was wearing my patriotic conservative worst. But yeah, it may be time to retire my Buddy Hollies. Some guy in the Reason building the other month said I looked like that horrid "Can you hear me now?" guy, so it's clearly time for a change.

And at the risk of looking a gift compliment in the mouth, that picture of me here is from the day after my wedding, when I had one bru-tal hangover (take a good look at the eyes). The hat is made of cheap straw, not cowhide, and I'm wearing some kind of dreadful bowling shirt. A proper cowboy would want to punch me straight in the teeth. Thanks, though!

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 05:44 PM

Matt, Ashleigh Banfield called -she wants her glasses back.

You know we fought for thirty years to get the military to dump that style of frame you were wearing and adopt frames that were a bit more flattering. I didn't think that anyone would willingly wear BCG's, though yours were narrow BCG's. They made you look like you were smart and knew what you were talking about, though,

I thought you did fine. I didn't catch any stammering or stuff. You looked like the typical talking head, though I think you failed by not getting a "Shut Up!" out of Bilgewater Bill. The only thing I noticed is that you you were wound-up tight, but I think you've got a lucrative career as a professional guest commentator ahead of you.

Posted by: Paul at October 27, 2003 06:00 PM

Thanks, Paul (and everyone else!). The hardest bit, as those of you who know me can testify, is that I really talk like the biggest kind of SoCal jackass. Never complete sentences, nonstop "dude"s and "like"s and "deal"s and "stuff"s, nothing really to indicate intelligence, except maybe when I do my Cartman impersonation. My brain-mouth switch just doesn't compute things like complete sentences, or grammar. So, when I look distracted, it's really a case of me thinking, "hmmm, how would you talk that?"

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 06:16 PM

I almost fell out of my chair laughing after that last line. Thank you.

Posted by: henry at October 27, 2003 07:22 PM

Great appearance, Matt... hope you get invited back...

Posted by: HH at October 27, 2003 08:43 PM

Thanks, Henrys (or Henries?)!

Glenn Reynolds is like totally dogging on my glasses....

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 08:55 PM

Good show. Ignore the philistines' cracks about the glasses; they are what distinguishes you from the rest of the sabbath gasbags on Fox News.

I wonder what would happen to hillside property values if the state got out of the fire insurance business. The super-wealthy could probably afford to stay in Malibu or wherever, with or without insurance, but everyone else would be screwed; either sell cheap or pray that a fire never strikes. And particularly in the Valley, there are a lot of people who live on or near hillsides. Sounds like there are going to be more bankruptcy filings in the future....

Posted by: Steve Smith at October 27, 2003 09:16 PM

The O'Reilly appearance went swimmingly until the end:

Welch: "...and they're just encouraged to rebuild in these devastating brush fire zones."

O'Reilly: "I covered these fires ten years ago. In fact I rescued Dick Van Dyke, well my crew did, so I know how devastating they can be."

Welch: "A man with a flying car doesn't need to be rescued from a fire, my friend."

O'Reilly: "Well, we'll let the audience decide on that. I did rescue Dick van Dyke, and I stand by that. OK, thank you for coming on the Factor this eventing, Mr. Welch."

Welch: "Thank you. Bah, bah, bah, BOOEY!!"

O'Reilly: "OK. We had to cut him off."

Posted by: ct at October 27, 2003 09:25 PM

I should have read this thread before posting. Somebody got to the ba ba booey reference before I did...

Objective review: If I didn't know you as the blogger Matt Welch your appearance would have rated a straight arrow normal nothing-out-of-whack impression.

Posted by: ct at October 27, 2003 09:38 PM

A So-Cal dude would not be doing a ba ba booey reference... I understand that...

Dallas over the Lakers opening night.

Posted by: ct at October 27, 2003 10:10 PM

Matt, you were better than fine -- you made a complex issue understandable in quick, well-hewn soundbites. Not sure why you thought Bill would be adversarial, though, since you were clearly on the "no-spin" side of things. You should have noted for the Fox-ites the alarming similarity of this insurance plot to Lee Harvey Oswald's membership in "Fair Play for Cuba." Come to think of it, Bill seemed kinda Oxycontined during the whole show -- although he did toss off a nonchalant "In this time of great terror..." Is he losing his edge?

But can you explain how this California deal interacts with the fact that now that Bush has declared a state of emergency, all these folks will be eligible for cheapo federally subsidized insurance? I just read that over at sfgate.

Oh, and that tie! Beautiful. But somebody needs to tell that woman doing the news briefs to stop the plastic surgery before she looks like Goldie Hawn and Michael Jackson's love child. And I had to rewind my tivo twice to make sure she was calling the Iraqi attackers "homicide bombers." You go, Mr. Ailes!

Posted by: christopher at October 27, 2003 10:26 PM

Hi Christopher! I'm not sure what you mean by Lee Harvey Oswald, but there you go....

This FAIR deal is small beer in the scheme of things, but it just doesn't really make any sense. Why should the government specifically force the insurance industry to insure homeowners in well-known brush-fire zones? (That's really the statutory language.) I'm not enough of a libertarian or Insurance Expert yet to pronounce that all FAIR-type insurance policies (which exist in 29 states) are bad ideas, but this one seems like a no-brainer, especially when coupled with the various other contributions to Moral Hazard -- FEMA handouts, SBA loans, tax relief to victims, relaxation of building codes among rebuilders, crazy overrepresentation of local services to high-risk areas (5 LACFD stations in the city of Malibu alone), the construction & maintenance by L.A. Flood Control of more than 100 debris basins in the foothills (which will be full up next time it rains real good). It's just bad policy, I think.

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 27, 2003 10:36 PM

OK, you looked like you were in a Saturday Night Live skit. Like the brother of the girl who smells her armpits.

Don't Angels fans by some kind of law have to be Clippers fans? Shouldn't it be enforced?

Posted by: ct at October 27, 2003 11:12 PM

Jesus, Matt, that was terrific. You're a perfect TV guy. As for sounding like a SoCal jackass, please ... you should witness some of MY television performances. A typical sample:

Host: Intelligent question.

Tim: Wha?

Host: Intelligent question, rephrased using simpler words.

Tim: Ummm ...

Host: Intelligent question, this time asked via flash cards.

Tim: (frozen silence)

Ade=red&id=6688">tim at October 27, 2003 11:49 PM

Blair -- I think yours was the last plane they let out of here. We are wearing surgical masks indoors, and arresting all Australians as a precaution. The squirrels are even more spooked than usual, and there is local television footage of bobcats on fire. Intriguingly, Hornberger "just got back" from "the desert" ...

And thanks!

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 28, 2003 12:04 AM

Matt, I agree, Malibu should be given back to the seals and nudists. But a lot of those folks in places like Santee are not wealthy people, I don't think.

Did you catch Hannity and Colmes afterwards? Apparently these fires were caused by pinko environmentalists who are blocking Bush's plan to carefully thin the nation's forests.

FYI: The entire Oakland fire zone of 1991 is completely rebuilt now with gigantuan, 6-car garage houses twice as big (but half as classy) as the houses that burned. No trees.

Posted by: Christopher at October 28, 2003 12:09 AM

Chris -- Regardless if you're rich or poor, I don't think the guvmint should be encouraging you to build in Brush Fire land, then bailing you out when yr home burns down. Unless my brother (who lives close to Santee) has *his* house burn down (the Cedar Fire is 2-3 miles away, in three different directions), in which case I will be lobbying for my own six-figure cut.

I don't know from Santee, but in my brother's hood (a tick west from Poway, about 15 miles from Santee), we are not talking about gritty blue-collar types trying to stay ahead of payday loans.

According to some source I can't name just now (I think it was the L.A. Times a while back) the biggest areas receiving FAIR loans are: "Malibu, Bel-Air, Topanga Canyon, Laurel Canyon, Glendale, Pasadena and Arcadia."

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 28, 2003 12:22 AM

Matt,

You did great. Really you did. I taped it for Shelly and she says you did great, too.

Good thing it was great, 'cause I haven't erased it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 28, 2003 01:33 AM

Matt, I know I'm a contrary mofo, but I'm not actually disagreeing with you this time. I don't think folks should live on cliffsides, steep wooded canyons, dry arroyos and the like, and expect special ducats. I'm for urban density and controlled growth and that other good liberal stuff. Let's all live next to the metro, is my motto...

Posted by: Christopher at October 28, 2003 04:14 AM

Matt:

Disappointing to see you take on the role of insurance industry mouthpiece.

Would love to see you do a detailed analysis of the reasoning behind FAIR plans, which are necessary to prevent the insurance industry from abandoning any area it deems "risky."

Left to their own devices, insurance companies would just as soon avoid paying policyholders for their losses. As a result, they often will refuse to insure anyone who lives in a "risk" zone as defined BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. That's not just cliffside homes in fire areas. It's coastal homes subject to wind, rain and flooding; suburban and urban neighborhoods where earthquakes occur (think Northridge); urban areas with a high crime rate, etc...

In those areas, an insurer of last resort -- the FAIR plan -- is the only way to keep the industry honest. Take a look at what happened after the Northridge quake: Many of the state's largest insurers decided to stop writing policies for middle-class homeowners in the Valley who suddenly were too risky on the new actuarial tables.

Meanwhile, don't fret about how you looked... It was a good appearance, and you got an awful lot of talk time without O'Reilly shouting over you...

Posted by: TractHomeowner at October 28, 2003 07:15 AM

Matt. Consistent with your recent political leanings, you appeared the model of nerdy republicanism. Not a trace of boozy/drugged out naderite in you. As for my fellow tracthomeowner, lets see how you feel a year from now when we see our new insurance rates for our perfectly safe homes. I'm sure it'll all be due to the unique GREED of insurance cos.

Posted by: Lloyd at October 28, 2003 02:13 PM

I still don't understand how it is in the best interest to have an old 1000 klub member on its show? will there be REM sing-alongs? is there going to be another load droped into a kitchen somewhere? and what about pat and wade?

Posted by: 1000 klub at October 28, 2003 02:47 PM

"Left to their own devices, insurance companies would just as soon avoid paying policyholders for their losses. As a result, they often will refuse to insure anyone who lives in a "risk" zone as defined BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. That's not just cliffside homes in fire areas. It's coastal homes subject to wind, rain and flooding; suburban and urban neighborhoods where earthquakes occur (think Northridge); urban areas with a high crime rate, etc..."

Are you arguing that insurance companies should be forced to carry policies in a region where, barring premiums being at draconian levels, they will lose money? If that's the case, the taxpayer *should* step in and cover the difference in cost to the companies, or they should tell the busybodies who think that insurance companies are a public charity to take a hike.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at October 28, 2003 04:42 PM

Rob-bob! How you doin, man? Where the hell are you?

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 28, 2003 05:10 PM

Ah...I missed it. That's what I get for not checking your blog often enough. Oh well, I'll scope O'Reilly's archives later today.

Posted by: Nik at November 2, 2003 10:26 AM
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Matt. Consistent with your recent political leanings, you appeared the model of nerdy republicanism. Not a trace of boozy/drugged out naderite in you. As for my fellow tracthomeowner, lets see how you feel a year from now when we see our new insurance rates for our perfectly safe homes. I'm sure it'll all be due to the unique GREED of insurance cos.

Posted by: Lloyd at October 28, 2003 02:13 PM

I still don't understand how it is in the best interest to have an old 1000 klub member on its show? will there be REM sing-alongs? is there going to be another load droped into a kitchen somewhere? and what about pat and wade?

Posted by: 1000 klub at October 28, 2003 02:47 PM

"Left to their own devices, insurance companies would just as soon avoid paying policyholders for their losses. As a result, they often will refuse to insure anyone who lives in a "risk" zone as defined BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. That's not just cliffside homes in fire areas. It's coastal homes subject to wind, rain and flooding; suburban and urban neighborhoods where earthquakes occur (think Northridge); urban areas with a high crime rate, etc..."

Are you arguing that insurance companies should be forced to carry policies in a region where, barring premiums being at draconian levels, they will lose money? If that's the case, the taxpayer *should* step in and cover the difference in cost to the companies, or they should tell the busybodies who think that insurance companies are a public charity to take a hike.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at October 28, 2003 04:42 PM

Rob-bob! How you doin, man? Where the hell are you?

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 28, 2003 05:10 PM

Ah...I missed it. That's what I get for not checking your blog often enough. Oh well, I'll scope O'Reilly's archives later today.

Posted by: Nik at November 2, 2003 10:26 AM
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