Letterman vs. O'Reilly on 'Late'

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NEW YORK -- Bill O'Reilly walked out for his appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show" with a plastic shield. He could have used it.

"That's cute, that's nice," Letterman said on Friday night's show. "You come out with toys."

Letterman and the Fox News Channel talk show host renewed their prickly confrontation from January, when Letterman told him "I have the feeling about 60% of what you say is crap."

Before O'Reilly even came out, Letterman made his feelings clear.

"I'm secretly hoping when Bill O'Reilly comes out here, I'll have the opportunity to call him a bonehead," Letterman said.

They discussed the Iraq war and the upcoming midterm election, with O'Reilly saying that Americans are depressed by the progress of the Iraq War, and that they'd rather watch escapist entertainment like "Dancing with the Stars" than the news.

He asked Letterman: "Are you going to be on 'Dancing with the Stars'?"

"Ha ha," Letterman said. "You bonehead."

Letterman said that like many Americans, he was so angered in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that he wanted to strike out, and didn't oppose the Iraq War at its beginning. As time has gone on, he said he has realized that was wrong.

Asked by O'Reilly whether he wanted the Americans to win the war, Letterman said he wanted a solution that would result in the least loss of American lives.

As part of their confrontation, O'Reilly said Letterman was guilty of oversimplifying a complicated situation.

"You're putting words in my mouth," he told Letterman at one point.

"You're putting artificial facts in your head," Letterman responded.

O'Reilly didn't get angry with Letterman during his appearance, although at one point he told an apparent heckler in the audience to "knock it off." He told the audience that he and Letterman were really friends. "This whole thing is a big act," he said.

Letterman never agreed with him.

"I have no idea what I'm talking about," Letterman said. "But I don't think you do, either."
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