Wednesday, January 10, 2007

O'Reilly The Raging Catarrhine

I'm beginning to like MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.

He recently asked media psychologist Caryn Stark to watch a clip from FOX's The O'Reilly Factor and analyze Bill O'Reilly's body language. Her assessment? O'Reilly acts very...well...primate-like. More than that, O'Reilly is apparently acting like a frenzied, territorial catarrhine:

He's screaming. And he starts flailing his hands around, and that's typical primate behavior that shows that "this is my territory; I'm protecting it."

Actually, an obsessed, raging, territorial catarrhine:

He obsesses about his points. He mentions liberal. You're going to see it again. There you go, over and over again. "I'm obsessed with this point about being a liberal and I'm going to let you know, and I'm going to use my fingers for emphasis, and I'm going to make a lot of noise and a lot of fury about nothing." So, I don't think we have to pay too much attention to what he's doing because he's enjoying himself, and he's doing a lot of, "here's my territory, and I'm going to protect it."

There was always something familiar about O'Reilly's constant caterwauling about "liberals" and Stark's analysis reminded me of it: recollections of my primate behavior classes in college. O'Reilly behaves much like Rhesus macaques I remember watching (I was going to say baboons, but they're too dignified).

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