Another whiny answer about Fox in the O’Reilly interview is what’s wrong with Obama’s presidency

posted at 9:51 pm on February 5, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Much has been made of this exchange in the Obama vs. O’Reilly interview, in which O’Reilly asked if the president thinks he’s been unfair. The answer was, of course, yes:

When Fox’s Bill O’Reilly asked Obama during their recent interview, “Do you think I’m being unfair to you?” Obama replied … yes.

“Absolutely,” Obama said. “Of course you are, Bill — but, I like you anyway.” …

The president noted that the interview consisted of leading questions about “health care not working,” Benghazi, and allegations of a “wholly corrupt” IRS — issues, Obama said, that are “defined by you guys in a certain way.”

A critic of Fox News in the past, Obama said “this is okay,” and “if you want to be president of the United States, then you know that you’re going to be subject to criticism.”

He added: “I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not … it has made Fox News very successful.”

And: “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

All right, a couple things. If he’s so “unfair,” President Obama did not have to do the interview. I don’t think he is unfair. In fact, O’Reilly goes out of his way to emphasize his belief in the president’s good intentions, good heart, and areas where he agrees with the president (sometimes to an extent that might be annoying to, say, a conservative guest arguing with him who’s less inclined to grant the president good faith so often). He also asks questions and does commentary about things that are obviously newsworthy scandals, which is basically the president’s definition of “unfair.”

But here’s the point. Once the president has decided to do the interview with the “unfair” journalist, it is his job to make the best of that interview for his own messaging purposes. I’m going to set aside my own views on the minimum wage to talk about this from a strategic communications point of view.

In the two weeks leading up to the president’s interview with the highest-rated host on the highest-rated cable network in the country, that host had repeatedly professed support for a major part of the president’s economic agenda— raising the minimum wage. Support for the minimum wage is not something that’s necessarily popular with O’Reilly’s audience, which whether Obama likes it or not, make up a large segment of the country that needs convincing before he can accomplish large parts of his legislative agenda.

So, what the heck is he doing answering O’Reilly’s question with anything other than this?

“You know, Bill, there is one issue on which I think you’ve been totally fair, and that’s the minimum wage. Now, stick with me because this goes to your question. This is a perfect example of where the American people can come together to make change. If Bill O’Reilly and Barack Obama can agree on something, surely Congress can come together, too. As I’ve said before, Bill, I’m not interested in what’s right or left. I’m interested in what works, and I think you are, too. This is one area where we can work together to make sure the American people get a fair shake. What’s fairer than that? We don’t have to agree on every question you ask or every segment you do on your show, and we never will, but on this issue, we can bring help to those who need it and a brighter day to the folks who are out there working hard.”

Instead, he declared O’Reilly “unfair” in a peevish and tired answer that, if he believes it’s true, is an indictment of his own decisions and those of the staff booking this interview. He had an opportunity to communicate with a giant swath of the country that does not agree with him, with a huge assist from a host who does, on a legislative goal he could conceivably accomplish. He knew O’Reilly agreed with him on this issue and mentioned it in passing during a more contentious part of the interview, but this was an obvious chance to give the pitch and close the deal. The folks are watching! Convince them! For all the hype about Obama’s oratory skills, his persuasion skills in anything other than a presidential election leave much to be desired.

Haters gonna hate, not legislate.

(Full disclosure, which you all know but nonetheless: I work for Fox News and appear on The O’Reilly Factor weekly.)


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Good point, MKH.

itsnotaboutme on February 5, 2014 at 9:54 PM

This President is Brittle.

PappyD61 on February 5, 2014 at 9:54 PM

That’s all Folks!

egmont on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Gosh, if only that darn Fox News would report about unicorns and rainbows, there would never be a Benghazi scandal, or IRS scandal, or Fast and Furious scandal, or Justice Department scandal, or NSA scandal, or…

John the Libertarian on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Fluck Barrack Hussein Obama…

He flucked my family….

Fluck him!!

And the democrat party!

Electrongod on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Bill, I’m not interested in what’s right or left. I’m interested in what works,

Really? So how come all your ideas come out of the extreme left King Barack?

GarandFan on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

This is a perfect example of where the American people can come together to make change. If Bill O’Reilly and Barack Obama can agree on something, surely Congress can come together, too.
======================================

H*lls Bells,..sheer logic right there!!

Speechifications UnLeashed Sumpin Sumpins!!

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Really? So how come all your ideas come out of the extreme left King Barack?

GarandFan on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

GarandFan:Percisely:)

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

My 3 and 4 yr-old grandsons don’t whine as much as O Stompy Foot does.

What a tiresome, boorish man we have in the White House.

GrannyDee on February 5, 2014 at 10:08 PM

https://twitter.com/markknoller

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

“I know you think we haven’t been fair but I think your heart is in the right place,” O’Reilly tells Pres Obama at end of 10 min interview.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

Pres Obama tells O’Reilly its “absolutely wrong” that WH deliberately used IRS to give conservative groups a hard time.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

On IRS crackdown on conservative groups, Pres Obama says “there was some boneheaded decisions…but not even a smidgeon of corruption.”
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

Pres Obama denies “the notion that we would hide the ball for political purposes” in 2012 on whether Benghazi was a terror attack.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

On Benghazi attack, Pres Obama says Dems and GOP “should be unified in trying to figure out how are we going to protect people”
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

On initial confusion about attack on Benghazi, Pres Obama says “people don’t know at the very moment why something like this happens.”
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

Pressed on whether Benghazi attack was act of terror, Pres Obama says “When someone is attacking our compound that’s an act of terror.”
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

“I try to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next play,” says Pres Obama about his pledge people can keep their health coverage.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

Pres Obama says he still regrets promising people they can keep their health care coverage, but stop short of calling it his worst mistake.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

Pres Obama avoids direct answer when asked by Bill O’Reilly why HHS Sebelius not fired for ObamaCare rollout.
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Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 12h

In @FoxNews interview, Pres Obama says nobody expected the problems with bamaCare enrollment rollout. “We’re holding everyone accountable.”

canopfor on February 3, 2014 at 8:07 AM

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:09 PM

He’s juvenille. No real world life experience. A total fake. Nothing to draw upon except false ideological concept. Liberation theology, full of resentment.

It’s all about getting even.

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Child.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Another whiny answer about Fox in the O’Reilly interview is what’s wrong with Obama’s presidency

When nothing is right with Obama’s presidency, the only thing left to discuss is what’s wrong with it.

rukiddingme on February 5, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Child.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

A child with a pen and a phone…

And a lapdog media that sucks his…..

Electrongod on February 5, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Man oh man, when will this nightmare be over?

Cleombrotus on February 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

So, what the heck is he doing answering O’Reilly’s question with anything other than this?


Not sure if trolling
your readers for the last post before QOTD …

… or you’ve missed the MSM control of the narrative for the last 6 years?

Anybody OTHER than Barack Obama, your point is correct regarding what he SHOULD have said.

After 6 years of “bending the narrative curve downwards” to unceasing worship and deference to the SCOAMF coupled with your own obeisance to its “acceptable behavior” in order to continue to appear on a major network …

Raises a more direct question for YOU:

Do you share “… O’Reilly’s belief in the president’s good intentions, good heart …” or do you view him as the most corrupt President ever to hold the office?

PolAgnostic on February 5, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Not agreeing with Obama without question is Obama’s definition of being “unfair.” Even, or especially, from “journalists.”

besser tot als rot on February 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM

President Bieber

22044 on February 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Cleombrotus on February 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

sorry to report…just over a thousand days..

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/to?iso=20161108T07&p0=611&msg=Countdown+until+Obama+is+OUT+OF+OFFICE!&csz=1

going2mars on February 5, 2014 at 10:29 PM

and that’s just the election date…
after that comes the EO’s and Pardons..

going2mars on February 5, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Douche.

SouthernGent on February 5, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Nixon would have sacrificed goats to get the kind of “unfair” treatment Obama gets from the modern MSM.

Phoenix7 on February 5, 2014 at 10:38 PM

A child with a pen and a phone…

And a lapdog media that sucks his…..

Electrongod on February 5, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Electrongod:And the Nukey Football!:0

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM

The Resident President.

A lame duck who has been marginalized now by his own party.

Sheila Jackson Lee’s caucus are writing EO’s and are directing Obama to simply sign.

After all, he has a pen and a phone.

thatsafactjack on February 5, 2014 at 10:41 PM

After watching the vitriol and out and out hate that GWB received in his time in office and then watching what they did to Palin, you have to be either brain dead or a such a grifter to think that anyone has been “unfair” comparatively to Obama.

Simply amazing.

But, of course, the sycophants and fellow idiot travellers will buy into it and whine about it.

I’m losing hope that I’ll see an adult in charge again in my lifetime.

kim roy on February 5, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Child with a pen and a phone… And a lapdog media that sucks his….. Electrongod on February 5, 2014 at 10:16 PM

And the nuke football. Choom.

I couldn’t get in to the nuke program in the Navy because I refused to lie and say I had never tried pot. They wanted me to lie. I couldn’t.

This jackwad admits to the choom gang, and can launch the missles I couldn’t get near.

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:42 PM

ctrongod:And the Nukey Football!:0 canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Same wavelenght. ;)

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:44 PM

…man child…who needs a diaper!

KOOLAID2 on February 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

ctrongod:And the Nukey Football!:0 canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Same wavelenght. ;)

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:44 PM

wolly4321: Lol,…a VulCan MindMeld Thingy:)

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 10:47 PM

KOOLAID2 on February 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

get him the Depends for women…
they will fit better in his mom jeans..

going2mars on February 5, 2014 at 10:52 PM

And the nuke football. Choom.

I couldn’t get in to the nuke program in the Navy because I refused to lie and say I had never tried pot. They wanted me to lie. I couldn’t.

This jackwad admits to the choom gang, and can launch the missles I couldn’t get near.

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Let’s not forget the generals in missile command at Warren that were pulled from command positions for being habitually inebriated on the job. Such paragons of virtue they are too.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 5, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Well of course Bill O’Reilly has been unfair to President Obama. He attacks Obama on all of his shows and during his Super Bowl interveiw he just asked Obama about all the bad things going on. Now should Obama have a tougher skin about all of this? Sure. When MSNBC attacked President Bush and called him every nasty name in the book, Bush just ignored it. Obama should do the same.

SoulGlo on February 5, 2014 at 11:52 PM

And: “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

Same thing they did before he was there.

Dominate the ratings.

Hawkins1701 on February 6, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Yawn. Wake me up when they start calling him Chimpy Hitler, “WORST PRESIDENZT EVER!!11!!”

Kenosha Kid on February 6, 2014 at 1:06 AM

Bad policy overrides “good” intentions.

BD57 on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 AM

You miss his intentions MKH. Obama knew he had an audience that has been “brainwashed” by an “unfair” news agency.

He was hoping he could persuade them to “see the light” and see that he really is nothing more than a victim.

He loves being a victim. It’s what being a liberal is all about. That’s how they increase their numbers. They tell people they’re victims and that they’re here to “make it right”.

You expected Obama to behave like a rational human being. Sorry, but liberals and those that believe in wealth redistribution and the like are not rational human beings.

ButterflyDragon on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 AM

Ask not, Mr. President, what Fox would do without you [to kick around] but what you would do without Fox [to blame all of your failures on].

stenwin77 on February 6, 2014 at 6:45 AM

And: “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

Narcissistic and Nixonian — “You don’t have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference”.

Newsflash, Einstein. Foxnews was very successful before anyone outside of Chicago ever heard of you.

The entire press corp was highly critical of Nixon. Comrade O has almost the entire press corps (that’s pronounced ‘kôr’, Dear Leader) treating him with kid gloves. They are on his side, in his corner, and covering for him most of the time. He has one news organization that is critical of him and he whines about it on national TV like a little girl. To say he is thin skinned and self-centered is to be too kind.

farsighted on February 6, 2014 at 7:04 AM

It’s so unfair when people are critical of the words and actions of the most powerful person on the planet. Bullies!!!

warden on February 6, 2014 at 7:05 AM

I have stopped listening to Obama’s speeches or interviews. Even when he’s pandering to his base he doesn’t come across as the POTUS or even an adult – he comes across as a petulant child.

I’m always tempted to tell him – “no one ever said life was going to always be fair – grow up and stop whining.’ And that is why so many ignore even his possibly acceptable ideas – like a parent with a bratty kid we’ve stopped listening to him.

katiejane on February 6, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Obama questions the questions, he does not answer the questions.
And Riley is too witless to catch on to this trick and press Obama to answer the questions..

And one must remember: Obama lies.

albill on February 6, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Most thinned-skinned president ever.

sadatoni on February 6, 2014 at 7:57 AM

He had an opportunity to communicate with a giant swath of the country that does not agree with him, with a huge assist from a host who does, on a legislative goal he could conceivably accomplish.


I would reject the entire premise of that statement MKH. If we’ve learned anything about Mr’ Obama in the last six years it is these interviews are all about him. He has an agenda and motive in doing them- something Mr. O’Reilly didn’t think about at all in his quest to grab ratings.

Conclusively, Mr. Obama was playing chess and Mr. O’Reilly was playing hopscotch. Quite simply, he (Mr. O’Reilly) was outmatched.

Mr. Obama is not the epitome of honesty, introspection and leadership. He is a bastion of political opportunism, deception and counter culture. He has become very good at hiding his objectives and motives, using people like Bill O’Reilly as pawns to achieve his goals. Honestly, he must have been laughing when this was all over at Mr. O’Reilly’s naivete or perhaps overzealous opportunism.

In the end, we’ve learned nothing we don’t already know about Mr. Obama and we are no closer to resolving any of our challenges or receiving answers to some very serious questions.

So what was the goal of this interview? Cogitate on that for awhile and let me know when you come to an honest conclusion.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama gets to go on prime time and look like a “regular guy” to the unknowing and perhaps uncaring masses.

Advantage Mr. Obama. And a well-deserved (deliberately earned) dunce cap with the word “purposeful dupe” scrawled across it for Mr. O’Reilly.

Marcus Traianus on February 6, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Well of course Bill O’Reilly has been unfair to President Obama. He attacks Obama on all of his shows and during his Super Bowl interveiw he just asked Obama about all the bad things going on. Now should Obama have a tougher skin about all of this? Sure. When MSNBC attacked President Bush and called him every nasty name in the book, Bush just ignored it. Obama should do the same.

So why is brining up legitimate negative stories, very important negative stories, unfair?

And why would asking him about only bad things when only bad things have been going on on any major scale unfair? Name the long list of good things going on they should have talked about instead? Do you somehow think the only way to be fair would be to do the fawning “why does the world refuse to recognize your magnificence, mr president?” Interviews the rest of the media gives him?

Arssanguinus on February 6, 2014 at 8:14 AM

And: “What you guys are gonna have to figure out is … what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

How Nixonian of you Mr. Present, how Nixonian.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM

He’s juvenile. No real world life experience.

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Yup. A recurring theme in these comments is that Obama is like a child, and I think that’s true. Back when I started to drift toward a more conservative viewpoint, lefty friends would often hit me with the classic accusation of “selling out.” I always told them that when they said that, what I heard was, “You refused to stop thinking about politics and society when you were sixteen years old.” And that was true; I kept on thinking about these things in light of my growing knowledge of the world around me. Just seemed to make sense. But to leftists that is simply “selling out” your idealism. Obama strikes me as a classic example; he is full of the half-baked ideas, resentments, arrogance and romantic victimhood of a sixteen-year-old. And unlike us weak, greedy backsliders, he will never “sell out.” That’s the “man” we elected as president.

SacredFire on February 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Fluck Fluke Barrack Hussein Obama…

He flucked fluked my family….

Fluck Fluke him!!

And the democrat party!

Electrongod on February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

FIFY

Shy Guy on February 6, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I’m sure that I’m not the first to land on this point, but…

If being critical of President Obama is responsible for Fox News’ success, then not being critical of President Obama is responsible for the decline of CNN, MSNBC, et al.

You Think!?

WestTexasBirdDog on February 6, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Let me perfectly clear, ahh I have ahh never felt that he has ahh the oratory ahh skills ahh attributed to him

kenro85 on February 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Marcus Traianus on February 6, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Can’t disagree more with your analysis.

He looked small and petty – no one, even a LIV likes a whiner. O’R could have completely twisted the knife and chose not to, which is unfortunate but not surprising. His favorability ratings are sinking well beyond his conservative critics, and a majority don’t trust him. He has power in DC because the GOP fears the media, with some justification. But he is going to lose the Senate – which means he will lose a chance to try and tip the court leftward. He will veto like crazy – which will hurt the dem candidate for President.

The GOP has ample opportunity to blow this – Boehner doesn’t have it in him to do what is necessary and needs to be replaced as speaker. Not only do we need to beat dems we need to replace weakkneed GOP.

Zomcon JEM on February 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

He added: “I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not … it has made Fox News very successful.”

For someone who believes in “you didn’t build that” he seems convinced that he has helped to build Fox into the success it is today. Never mind that the network was thriving before it could ever be unfair to him.

dman1367 on February 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

‘what are you gonna do when I’m gone’ he asks? We’re gonna throw the biggest damn party and cheer until the chickens leave the roost.

Kissmygrits on February 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

The whole message from Obama and the Democrats, in the year of 2014: Unfair, unfair, unfair and so on.

Swedish Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Good point by MKH – the President’s powers of persuasion are vastly overrated. I liked the way O’Reilly structured the interview, focusing on scandals that the President has gotten away with little comment on.

I would like to see him really drilled on bigger picture stuff though: accountability, responsibility, civility, and ideology. He likes to claim he takes responsibility and holds people accountable, but obviously he has no idea what that means. He talks great game about being civil and then slanders his opponents all the time. He denounces ideology and then clearly lets liberal ideology guide his every decision. I’d love to see an interview where he really gets pinned down on this.

HighFive on February 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

I don’t know why Bill was asking Obama for a performance review regarding his fairness and Fox News. Bill should have stuck with the important issues that affect Americans. The interview should have focused entirely on Obama’s performance or lack thereof.

jar45 on February 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Obama makes my nosebleed, will O’care cover that??

Fripton on February 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Mr. Obama has never been “at fault” for anything in his Presidency. Mistakes may have been made (but never intended, of course) and things “could have been done better”. But never, other than the general comment, “It is my responsibility”, does he admit to being other than an innocent bystander. His plaintive statement claiming unfairness has the aura of a used-car lot about it, and seems to suggest that for his administration there should never be even a smidgen of a suggestion that there should be consequences for lack of performance.

Of course, since I disagree with his agenda in all respects, I am thankful that he has proven himself an inept administrator. Imagine the harm that he could have done if he had the ability of Lyndon Johnson…it makes me cringe. So I am thankful for small favors like that.

TKPedersen42 on February 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Obama – the four-year-old president…

zoyclem on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

It’s so unfair when people are critical of the words and actions of the most powerful person on the planet. Bullies!!!

warden on February 6, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Most powerful person on the planet? Who are you referring to Kris Kardashian-Jenner or Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin?

Wade on February 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM

The arrogance comeuppance built!

vnohara on February 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

He can’t handle the truth!!!

truman on February 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM