Monday, February 7, 2011

Fine Interview of Obama by O'Reilly

I said - actually Tweeted - this yesterday, about Bill O'Reilly's brief interview of Barack Obama before the Superbowl:  Obama did very well.  He came off as informed and articulate.  He gave clear answers to O'Reilly's tough questions.

I would say exactly the same about the longer segment of the interview just aired on The Factor.  Obama provided reasoned and astute answers to O'Reilly's series of questions ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to why Obama hasn't been doing more about the economy. Obama's answer on the economy was instructive - the President cited some of the many things he's in fact been doing.

Of special significance to anyone who enjoys media analysis - which would include me - was Obama's response to O'Reilly's question about what the President thinks of Fox News.   Obama allowed that although he (correctly) saw Fox as a news operation that disagreed with his policies, Fox was nonetheless a legitimate news station.

Unsurprisingly, the interview has received fire from both sides.  O'Reilly read an email from a conservative who wondered by O'Reilly would interview such a "loser".  O'Reilly's response, with a smile - because Obama's the most powerful person in the world - was graceful and of course well-taken.  Meanwhile, Lawrence O'Donnell was busy denouncing O'Reilly and the interview over on MSNBC, aggrieved at the number of times O'Reilly interrupted the President.  I had no trouble at all following the conversation.

Indeed, I think all of the interview's critics, from right and left, were busy watching the scripts in their own heads than the interview on the screen.   Kudos to both President Obama and Bill O'Reilly for bringing us an engaging presentation of the President's policies.
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