Friday, September 5, 2008
Obama on the O'Reilly Factor
Last night Barack Obama went into the lions den. He was interviewed by Fox News' anchorman Bill O'Reilly (pictured). Whatever you think of the Cavan man Bill O'Reilly is undeniably the biggest personality in the American media. To this effect there was a stand off of sorts between Obama and O'Reilly. O'Reilly claimed at the beginning of the year that any serious presidential candidate would have to come on the O'Reilly Factor to have any chance of winning. John McCain went on and eventually Hillary Clinton but it appeared that Obama was calling his bluff. However eventually Obama had to admit that you can't argue with the ratings and O'Reilly does pull in the Viewers. O'Reilly is a right winger and although he claims to be an independent he has been the most notable leader of the crusade to mock and belittle all the lefties and anti war activists since 911. It was therefore expected that if Obama would go on the Factor he would get a particularly hard time from Billo. On the one hand you had the Obama campaign hinting that O'Reilly is not as important as he makes out and that Obama could afford not to go on. On the other hand you had Fox News saying that Obama was afraid to go on. O'Reilly has been saying so for months. In January O'Reilly confronted Obama at a campaign Rally in New Hamshire in order to ask why he hadn't come on The Factor . Watch below as sparks fly.
Just after this incident Obama promised O'Reilly that he would come on The Factor after the primary. But several months after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race Obama had still not sat in front of O'Reilly. He reminded his audience of this practically every night. So last night for the first time Obama came face to face in a studio setting with O'Reilly, the ultimate symbol of the American right. This is excellent stuff and a must see !
Personally I think Obama nailed it. O'Reilly is a tough interviewer and most who are critical of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and of confronting Iran don't last long in front of the ruthless Cavan man. But Obama was logical and articulate in his criticism of Bush tactics in a way that O'Reilly was unable to counter. What ye think ?