Written by Victoria Cepeda
Bill O’Reilly, a man in the business of giving opinions, is not shy about letting us know where he stands on issues. Even if you are not a fan or could care less about what O’Reilly has to say, one thing seems clear, the man believes to have a darn good idea of what this government ought to do to get the economy churning and the country sailing in the right direction (no pun intended).
His “O’Reilly Factor,” on FOX News, counts with a loyal following and high viewership share compared to other cable news shows. It is safe to say that Bill’s opinions are representative of that of the majority of his viewers.
What other time to grab the nation’s attention than before Super Bowl Sunday? Why not take the opportunity to attract the nation’s attention and interview the President of the United States? No easy feat if you ask me but piece of cake for Bill and friends at FOX News Co. from where I was seated, everyone’s best interest would be served.
However, I wonder whether Bill would be nervous. Would the man so many revere while others despise just as intensely show any signs of vulnerability?
With a few minutes to kill before the kick off of the interview, I went to “The O’Reilly Factor” page to see if there were any articles written on the subject. Bingo. On February 3rd, 2010 O’Reilly admitted on his Talking with the President, that “the chat is scheduled to last about 12 minutes and is fraught with danger. For me, not for the president. That’s because the rules are different when it comes to interviewing the President of the United States. Since the beginning of our republic, only 44 men have held that office, and when a citizen is in the presence of the Chief Executive, there is strict protocol. Back in September 2008, I interviewed then-Senator Obama on the campaign trail. There was no protocol involved, except for civility. I asked Mr. Obama a series of specific questions and interrupted him if he didn’t answer them directly. But that was then. On Sunday, I can ask the president valid questions, but he doesn’t have to answer them. He can say what he wants. If I interrupt him too much, I look like a dope.”
To his credit, Bill did start off eloquently and chivalrous. “Mr. President, thank you very much for doing this. And I must thank you on behalf of the FOX News Channel for helping out Greg Palkot and Mr. Wiig who got roughed up in Cairo. That was you, it was Robert Gibbs, and the State Department, who really saved them — and we all thank you very much.” Then proceeded to do what he does best and had said he would try to avoid; he kept abruptly interrupting President Obama. Granted, it was a live broadcast and time was of essence but still. Yes, Bill threw in some jabs here and there but President Obama’s patience and cool demeanor returned some benefits. The President seized the opportunity to tell the thousands of viewers why his health care reform’s main provision, ruled by a couple of judges to be unconstitutional, is not so. Here it goes:
OBAMA: But, Bill, I just want to be clear about this, because if you look what we have done, what we said was, if you have health care that you like, you keep it.
O’REILLY: I know all that. I listen to it every day.
OBAMA: I know. And I listen to you. And what I hear you saying, Bill, for example, is that the notion that us saying to people that don’t have health insurance, don’t make me pay for your health insurance, if you get sick, you have a responsibility to make sure that you have got coverage. There’s nothing socialist about that, that’s saying to Americans, we’re going each of us be responsible for our own health care. And that’s something that I think that the majority of Americans…
O’REILLY: OK, but you understand that a lot of Americans feel you’re a big government liberal who wants to intrude on their personal freedom. Now, they also say that you have been moving — now, that’s — come on, you know that…
OBAMA: I think that a lot of folks who watch you don’t believe that.
O’REILLY: They think way worse than me.
In the end, I think that both men stuck to their guns but had no choice but to acknowledge each other’s purpose and representation of their constituents and viewers. To each its own.
Some say that Obama “owned” O’Reilly. I say 0-1 for sure.
What do you think?
Talking With The President – Bill O’Reilly’s Column
Transcript of the Interview
Central Provision of the Health Care Reform Ruled Unconstitutional
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