Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama

Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama yesterday is fascinating on a number of levels.

First, the fact that the interview happened is noteworthy. This White House is not known for its openness to the press, much less to Fox News. That an adversarial interviewer like O’Reilly was allowed a one-on-one in the East Room is pretty amazing.

Second, even though the interview was short, O’Reilly did press the president on a number of issues that other reporters would not have pressed (e.g., Benghazi and the IRS scandal). Until yesterday, he has rarely had to face questions like the ones O’Reilly gave him.

Third, President Obama is still playing games with words. President Obama claims to have called Benghazi a terrorist attack a day after it happened. It’s the word game that arguably won him his second debate against Mitt Romney and ultimately a second term. But his claim to have called it a terrorist attack is really misleading.

Yes, President Obama used the phrase “acts of terror”. But it is not clear in context that he meant to label Benghazi an act of terror. In context, he implied that the Benghazi attacks were a result of a spontaneous uprising in response to a YouTube video. President Obama did not acknowledge it as an organized terrorist attack that included Al Qaeda related groups until about two weeks later. Bottom line, he and his administration were calling the attack a spontaneous uprising well after United States intelligence services knew otherwise. He has yet to account for that disparity.

Anyway, you can watch the interview for yourself above, or you can read the transcript here.

7 Responses to Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama

  1. Joe Wisnieski February 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Wow, does that bring back memories… Memories of when the press asked the POTUS hard but reasonable questions. Seems like such a long time ago.

  2. Ian Shaw February 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Can’t pull up the video at work. Did Bill ask him why blame was put on that youtube video to cause the Benghazi attack?

  3. James Stanton February 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    As far as the IRS scandal is concerned, we now know that both conservative and liberal groups were scrutinized and no evidence has emerged tying the WH to this scandal. That’s the difference between the Christie scandal and this IRS scandal. There’s no smoking gun.

    “Bottom line, he and his administration were calling the attack a spontaneous uprising well after United States intelligence services knew otherwise.”

    The disparity has been accounted for but the answer will never be satisfactory. In fact, there’s still debate over the role of the video in the Benghazi attacks. See NYT’s recent coverage http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/opinion/the-facts-about-benghazi.html

    I think it’s interesting that so many think the election was going to swing over how the administration characterized the attack as an “act of terror” rather than a terrorist attack in the immediate few days after the event. The GOP will continue to try this line of attack with Hillary Clinton and it’s bound to be just as ineffective. One can blame the media, though Benghazi has not suffered from a lack of media coverage and Congressional oversight, but the real complaint is why the American people haven’t recognized what seems so obvious.

    Anyway, thanks for posting the interview. I tend to approach this one with a different worldview.

  4. Chris Ryan February 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    O’Reilly’s questioning was mostly a rehash of items well litigated during the ’12 election. This plays well w/ the Fox News base, but I don’t see how its relevant to moderates. Whether it was Osama Bin Laden himself, some wannabes, or some mobsters the fact remains that 4 Americans lost their lives & none of this rehashing will bring them back. I think our CINC has done a fine job leading our military & keeping us safe.

  5. Ken Temple February 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I just wish Bill O’Reilly had pressed him more with “Why did Susan Rice tell 5 news shows that it was because of an anti-Muhammad video?” and “Who told her to say that?”

    Amazing that the left treats those that ask hard questions with dismissal and half-truths, obfuscation, dissimulation, etc. and wonders why the journalists at Fox News are doing their job. Would anyone have gotten away in the 70s for asking “why are you guys at the Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS so focused on a little breakin at the Watergate Hotel?” or in the 80s to the same groups, “Why are guys so focused on Oliver North and Iran-Contra?” What difference does it make?”

    Would Nixon or Reagan been able to tell a news reporter in the 70s or 80s – “It’s because your news channel is framing the issue that way” or “Its because your news channel keeps bringing it up” ?

  6. Ken Temple February 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Also, he should have reminded the President of his own words of outrage when the IRS scandal first broke out; and repeated that “fundamental transformation” was the President’s own words. (Bill did say that in the midst of the President’s answer; but he should have repeated it again – “But Mr. President, with all due respect, we can pull up tape that shows you saying those exact words. What do you say to that?)

    Also, why did the DoJustice announce at the beginning of his first term, that they were not going to enforce DOMA at all?

    Also, What about your voting 3 or 4 times, to let babies die from botched abortions while you were a senator?

    Another interesting question – why did you seemingly deliberately leave out “endowed by their Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence several different times (“that we have inalieable rights, that all men are created equal”) ?

    (He would need to be ready with the documentation)

    This one looked really deliberate by his pause and clinching.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR61uTGTFoM

    “Mr. President, what is your basic Worldview?” would have been another interesting question, but O’Reilly said up front he didn’t want to ask those kinds of philosophy questions.

  7. Ken Temple February 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    I just wish Bill O’Reilly had pressed him more with “Why did Susan Rice tell 5 news shows that it was because of an anti-Muhammad video?” and “Who told her to say that?”

    Amazing that the left treats those that ask hard questions with dismissal and half-truths, obfuscation, dissimulation, etc. and wonders why the journalists at Fox News are doing their job. Would anyone have gotten away in the 70s for asking “why are you guys at the Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS so focused on a little breakin at the Watergate Hotel?” or in the 80s to the same groups, “Why are guys so focused on Oliver North and Iran-Contra?” What difference does it make?”

    Would Nixon or Reagan been able to tell a news reporter in the 70s or 80s – “It’s because your news channel is framing the issue that way” or “Its because your news channel keeps bringing it up” ?

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