February 3, 2014

Bill O'Reilly vs Obama: What Bill did wrong


I have already opined about Obama not having an endgame in his interview with Bill O'Reilly yesterday.  But I think Bill O'Reilly made some mistakes too.  There's an old expression, "Give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself."  Bill O'Reilly wanted answers.  His audience wanted answers.  But Bill O'Reilly genuinely seems to believe his audience (who are typically not Obama fans) wants combativeness more than they want to see president Obama say something that he can't take back.

Here are some examples of exchanges where O'Reilly let his audience down.  The reason will be self-evident.
O'REILLY: It's in the past. But isn't that the...

OBAMA: So...

O'REILLY: -- biggest mistake?

OBAMA: Well, I, you know, Bill, as I said...

O'REILLY: You gave your enemies...

OBAMA: You...

O'REILLY: -- a lot of fodder for it.
*******************************************
OBAMA: -- that's an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened. So the -- so the question ends up being who, in fact, was attacking us?

O'REILLY: But it's more than that...

OBAMA: And that...

O'REILLY: -- though...

OBAMA: -- well, we...

O'REILLY: -- because of Susan Rice.

OBAMA: No, it...

O'REILLY: It's more than that because if Susan Rice goes out and tells the world that it was a spontaneous demonstration...

OBAMA: Bill...

O'REILLY: -- off a videotape but your...

OBAMA: Bill...
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OBAMA: -- by the independent agency...

O'REILLY: I...

OBAMA: -- but we also have to make sure that we understand our folks out there are in a hazardous, dangerous situation...

O'REILLY: I think everybody understands that...

OBAMA: -- and we...

O'REILLY: -- Mr. President.

OBAMA: No, but -- but, actually, not everybody does, because what ends up happening...

O'REILLY: I think they do.

OBAMA: -- what ends up happening is we end up creating a political agenda...

O'REILLY: Absolutely...

OBAMA: -- over something...

O'REILLY: -- and that's...

OBAMA: -- (INAUDIBLE)...

O'REILLY: -- that was my next question.
Oh really, O'Reilly? That's not a debate, that's not a conversation, it's not even an interview. It did nothing. In fact, it reminded me of the Superbowl itself in that way - disappointing.
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