Before Denver and Seattle took to the gridiron, President Obama and Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly scrapped it up during a pre-game interview that the President has traditionally offered to the network airing the big game. That game was on the Fox network this year — the sister network of the Fox News Channel.
O’Reilly brought up issues largely ignored by the mainstream media: alleged IRS abuses, the Benghazi debacle and an apparent lack of accountability over the botched rollout of ObamaCare.
Obviously not accustomed to such blunt questioning, Obama pushed back — essentially blaming the Fox News Channel for hyping the stories O’Reilly asked about during the segment.
Even the New York Times reported that Obama’s responses “shed little if any new light on some of the most controversial moments of Mr. Obama’s presidency.”
On Benghazi, in defending his then-U.S. Ambassador and now National Security Advisors Susan Rice over her characterization of the attack on the American diplomatic compound as anger over a video rather than a coordinated terrorist attack, Obama said people “believe [the latter] because folks like you are telling them.” He denied any “mass corruption” involving the suspected targeting of conservative organization by the IRS, and insisted there is “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the agency and that “these kinds of things will keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them.”
Pressed on ObamaCare and how few appear to have been held responsible for mismanagement of his federal health care takeover, Obama said, “I try to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next play.”
Project 21 member Kevin Martin, who watched the Obama-O’Reilly interview as part of his pre-game entertainment, thought President Obama’s uncomfortable and unrevealing performance was a precursor to the big game’s disappointment for so many people:
President Obama’s attempts to essentially blame the Fox News Channel for the scandals plaguing his administration is a tactic that has become a typical tactic, albeit an unbecoming one, for his administration.
By blaming his detractors, it’s obvious to me that President Obama believes that an American public he thinks adores him will simply accept what he says and excuse his lack of leadership on a whole host of issues from ObamaCare to the alleged IRS targeting of conservatives.
But the President went further, blaming the American public for believing what they may see on the Fox News Channel. The truth of the matter, however — and something that the President clearly missed, in my opinion — was that the majority of people have come to feel his administration has not been truthful on a whole range of issues. Things brought up by Bill O’Reilly, such as the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the poor rollout of ObamaCare, just scratched the surface.
It seems that, in agreeing to do this traditional interview — but with O’Reilly as the interviewer, Obama wasn’t ready to answer tough questions. In the end, he instead chose to filibuster the conversation and express emotional disdain for an interview that was not full of softball questions.