Obama Tackled O'Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday
Barack Obama probably didn't want to be interviewed by big guy Bill O'Reilly on NFL Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday. But let's face it, Peyton Manning was getting mucho attention so, not to be upstaged, the president agreed to a pre-game sit-down.
For the rest of America, watching Obama run in between O'Reilly's legs while the Fox News cable show star attempted in vain to tackle the slithering POTUS was as painful to see as the Seattle Seahawks routing the Denver Broncos.
Casually dressed, Obama showed up for the interview with his perpetual smirk and shoes so shiny you could almost see a reflection of O'Reilly's nostril hair.
Facing the president in a chair for short people, O'Reilly's gangly legs had nowhere to go. Then, after bloviating for weeks beforehand, O'Reilly's "alpha male" bluster seemed more like a tall guy in a pink tutu trying to appear aggressive, but failing miserably.
As for Obama, except for his clenched jaw he seemed relaxed and confident, and even smiled with pride twice: Once when O'Reilly blamed the Bush recession for six years of economic woes, and then again when Bill gave the POTUS props for raising money for the veterans he barred from the WWII memorial during the government shutdown.
Other than that, the president's attitude was so imperious and evasive that the Factor Word of the Day to describe it was "peremptory!"
Nonetheless, Obama exhibited his remarkable prowess for bobbing, weaving, and dodging, accepted zero responsibility, and passed the blame. At the end of the day, the only person more powerless or humiliated than O'Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday was Peyton Manning.
Bill questioned and Barry sneered. The president treated the 6'4" journalist as if his and Fox News' questions, conclusions, and assumptions about him were not even close to warranted.
It's strange how, in an effort to excuse himself from his own ineptitude, Barack Obama appears even more inept by implying that a cable news outlet has the power to hamstring his agenda. Yet, pre-game, that turned out to be a great defense because Bill O'Reilly, who publicized the interview promising he would pose tough questions to the president, did nothing of the sort.
Wait! There was one hard-hitting question, but it was froma California woman who wanted to know why Obama feels it's necessary to "fundamentally transform the nation," to which the president, who did in fact sayin a speech five days prior to the 2008 election that "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," replied "I don't think we have to fundamentally transform the nation."
Tough-as-nails O'Reilly then gently pointed out, "But these are your words."
In the end, Obama accused Fox of making money off of falsely representing him and placed the blame for his policies being unsuccessful at the feet of Rush Limbaugh... er, wait, that was last week. This week it's on Fox News.
In the end, the interview was predictable -- Barack Obama successfully resisted provocation and lied. Business as usual. But there was one part that was surprisingly pitiful and it had nothing to do with Obama being Obama.
After attitudinally emasculating Bill O'Reilly, Obama maintained that Fox News was "unfair" for daring to suggest that four Americans were left to die in Benghazi, for questioning and reporting the purposeful targeting for their political views of Americans by the IRS, and for addressing the problems associated with five million people being thrown off perfectly affordable and accessible health insurance after being promised they could keep it.
Horrified, O'Reilly, who prides himself on being the fairest of the fair, seemed milliseconds from crying.
With pure panic in his voice and eyes, O'Reilly began to grovel before the president asking, "Do you think I'm being unfair to you, do you think I've been giving you...?" Having the upper hand, Obama cut in, "Absolutely. Of course you have, Bill. But, I like you anyway, Bill."
Clearly flustered by the accusation that a haughty narcissist would even think Mr. Fair and Balanced was being unfair, O'Reilly, who is no Sean Hannity, said, "Okay, but -- give me how I'm unfair. Give me how I'm unfair. Come on, you can't make that accusation without telling me."
Bringing up perfectly fair examples of how Fox News has been fair, the president said, "Bill -- we've just run through an interview in which you asked about health, uh, health care not working, IRS where-where we, uh, wholly corrupt, Benghazi."
In response, O'Reilly gently prodded the president to acknowledge that those were unanswered questions, but control freak that he is, Obama shared that he doesn't appreciate how Fox frames unanswered questions about negative situations in a negative way.
Unnerved by such a suggestion, Bill O'Reilly pushed the president to answer: "But if it's unfair, I-I want to know if it's unfair."
So, the final takeaway from the much-hyped Super Bowl Sunday interview is that after all his unctuous begging, "alpha male" Bill O'Reilly still believes that "alpha male" Barack Obama has his "heart is in the right place."
Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com