The president’s destruction of Fox News continues, as Obama used Fox’s own Super Bowl interview against them. The president also delivered a knockout blow to the Fox created myth that he is the most liberal president in history.
O’REILLY – Do you think I’m being unfair to you, do you think I’ve been giving you —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Absolutely. Of course you have, Bill. But, I like you anyway, Bill.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Okay, but — give me how I’m unfair.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – It-it-but — look —
O’REILLY – Give me how I’m unfair. Come on, you can’t make that accusation without telling me.
PRESIDENT OBAMA – 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 —
O’REILLY – All right.
PRESIDENT OBAMA – Right, so the list of issues that you talk about —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – But these are unanswered questions —
PRESIDENT OBAMA – Yeah, but-but-but they’re defined by you guys in a certain way. But this — look, this is okay. This-this is —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Do you not —
PRESIDENT OBAMA – If you want to — if you want to be President of the United States, then you know that you’re going to be subject to criticism, and —
O’REILLY – But if it’s unfair, I-I want to know if it’s unfair. Is it un — criticism is criticism. It’s my job to give you a hard time.
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Here — here — here’s what I would say. I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not, uh, it has, uh, it has made FOX News very successful.
O’REILLY – But if I’m unfair, I want —
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Here’s what — here’s the thing you guys — here’s what you guys are gonna have to figure out is what are — what are you gonna do when I’m gone? I’m telling you —
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHS] –
PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –
O’REILLY – Ah-ha-ha — ask President Clinton. Ask President Bush. I gave President Bush a real hard time. Are you the most liberal President in US History?
PRESIDENT OBAMA – Probably not.
O’REILLY – Probably not?
PRESIDENT OBAMA – Probably not. That’s-that’s fair to say.
O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Who-who would be?
PRESIDENT OBAMA – You know, the truth of the matter is, is that when you look at some of my policies, um, in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon was more — more liberal than I was. Started the EPA. You know, uh, you know, started, uh, uh, a whole lot of the regulatory state that, uh, has helped make our air and water clean. Um.
O’REILLY – That’s interesting — Nixon — that’s interesting. I thought you were gonna say FDR.
After owning Fox News by calling out the topics that O’Reilly chose to ask the president about in front of what would be the biggest audience in Super Bowl history, the president delivered a knockout blow with his answer on the most liberal president ever question.
The reason why it was a complete back breaker was O’Reilly’s boss at Fox News, Roger Ailes, worked for Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. Ailes wasn’t in the Nixon inner circle, but he was a Nixon guy. When Obama called Richard Nixon the most liberal president ever, he was taking a direct jab at Roger Ailes.
The president was correct. The idea that he is the most liberal president ever is a joke. This president is a moderate. The myth of Obama’s extreme liberalism was dreamed up by Fox News and right wing talk radio. It is part of the smear campaign that the right uses to declare that the president is too extreme for America.
Fox News is going to regret going down the conspiracy path with the president, because they have now given him plenty of ammo to use when he discusses the extremism of the Republicans and the right.
The fact that Fox was so biased with the interview is good for Fox News, and honestly, it’s good for President Obama. Their bias gave the president the ability to both call out Fox News, and position himself as the reasonable middle in the eyes of the rest of the country. Ailes and Fox News should have known better. They walked into a trap, and President Obama, just as he does with the Republican Party, he is using their extremism to his own advantage.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association