Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) rolled through all of Bill O’Reilly’s attempts to split the left while knocking down Fox News’s attempts to use him for propaganda purposes.
Sen. Sanders didn’t bat an eye when Bill O’Reilly began the interview by trying various techniques to get him to say something negative about Hillary Clinton. Sanders was aggressive and seized the interview from O’Reilly. He forced Bill-O to pivot away from his usual blustering attacks and towards a friendly softer tone. Sanders even got O’Reilly to admit that the top dog on Fox News agrees with him on some issues like money in politics.
What really stuck out was Sanders’s ability to shift O’Reilly and the interview anywhere he wanted it to go. It is rare that a guest on O’Reilly show is more aggressive than the host, but the senator from Vermont was aggressive without being combative. The segment never turned into a scream fest. In fact, Sanders handled Bill O’Reilly fairly easily by keeping the tone civil and not falling for the loaded questions that the Fox News host was leading trying to lead him with.
Bernie Sanders was able to successfully take apart Fox News by weeding through the bias that most of the questions were based on. Sanders took on the Fox News and showed them what a strong liberal looks and sounds like. O’Reilly could rely on his gimmick of being the voice for the “folks,” because he confronted with an authentic voice that works tirelessly for ordinary Americans.
The lesson for any member of the left who appears on Fox News is that it is important to be aggressive while not taking the questions at face value. The political motivation for Sanders to appear on Fox News is that he is trying to rally grassroots support on all sides for his potential presidential campaign.
Bernie Sanders wasn’t going to be used to divide the left ahead of 2016. In fact, it was O’Reilly who ended up bending to the iron will of the liberal champion.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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