The Trouble with the O'Baxter Interview
February 03, 2014
RUSH: We'll start in Yakima, Washington. This is Ron. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Longtime listener, longtime Seattle fan.
RUSH: It's great to have you on the show. You know, I don't know all, but I know one thing Yakima is famous for. Yakima, Washington -- you may find this fascinating -- was the first city in the entire country where the 90-gallon trash can on wheels was tested for sanitation purposes. It happened in 1984-1985, and because it was deemed a success there (they were big enough for Dumpster diving but big enough to handle the usual house load full of garbage and you get it out to the truck) and that's why they've been popularized all over the country. It started in Yakima, Washington, the 90-gallon, on wheels, gray plastic things.
RUSH: Trash cans. So congratulations.
CALLER: Well, thanks. (silence)
RUSH: So what's up? You’re a big Seahawks fan?
CALLER: Seahawks fan. I'd like to talk about O'Reilly first, if I could.
RUSH: Oh, yeah. Whatever.
CALLER: Well, you know, to me, Super Bowl Sunday is football, food, and fun. O'Reilly, I think, is a little arrogant. He's got his show five days a week.
CALLER: Self-assured, self-(unintelligible). That's fine. I can tune out or tune in, but I don't want him on Super Bowl Sunday interviewing the president who just had a State of the Union, so he had his chance to speak.
RUSH: Well, let me give you a little history, because it's not by any means unusual, and it's something that every network does when its your turn to televise the Super Bowl. When NBC has it, normally it would be somebody like Tim Russert or their Meet the Press host, maybe their political guy who would interview the president. When CBS does it, it's Bob Schieffer or somebody.
When it's Fox's turn, they don't have a news division, so you gotta go to Fox News Channel, and so they went to O'Baxter and so he got the interview. It's not unique to Fox, a presidential interview. It's not unique for Obama to appear on one. My only thing is that, in this, we have to be honest about stuff. O'Baxter... (sigh) O'Reilly asked Obama some questions he's not been asked before. In fact, the Associated Press accused O'Baxter... (ahem)
RUSH: They accused... I feel like Dr. Strangelove and I can't keep that right arm down. The AP accused O'Reilly of asking Republican questions. They were about Benghazi. They were about disastrous health care rollout in the website. They were questions that should have been asked a long time ago. The only problem -- and I think this is what you mean, Ron. Correct me if I'm wrong, 'cause I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you said it. You're not there. The television network is doing the pregame. You don't have your TV on the Super Bowl to hear about Benghazi. That's for Sunday morning or some night or whatever, but this is not the place where you're gonna be interested in it, right?
RUSH: If you want to hear a president being interviewed in the pregame, you want to hear the president talk about America.
RUSH: You want him talking about sports and football and innocuous stuff. My fear now is that this has happened and nobody wanted to hear it. So it can now be said, "Well, Obama hadn't dodged any questions. He was asked the tough questions. He answered the tough questions. There's no fallout, everything's fine, nothing to see here." And it's over and done with, and the questions aren't gonna be asked again at a time when more people will be watching for a specific reason. So it's just a missed opportunity as far as I'm concerned.
CALLER: My complaint is, I think it's arrogant to think that Bill O'Reilly is gonna take 12 minutes of airtime --
RUSH: Bill O'Reilly isn't doing it. Fox is.
CALLER: Well, whoever. Do you think that a president that has repeatedly lied to the American public time after time after time is gonna come to Jesus in a 12-minute interview --
RUSH: No, but that's --
CALLER: -- on Super Bowl Sunday --
CALLER: -- and cleanse his soul?
CALLER: No, he's not. So why waste my time?
RUSH: Because that's --
CALLER: Give me a chicken wing recipe or a dip recipe or something relevant.
RUSH: I just told you why: Because now it's done. Now he answered the tough questions.
RUSH: Now he said what he said, and you didn't get mad, and neither did anybody else, and so it's over.
CALLER: Well --
RUSH: "Get over it. Don't badger the president anymore with this stuff. He's answered it already. Move on, can't we?" That's the point.
CALLER: No. He didn't answer it. That's the problem. He's not gonna answer it.
RUSH: No, no. He did. Whether he did or didn't, he did. The questions were asked; he answered. Forget what he said. And from the Fox standpoint, you know, you're making the classic mistake of looking at this as substance rather than marketing.
CALLER: Well --
RUSH: The way Fox does this, the way they look at it when it's over, they were not. They got their questions in. They got the PR for their guy. They got their number one guy on TV with the president at the Super Bowl pregame. Done.
CALLER: Well --
RUSH: What happened on it doesn't matter.
CALLER: Well, I --
RUSH: From Obama's standpoint, he dodged the questions.
CALLER: They hire reporters to go to the press conferences. Let 'em ask. Why don't they ask it there?
RUSH: Because they're not going to. Those are Republican questions and they're not gonna ask Republican questions.
CALLER: Well, we're in deep trouble. That's all I can say.
RUSH: O'Reilly doesn't go to the press conferences. I wouldn't, either. Don't anybody misunderstand. Here, I've got the sound bites, some of the questions. Look, Ron, I appreciate the call. I understand your frustration. But did you think, Ron, that two hours before the Super Bowl started you were gonna get the truth of what happened in Benghazi?
CALLER: Yeah. That's --
RUSH: You did? Did you think you were gonna get the truth about it?
CALLER: Oh, no.
RUSH: You think Obama's gonna say, "Yeah, we knew the website wasn't gonna work, and it's not about that anyway. It's about controlling your life and make sure you can't." Do you think that's what you were gonna get?
RUSH: No, of course not.
RUSH: Ron, thanks the call. I appreciate it. How many of these do we have? It looks like one, two, three, four. They're not very long here. The first one is on Benghazi, and Obama blames the critics.
O'REILLY: That's what they believe.
OBAMA: And they believe it because folks like you are telling them that.
O'REILLY: No, I'm not telling them that.
RUSH: I goofed up here. The question was O'Reilly said, "Your detractor believe that you did not tell world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out," and Obama said, "Bill, think about that," and O'Reilly said, "That's what they believe," and Obama said, "They believe it because folks like you are telling them that." O'Reilly said, "No, I'm not telling them that." Okay, so the question was, "Your detractors believe you didn't tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out."
Let's just go to the IRS. Question: "We still don't know what happened there on the IRS."
OBAMA: Bill, we do. That's not what happened. They... Folks have, again, had multiple hearings on this. I mean, these kinds of things keep on surfacing, in part because you and your TV station will promote them.
RUSH: Okay, so I'm gathering what happened here was that O'Reilly asked the tough Republican questions and Obama said (imitating Obama), "That's all been dealt with, and the only reason people care about it is 'cause you and your TV station keep bringing it up." Here's the next one. There was not even a smidgeon of corruption in the IRS. Here's the question. O'Reilly said, "You're saying there was no corruption in this IRS scandal?"
OBAMA: No. There were some -- there were some bonehead decisions.
O'REILLY: Bonehead decisions.
OBAMA: Out of a --
O'REILLY: But no mass corruption?
OBAMA: Not even mass corruption. Not even a smidgen of corruption.
RUSH: Okay. See? It's two hours before the Super Bowl and there was no corruption in the IRS, and there was no terror attack. The only reason people think that is 'cause your network says there was. The IRS scandal, there's nothing to see there. They had countless hearings and people worry about that 'cause you keep talking about it. Here is O'Reilly asking why he wanted to "fundamentally transform the country." "Mr. President, why do you feel that it is necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity and success."
OBAMA: I don't think we have to fundamentally transform the --
O'REILLY: Those are your words.
OBAMA: I think that what we have to do is make sure that here in America if you work hard you can get ahead.
RUSH: What is it with that? There it is again. I'm telling you, they don't believe that. This is a focus group tested phrase now, because he says it every time he opens his mouth. We just gotta make sure in America, if you work hard, you get ahead. They're focus-grouping this within the Regime. They're focus-grouping this within the context of socialism criticism and this kind of thing. (Interruption) Yeah, he didn't deny it; he just ignored it. (imitating Obama) "What do you mean, transform the country? You wouldn't understand anyway."
Now, then, later, maybe it was during the interview. I don't know. Somebody, somewhere at some point O'Reilly said of or two, I'm not sure which, Obama. "I don't think you're trying to hurt people." He might have said this in a post-interview. He might have said, "I don't think Obama is try to hurt anyone." He might have said it to people. It's one of the two. But the point was: "I just think he's wrong. I think Obama's policies are wrong, but I don't think Obama is trying to hurt anybody or anything. That's what the right-wing extremists believe," and O'Reilly will do anything to make sure he is not deemed a right-winger because whoever leads that group is already taken, so he can't go there.
So he's Mr. Independent, moderate, you know, above the fray type thing, and he doesn't think Obama's trying to hurt anybody. He's just wrong. I expected that to occur during the interview with Obama. That's the only thing I got wrong. I thought he would say that to Obama during the interview, but he didn't. Anyway, that's the crux of it. It went on longer than that, but that's the crux. In all fairness, O'Reilly brought up things to Obama that had never been brought up before. So much so that the AP referred to O'Reilly's questions as Republican questions. But now it's in the past. Obama did it. He's answered 'em, nothing to see here, can't we move on finally, and it's over.