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The O'Reilly Factor on Clinton - the hits keep coming

Reported by Chrish - September 25, 2006 -

FOX is milking the Clinton/Wallace interview for all it's worth (and then some), doggedly painting Clinton as over the top and poor Chris Wallace as the victim of an unprovoked "temper tantrum." Bill O'Reilly's headline teaser was "FOX News Fury", an overstatement about par for the course for the king of hyperbole. The "no-spin zone" offered viewers analysis from poor Chris Wallace himself and right-wing ideologue Newt Gingrich, foregoing any progressive perspective in the segment.

The interview was characterized as a "shootout", and a picture of Clinton was shown with "Fighting Mad!" underneath it.

O'Reilly tried to frame Clinton's indignation as coming from being asked questions about Osama bin Laden but then showed a clip of Clinton saying he would answer all Wallace's questions but first wanted to comment on the context of the questioning. In other words, he was not loathe to discuss OBL (is Clinton loathe to discuss anything? ) but was not happy with the "gotcha" accusatory tone of the interview.

Gingrich , who O'Reilly addressed as "Mr. Speaker," said he had planned to ignore it but "Calista' (wife #3?) insisted he watch the whole thing. He of course thought Wallace was very professional and friendly, and Clinton was "out of control" and angry, upset, and agitated, a sign of how sensitive he is to the charges that his administration was weak on terror.

O'Reilly said he thinks Clinton and Bush are both patriots who are devastated that they didn't/haven't yet (respectively) caught bin Laden, and because of that 3,000 Americans are dead. (And because of Bush's Doctrine of preemptive war, we've now surpassed that number in the so-called war on terror.) O'Reilly says Clinton is angry over the depiction in ABC's Path to 9/11 movie ("...you dunderhead, you coulda gotten him but you didn't because you were distracted by Monica Lewinsky") and just took his anger out on the wrong guy, but he (BOR) can identify.

Gingrich was smiling at O'Reilly's cleverness - he appeared sympathetic to Clinton while outsourcing derogatory name-calling to a fantasy third-party, AND brought up Monica, which is all the old farts need to hear to ramp up the disgust - and said the legalistic law enforcement model the Clinton administration followed made it virtually impossible to succeed. Brownie points were immediately awarded to Gingrich for simultaneously reinforcing the Clinton-as-failure meme AND subtly implying that the way to success is extra-legal.

Gingrich's view is that the Bush administration has it right - terrorism is war - and Clinton was wrong to treat terrorism as crime. He thinks the 9/11 Commission should have gone back to the '90's in their analysis, but there were a number of former Clinton administration officials on the Commission sooo... O'Reilly interrupted him and said everything you've said is true and valid, but both men, Clinton and Bush, have made mistakes in the war on terror and they are both haunted, and that's what we saw. He asserts that Clinton would never "have done it" to ABC or NBC or CBS, but since FOX "beat him up pretty good in the Lewinsky matter" and the left-wingers are feeding him "FOX hates you, FOX hates you, FOX hates you, - he doesn't watch but that's what they tell him, it all spilled out, almost like a little kid."

To no-one's surprise, Gingrich agreed and said it was a psychological performance (?); Chris Wallace is a decent, straightforward guy and didn't do anything wrong.

No spin! Fair and balanced!

Well, Gingrich is going to have to come back later in the week because there's not time tonight to discuss the "global trends in terror" report; they have a guy on video trying on women's underthings and the victim, who videotaped the weirdo, is going to be on. This will give Gingrich and O'Reilly and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber time to get their talking points in order and figure out how to spin the bad-for Bush news into political gold.