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O'Reilly - "Does Barack Obama have a clue?"

Reported by Chrish - February 24, 2007 -

On fair and balanced FOX News host Bill O'Reilly asked 2/23/07 if "Barack Obama has a clue about how to deal with terrorists?" Since Obama has different ideas than the current administration and (not coincidentally) Bill O'Reilly, he is ridiculed and his alternative proposals dismissed out of hand.

He began diminishing Obama right off the bat in his Talking Points Memo, saying that Obama has become a major political player because of our celebrity culture. He's been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and raised over a million dollars in Hollywood this past week. As further proof, he offers that Tom Tancredo also wants to become president but "how many celebrities are helping him?" O'Reilly's logic teacher, IF he ever had one, is now living with a paper bag over his/her head.

Of course O'Reilly thinks that the influence celebrities have over simpleton Americans (i.e., the folks) is dangerous. Obama may never have to answer serious questions, as his handlers just market his image and charisma. (Excuse me but FOX runs that bathing suit picture pretty regularly, trying to ruin his image as a serious and capable man. See here.) He compares Obama to Hillary Clinton first running for the Senate, saying her liberal image was all she needed to win. He warned that pop culture will be an important factor in the upcoming race and we will be watching closely.

Moving on to the top story, he said Rudy Giuliani was polling ahead of Clinton, Obama, and McCain, over a graphic of a grinning Giuliani and "Good News!" The next graphic, of Obama and Clinton, read "Democratic Damage?" as O'Reilly introduced the "Hillary/Obama shootout" and FOX's favorite foot fetishist, Dick Morris.

Morris agreed (after some prodding) that the pop culture is indeed driving politics, and Barack Obama's is a media and celebrity-driven candidacy. Morris first suggested that Hillary Clinton's is too, and that nobody but John Edwards earned their place in the race. He quickly flip-flopped back to message though, agreeing that Clinton would not be a viable candidate today if her husband hadn't been President before her - much as Bush Junior would not be without his famous father, said O'Reilly. And we're suffering for this kind of leadership, added Morris. This sets the stage for another reason to not elect Hillary - see what second-rate leadership we got with a second go-round of Bushes? O'Reilly jumped in to preserve Jeb's possibilities by noting that FDR was "in the Roosevelt family and became one of their greatest presidents." Remember, when you hear weak factual data like this from him, that he was a history major AND history teacher.

They proceeded to discuss the Obama/Clinton/Geffen flap, O'Reilly wanting to know if Clinton's camp made a mistake even replying to Geffen's "attack." Morris thinks Clinton did just right, knocking "Perrier water, pure, no adulteration" Obama off his pedestal. "Everyone" is covering it as the Obama/Hillary fight, and that was her goal - to take away his political virginity and bring him down into the mudfights.

O'Reilly posited that this plays into Obama's benefit, garnering him more publicity, but Morris thinks that the 15-20% of voters who go to the primaries are already well aware of him.

Next O'Reilly cited an obscure article by Niall Ferguson, "a brilliant guy, an instructor at Harvard" that (O'Reilly says) basically said Look, Obama wants the US military to go into Darfur, wanted us in Rwanda, yet wants us out of Iraq. O'Reilly further said that Ferguson concluded that "either the guy (Obama) doesn't know what he's talkin' about, which would be frightening in an age of terror, or he's playin' some kinda game that's undefined."

O'Reilly is putting words in Ferguson's mouth, although the latter does sarcastically attack Obama's ideas. He is a man after O'Reilly's heart,

"a controversial academic," according to David Weigel of Reason magazine, a "foaming-at-the-mouth 'national greatness conservative.'" This academic has presented, according to Priyamvada Gopal of Cambridge University in Britain, an "aggressive rewriting of history, driven by the messianic fantasies of the American right."
(1) Read his column with that in mind.

Morris of course agreed with O'Reilly's assessment that "Obama doesn't have a clue about foreign policy" and went further,saying "The real problem with Obama is, he is a child running for president. He's an Illinois state senator, for goodness sakes, running for president." He acknowledged Obama's two years as a US Senator, his charisma, his refreshing newness, but "for goodness sakes, we're in the middle of this war, and this guy really doesn't know which end is up!"

O'Reilly said he looked forward to the day Obama came on and proved Morris wrong. Morris said "Fat day that he's going to accept your show" and O'Reilly ended the segment with a snide "Well, if he doesn't come to us, we'll go to himmmm."

Unbelievable. No spin? It's enough to make you barf.