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O'Reilly's attempts to talk down John Edwards are failing

Reported by Chrish - June 21, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly has made John Edwards (who was the first candidate to decline the FOX-sponsored presidential debates) a target and is trying to convince his audience that Edwards is a fringe player. Alas for O'Reilly, the numbers say otherwise.

As early as February 14th, before Edwards announced his intention to skip the Nevada debate, Deborah reported that

"Bill O'Reilly proudly put another notch in his belt declaring John Edwards finished. Calling Edwards "arrogant" for standing by the two bloggers working on his campaign, he claimed that Edwards only did something after " critical mass" had been reached and by then "it was too late"."

We can honestly wonder if that bit of independent, fair and balanced reportage had any influence on Edwards' decision 3 weeks later.

After May sweeps were over and O'Reilly had duly savaged Rosie O'Donnell to syphon ratings from her popularity, he turned his attention again to Edwards. In his May 30 TPM he said

"Now Talking Points tries to respect all of those who want to serve their country, but Edwards is an exception. I have no respect for him. He's a phony, and he's in the tank for special interests that damage this country. Edwards is going nowhere, but deserves to be called out."

Shortly after that prediction, on June 5th O'Reilly cherrypicked among dozens of polls to cite the one with the worst numbers for Edwards:

O'Reilly, who don't forget has publicly stated has a bias against Edwards, said he is not smart enough to figure out that his "strategy" is killing him, and cited an ABC poll that shows a 6-point drop for Edwards (to 8%) in the last month.

This week Editor and Publisher reported what would appear to O'Reilly fans to be a stunning comeback:

The June 11-14 polls finds Sen. Hillary Clinton besting Sen. John McCain 48% to 46%, Sen. Barack Obama topping him 49% to 46% and Edwards, surprisingly, with the biggest edge, 50% to 44%. The numbers for a race against former Mayor Rudy Giuliani are almost the same.

As much as O'Reilly hates the thought of a good-looking, articulate, compassionate, smart, up-by-his-own-bootstraps, faithful, religious, sincere, experienced and focused Democrat in the White House, he shouldn't count John Edwards out just yet.