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FOX Friends rehash O'Reilly interview, critique Clinton

Reported by Chrish - May 1, 2008 -

Gee, who would have guessed that hours after FOX aired Hillary Clinton's interview with Bill O'Reilly the network would use clips from the interview to praise O'Reilly and FNC, and to criticize Clinton and Democrats? Who could have known they'd use the footage like that??

DUH.

With video.

The first half hour of FOX and Friends First 5/1/08 was devoted to The Interview. Hosts Alisyn Camerota and (Judge) Andrew Napolitano expressed surprise at how relaxed and "not intimidated" the candidate was. They were joined later with Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner, who called the appearance "a sign of the apocalypse." O'Reilly's "tougher' (more aggressive, rude) questioning forced Hillary to parry and out of her "stiff, stilted, Stepford wife" persona seen in professional interviews.

Sammons insisted O'Reilly "pinned her down" on income taxes; what I saw was Bill O'Reilly looking out for himself, concerned about the anticipated hike in federal income tax rates on the rich. He tried to frame it as Robin Hood style socialism, perhaps not realizing that his undertone said screw the folks. Clinton reiterated her intent to go back to responsible balanced budgets without raising taxes on middle class, not a secret but also not the subject of 14 TPMs. When Clinton "parried" O'Reilly right into a corner with her knowledge of tax rates in the Good Old Days (they were way higher), he "let her go" on the subject.

According to the Friends, however, he called her out and told her she was wrong. But when he said "here's where you're wrong," he "corrected" her on something she didn't say or even insinuate - she was making the point that they both came from working families but their parents didn't feel like the deck was stacked against them. O'Reilly's circular argument is that taxes on rich people back then were high because there were few rich people (i.e. more middle class), and now that there are a lot of wealthy people we should not tax them heavily because... there are a lot of them (including him). She wants to go back to the fair economy of the nineties; O'Reilly protested that it's been pretty good during the Bush administration and Clinton came back with statistics, claiming the middle class are "net losers" under Bush. At that point O'Reilly "let her go" (as she was trouncing him) .

One of the talking points repeated by Napolitano and Sammons was that Clinton, in coming on FOX, was reaching "Reagan Democrats" who would not otherwise see her - because they refuse to watch the other two cable networks and are loyal O'Reilly fans. Do these sound like open-minded people to you, interested in informing themselves to make an important decision? Or are these people so loyal to Papa Bear that they will only consider who he says it is OK to consider?

Napolitano noted that Clinton didn't laugh hideously, and Sammon said she realized she was in the "No-spin Zone" (Indiana branch). The real news coming out of this interview IS the interview - and we'll see it ad nauseaum on FOX. In fact this morning, each time I stopped my recording (my TV was still tuned to FOX) they were talking about it.

Last night's 2 of four parts are available here; following are relevant pieces of evidence of how FOX is taking this interview and spinning it.