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O'Reilly Tries To Look Tough While Going Easy On McCain

Reported by Deborah - May 11, 2008 -

During the last portion of the interview with John McCain, 5/9/08, Bill O'Reilly wanted viewers to believe he was being tough on McCain. There were shots of O'Reilly looking sternly at McCain while he spoke and a few respectful and short lived interruptions and disagreements from BOR. In reality, O'Reilly made sure he asked questions McCain could answer easily and when McCain started to botch the last question, O'Reilly quickly ended the interview. with video

O'Reilly opened this interview portion with the issue of water boarding. During the interview with Clinton, BOR referred to water boarding as a "dunk in the water" trying to make Clinton's opposition appear soft. He didn't use this tactic with McCain allowing him to speak with ease and authority about the rules of the Geneva Convention even permitting McCain to correct him with minimal objection.

The next question O'Reilly asked appeared to be an attempt to court the vote of older Jewish Democrats who are uncertain about Obama's support of Israel and contemplating voting for McCain. O'Reilly claimed he was asking the question for Dick Morris who he called "a strange guy" making McCain laugh. ( It seemed kind of nasty even for O'Reilly)

Morris claimed that Benjamin Netanyahu was going to be the next Israeli Prime Minister and could order a preemptive strike against Iran. Would McCain support this move? Refusing to address hypothetical situations. McCain declared with authority, "I will never permit another holocaust!"

O'Reilly didn't ask McCain any tough specifics about Iraq but instead handed him an unobstructed block of time to deliver a campaign speech about how great things are going in Iraq and the grave danger of leaving. There were no difficult follow up questions from O'Reilly who even let McCain escape scrutiny when he claimed the troops deserved better treatment.

The last question tripped up McCain revealing an important weakness. BOR asked about the notion that a McCain win would provide a third term for Bush. When O'Reilly noted that he wouldn't want to insult the president, McCain's intense reaction was disturbing and his answer stilted and inadequate. O'Reilly wrapped up quickly.