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O'Reilly: Now It's Okay to Criticize A Sitting President

Reported by Julie - February 2, 2010 -

On last night's O'Reilly Factor (2/1/10), on the Weekdays With Bernie segment, O'Reilly . . . wow, he had an epiphany. He's suddenly decided -- after all those years of criticizing the left when they were mean to George W or criticized his policies, after repeatedly calling the left "pinheads" and "left-wing loons," and fuming when they leveled criticism at him -- that being critical of a sitting President is a-okay with him. Gee, I wonder if O'Reilly has also changed his mind about boycotting movies starring outspoken Bush critic, Sean Penn ? With video.

O'Reilly launched his "fair and balanced" segment by saying, "The President's made somewhat of a comeback after the State of the Union last week, but he remains on the defensive . . . ." Funny, I didn't see President Obama being much on the defensive at the Republican retreat, which came right on the heals of the SOTU. I guess only Fox News staff got that memo: "He's rebounding, he's rebounding, push the theme of 'on the defensive!'"

After introducing guest Bernie Goldberg, O'Reilly asked, "Bernie, is there any value of us . . . criticizing people who simply think President Obama -- or President Bush for that matter, on the other side -- are evil destructive men . . . so should we even bother criticizing them?"

Stop right there: Do the names Jay-Z and Young Jeezy ring a bell, Bill? Wasn't it you . . . yes, I could swear that was you, on your show with Dennis Miller, who criticized them for their anti-Bush rap after President Obama was elected. Oh, wait, now I get it -- if rich white people, teabaggers and the like, criticize our black President, give 'em a voice; two black rappers criticizing Bush -- shut 'em up.

Goldberg didn't hesitate, saying, "Yes . . . when George Bush was President people on the hard left . . . wouldn't have given him credit if he had found a cure for cancer . . . And now we see people on the hard right behaving just like the crazies on the hard left . . . ." Well, now, that's an interesting spin on things. So, when the right goes on the attack and criticizes the President they're only following the lead of the left? And for some reason, Goldberg seemed shocked by the fact that the "hard right" would be so critical of the President -- as if the right routinely takes the high road. Whatever else the left said about Bush, I believe it at least stopped short of criticizing the condiments he chose for his good old Texas burgers.

O'Reilly talked up his "Bold Fresh" tour, and said, "There were people there . . . who absolutely sincerely believe that President Obama is a socialist who wants to impose a different system on the United States of America . . . wants to change what our fundamental Constitutional rights have been. They believe that, Bernie, now shouldn't they have a voice?"

Well, now, Bill, I hate to bring up a sore subject while you're busy remaking history, but you didn't have that benevolent attitude when a man confronted President George H. W. Bush at a Houston restaurant. According to you, Bill, that man was "deranged" and should have been arrested. And, hmmm, back in 2003, post-9/11, didn't you have as a guest a young man who lost his father in the World Trade Center attack, and subsequently signed an anti-war statement that accused the USA of terrorism? Didn't you, in fact, tell this young man you weren't going to debate him and to "shut up?" Or, wait -- that's not the kind of "voice" you meant? Please, do go on.

Goldberg explained, "I don't want to take their right to criticize the President for any reason at all away from them . . . When they . . . or professional commentators . . . commentators don't have to be balanced but they do have to be fair . . . the hard right is behaving more and more like the hard left, and that is very, very troublesome." There we go again with the "hard right" following the badder-than-bad lead of the "hard left."

"Why is it troublesome?" O'Reilly asked innocently. "If you have commentators on radio and television who believe that they can make a good buck running down . . . a President who's controversial in the eyes of some, evil in the eyes of some . . . you can make a lot of money doing it, so what's wrong with that?"

Alert Keith Olbermann! If O'Reilly had a beef in the past with Olbermann's scathing attacks on former President W, apparently all is forgiven. If we ever have a Republican president again, and Olbermann decides to skewer that President on his show, well, it's got to be a relief to Olbermann to know that at least he'll have O'Reilly in his corner, defending his right to do so.

Goldberg continued, ". . . If you let your guy off because he's a Republican and you go after Obama because he's a liberal Democrat . . . you lose credibility . . . their audience doesn't care a damn about credibility, their audience wants it to be as unbalanced as possible . . . the Kool-aid drinking portion of the [Bill O'Reilly's] audience . . . is gonna be all over me because I dared criticize their hero."

You know, they say people do in fact mellow with age. My, how O'Reilly has aged in the short year since President Obama was elected. Imagine, in just one short year -- now that Bush is out of office and we have a new, liberal, black President -- O'Reilly has suddenly decided that criticizing a sitting President really isn't that bad, after all. So in honor of this new-found open-mindedness, I would suggest that Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo, Susan Sarandon, and all other anti-war, anti-Bush celebrities previously taken to task by O'Reilly line up outside of Fox studios for their chance to experience the new, improved O'Reilly, the one with the newfound attitude that even Presidents -- particularly those named Barack Obama -- need a good slap-down sometimes.