Fox News WikiLeaks Priority: Blame Obama
Reported by Ellen - November 30, 2010 -
There were many discussions about the WikiLeaks documents on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor and Hannity last night (11/29/10) but none that focused on what the documents actually revealed or the substance of the international ramifications. Instead, both of Fox News’ top prime time shows focused on one aspect: blaming President Obama.
It’s worth noting that both Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly took little to no interest in the previous WikiLeaks releases. But now the two are outraged, outraged, I tell you.
Bill O’Reilly was outraged because President Obama did not show any outrage, himself. In his Talking Points segment, O’Reilly complained about Obama “not extending any sense of urgency to the public about it. It’s amazing! Why doesn’t Mr. Obama just express some outrage?”
Yet in a discussion with Megyn Kelly that immediately followed his Talking Points, O’Reilly admitted “Legally speaking, the United States’ options against this man (WikiLeaks proprietor Julian Assange) are very limited.”
Then O’Reilly moved on to his next outrage, complaining that Hillary Clinton was “about as emotionless as you could get… No genuine passions being shown by the administration.”
O’Reilly later blustered to Brit Hume, “I think that there’s gotta be some fear element. I don’t think there’s anybody in the world that fears Barack Obama. I don’t think anybody does!”
Hume responded by pointing out that after 9/11 President Bush “stood up and said, ‘We’re coming to get you.’ Now, he didn’t get Osama bin Laden who still remains, as far as we know, alive and at large. But he did back that up with some significant actions in Afghanistan which mattered and made a difference… If anybody was going to fear him, it wasn’t because of what he said, it was because of what he did. What this president needs to be able to do in a situation like that is do something. And it’s not at all clear what he can do… I don’t think it’s unwise to walk softly or speak softly here and try at least to carry a bigger stick than has been carried so far.”
But Hume didn’t completely give Obama a pass. Hume said, “On a matter of politics, (Obama’s reaction) probably contributes to the image this president has had, not infrequently, of being passive about what’s going on around him.”
Hannity hosted Marc A. Thiessen, a torture-loving partisan and former speech writer for the George W. Bush administration to attack Obama over the leaks. Sean Hannity began the interview by quoting a line from Thiessen’s column on WikiLeaks: “’Because of their failure to act, the responsibility for the damage done by these recent disclosures now rests with the Obama administration.’ Explain.”
There was a bit of discussion about the Saudi King who, the documents revealed, wanted us to bomb Iran but even that turned into an attack on Obama – for wanting to dialogue with Iran.
Later, during the Great American Panel segment, conservative Hugh Hewitt complained about Eric Holder going to Zurich “to lobby for the World Cup” to come to the U.S. in 2020 in the middle of what Hewitt characterized as some kind of national security emergency.
But when Democrat Bob Beckel – outnumbered by three conservatives – tried to discuss the substance of this big crisis, Hannity refused. Beckel asked, “Could we talk about the substance of this for a second? For example, the Saudi Arabians, those gutless sons of – people who want us to take Iran out because they don’t have the guts to do it themselves who hold us hostage for oil, and we’re gonna sit back and take that from them?”
Hannity said, “I agree with their duplicity but you’re missing the point.”
The point, of course, was that the only aspect of this "controversy" that mattered on the top-rated "fair and balanced" Fox News shows was its potential to tarnish President Obama.