Instead of talking about the un-American ways that Donald Trump is trying to restrain the press and limit the First Amendment, Bill O’Reilly did some working the refs by concern trolling Jorge Ramos about being “fair” to Trump.
Some other liberal websites are hailing Univision and Fusion newsman Ramos for confronting O’Reilly about Fox’s favorable coverage of Trump in this segment. But, fan as I am of Ramos, I think he did not go nearly far enough in his responses.
I give Ramos credit for this exchange (via Media Matters):
JORGE RAMOS: I think as a journalist you have to take a stand when it comes to racism. And this combination—
O’REILLY: How you can cover him, Jorge?
RAMOS: Corruption, public life, dictatorship, and human rights. If you don’t take a stand in those instances, then what’s honorable as journalists? I think you have to be tougher on Donald Trump. You haven’t been tough on him.
O’REILLY: I’ve been, listen, I have confronted Donald Trump in ways—
RAMOS: How many times you have confronted him?
O’REILLY: That he has told me that I’m unfair, OK? So I’m not going to get into me. I want to bring it back to you.
RAMOS: You’ve talked to him so many times, and you and Sean Hannity—
RAMOS: You let him get away with anything.
O’REILLY: No, no, no, no, no, no. I don’t even let him get away with anything. I confront him.
RAMOS: With almost everything.
O’REILLY: That’s not true.
RAMOS: Absolutely, because—
O’REILLY: Look at the transcripts and everything he’s done I have asked him about.
RAMOS: I have seen the transcripts. When it comes to immigration, he talks about a wall, and then… you let him get away with things like that.
…I’m just saying that you are not being tough on Donald Trump.
O’REILLY: All right. That’s your opinion.
But what goes on at Fox is way beyond being soft on Trump. They actually promote him. Even after Trump rallies descended into violence, a Fox cohost asked "What does that matter?" Now, a journalist has filed assault charges against Trump’s campaign manager. And Trump has signaled that he will enact retribution on reporters whose coverage he doesn’t like.
But “fairness” from a Hispanic network whose viewers Trump has insulted and whose own anchor, Ramos, has been kicked out of a Trump event for asking questions he didn’t like (and guess whose side Fox took then?) – that’s what O’Reilly thinks is the big concern about covering Trump?
So I wish Ramos had called out this blatant attempt to pre-discredit any critical coverage of nominee or, God forbid, President Trump, and noted how, in O’Reilly’s interview with Trump before this one, O’Reilly had not pressed his milkshake BFF on his un-American treatment of journalists and protesters.
Because as bad as Fox's Trump cheerleading is, giving him a pass for inciting violence, condoning violence and manhandling the press is far worse.
On the other hand, the good news is, I’m sure Ramos was not and will not be intimidated from covering Trump just the way he sees fit.
Watch the confrontation below, from the March 16 The O’Reilly Factor.