Univision anchor Jorge Ramos discussed the “not really professional” press with Bill O’Reilly Friday night. “They are more concerned with keeping their contacts than just getting the truth” or “to question those in power,” Ramos complained. O’Reilly tried to except himself by insisting he is only “editorially” more supportive of Republicans than Democrats. “I’ve never done a softball interview in my life,” O’Reilly insisted. Ramos didn’t seem to buy it. As well he should not have. We’ve got the proof
It’s too bad O’Reilly had to write himself an undeserved pass in this segment because otherwise he made some valid points. He said that “access is the big thing.” He complained that politicians will not agree to be interviewed if they don’t think they’ll like the questions. He cited Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner as examples. Also, Dick Cheney “until he had his heart book,” i.e. to promote.
However, O’Reilly also said, “You know there are exceptions to the rule, Mr. Ramos, do you not?” You can probably guess whom O’Reilly was thinking of.
Yes, Ramos agreed there are exceptions. But he didn’t seem to think O’Reilly was one of them. Ramos said, “We all have biases. You have your own biases. I mean whenever you’re covering ObamaCare or Benghazi or supporting more the Republican party than the Democratic party…
O’Reilly interrupted. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, have you ever seen me do a softball interview with anybody?“
Ramos acknowledged he had seen O’Reilly “doing tough interviews” but also “supporting more Republicans than Democrats. “
”Maybe editorially but never in an interview,” O’Reilly argued. He later said, “I’m a registered Independent. I’ve never done a softball interview in my life on not only on this program or anyplace else. And that’s 37 years.”
It’s true O’Reilly is nowhere near the kind of Republican suck-up that Sean Hannity is. To his credit, I've seen him do some challenging interviews with Republicans - Sarah Palin, e.g. But if he really believes his bias does not show in interviews, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I might be able to sell him.
For example, that Cheney interview: O’Reilly did ask some tough questions. But he also deliberately gave Cheney a pass on the WMDs (not) in Iraq by saying, “As Americans, we’re all in it together. …It’s easy to finger point… I don’t want to do that. …I don’t blame you – you, Vice President Cheney or President Bush for doing what you did. I’m not Monday morning quarterbacking.”
But with Benghazi, O’Reilly didn’t just Monday morning quarterback, he issued marching orders for House Republicans to issue a subpoena to then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as a path to taking down President Obama’s presidency. In an interview with Republican Jason Chaffetz, O’Reilly demanded:
Well, get it done! …Panetta is it! And nobody has asked him under oath if he told his boss, the president, the Commander-in-Chief, that it was a terror attack! If Panetta says that, all hell breaks loose! And you guys haven’t done it!
…I’m getting damn frustrated with the Congress of the United States. There’s one man that you need to put under oath and that man is Leon Panetta. I’ll give you his phone number and address in Monterey, California. You need to get that man in and solve this for the country.
…You guys should have done it long before this.
Recently, O’Reilly interviewed Republican Senator Marco Rubio about his shocking claim that humans have not caused climate change. PolitiFact rated the claim false on May 11th. In his May 20th interview with Rubio, O’Reilly called Rubio’s claim “bold and fresh.”
In February, O’Reilly sucked up to Ted Nugent and whitewashed his very disturbing history of inflammatory and violent rhetoric.
So, I’m sorry, Bill, but your bias shows very unmistakably throughout your show.
Watch the discussion with Ramos below.