Geraldo Rivera accused Bill O’Reilly of not being respectful enough to President Obama during his Super Bowl interview. The two hosts had an impassioned argument over the matter last night. But at the same time, Rivera suggested that O’Reilly was Obama’s equal on the national stage.
For the record, I agree with O’Reilly here. I do not think O’Reilly’s demeanor was in any way disrespectful to President Obama. It did not appear to me that the president was offended, either. I do think, as Jon Stewart magnificently pointed out, that the questions were little more than a chance to play GOP gotcha. And that, in my view, was disrespectful.
But here’s the part that jumped out at me from O'Reilly's discussion with Rivera last night. Rivera said, starting at about 1:49 in the video below:
This was not a classic interview. What you had here with you and President Obama was a culture clash. It is almost as if you were two equals with opposite worldviews, coming together for a confrontation. It was the president of most of the white guys in America – that’s you – and Barack Obama, the president of almost everybody else.
If by “most of the white guys in America,” Rivera means 59% of the voters, that would be technically correct. But it would be more correct to say that O’Reilly represented old, white guys in America. As The Nation wrote, “White men of course were more likely to support Romney than white women, and old white men the most likely of all.” In his recent New Yorker profile of Obama, David Remnick wrote, “The popular opposition to the Administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country.”
So for Rivera to suggest that O’Reilly speaks for white America doesn’t just overlook the many white guys and gals who voted for Obama. I believe it’s a disrespectful way of looking at Obama’s role in the interview.
Right, Gerry — because, being the former host of “Inside Edition” is EXACTLY the same as being the Chief Executive of the United States Of America.
Rightwingnuts: still having delusions of grandeur.
Which is why Obama was so relaxed and amused by him