Bill O'Reilly has interviewed President Obama before and I covered all three days extensively on C&L in September, 2008.
FOX promoted this new interview heavily and on the whole, the President won this encounter easily. Bill O'Reilly did his best to try and remain civil throughout his pre-Super Bowl interview of President Obama because such a large audience tunes into the Super Bowl and he didn't want many Americans to see his true nature. But in the end, he couldn't help himself and had to turn nasty.
O'Reilly: Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?
What a stupid question. FOX News has done its best to promote the hatred of President Obama and it's surprising that his approval ratings are as high as they are after the daily battering he takes from them and every other member of the right-wing media establishment, which practically controls the daily narratives. Maybe he should have asked the President if it bothered him that FOX hates Obama.
At least our criticisms of the President are steeped in real-life debates about the direction his administration has handled itself over its first two years, but FOX acts like the propaganda arm of the Republican Party and treats his every move with disdain and with one goal in mind: defeating his presidency so that the GOP can win elections. And that's never happened before in the history of broadcast TV.
BillO cited a WSJ op-ed to call him a Big Government Liberal, which in reality is O'Reilly's opinion. For us, he hasn't gone progressive enough. And BillO asked Obama if he has moved to the middle, which Obama denied.
But when pressed Sunday during a live interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly on what political analysts say is a clear sprint toward the center, Obama dismissed the notion with a "no."
"I haven't -- I didn't move to... I'm the same guy," he said.
When O’Reilly said the president’s critics call him “a big government liberal,” Obama replied that he inherited a nation on the brink of an economic crisis. That situation required his administration to take a number of “extraordinary steps” to avoid a severe economic depression, Obama said.
Howard Kurtz saw the interview as a big win for the President:
Considering that his administration had once declared war on Fox News and boycotted the nation’s top-rated cable news outfit, the session’s final score added up to a big win for Obama—with a huge audience virtually guaranteed.
The end of the interview turned into a Barbara Walters segment, so I won't bother commenting on it.