If anyone would like to see evidence as to why President Obama should have never, ever, given Fox "News" an ounce of legitimacy by agreeing to be interviewed by Bill O'Reilly before this Sunday's Super Bowl (or for that matter, ever), look no further than how Fox has handled the aftermath of that interview.
It's been a non-stop excuse to replay Bill O'Reilly's horribly lame interview with President Obama over and over again all week long on the network, and to pick it apart to trash him at every opportunity, and the segment above with conservative curmudgeon George Will is just one example.
Media Matters laid out what a train wreck the interview with O'Reilly was and debunked his B.S. on the fake IRS "scandal" here: A Super Bowl Of Fox's Phony Scandals: The Obama-O'Reilly Pregame Interview :
O'Reilly also questioned Obama over his role in the IRS targeting case, asking why IRS commissioner Douglas Schulman visited the White House 157 times. While O'Reilly seems to imply a nefarious purpose to these visits, the actual reason is public record. According to The Atlantic:
Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers involved in implementation of the health-care reform bill. He was cleared 40 times to meet with Obama's director of the Office of Health Reform, and a further 80 times for the biweekly health reform deputies meetings and others set up by aides involved with the health-care law implementation efforts. That's 76 percent of his planned White House visits just there, before you even add in all the meetings with Office of Management and Budget personnel also involved in health reform.
Complicating the picture is the fact that just because a meeting was scheduled and Shulman was cleared to attend it does not mean that he actually went.
O'Reilly claimed that "some people are saying" that the IRS was used as a tool to go after conservative groups. Fox News has repeatedly attempted to link Obama to what the president termed in this interview "boneheaded decisions out of a local [IRS] office," but that scandal too has collapsed.
That didn't stop Will from flogging it again this Monday on Bret Baier's show.
BAIER: We're talking about the IRS and that scandal. We're back with the panel. George, what about the president's answer, not even a smidgeon?
WILL: Well, I remember the president at first saying when the trajectory of this scandal began, this was outrageous. And Lois Lerner, who was at the center of it, the IRS official, terminated her public career and refused to testify, because something was bothering her and him.
Now we've reached the point where it's just boneheaded decisions, which amazingly, seem to affect primarily the president's critics.
Now, we also have a Democratic senator, a leading Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, saying we want the IRS to go back at it. I don't know. Back at what? Making boneheaded decisions? I don't know what he's supposed to do.
Bret, we've had three major scandals in the last forty years. Scandals are a dime a dozen in this town – sexual, financial and all the rest. Three big ones involving the distortion and abuse of institutions. Watergate, Iran-Contra and the IRS.
The first two were ravenously covered by the media and they were Republican president's problems. This is not being pursued and the president knows that, hence his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O'Reilly.
h/t Media Matters