The Obama-O’Reilly interview on Super Bowl Sunday was a major event. Yet the Obama-O’Reilly interview continued on, even after the live feed stopped rolling. The rest of the big political showdown aired on The Factor last night, as the President and one of his biggest ideological foes had 10 more minutes of debate. Despite being such polar opposites, the two avoided jumping down each other’s throats – as those who watched it probably did that for them. Now that the interview has aired completely, their rabid supporters can now debate who won, if anybody.
The live portion of the showdown aired on Super Bowl Sunday, as the two talked about Egypt, health care, moving to the center, and negative reactions to the President. For Part 2, they moved onto the rest of the Middle East, the deficit, and the President’s true feelings on FOX News.
Ultimately, the Obama-O’Reilly interview on Sunday wasn’t the biggest of all time, as the Factor host teased. In fact, the 4:30-5 p.m. time slot reportedly got only 17.3 million viewers, far short of the 70 million for Barbara Walters vs Monica Lewinsky. However, that may be because football fans were sick of pregame coverage by then, and political junkies may have waited to see it online.
In the actual talk, the two managed to have a civilized discussion on both days. Yet O’Reilly got some flack on Sunday by asking about how people hated the President. However, President Obama did claim that he wasn’t bothered by all the protesters, since they didn’t know him.
For Part 2 of the interview, the Factor host pressed him on his policies for Afghanistan, Iran and the deficit. The President vowed that the U.S would defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda – though not with 100 percent certainty – and that he really was concerned with the deficit after all.
But finally, the topic got to FOX News itself, and its coverage of the administration. Although the President was so reluctant to come on FOX News until now, he proclaimed that he did respect them and their point of view. Yet he did suggest that they could provide “facts without the spin” when O’Reilly asked what they could do better.
On this end, the interview may not have pleased their most rabid and partisan supporters. After all this time, some on the left may have wished the President didn’t talk to FOX, or went further in criticizing them. Likewise, some on the right might have hoped their icon hammered the President harder.
Yet if the two were at their most extreme, this talk likely couldn’t have taken place to begin with. So the Obama-O’Reilly interview may be seen as a lose-lose for both, or a win-win.
CBS News- “Obama: Facts Minus Spin from Fox Would Be Good”
Mediaite- “Bill O’Reilly and Barack Obama – People Hate Obama”
Hollywood Reporter- “Bill O’Reilly Bragged About Obama Super Bowl Interview Ratings – But Fell Short”