The 2011 Superbowl Half-Time Interview between Bill O’Reilly and President Obama.
What do you think of it?
I thought it was an incredibly lame interview. Boring softball questions in a time of huge crossroads decisions for our nation. At a time when there is a President saying we need to invest in the future when the country’s credit line is already maxed out, I would have thought any true journalist would have asked the President something like – “how will you prioritize critical government programs, current entitlements, and investments in the future without spending or borrowing any more money?” And just kept maniacally asking the same question until Obama gave something that resembled an answer.
This question is as fair to ask the President as it is to ask Republican and Democratic leadership.
Until we have a national plan set in legislation to address that question, its all political posturing.
Instead, O’Reilly asked a series of both polite and useless questions. From the network that is screaming about the Muslim Brotherhood instead of actually reporting real news from Cairo – I should expect no less.
I challenge my conservative brethren to call me wrong!!!!
Weren’t a couple of Fox News’ reporters beaten up in Egypt? May explain their coverage…
I agree that these points should have been pressed: “how will you prioritize critical government programs, current entitlements, and investments in the future without spending or borrowing any more money?”
The fact is though we have one and an half wars going on, so spending on defense one way or another is going to continue at some elevated level, even if we completely wash our hands of Iraq in two years, air free of something nasty happening.
Otherwise, I can understand the dodging over social security and medicare, because a substantial number of elderly, retired or soon to be retired will come out of the wood work and take audible umbrage to any hint of cuts (stalking politicians, getting disruptive at town halls, orchestrating call in campaigns, etc.).
I think overall an OK interview – More interesting than the state of the union address, or other interviews of political notables in the world of infotainment. Actually I think the only interviews I have enjoyed recently were by Shatner on his “Raw” show…maybe Fareed Zakaria’s interviews on GPS too…
I saw only part of it and was as interested in finishing it as I was the half-time show (barely). I was expecting President Obama to be put in a spot where he would have to either show his hypocrisy by lying some more or show who he really is by being honest. All they did was talk like good friends. O’Reilly really disappointed me here. All his theater on his show went out the window the moment the President of the US was in front of him. Now I wasn’t expecting O’Reilly to ridicule the President, after all he is our President and does deserve a certain level of respect. But if anything this wasn’t “the interview you don’t want to miss”, if anything it was “the interview you might find interesting”.
An interview easily forgotten by the awesome display of 2 incredible football teams who fought to the bitter end to win a title they both wanted to win really badly.
GB Jeff your mistake is in thinking of Bill O’Reilly as a journalist. As for, ““how will you prioritize critical government programs, current entitlements, and investments in the future without spending or borrowing any more money?”
I think Obama would answer that he has begun the process of trimming down some government agencies, but it isn’t something that can just be done because many government programs are good things that people want and they must determine what is expendable. As for entitlements, SS isn’t in that bad of shape and I’m sure he could convince the country to raise the cap to the point needed to keep it solvent which is important to everyone that will need it. To Medicare he would say a single payer healthcare system would be the best way to save Medicare, using the motto, ” the more people that are on a plan the cheaper it gets”, well how do you get more people than everyone? Investments just make sense, they create jobs and increase economic productivity by reducing logistics.
How to pay for it all? The same as his corporate plan, eliminate deductions and lower the rates (maybe keep the EIC, child credit, and 100% R &D). I know you all love the flat tax, but after the fight the rich just put up over their rate and the inheritance tax, I am not willing to see a raise in rates for people making substantially less. So we will achieve the simplicity of the flat tax, with a few extra minor complexities, while maintaining a fair progressive system.
I stand corrected – Yes – Bill O’Reilly is a commentator not journalist.
I digress, I happened to be watching CSPAN the other night in a hotel room while trapped in Boston by the snow. Of all things, on CSPAN at 10PM was a re-broadcast of a debate in the British Parliament with the Prime Minister – awesome that the PM has to sit on the floor of Parliament and take crap from every MP, then give it back just as good and have real debates and arguments.
If only we had that here…….
If you are impressed by the British parliament, you should check out the book Anglophiles – by a journalist from the New York Times whose beat was the parliament. Actually it is a cultural skewering of the British, but has some really funny anecdotes about Parliament (I guess they could step out and drink a lot up to recently, and often acted like Public School boys out to make mischief).
As for the flat tax, not sure that represents much simplicity. A bit of the complexity is defining taxable income. Also, not all deductions will be removed – touch the mortgage deduction and upper middle America will go ape and metaphorically lynch any culpible politician regardless of political persuasion.
Also I would suspect that could touch off some class conflict at the upper middle end- Those who gain from those sorts of deductions may feel that they will not be sufficiently compensated for their removal by rate reductions favoring the very wealthy.
This interview a missed opportunity. Overall it was a very forgettable interview that missed an opportunity (once again) for the President to put a couple of very real issues into the American dialogue. It is sad, but true that this Superbowl represented a very rare opportunity that the President had to get the largest audience of Americans he will have during this term in office. The audience for his speeches, debates and addresses still pale in comparison to what he had the other night. This was his opportunity to start and focus the national debate. Sadly, he let this precious opportunity slip away.
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