Fox’s Wallace Sees ‘Idiocy’ in CNN Fact-Checking Anti-Obama SNL Skit, FNC’s Gutfeld Notes Double Standard
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, as host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace discussed recent comedy directed at President Obama and the First Lady – including a re-dubbed clip of Sesame Street’s Big Bird grilling Michelle Obama from the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien – Wallace opined that he hopes that there would be more such comedy and that the Obama’s should be treated by comedians like "regular public figures and not as something heaven sent."
He also lambasted the "idiocy" he saw on CNN as the Situation Room recently fact-checked a Saturday Night Live skit that took jabs at President Obama. Wallace: "I mean, here, the idiocy of CNN doing a fact check on Saturday Night Live's send up of Barack Obama, the fact is that is what comedians should do. They should make fun of the people in power."
Later in the show, O’Reilly brought aboard FNC’s Greg Gutfeld -- host of Redeye -- and Juliet Huddy to talk about the "dumbest things of the week," and Gutfeld presented his choice of the CNN fact-check, pointing out CNN’s double standard in its treatment of conservatives: "But they never did this when Will Ferrell went out and did Bush or when Tina Fey did Palin. They never analyzed when Republicans were parodied, but somehow when Barack Obama is parodied, they're shocked. They're incredulous. It's amazing to me."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, October 9, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
BILL O'REILLY: Now for the top story tonight, reaction. Joining us now from Washington, the anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace. So, your reaction to this Nobel deal?
CHRIS WALLACE: Well, I think, frankly, that your "Talking Points" are right on tonight, Bill. You know, first of all, as an American, we've got to be proud, we should be proud that an American president has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and that he has been identified by at least some people around the world as leading us in the direction of peace. I thought that President Obama struck exactly the right note in his statement today. First of all, to make a little bit of a joke about it, talking about the fact that his kids came into the bedroom and said hey, dad, you won the Nobel Peace Prize and today is our dog's birthday, and then to say, quite frankly, I don't belong in the company of the transformative figures who have won this award like Nelson Mandela, for instance. But, you know, to say I'm going to accept it as a call to action that we'll face the challenges of the 21st century. Obviously, that is a promise. It hasn't been accomplished yet. You know, as an American, all you can do is hope that he will achieve it.
O'REILLY: And he gets $1.4 million. That comes along with the prize. He's going to donate it to charity. That's nice. So I think it's a win for the country. And I agree with you that there's no reason to be upset about it. But this is really the interesting deal. The Nobel Committee, they're dopes. They're just dopes. [WALLACE LAUGHS] Okay? President Obama doesn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. I have no animus towards President Obama, and I'm happy the country is celebrating. I'm celebrating just as you are. He doesn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. He hasn't done anything. Somebody writes a speech, he reads it. And he gets the Peace Prize. I, you know, I'm going to get the Peace Prize next year. Bernie Goldberg's going to get it. He's going to talk about this on Monday. We haven't done anything either to bring peace to the world. In fact, I probably brought more violence. But they're dopes. And this is the end of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Everybody knows this is a charade. Am I wrong?
WALLACE: Well, look, I think you have to know who this committee is. They're elected by the Norwegian parliament. The Norwegian parliament is a very left of center, left-leaning organization. And the people that are on this committee are left-leaning, which is why you and Bernie Goldberg are never going to get the Nobel Peace Prize. And the fact is I think the primary reason that Barack Obama got this award is because he's not George W. Bush and because he has repudiated Bush's policies. Now if you believe in that, that’s a-
O'REILLY: No, but he hasn't really repudiated them, Chris. You know, rendition is still in play. Guantanamo's still open. Iraq is still a major theater in the war. He hasn't repudiated them. He give lip service to it. But he's dropping drones down people's nostrils.
WALLACE: I certainly about the drones, but here's where I disagree with you. He certainly has repudiated enhanced interrogation. He certainly has repudiated Guantanamo. He can't-
O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Chris, Chris, Chris. He's repudiated enhanced interrogation, and he's still sending prisoners to Egypt? Come on, this is a joke. Rendition is still in play. We pick up some guy and he goes over and he gets – you think waterboarding was bad, you don't know what they're doing to these guys. This is all a big charade, Chris. It's, look, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has now said to the world we are a joke, we don't know what we’re doing, we're in business to promote liberal politics. And that's what it is. That's what they say.
WALLACE: Well, that's right. But they didn't like George W. Bush in 2002. They named Jimmy Carter. And one of the members of the committee said we hope that's a kick in the leg to Bush that they were during Bush's presidency and after Bush had beaten the Taliban even before Iraq, that they named Jimmy Carter. In 2007 they named Al Gore. So, you know, they're saying we like this guy's policies, we like the idea-
O'REILLY: But this is over the top. At least Carter and Gore, whether you liked them or not, were in the game. I mean, Gore, the big global warming guy and made hundreds of millions of dollars off that. Not to say that he's not sincere, but he's certainly capitalized on it. And then Carter, he races around, and, you know, he does stuff. Habit for Humanity is successful. But Obama hasn't done anything. All right, now I want to lighten things up a little bit here. Michelle Obama is pretty much out of the picture, but she did appear on Sesame Street. And, you know, she interacted with the characters there. And it was all nice and fun and no down side. So Conan O'Brien picks up on that and does this. Roll the tape.
BIG BIRD: Well, look who's here to push her husband's socialist health care agenda.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Well, Big Bird.
BIG BIRD: Or maybe you're here to finally show us your husband's United States birth certificate.
OBAMA: No, Big Bird, I'm not.
BIG BIRD: That's ‘cause you can't. Are you absolutely sure he wasn't born in Kenya?
OBAMA: I'm sure, Big Bird.
BIG BIRD: That's not what the basket bunch says.
LETTUCE PUPPET IN BASKET: Yeah, your husband’s a stinkin' liar.
TOMATO PUPPET IN BASKET: We're going to run him out of office.
O'REILLY: So that's Conan O'Brien. Now, my question to you is, is that over the top? Is it legitimate? It's the first time I've ever seen Michelle Obama being made fun of.
WALLACE: Yeah, of course it's legitimate. I mean, don't be so touchy feely, Bill.
O'REILLY: Don't – me? I'm just asking, Chris.
WALLACE: Well, look, that's the job of these guys to be funny. And I'm glad that they're finally poking fun at Barack Obama and Michelle Obama the way they did at George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. I know you're going to have this on later in the show because I was listening, you know, to the top of your show. I mean, here, the idiocy of CNN doing a fact check on Saturday Night Live's send up of Barack Obama, the fact is that is what comedians should do. They should make fun of the people in power.
O'REILLY: Give everybody, all the people in power.
WALLACE: Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable. And, you know, they're in that business, and Conan O'Brien was doing what he should be doing.
O'REILLY: But it's shocking.
WALLACE: Whether it's a Republican or a Democrat.
O'REILLY: It's shocking because so very rarely see that. I think this is the first time that Michelle Obama has been satirized anywhere. Have you ever heard of another time when she's been satirized?
WALLACE: Well, I suppose the New Yorker Magazine with what they did on the cover after the so-called fist bump. But look, I hope that we're going to settle down. Although I don't know that the Nobel Peace Prize is going to do it, but I hope we're going to settle down and treat this President and this First Lady as regular politicians and regular public figures and not as something heaven sent, and that's good and healthy for the country.
O'REILLY: Gutfeld has chosen – I've got to set this up. Saturday Night Live does this thing mocking Barack Obama, who hasn't really done much. All right? And then CNN says, "Well, let's fact check it" or some crazy thing. Roll the tape.
BARACK OBAMA CHARACTER PLAYED BY FRED ARMISEN FROM SNL: I said I'd make improvements in the war in Afghanistan. Is it better? No, I think it's actually worse.
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN: But is there any truth to this?
BILL ADAIR, POLITIFACT.COM: They got some things wrong. For example-
WYNTER: Bill Adair, editor of Politifact.com, a nonpartisan fact-checking Web site that rates the statements of elected officials, says SNL missed the mark on some of its claims. For instance, Afghanistan:
ADAIR: I think SNL tended to kind of gloss over what is a fair amount of progress by this administration about sending two additional brigades to Afghanistan. We rated that a promise kept.
O'REILLY: So what we are learning is that CNN is analyzing Saturday Night Live.
GUTFELD: I don't think they've gone far enough. They've got to go back and look at the Coneheads. Were the Coneheads real?
O'REILLY: No, no, I think that they have to analyze next Spongebob.
GUTFELD: Spongebob, absolutely.
O'REILLY: We've got to go into that realm.
JULIET HUDDY: Sesame Street.
O'REILLY: Gutfeld, I have to congratulate you. That is the dumbest thing of the week. That is really dumb.
GUTFELD: But they never did this when Will Ferrell went out and did Bush or when Tina Fey did Palin. They never analyzed when Republicans were parodied, but somehow when Barack Obama is parodied, they're shocked. They're incredulous. It's amazing to me.
O'REILLY: Now where was this? What show was this on? The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. So they took this seriously, and that’s pretty stupid.
GUTFELD: It was actually funnier than a Saturday Night Live skit.
O'REILLY: Right. It was funny that they were actually taking it, and I don't believe that guy was a real guy. I think they brought him in.