Bill Press Dazzled by Obama's Handling of 'Tough Questions' on 'Between Two Ferns'
Next thing you know, Bill Press will be gushing about Obama's ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Press just might be the only sentient person alive who actually believes that Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns" at the comedy website Funny or Die was unscripted. At least that's the impression Press gave while talking with Rebecca Sinderbrand of Politico on his radio show March 14. (Audio after the jump)
Decide for yourself after listening to a clip from their conversation (audio) --
PRESS: Did President Obama do the right thing by going on "Between Two Ferns"?
SINDERBRAND: I mean, look, you go where the viewers are. I mean, from the White House's perspective, this is a fantastic success! You know, they saw that enormous boost in referrals directly from "Two Ferns," and so, you know, and you had some Republican voices, you know, some of the traditional Republican voices came out and criticized and then others were saying, look, like, maybe instead of criticizing, this is something we gotta think about doing ourselves. You know, maybe you'll see a presidential candidate Ted Cruz on "Two Ferns" sometime in the future, who knows.
PRESS: Uh, all I gotta say is ...
SINDERBRAND: I'd pay, that would be worth the price of admission ...
PRESS PRODUCER PETER OGBURN: That would be amazing!
SINDERBRAND: ... that would be absolutely ..
PRESS: ... and I'll tell ya, Ted Cruz, I'm positive, could not handle the tough questions as well as Barack Obama did. He fired back pretty well, I thought, you know?
Difference being, Ted Cruz would face tough questions on "Between Two Ferns," compared to the scripted satire served up for Obama. Press is apparently unaware that Funny or Die signed on last summer to help sell Obamacare. That being the case, they presumably have no interest in helping Cruz (a former debate champ at Princeton, not incidentally).
I winced my way through a second viewing of Obama's "BTF" appearance to hear those "tough questions" again. Here's what host Zach Galifianakis asked Obama --
In 2013, you pardoned a turkey. What do you have planned for 2014?
Do you send Ambassador (Dennis) Rodman to North Korea on your behalf? I read somewhere that you'll be sending Hulk Hogan to Syria. Or is that more of a job for Tonya Harding?
What should we do about North Ikea?
What is it like to be the last black president?
Is it going to be hard in two years when you're no longer president and people will stop letting you win at basketball?
Where are you planning on building your presidential library, in Hawaii or your home country of Kenya?
You said if you had a son you would not let him play football. What makes you think that he would want to play football? What if he was a nerd like you?
So do you go to any websites that are .coms or .nets or do you mainly just stick with .govs?
Let's get this out of the way -- what'd you come here to plug?
Why would you get the guy that created the Zune to make your website?
(After Obama begins pitching Obamacare) Is this what they mean by drones?
Did you say invisible? (after Obama said you people believe they are "invincible")
I don't have a computer so how does one ...? (sign up for Obamacare)
(After Obama tells Galifianakis that Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions, Galifianakis rolls up his sleeve and shows his bare arm to Obama, who responds, "that's disgusting." Viewers could not see the condition Galifianakis attributed to "spider bites.")
Is your plug finally over?
So which country were you rooting for in the Winter Olympics?
Obama's response to the question about not letting a son if he had one play football -- "Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd? Why don't you ask her whether she thinks I'm a nerd."
"Could I?" Galifianakis asked. "No," Obama said, "I'm not going to let her anywhere near you." ("Let" her -- as opposed to not "letting" Galifianakis near her.)
At the end of the interview came a genuinely funny moment, though not in the way those who wrote the skit intended. Obama pushed a red panic button prop on a coffee table between the two men, waving off Galifianakis's objection, and the backdrop behind them collapsed to reveal a facade from inside the White House.
"Thanks for the interview and thanks for letting me shoot my show here all these years," Galifianakis said, feigning embarrassment.
Obama, mock amazed -- "You've been shooting these shows here in the Diplomatic Room?! Who gave you permission to do that?"
"Bush," Galifianakis answered. (Just a matter of time before Bush was invoked)
Obama -- "Seriously?! Who gave him clearance?"
Same question I've asked myself repeatedly since Obama was elected president. Given the man's lifelong affinity for America-hating radicals -- starting with his beatnik mom, socialist dad, communist father figure Frank Marshall Davis, unhinged spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright, unapologetic '60s bombers Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, loose-cannon priest Michael Pfleger, and corrupt developer Tony Rezko -- Obama is unlikely to have gotten security clearance to work in the Secret Service, let alone serve as commander in chief.
But none of that mattered to voters in 2008, thanks to a compliant media unwilling to scrutinize Obama for fear of what might be found.
No wonder Press thinks these were "tough questions." Compared to what Obama faced when running for president, they were.