MRC/NB's Bozell Reacts to Obama Photo Controversy
"You know, Steve, I just wrote a book about the naked fawning for Hillary Clinton by the media over the past 15 years. I picked the wrong subject," MRC president Brent Bozell joked to "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy.
Bozell appeared on the February 26 program to discuss media coverage of the Democratic primary contest, including the latest dustup: a controversy about a photo of Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) from a 2006 Africa junket allegedly leaked by a Clinton staffer. Bozell noted that the Clinton campaign's tactics are "just goofy" and are "backfiring on them, every single time."
Bozell argued that Clinton's desperation is in part due to Obama's soft treatment by the press although, "there's no way you can say that the media have treated her [Sen. Clinton] poorly overall."
Below is a transcript of the interview:
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Matt Drudge splashed this across his home page yesterday when you saw it and reportedly it was leaked to him by Hillary Clinton's campaign, somebody there, although she denies it, what did you think?
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: There's nothing to it at all. Look, whether fairly or unfairly, when the media determine that your campaign is on the ropes, then everything you do thereafter is seen through the prism of desperation. And unfortunately for the Clintons, they are looking and sounding desperate every single week because they haven't figured out a way to stop him. So they're doing this kind of stuff, which is just goofy. And it's backfiring on them, every single time.
GRETCHEN CARLSON, co-host: And Brent, we wanted to bring to people's attention, obviously, that when leaders go to other foreign nations they typically dress up in the local garb. We're looking at a photo right now of Hillary and her daughter Chelsea wearing scarves and Hillary wearing a hat. And so this is the typical point typical thing that is done. But what people are not talking about is what the implied notion was with regard to seeing Barack Obama in a turban.
BOZELL: Well, I thought it was looking like he was in his underwear. But, again, the bottom line is, who cares? People are going to look at this and they're going to say if this is the best that Hillary Clinton has to defeat Barack Obama, she has nothing. And apparently she has nothing to defeat him. This is a big story about absolutely nothing except the desperation of the Clinton camp.
DOOCY: Brent, you're an expert to talk to about this because have you been watching the media so long. Have you ever seen anybody get so much favorable publicity in the print and on the airwaves as Barack Obama and so many people like Chris Matthews who are so, have such naked love for this guy?
BOZELL: You know, Steve, I just wrote a book about the naked fawning for Hillary Clinton by the media over the past 15 years. I picked the wrong subject. [laughter]
DOOCY: Way to go. [laughter]
BOZELL: It's nothing compared to Obama. I'm convinced it is not going to continue, because at some point the media are going to have to get serious about giving this man scrutiny. I mean you've got to give these guys smelling salts every single time they talk about him. At some point someone is going to get serious and they're going to talk about what his record is or his lack of a record. And secondly, they are going to talk about what his beliefs really are, and the more they talk about his beliefs, I think the more the American people are going to do a double take. That's my theory.
CARLSON: To a certain extent you then would understand the frustration, the apparent frustration of the Clinton camp when they say that Barack Obama, that she's been treated poorly by the mainstream media and Barack Obama has been given a pass.
BOZELL: Yeah, by comparison she's been treated poorly. But there's no way you can say that the media have treated her poorly overall. But, by comparison she has. And they do have a right to be frustrated. They do have a right. Look, when Bill Clinton made the statement he made in South Carolina about how Barack would win because there is so many black voters in South Carolina, he was telling the truth. But it blew up in his face. There is nothing the Clintons have been able to do that's worked for them against Barack Obama. I guarantee you this will not continue with John McCain because at some point, I think the public is going to demand some serious coverage of this campaign.
DOOCY: Alright, and we've got it right here. Brent Bozell from the Media Research Center. Their Web site is MRC.org. Brent, thank you very much for joining us.
Audio available here (1.70 MB | 3:43).