Update/Clarification: Whitaker erroneously described the interview as the unedited version of the interview done on the FOX broadcast network. It is, in fact, a second interview which was taped subsequent to the live aired interview on Sunday. || Just how in the tank is MSNBC for Barack Obama? To the extent that the president hectoring Fox News's Bill O'Reilly for being "unfair" is considered news worthy of top billing on the network's website. [see screen capture below page break]
"Obama blasts O'Reilly in extended interview," cheers the teaser headline for the first item in the lightbox at msnbc.com this morning. Clicking on the link takes you to Morgan Whitaker's 19-paragraph summary of the content of the full, unedited interview which O'Reilly taped prior to the Super Bowl. Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine):
President Obama accused Fox News host Bill O’Reilly of covering his administration unfairly, in an unedited version of their pre-Super Bowl interview that ran Monday night on O’Reilly’s show.
“Absolutely, of course you have Bill, but I like you anyway,” the president said when asked if he thought the host had been “unfair” to him.
Obama specifically contested the notion that he has advocated a “nanny state” during his time in office, a criticism O’Reilly has often hurled his way.
“I disagree with that because I think that what used to be considered sensible we now somehow label as liberal,” he said.
“We have not massively expanded the welfare state,” Obama added later. “That’s just not true. When you take a look at it, actually … the levers of support that we provide to folks who are willing to work hard, they’re not that different than they were 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 50 years ago.”
Whitaker linked to the unedited video, but failed to mention that FoxNews.com as well as O'Reilly's eponymous website, BillOReilly.com, made the entire unedited interview available for anyone to peruse free of charge on the Internet. O'Reilly's website also has the full interview transcript.
A network like MSNBC which has been repeatedly caught taking things out of context to smear conservatives should be a bit more circumspect on these things, especially when their higher-ranked competitor Fox News put out the unedited video for the public to see without hesitation.
The edited interview, you may recall, aired on the Fox broadcast network on Sunday afternoon prior to the Super Bowl.