As Media Research Center VP for Research and Publications Brent Baker reported two days ago, the roundtable for ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday took up the media’s favoritism toward President Obama. Host George Stephanopoulos marveled at “how obsessed the President and the White House are with Fox News,” prompting columnist George Will to observe that’s because “it’s the discordant note in an otherwise harmonious chorus.”
On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly asked FNC senior political analyst Brit Hume if "Obama is handling the dissent that he finds at Fox any differently than other presidents handle dissent?" Hume responded by acknowledging that: “Every president has a honeymoon period when critics lay off,” but usually when a president has been this active so early in changing the status quo, “the honeymoon tends to end pretty quickly.”
Hume suggested that Obama may be denouncing Fox News because it “gives him a fig leaf against the idea that this is a President who is riding the wave of media adoration and approval.” He also warned that if “he is really as sensitive” as Stephanopoulos suggests, “he better get over it,” because the honeymoon he is having...is not going to last forever.”
Here is the transcript for the segment, which aired around 8:15 PM ET:
BILL O’REILLY: I want to get on to Obama criticizing Fox News. The story doesn't die. Yesterday it rose again on ABC. Roll the tape.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I have always been struck, and it is not too strong a word, on how obsessed the President and the White House are with Fox News.
GEORGE WILL: Well, it's the discordant note in otherwise harmonious chorus, I suppose that's why.
BILL O’REILLY: You have covered a lot of presidents. Is President Obama handling Fox News, which is to be honest the most skeptical news organization on television of him as you heard George Will say. And pretty much everybody knows. The other networks, either are very approving of him or actually promote him. So, is Obama handling the dissent that he finds in some quarters on this network any differently than other presidents handled dissent.
BRIT HUME: It's hard to say. We have never had a situation quite like this one. We have Never had an administration -- I mean all administrations get a honeymoon up to a certain point. Bill Clinton had a very brief one because there were a number of stumbles in the early going. There is a certain honeymoon period which when critics lay off. When a President as activist as this one has been this early, in times like these the honeymoon tends to end pretty quickly. It's still going on and likely to continue for some time. As you heard George Will point out in the clip you played we are the only discordant note which is not to say that I agree with his absurd assertion last week that all he gets is criticism.
BILL O’REILLY: We are clearly tougher on him than any of the other networks. Everybody knows that. And our ratings reflect that as we grow in power and the others decline. But Obama now by bringing attention to us in a very public way, he actually helps Fox News.
BRIT HUME: It certainly doesn't hurt us, it may be useful to him in that it gives him a fig leaf against the idea that this is a President who is riding this wave of media adoration and approval and that he is not being appropriately challenged. That may be useful to him in some way. I'm bound to say this, Bill. If he is really as sensitive about this and obsessed as George Stephanopoulos suggests, he better get over it, because this honeymoon is he having and treatment from the media is not going to last forever. It never does with a President. If he doesn't like what he is did getting from us amid all the rest of this, he really going to hate it later on.