Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday said the Obama administration has started a new war with Fox News.
"As you may remember, the President and his team harshly criticized Fox News last fall for not being fair. And that led to a vigorous back and forth between the FNC troop and the White House, which of course jazzed our ratings up a bit. Then things kind of died down."
After White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' childish attack on FNC's Wendell Goler Tuesday, O'Reilly thinks the ceasefire has officially ended.
"The lingering issue is that Fox News is by far the toughest media outlet on President Obama, and he doesn't like it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Thanks for watching us tonight. Is the Obama administration angry with FOX News again? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo". As you may remember, the president and his team harshly criticized FOX News last fall for not being fair. And that led to a vigorous back and forth between the FNC troop and the White House, which of course jazzed our ratings up a bit. Then things kind of died down.
But now, the oil spill has muddied the waters once again. And I apologize deeply for the atrocious pun. The latest round began on Cavuto's program earlier this week. Michael Brown, President Bush's point man on Hurricane Katrina, said this about President Obama's posture on the spill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BROWN: The winds will right, it'll go up the East coast. This is exactly what they want because now he can pander to the environmentalists and say I'm going to shut it down because it's too dangerous while Mexico and China and everybody else drills in the Gulf, we're going to get shut down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, I don't think Mr. Obama wants the oil spill to expand. In fact, I usually dismiss conspiracy theories like that out of hand. But Mr. Brown's opinion did annoy the administration. And the subject came up yesterday when our White House guy Wendell Goler asked a question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOLER: As for critics who are calling this your Katrina, is there, President Obama's Katrina--
GIBBS: Can I say this? I watched FOX yesterday.
GOLER: I really didn't want you to go there.
GIBBS: But you sort of opened both the double doors and, voila, here I am.
GOLER: It wasn't just FOX calling this your Katrina.
GIBBS: No, no, but FOX had the very special and unique interview with Michael Brown. You opened and I had to do it, who for those who weren't let in on the big secret, Mr. Brown, FEMA Director Brown under Katrina intimated on FOX and it wasn't -- I won't editorially say didn't appear to be pushed back on real hard, that this spill was leaked on purpose in order for us to walk back our environmental and drilling decisions. And that the leak that we did on purpose got out of control and now is too big to contain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: So my question is why does the White House care what Michael Brown says?
Look, we can't control what the guests say. Cavuto actually stuck up for the president during the interview with Brown. So "Talking Points" believes the deal is phony, a canard, a charade.
The lingering issue is that FOX News is by far the toughest media outlet on President Obama, and he doesn't like it. Understandable. But the White House makes a mistake by bringing up dopey stuff like this Brown deal. I always tell these guys, Mr. Gibbs included, if you have a beef, bring it here. If you think you're being treated unfairly, we'll give you plenty of air time. But give Wendell Goler and our hard news guys a break. They're fair and they don't deserve scorn. I'll take that heat gladly.
What's really hypocritical about the Administration's tactics is the President just Saturday told commencement attendees at the University of Michigan:
[I]f we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized, more set in our ways. That will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country. But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from. [...]
Still, if you're somebody who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you're a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It's essential for our democracy.
The practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship and essential for our democracy -- but thou shalt NOT watch Fox News!