As NewsBusters previously reported, CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian at a press conference at the APEC summit in Hawaii Sunday asked President Obama if Republican presidential candidates were "uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible."
On Fox News's O'Reilly Factor Monday, political analyst Bernie Goldberg said, "That was the most ridiculous question I have ever heard by a regular reporter from a so-called mainstream news outfit. Ever." (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O’REILLY, HOST: This is a CNN correspondent, Dan Lothian, and he’s interviewing President Obama in Hawaii. Go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Last night at the Republican debate, some of the hopefuls, they hope to get your job, they defended the practice of waterboarding, which is a practice that you banned in 2009. Herman Cain said quote, “I don’t see that as torture.” Michele Bachmann said that it’s quote “very effective.” So I’m wondering if you think that they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: That's a multiple choice question, isn't it?
[Laughter] Let me just say this: they’re wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: Alright. So, a lot of people say, look, the CNN reporter is sympathetic to President Obama's point of view by baiting him that way. And you say?
BERNIE GOLDBERG: Well, look, when I first saw this, I thought it was a Saturday Night Live comedy routine. Are you kidding? I mean, a reporter from a major news organization asking if Republicans are uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible? President Obama even looked embarrassed by the question. It looked like he…
O’REILLY: He looked a little perplexed.
GOLDBERG: During that pause I thought he was going to say, “Hey man, listen, listen, I know you guys love me, and for good reason you love me, but this is embarrassing.” Look, I have, I have followed this for decades, and I don't think I've ever seen a case as so unvarnished in terms of bias as this. I've said on this program more than once, Bill, I have said on this program that bias is rarely blatant. This is jaw-droppingly blatant.
O’REILLY: The only escape hatch that Mr. Lothian has is if he was going for this big reaction. You know, he wanted to provoke Mr. Obama to say, “Hey, people are pinheads.”
GOLDBERG: He has no escape hatch. That was the most ridiculous question I have ever heard by a regular reporter from a so-called mainstream news outfit. Ever.
O’REILLY: Well, thank G-d, because I think some of mine have broached that territory, but I'm glad he topped me. Bernie Goldberg, everybody.
Goldberg wasn't the only one to recognize the absurdity of this question. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh commented during his program Monday:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Folks, this is a more profound example of media bias than you're ever going to hear. This is the reporter sucking up to Obama; and Obama, I think, recognized what a suck-up question it was. This question even embarrassed Obama...I think Obama may have wanted the question. I think the way Obama answered that said, "Oh, jeez. I don't need the bias to be this obvious, for crying out loud."
Better still, our friends over at Powerline gave Lothian four Lewinskys.
Those not getting the joke should use their imagination.