MSNBC's Abrams: I Don't Think Obama Should Go On Fox News
Honestly, the hypocrisy of liberal media members knows no bounds.
On Friday, Dan Abrams of MSNBC voiced extreme displeasure with the announcement that Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama is finally going to be interviewed by Chris Wallace on this weekend's "Fox News Sunday."
This from a man whose very network has hosted numerous presidential debates despite moderators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann being clearly in the tank for Obama.
Amazingly, this contradiction continues to elude the good folks at MSNBC as demonstrated by the following partial transcript of Friday's "Verdict" (readers are cautioned to have a trash receptacle handy in case of involuntary retroperistalsis):
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Turning now from accusations of a rival candidate trying to bring down Obama to a rival network out to destroy him.
Stop the tape. A rival network out to destroy him? Fox News is out to destroy Obama? Really?
Doesn't this seem amazingly absurd coming from a network that has been so obviously and unashamedly advancing Obama's candidacy virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week since the junior senator first tossed his name in the ring?
Regardless, let's continue:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: We want to note once again, we invited Senator Obama to answer some questions this week and once again he declined. So, the "Obama Watch" rolls on 765 days and still counting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: All right. Now that that ridiculous watch is over, Obama has agreed to appear on FOX this weekend. Why should Obama go on a network that has spent so many hours reporting, quote, "breaking news" on the travel schedule of Obama`s controversial former pastor just to keep him in the news? The network that has offered up these offensive doozies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason that he`s considered such a big deal is simply because he`s black.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a black candidate surrounding himself with a lot of white advisers.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX HOST: Neither one of us can point to one thing Barack Obama has done for African-Americans.
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, first of all -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The senator`s middle name Barack Hussein Obama.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST: If he`s middle name is Hussein, what is wrong with people that bring up his middle name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because his father was Muslim and named him Barack Hussein Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: A senior adviser for Obama told the Web site, Talkingpointsmemo.com, quote, "We are clear-eyed about FOX`s role in the dissemination and amplification of Republican talking points this election. They had been the tip of the spear when it comes to repeatedly broadcasting some of the most specious of rumors about Obama. He is going on there Sunday show to take FOX on, not because we have any illusion about their motives or politics in this election."
Let me bring in to the panel, Jonathan Kim, co-producer of Brave New Films, "Fox Attacks" series.
All right. Jonathan, look, I don`t think that Barack Obama should be spending his precious time going on to a network that has committed to trying to destroy him. What do you think?
JONATHAN KIM, "FOX ATTACKS" SERIES PRODUCER: Well, I agree with you. I mean, I think the best thing that Obama can get from this is if he goes on and just attacks them and tells them, "I know what you guys are and what you guys do." And if he goes and treats it like a regular interview and tries to thoughtfully answer questions, that`s going to be a disaster because we`ve now watched more FOX than really should.
And I know what they do and how they do it. They`re going to take apart every single thing that he says, every little caplet (ph), every word that he says, they`re going to even look at his body language, trust me, that`s coming too and they`re going to find every way to spin and distort anything he says.
ABRAMS: Roy, look, you know, the argument would go, well, you can`t appear on FOX, you know, he`s not ready to be president. Fine, I`m not saying that they couldn`t do it. I`m saying, why spend your precious time going on that network?
Amazingly, the first voice of reason in this discussion actually came from the founding editor of the Huffington Post:
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, first of all, it can`t be any worse than what happened on ABC. Nothing Chris Wallace is going to say is going to be any worse than Stephanopoulos and Gibson, right? So, that`s for starters.
Second of all, he is running for president of the United States, not president of the people who read the Huffington Post or people who watch Keith Olbermann. And I think it`s really good as long as he dictates the game, you know. I think that was the problem. He was on the defensive when he was during the debate on ABC.
I think at this game, he dictates the thing and says, that he said to him, "Listen, Chris, you know, after 4,000 dead soldiers, after the economy is taking, after foreclosures, after gas support (ph), this is about best you had, you had 735 days to repair and this is all you got, baby?" I think it would be great for him.
ABRAMS: But the problem is that at some times, the best laid plans don`t get executed that way. And, A.B., he is legitimizing FOX, even if he`s going to go after them, by going on to FOX.
A. B STODDARD, THE HILL: I think he should have gone on FOX a long time ago. I think that he wasted time boycotting FOX, Chris...
STODDARD: Because he needs to face the tough crowd. John McCain is likely his opponent and he`s likely to be the nominee and he`s going to run against John McCain. John McCain is hanging out in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, and Little Rock in Selma, facing very tough crowds, taking questions of people of all colors...
ABRAMS: Wait. Is the notion, A.B., that the only tough questions for Obama can come from people who`ve made a campaign out of trying to destroy him? Come on.
STODDARD: No, I think he should have gone on FOX a long time ago, faced the FOX audience, and firmly disputed their specious rumors...
ABRAMS: But they deny it.
STODDARD: ...for whatever it is he has troubled with. But you know what? Chris Wallace is not going to attack him. Chris Wallace is a class act. Barack Obama needs to answer the questions. He didn`t answer well that debate and he needs to answer questions in a presidential way on FOX News.
ABRAMS: But, why? John Ridley, why on FOX News? Why on a place - listen to this, John, I`m going to play for you. This is Steve Doocy of FOX News talking with the morning team. Listen to this and then let`s talk again about the fact that he`s going on this network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS HOST: There`s been a drip, drip, drip of stuff. He`s middle name, Hussein.
Now the news that he was raised a Muslim.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Apparently, when he was a young boy, he attended a Muslim school, a madrasa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is huge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went to this madrasa for four years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went to a madrasa.
DOOCY: A madrasa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A madrasa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madrasa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: I mean, this is from Jonathan`s movie. Obviously, John, it`s all...
JOHN RIDLEY, NPR CONTRIBUTOR: Where did he go to school? I`m sorry.
RIDLEY: You know, look, and here`s the thing is, Dan. I don`t think he`s going to sway a lot of the regular FOX audience, but what`s going to come out of this is going to be a lot of sound bytes that are played over and over again. And would Obama can do is show that he`s not the guy from the ABC debate who gets a little nervous or put upon, but rather, he`s cool, calm, collective (ph) and presidential.
And look, I`ve seen politicians, Democrats, who go on FOX News and make FOX News look bad. He`s got the opportunity to do that and there`s no reason, absolutely no reason he should not and not take that opportunity to come out and look presidential.
ABRAMS: Yes, again -- let me let Jonathan in. Go ahead, Jonathan.
KIM: I mean, in the 2004 election, Mark Mellman of "The Hill" actually, he found that FOX viewers voted for Bush, 88 percent of FOX viewers voted for Bush, 7 percent for Kerry. If Obama thinks he`s going to actually make some good points in the FOX viewers and go, "Wow, you know, I guess I`ve been wrong about Democrats all this time and that they`re not terrorists and atheists, some things like that. Oh, yes, I`m going to vote for him now." It`s not going to happen.
But most of the people are going to watch these clips, the clips of his interview on Youtube, and even FOX viewers aren`t going to watch when it`s on, they`re going to watch the edited sound byte and things that come out in the weeks, and months, and years to come, when they just "carpet bomb" (ph) Obama with every single thing they have, hoping to create this kind of cloud of bad feelings around Obama, not one story that has to stick.
ABRAMS: Here`s what Bill Clinton did, I know, a lot of it sounds like a lot of you are saying that he can go after FOX in the way Bill Clinton did against Chris Wallace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: You did FOX`s bidding on the show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know...
WALLACE: Wait a minute, sir. I want to ask a question. You don`t think that`s a legitimate question?
B. CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of? I want to know many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn`t you do anything about the Cole?" I want to know how many people you asked why didn`t you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know how many people you asked...
WALLACE: Did you ever watched "FOX News Sunday," sir?
B. CLINTON: I don`t believe you asked them that.
WALLACE: We asked plenty of questions.
B. CLINTON: You didn`t ask that, did you? Tell you truth, Chris.
WALLACE: About the USS Cole? With Iraq and Afghanistan, there`s plenty of stuff to ask, sir.
B. CLINTON: Did you ever ask that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: In this sense, Roy, Obama is not a Bill Clinton. He`s not going to go after Wallace the way that Clinton did.
SEKOFF: Well, two things, one, I think, he should do it with humor and charm and he has that in abundance. But don`t forget, Chris Wallace actually went on, you know, the "FOX & Friends" morning show to criticize them for what he said was Obama bashing when they were piling on his, you know, typical white person comment. And he went after them pretty good. So, I think, you know, I think it will be a pretty good interview.
ABRAMS: Look, whether it`s going to be a good interview, I`m not saying it would be a good interview. I`m saying is that he`s got a limited amount of time, he can do a limited amount of interviews and the one place I don`t think he should be doing an interview, not because it`s going to be hard, not because he can`t answer the questions, but because the network has made a campaign out of going after him and mentioning Reverend Wright as often as they can as FOX News. We shall see.
Thanks to the great panel.
Honestly, how does Abrams look at himself in the mirror each morning as he shaves and brushes his teeth? Or, does he have someone do it for him so that he doesn't have to?