Bill O'Reilly Tells Geraldo There's 'No Excuse' for Bob Schieffer and Brian Williams Going Soft on Obama on Libya

Fox News star Bill O’Reilly yelled at Geraldo Rivera on his show Friday night about how Brian Williams and Bob Schieffer failed to press Barack Obama on the facts about the terrorist attack in Benghazi. Rivera tried to change the subject by claiming Romney should have played journalist at the last debate.

Later in the show, Imus sidekick Bernard McGuirk said the Brian Williams interview was disgusting and they should have played Johnny Mathis music behind Williams and Obama.

O'Reilly began his lament in the Talking Points commentary up front:

O'REILLY: This week NBC News anchor Brian Williams, one of the few journalists Mr. Obama is talking with, had a chance to ask him some tough questions. Mr. Williams passed....

Instead of citing some inconsistencies from the administration about the Libyan attack, Mr. Williams dropped the subject, totally dropped it after one misleading question, going on to the bogus women's health issue.

Mr. Williams implied that American intelligence stands behind the theory that the Libyan attack was, quote, "spontaneous". That is not a fact but was presented as such by Brian Williams.

O'Reilly reported "The Factor at 8:00 last night beat the NBC program 'Rock Center' in total audience, which is kind of amazing."

"Rock Center" drew 4.2 million viewers -- well, not exactly, since NBC in Minneapolis was simulcasting the Vikings game, but it was counted as "Rock Center."  Meanwhile 10 million were watching the Sherlock Holmes drama "Elementary" on CBS.

O'Reilly was turning up the anger as he questioned Geraldo Rivera. "You've been in this business a long time, okay? All right. Is there any excuse for that question not being asked by two highly-paid news people, Schieffer and Williams? Any excuse?" Rivera answered with a question: "Why wasn't it asked by Governor Mitt Romney when he had two times he could have done that?" O'Reilly insisted "Romney has got his own reasons for not asking it but it's the job of Schieffer and Williams to ask it and they didn't." (Emphasis his.)

O'Reilly told Geraldo "You have been very kind to Barack Obama during his administration. You have been very kind to him, all right? Is there any excuse in the world for the President at this point in time not answering fundamental questions about this situation? Not holding a press conference and answering fundamental questions?"

Rivera made excuses for Obama: "We are 10 days from what everyone is calling the most important election of our time. Do you realistically believe that for example the House Oversight Committee run by the Republicans would be questing truth, justice and the American way? We are seeking to score political points." He didn't think a press conference was constructive:

RIVERA: The President should tell what he knows when he feels he knows it. And I think that it is totally appropriate.

O'REILLY: He doesn't know this fundamental stuff six weeks later.

RIVERA: He put his blood on the water to political sharks, Bill.

O'REILLY: Just be honest.

RIVERA: Why didn't Romney ask him? If you are so smart and you know so definitively.

O'REILLY: Romney is not a journalist, he is not the president.

RIVERA: Why didn't Governor Romney when he was sitting this close to the President ask the question?

O'REILLY: I don't know.

RIVERA: You know why? Because he knew that it's a lot more ambiguous than political operatives are making it out. It is not. Darrell Issa -- you can't count on Darrell Issa to find truth here.

Later in the show, Imus sidekick Bernard McGuirk ripped into Williams:

McGUIRK: They should have ran Johnny Mathis music behind Williams and President Obama. It was disgraceful, it was disgusting. And shame on you Brian Williams.

O'REILLY: What song from Johnny would have you put in there?

McGUIRK: It's not for me to say, Bill. [Laughter]

McGuirk wanted Williams to brandish a photo of the Americans lost in Benghazi in front of the president: "Look at a picture of these four dead American heroes. Look in the mirror and ask yourself: Dd you do the right thing? And then try to have a good night sleep."

In the last election cycle, Williams liked showing pictures to Obama, but they were adoring news magazine covers, and then Williams would ask him if his mother would have liked the image.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis