Hillary Clinton's recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" was a play for superdelegate support at the Democratic Convention, MRC President Brent Bozell argued on the May 2 "Fox & Friends" in a segment joined by liberal talk show host Mike Papantonio. [audio available here]
Asked about the media and if it will follow up any more on the Rev. Wright controversy, the NewsBusters publisher quipped that, "[u]nless Jeremiah Wright sends a cruise missile back in their direction, no, the networks aren't going to touch this, and the New York Times is going to leave this alone. That's the end of the story, that's the way it goes."
Below is a transcript of some remarks from Bozell's appearance on the May 2 "Fox & Friends":
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Brent Bozell is with the Media Research Center, and Mike joins us from down in Pensacola. Good morning to both of you. Brent, let's start with you. Was it brilliant or not going on "The Factor" for her?
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: Just appearing was victory for Hillary. Look, I think her strategy is pretty clear at this point. She's moving to the middle, she wants to isolate Barack Obama on the far left of the spectrum. Why? Because she wants to make the case to the super delegates that she can win in a national contest, and he can't. So just appearing was a victory for her.
DOOCY: Right now as you know, last night in the "No Spin Zone" Hillary sat down with Bill O'Reilly talking about the guys in Iraq.
BILL O'REILLY: You start pulling U.S. Troops out of Iraq, and Iraq's a mess, everybody knows. Iran is going to like that. That's good for Iran. And Iran wants to dominate Iraq for a number of reasons. How are you going to stop it?
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-N.Y.), from "O'Reilly Factor" interview: First of all, I believe that our military has fulfilled all their military missions. They got rid of Saddam Hussein, they gave the Iraqis a free and fair election and they gave the Iraqi government the time to make the decisions that only they can make for themselves. There is no military solution for what we face in Iraq.
DOOCY: You've got Hillary last night on the Bill O'Reiliy "Factor." We're back with Brent and Mike. Brent, I've got to ask you about this. This past week, the past two or three weeks have been absolutely the worst of the Barack Obama campaign. Especially when he finally got around to saying "yeah, that Reverend, he's crazy, I'm going to distance myself from him." At the same time, one day later, the Obamas, Michelle and Barack, both came out and said "it's time to move on, we've decided -- we've changed our whole thinking about that." The mainstream media seems to have taken their cue and have moved on indeed. If it had been Hillary Clinton I wonder if they would have dragged it out a few more days.
BOZELL: That message wasn't to the American people. That message was to NBC News, CBS, and ABC. "Hey guys, let's move on." They're doing it. Unless Jeremiah Wright sends a cruise missile back in their direction, no, the networks aren't going to touch this, and the New York Times is going to leave this alone. That's the end of the story, that's the way it goes.
DOOCY: The actual substance of what [Hillary Clinton's] saying in terms of immigration and in terms of Iraq, mission accomplished in Iraq? We've done everything militarily?
BOZELL: What she said after the clip you showed showed an extraordinary naivety as far as I'm concerned. She said basically let's pull out and let the Iraqis and Iranians at it, boys will be boys and they'll just settle it between themselves. That's not the way the real world works. Iran will take over Iraq and she knows it very well. It was a terrible answer.
DOOCY: What was that trivia question you had?
BOZELL: When was the last time Barack Obama put himself in front of an interviewer to ask him tough questions?
GRETCHEN CARLSON, co-host: Well, he's going to be on a show this weekend, but I'm not sure, we'll have to decide later whether he gets any tough questions.
BOZELL: I can't think of a single one. I can't think of a single interview.*
*Update/correction from Brent Bozell:
This morning on Fox & Friends, I asked the question: When was the last time Barack Obama consented to a tough interview? Silly me. The answer was last Sunday on Chris Wallace's program.
No, Wallace isn't a hostile interviewer and no, it wasn't a debate akin to Bill O'Reilly and Hillary Clinton. But Chris Wallace does distinguish himself with probing, challenging, devil's advocate questions. Therefore my question should included the disclaimer, "with the exception of Chris Wallace."