MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared this morning on the May 28 "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Oprah effect on the 2008 presidential race. It appears the daytime host may be taking a ratings hit from erstwhile loyal viewers chagrined by her backing the Illinois senator, although Obama himself seems to be benefiting from the backing. Also discussed: former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan's new book. [audio available here]
Below is a transcript taken down by MRC intern and NewsBusters blogger Lyndsi Thomas:
GRETCHEN CARLSON, "Fox & Friends" co-host: All right, so the details being leaking about this book, who better to discuss it than media hounds like you guys. Brent, let me start with you because McClellan says in this book that "as Press Secretary I spent countless hours defending the administration from the podium and the White House briefing room. Although the things I said then were sincere I have since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided." Is this a bitter guy or this a guy who just wants to get the truth out?
BRENT BOZELL, Media Research Center President: Yeah, this leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. He spent countless hours defending the president, now he's going to spend countless hours attacking him and making money off of it which is what one does when one is bitter, when one was fired. He wasn't a particularly good Press Secretary, it is a pressure cooker job to be sure. But, he wasn't particularly good at it. He was replaced, he is bitter and now he's cashing in. This is what's gonna happen, he's gonna be, he's gonna have his Andy Warhol fifteen minutes, he's gonna rake in a bunch a bucks and we'll never hear from him again.
CARLSON: All right, guys, we're gonna shift gears here and go to the Oprah show. Down seven percent, but down, I believe, twenty-five percent in the key demographic of those young viewers.
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: But, Brent, isn't true if you're in the business of words, as she is, if she takes this stand, she's gonna alienate half the country when she opens her mouth?
BOZELL: Well, I think, you know, on the one hand you can say that her numbers actually started dropping in 2004, well before Obama. There was, as Mike said, the writer's strike that has been harmful to everybody but the reality is that they have dropped rather dramatically, seven points if you wanna call that dramatic, since December, since endorsing Obama. And, look, what's gonna happen, she realizes the very same thing, that Obama is the single most left wing senator in America to the degree that she gets involved with him, two things happen. One, she alienates Republicans, two she's alienated women who are her core audience, many of whom support Hillary Clinton. So that's why, by the way, you won't find her anywhere around Barack Obama right now.