Bernie Goldberg Blasts Obama's Orlando Station Boycott

October 27th, 2008 4:10 PM

Discussing the Obama campaign’s recent feud with a local Orlando station, best selling author and former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg appeared on the October 27 edition of "Fox and Friends" to offer his analysis. Goldberg appeared puzzled as to the campaign’s response to what he found respectful questions.

The former CBS insider, agreed with co-host Gretchen Carlson’s point that the campaign was simply stunned that someone asked either Obama or Biden some tough questions. Bernie Goldberg noted that the mainstream media was largely asking soft questions such as "what is your favorite color?" Goldberg hypothesized Senator Biden’s harsh response is a product of his elitist attitude as a U.S. senator that no local station should ask such an "impertinent" question.

Bernie Goldberg also observed, despite the bad wrap Sarah Palin is receiving, Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s recent lack of access to the press.

The transcript follows.

STEVE DOOCY: Let’s go ahead dial in right now Bernie Goldberg, a Fox News media analyst. Good morning to you Bernie.


DOOCY: Hey, so after Barbara West from Channel 9 down there in Orlando asked the, asked that really hard series of questions the Obama camp got back to the station and said "hey, you know, you’re- you were supposed to interview Joe Biden’s wife. Because that was an unfair interview, you are being closed down. No more interviews for you. No more soup for you." What do you think about this?

GOLDBERG: Who wrote that question for you Steve?

DOOCY: [laughing] Brian did.

GOLDBERG: I- I watched not just those two clips, but last night I watched the entire interview. It’s about four minutes and 45 seconds long. And it was completely respectful and polite throughout. And, and that particular question about Karl Marx, in my view, is, is totally legitimate. And it’s one that a lot of people watching this right now were asking also. I mean, there was nothing wrong with it. Listen, why in the world, with about a week to go, in, in the campaign, would you publicly make an issue of not letting anybody in the Obama or Obama- either candidate- Obama or Joe Biden go back to that station or have anything to do with it?

DOOCY: It’s crazy.

GOLDBERG: Why would you do that? You don’t have to do that. There must be some political strategy involved here, you know, to energize the base or something. But the interview was completely respectful, completely polite, and completely legitimate.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: But Bernie, what about- you’re asking about motivation for this. For me, it smacked of the fact that the mainstream media hasn’t asked these questions.

GOLDBERG: Absolutely.

CARLSON: So the fact that he got this question from a member of the mainstream media, they were so shocked and taken aback, that they put out a ridiculous statement and decided to cancel Jill Biden’s interview.

GOLDBERG: That is a very, very good point Gretchen, a very good point. I mean, what kind of questions has he been getting, what’s your favorite color? You know, when goes on campaign stops- do you need a pillow right- when goes on campaign stops, he speaks from a teleprompter, nothing wrong with that, but it’s rehearsed remarks, prepared remarks. And when he goes to the rope line to shake hands with people, which he does after speeches, the campaign says you can’t have- the camera crews can’t have their boom mikes in there to pick up anything he might say. I know he’s a gaffe machine, so I guess they’re afraid of what gaffe he might make. So here comes a local reporter and, and believe me, I was with CBS News 28 years. I know how Joe Biden is thinking. He’s saying "I’m a United States senator. I speak to CBS News and ‘The New York Times.’ And I have to get an impertinent question like this from somebody in local television?" Well, she asked the good question, and I’d like to hear questions like this asked by the broadcast networks and "The New York Times" a little more often.


DOOCY: Apparently Joe Biden didn’t like the questions he was grilled with by WFTV’s Barbara West at the end of last week. After the questions the campaign cancelled an interview with Biden’s wife Jill on that channel and released this statement: Quote, "this cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with the campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election." Ouch! Continuing the conversation right now with the author of "Bias," Bernie Goldberg, a once upon a time CBS correspondent. You know, Bernie, when you look at what has happened the last couple of weeks, the best questions have come- because, you know, Barack Obama’s handlers and also Joe Biden’s are keeping them away from, you know, the mainstream media for the most part, or people at least to ask good questions. The best questions so far have come from Joe the plumber, who after he asked the questions got investigated. Somebody at the DMV in Ohio looked through his record and stuff like that, completely against the law. And then you got Barbara West here down in Orlando asking these hard questions and, you know, now she’s being punished. Her station is now having this interview yanked. Is this a preview of coming attractions if Barack Obama is president of the United States?

GOLDBERG: Well the, the fair answer is I don’t know if this is an indication of how they’re going to behave if and when they become president and vice president. I don’t know. But if it is, if it is, this is a very, very bad thing. If you’re going to shut everybody out who asks you an "impertinent," and I’m putting that in word in quotation marks, an "impertinent" question, then that, that’s not good for anybody and mostly not good for the American people. And you, you made a point that I liked Steve. Every now and then, about once every ten years you stumble on to a good point. And, and that is, who asked the best questions? It isn’t the people from the mainstream media. And, and I would add Rick Warren to that list of people who would ask good questions. And he’s not in the media bubble either. He’s an outsider also. So, so something is going on here and that’s not very good, where, where reporters from the big news organizations aren’t asking questions that are as, as pointed and fair as people like Ms. West from Orlando.