A Super Bowl Of Fox's Phony Scandals: The Obama-O'Reilly Pregame Interview
Blog ››› ››› TYLER HANSEN
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl pre-game interview with President Barack Obama showcased a laundry list of previously answered questions based on Fox's phony scandals.
On February 2, President Obama sat down with O'Reilly on Fox's broadcast network for a live interview ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII.
O'Reilly's questions were largely focused on Fox conspiracy theories regarding the the September 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and the IRS targeting investigation. O'Reilly questioned the president on whether his advisors told him during the attacks in Benghazi that it was a "terrorist attack." Obama pointed out that he called the attacks "an act of terror" the morning after they occurred and later criticized O'Reilly and Fox News for continuing to focus on the phony scandals, saying, "These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them."
O'Reilly also questioned Obama over his role in the IRS targeting case, asking why IRS commissioner Douglas Schulman visited the White House 157 times. While O'Reilly seems to imply a nefarious purpose to these visits, the actual reason is public record. According to The Atlantic:
Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers involved in implementation of the health-care reform bill. He was cleared 40 times to meet with Obama's director of the Office of Health Reform, and a further 80 times for the biweekly health reform deputies meetings and others set up by aides involved with the health-care law implementation efforts. That's 76 percent of his planned White House visits just there, before you even add in all the meetings with Office of Management and Budget personnel also involved in health reform.
Complicating the picture is the fact that just because a meeting was scheduled and Shulman was cleared to attend it does not mean that he actually went.
O'Reilly claimed that "some people are saying" that the IRS was used as a tool to go after conservative groups. Fox News has repeatedly attempted to link Obama to what the president termed in this interview "boneheaded decisions out of a local [IRS] office," but that scandal too has collapsed.
O'Reilly also questioned the president about the Affordable Care Act and the Super Bowl, and read a letter from one of his viewers who asked, "Why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity?"