On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly dismissed criticisms of President Obama for filling out an NCAA tournament bracket as "Obama-bashing" and went on to say that there is an "industry of Obama-bashers." Minutes later, Sean Hannity repeatedly attacked Obama over his NCAA bracket, and a procession of Fox hosts and guests have similarly attacked the president.
O'Reilly Says Criticisms Of Obama Over NCAA Bracket Are "Just Obama-Bashing, Pure And Simple"
O'Reilly Dismisses Bracket Criticisms As "Obama-Bashing," Says "There's An Industry Of Obama-Bashers." From the March 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
BERNARD GOLDBERG (Fox News contributor): And this hypocrisy on the right, as well. They make a great big deal out of this NCAA brackets business, as if the president can't take 15 minutes out to do that.
O'REILLY: But that's just Obama-bashing, pure and simple.
GOLDBERG: But, conservative -- exactly. That's my point.
O'REILLY: Yeah. That's all that is.
GOLDBERG: If George W. Bush had done the brackets, the talk-show hosts on television and radio would have said, "What's the big deal?"
O'REILLY: But there's an industry of Obama bashers.
GOLDBERG: There is and I'll tell -- we have rigid ideology masquerading as thoughtful, honest commentary, and I'm getting sick of it. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/21/11]
On Very Next Fox News Program, Hannity Repeatedly Attacked Obama Over Bracket
Hannity On Libya: Obama "Vacillated And Took Varying Positions In Egypt And Seems To Be Doing The Same Here Today, More Concerned About Brackets, Trips To Rio, And Playing Golf." From the March 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: I am frightened by this president's inability, Colonel [Oliver North], to make a decision. Now, it took six months to give the troops that were requested by our leaders in Afghanistan. He was dithering -- that was the phrase we used -- and then he still didn't give them the troops they wanted. He didn't support the freedom fighters in Iran in 2009. He vacillated and took varying positions in Egypt and seems to be doing the same here today -- more concerned about brackets, trips to Rio, and playing golf. [Hannity, Fox News, 3/21/11]
Hannity Cites Obama's Appearance "On ESPN Picking His Brackets" As Evidence Obama "Doesn't Seem Engaged." From Hannity:
HANNITY: With our own economy suffering, with food prices the highest they've been since 1974, gas prices now -- we saw the price of a barrel of oil today over $100. You know, he's playing golf. He spent the weekend in Rio. He's on ESPN picking his brackets. He's doing fundraisers. You know, where is this guy? He doesn't seem engaged. [Hannity, Fox News, 3/21/11]
Hannity Again Harps On Obama "Picking Brackets." From Hannity:
DICK MORRIS (Fox News contributor): We are entering a double-dip recession, and he's on vacation in Rio.
HANNITY: In Rio. Or playing golf. Or picking brackets. [Hannity, Fox News, 3/21/11]
Fox Has Hosted Chorus Of Critics Who Attacked Obama Over NCAA Bracket
Fox & Friends: "You Have To Wonder What The President Is Doing, Where He Could Possibly Focus." During the March 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts utilized several segments to criticize Obama for filling out NCAA brackets. During the segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade stated: "You have to wonder what the president is doing, where could he possibly focus." [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 3/16/11]
Hannity Takes A Break From Japan Coverage To Bash Obama For Golfing, NCAA brackets. During the March 15 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity took a break from coverage on the disaster in Japan to bash President Obama. During the segment, Hannity said: "[O]n Saturday, hours after the quake struck, he went golfing. And later that evening, he attended a dinner with members of the mainstream Obama mania media, and today the president spent his afternoon filling out his NCAA brackets for ESPN. Sadly, none of this is a joke." Later in that segment, Hannity added, "I find his lack of engagement now, beyond troubling to me." [Fox News' Hannity, 3/15/11]
Fox & Friends Point Out Obama's Work Agenda, Mock Obama For Plugging Aid To Japan During ESPN Appearance. During the March 16 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy and guest host Martha McCalum listed a number of items on President Obama's agenda in recent days. Commenting on an upcoming appearance on ESPN by President Obama in which Obama will present his NCAA bracket, Doocy reported that during the ESPN broadcast, Obama will encourage viewers to visit USAid.gov to help people in Japan. In response, referring to Obama's NCAA brackets from previous years, Doocy asked: "Why'd he do it last year, then?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/16/11]
Asman: Obama "Keeping His Eye On The Wrong Ball." On Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, host David Asman said, "There is a disaster in Japan, civil war in Libya, and a budget mess in D.C., and President Obama has been criticized for staying on the sidelines, going golfing a lot, and now he is being slammed for filling out his NCAA brackets," adding that Obama is "keeping his eye on the wrong ball." [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 3/15/11]
Huckabee Claims To "Worry" About President Being "So Busy Dealing With The Brackets From The NCAA." From the March 18 edition of Fox Business' The Willis Report:
GERRI WILLIS (host): That's great news on your book. But I have to ask you about this commander-in-chief. He is MIA, right?
MIKE HUCKABEE (host of Fox News' Huckabee): Well, I'm hoping while he's on his trip, he'll take my book and read it because we need a little dose of it. But what I really do worry about is the perception of the American president right now is that he's so busy dealing with the brackets from the NCAA and hosting events at White House and having a bullying conference -- all of which is fine. But I don't know if he knows this, but, you know, we got a real meltdown not only in the nuclear reactors going on in Japan, but we have one going on in the Middle East right now, and a lot of people are being killed by their own government over there.
WILLIS: Libya, Bahrain -- you don't have to look very far to see problems everywhere. Not only does it put the regions in conflict, create huge problems there, but it's also upsetting the economic order.
HUCKABEE: We do have a few little issues as home like gasoline moving up to $3.50 to $4.50 a gallon across the country. That means people aren't going to take vacations. That means tourism is down. There is rippling effect of high fuel prices. Food prices up the highest since 1974. [Fox Business, The Willis Report, 3/18/11 accessed via Nexis]