Obama to Appear on O’Reilly on Thursday

On Thursday night, it appears that Barack Obama will be appearing on The O’Reilly Factor:

Before Senator John McCain delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Senator Barack Obama will make a marquee appearance of his own.

Call it counter-intuitive. He will appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel.

For Mr. Obama, it will be the first time in his presidential candidacy that he’s on Bill O’Reilly’s prime-time program.

That’s some interesting counter-programming right there.

(link via Mark Kleiman)

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    That’s a mistake is what it is. Obama may think he’s smarter than O’Reilly, and he probably is, but Bill runs his show by his rules, and his rules won’t allow Obama to best him, no matter how good Obama is.

  2. Patrick says:

    I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, that’s gonna be good TV!

  3. Houston says:

    That’s a mistake is what it is. Obama may think he’s smarter than O’Reilly, and he probably is, but Bill runs his show by his rules, and his rules won’t allow Obama to best him, no matter how good Obama is.

    Michael, did you watch Hillary’s spot on O’Reilly’s show? Did you think that was fair? Many thought that her appearance was one of the best moves of her campaign – it just came too late. Most of Hillary’s team now acknowledge that Fox News was by far the most fair of the networks for her.

    O’Reilly is not interested in “besting” anybody, he’s interested in getting Obama – or Hillary, or any guest – to answer his questions clearly and completely.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    This will make Saddleback look like nothing. Obama being forced to answer real questions in real time, should be very interesting. Um, I, um, um, and so forth. It’s about time.

  5. Eric says:

    This will make Saddleback look like nothing. Obama being forced to answer real questions in real time, should be very interesting. Um, I, um, um, and so forth. It’s about time.

    Or maybe Obama could just use the ol’ McCain standbys when asked “real questions” himself: “I’ll, uh, uh, have to get back to you on that,’ or “I don’t recall that.” Or maybe he could just use the patented McCain Flip-Flop.

  6. Wayne says:

    Obama probably thinks this is a good way to blunt McCain’s speech.

    Isn’t appearing for an interview on the night of an acceptance speech against tradition?

  7. sam says:

    O’Reilly is not interested in “besting” anybody, he’s interested in getting Obama – or Hillary, or any guest – to answer his questions clearly and completely.

    I think in the cases of national politicians that’s right. I don’t know about the “any guest” part, though.

  8. Anderson says:

    Isn’t appearing for an interview on the night of an acceptance speech against tradition?

    You mean, like setting your party’s convention the week after the opposing party’s?

    Or naming your VP pick the day after your opponent’s big speech?

    Obama plays nice when his opponent plays nice, but he’s got a tough side too. Good thing, that.

  9. Grewgills says:

    Most of Hillary’s team now acknowledge that Fox News was by far the most fair of the networks for her.

    Just playing his part in “operation chaos.”

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  11. cian says:

    Interesting move. Shows just how confident Obama is at the moment. A recent Hotline/Diageo poll shows 44% of the country sees him as very in touch with their needs (only 17% think the same of McCain) and his handling of Gov Palin’s nomination has been masterful- stay quiet, defend her when the questioning becomes unseemly and irrelevant, and keep making the link between McCain and a third Bush term.

  12. anjin-san says:

    The Obama/Fox detente is interesting. I think the folks at Fox realize that they don’t want to be frozen out of an Obama administration, and Obama realizes that a lot of people watch Fox…

  13. Fence says:

    Should be interesting. If O’Reilly can’t break Senator Obama’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the rest of the angry Right never will.

  14. Wayne says:

    “You mean, like setting your party’s convention the week after the opposing party’s?”

    It is not unusual for the day after a convention for the opposing party candidate to get back at it.

  15. Michael says:

    Should be interesting. If O’Reilly can’t break Senator Obama’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the rest of the angry Right never will.

    Now, I like O’Reilly about as much as any other liberal Democrat, but was this really necessary?

  16. sam says:

    I just twigged to the picture of O’Reilly and Colbert to the right of the story. If any of you didn’t see Bill’s appearance on Colbert, here’s the best line (iirc):

    O’Reilly: What I do on my show is just an act, just an act.

    Colbert: If you’re an act, what am I?

  17. Houston says:

    The Obama/Fox detente is interesting. I think the folks at Fox realize that they don’t want to be frozen out of an Obama administration, and Obama realizes that a lot of people watch Fox…

    Anjin-san, speaking of who watches Fox…did you see the Pew Research Center poll last month which found that Fox News’ audience is more balanced than either CNN’s or MSNBC’s?

    While Fox certainly leans to the GOP, it’s the most balanced: 39% of regular viewers declared themselves Republicans compared to 33% declaring themselves Democrats. That’s like a 4:3 ratio.

    The study found that 51% of CNN’s regular viewers are Democrats, compared to 18% Republicans, or about a 5:2 ratio.

    Surprisingly to me, MSNBC’s regular audience is slightly more balanced than CNN’s, at 45% Democrat and 18% Republican.

    So perhaps Obama recognizes, like Hillary did, that there is a viable audience there.

    the Pew link is http://people-press.org/report/444/news-media

  18. sam says:

    BTW, here’s an article in today’s Washington Post that’s useful re this discussion:

    Obama Met With Fox News Executives

  19. Michael says:

    While Fox certainly leans to the GOP, it’s the most balanced: 39% of regular viewers declared themselves Republicans compared to 33% declaring themselves Democrats. That’s like a 4:3 ratio.

    Um, viewership doesn’t tell you anything about how “balanced” their coverage is. If you went by that, you’d probably see that both the DNC and the RNC were politically “balanced”.

  20. Houston says:

    But truthfully, whether it is balanced coverage or not is unmeasurable – it’s qualitative. Viewership polls indicating party affiliation are measurable, however, and I would argue they’re a good indicator of approval of balance of coverage. (In other words, if you think it’s biased, you won’t likely watch…)

    Right?

  21. Michael says:

    But truthfully, whether it is balanced coverage or not is unmeasurable – it’s qualitative. Viewership polls indicating party affiliation are measurable, however, and I would argue they’re a good indicator of approval of balance of coverage. (In other words, if you think it’s biased, you won’t likely watch…)

    Right?

    Not necessarily. There was a study not too long ago (which was discussed here) that found that Democrats were more likely to read blogs they felt were right-leaning than Republicans were to read blogs they felt were left-leaning. If we assume that the same impulses work for cable news, that would explain the difference in viewership.

  22. The Democrat’s convention was over when Governor Palin was announced as the VP pick. Senator Obama is scheduling his interview to pull eyeballs away from John McCain’s speech, not the day after his speech when the Republican’s convention wil be over.

    Try to tell yourself the truth before trying to convince someone else.

  23. davod says:

    Obama will have all the questions in advance and he will have the benefit of a teleprompter. This is what the negotiations are about.

  24. anjin-san says:

    Anjin-san, speaking of who watches Fox…did you see the Pew Research Center poll last month which found that Fox News’ audience is more balanced than either CNN’s or MSNBC’s?

    Did not see that. I have little interest in Cable news really, its much closer to entertainment than journalism.

    The real action is right here on the intenets…

  25. DL says:

    Two very egocentric people who really think they wear halos.

    I think Dennis Miller feared O Reilly will give Obama the same pass he gave Hillary when he kept pursuing the “stay tough now” line…

    Obama wouldn’t face a Rush or a Hannity…

  26. belloscm says:

    “…Shows just how confident Obama is at the moment.” More whistlin’ past the graveyard, I say.

    If Obama were ahead of his Republican challenger by double digits ala Dukakis at the same phase of the election cycle in 1988, I’d be buying this (He isn’t and I’m not).

    No, Obama is doing this to stanch the bleeding from the wounds that were inflicted last night, and to preemptively steal some of the thunder from McCain’s speech. Nothing wrong or underhanded here, in fact, it’s tactically astute, but he clearly is not acting from a position of either confidence or strength.

    Oh and another thing. I don’t think that Aug 26 Diageo Hotline poll says quite what you say that it does. Actually kind of a mixed bag for Obama, wouldn’t you agree?