Home » Andrea Mitchell , barack obama , bill o'reilly , hillary clinton , michelle obama , tim russert » NBC: Obama HQ. Fox: Reagan Democrat Central. Strange As It Might Seem, That's Good News For Hillary Clinton. Ask Her New "Ally," Bill O'Reilly!
NBC: Obama HQ. Fox: Reagan Democrat Central. Strange As It Might Seem, That's Good News For Hillary Clinton. Ask Her New "Ally," Bill O'Reilly!
Written By mista sense on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | 8:00 PM
They must have been grinding their teeth at NBC tonight--and I can only imagine what they are thinking on MSNBC! Because right there, on "NBC Nightly News," was the great satan of liberal imagining, Bill O'Reilly. Liberals are surely getting the vapors just at the thought of O'Reilly on sacred liberal air, but it could get worse, if O'Reilly helps Hillary Rodham Clinton win the White House.
Now of course, Brian Williams & Co. didn't want to have O'Reilly on their air, but they had to, because O'Reilly scored an interview with Clinton, and they can't help but cover her. (See screen grab above; that's the telltale Fox News icon next to Hillary in her pink suit.)
So NBC's Andrea Mitchell practically spat out these words tonight, introducing footage from "The Factor": "during an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox." She couldn't even bring herself to say the proper name, which is "Fox News Channel."
That's OK, O'Reilly and Fox chieftain Roger Ailes will get over it, and they will even recover, quickly, from the pounding that O'Reilly and Fox undoubtedly got later in the evening from the usual-suspect MSNBC hitmen, including Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams.
But here's the bottom line: Hillary Clinton didn't go on "The O'Reilly Factor" tonight because she likes O'Reilly. As Mitchell observed, "Clinton is courting O'Reilly's viewers, even though he has been one of her harshest critics." Why? Because, Mitchell conceded, Clinton is "eager to court white blue collar workers."
And that's the point: Reagan Democrats, the swing voters in every election, are happy enough with Fox. A lot of them watch Fox News, where yes, O'Reilly has been quite critical of the Clintons.
But even if "Deer Hunter Democrats" don't necessarily watch FNC--or any cable newser--ordinary Americans still know that nobody on FNC, certainly never O'Reilly, will ever condescend to them. It's simply not in the DNA of Fox to think in those patronizing terms. FNC never attributes ordinary folks' religious faith, for example, or love of guns, to pathological-loser "bitterness."
In that sense, FNC really is the voice of those whom Richard Nixon dubbed "the silent majority." And Nixon, of course, beat the liberals in two consecutive presidential elections, 1968 and 1972.
And so the deliciousness of the news on Wednesday night doubles and redoubles. O'Reilly routinely refers to NBC News (and its subset, MSNBC), as "Obama headquarters." And, of course, the O-man is correct: MSNBC is so eager to help Obama that it's routine for NBC and MSNBC to treat Obama's rival, Hillary, as little better than... gasp! ... a Republican.
At the same time, FNC has been fearless in covering Obama. Which is to say, covering Obama and all his views, all his background, and all his associates, including the dreadful Jeremiah Wright and other horribles, too, such as sleazeball Tony Rezko and homegrown terrorist Bill Ayers.
And the Clinton people have noticed that FNC is willing to tell the truth about Obama. That's why Clinton was willing to go on O'Reilly. When O'Reilly asked her about the Wright issue, Hillary was a little reluctant to engage. "I’m going to leave it up to the voters to decide," she said. But then, when O’Reilly pressed her, saying, :But what do you think as an American--you're an American," Hillary came out with it. "I would not have stayed in that church," she said. "I think it’s offensive and outrageous." Pow! And that's how Hillary might yet win the Democratic nomination, by positioning herself as a moderate centrist, while Obama is a radical leftist. And if that's what Hillary wants to do, Fox will be an ally, because Fox never lets "fair and balance" degenerate into moral equivalence. If you don't like America, chances are, FNC won't like you.
So what could O'Reilly do except let her make her case? O'Reilly doesn't seem to have changed, but if he has to choose between Obama and Hillary, well, as an American patriot who expects his president to be a patriot--even if he doesn't agree with her--then, well, surely O'Reilly will prefer Hillary.
Indeed, it might seem slightly strange that Fox is, in effect, helping Clinton, but that's only because Clinton has chosen to identify with ordinary voters, while Obama has left himself drift off to the multiculturalist left fringe of non-flag-saluters.
Fox is what it is, and if Hillary moves Fox's way, well, Fox can't complain, or even criticize. Some on the right might question Hillary's sincerity, but what matters to most voters is that their leaders at least say the right thing before they elected. And Hillary is doing just that now, and finding FNC to be a most excellent megaphone for reaching those swing Reagan Democrats, the folks who determine the winner of just about every national election.
In the meantime, NBC will continue to be Obama HQ, being the sandbox for the limousine liberal left, which, of course, now despises the Clintons. As if to prove this point, Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert chose to introduce a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll on the Wednesday night broadcast. When Russert got to the question of which candidate "identifies with your values," Russert noted that Obama had gone from 50 "yes" and 39 percent "no" to 45 "yes" and 46 "no." Now folks, that's a HUGE shift, from a net positive of 11 points for Obama on the "share values" question to a net negative of one point. Or to put it another way, that's a shift of 12 points--nearly one voter in eight. In a closely fought contest, such a shift is a potential game-changer, but all Russert would admit to was, "that’s a drop since last month." Yes, that's a drop all right, just as, say, the stock market dropped in 1929.
But wait, there's more! Even as Russert was minimizing the downside for Obama, he was minimizing the upside for Clinton.
As the NBC man put it, on the same "share values" question, Clinton went from yes/no 43:52, to yes/no 46:46. Now that, again, is a huge shift, from minus nine to dead even—which is to say a net shift of nine points. But how did Russert characterize this change? He said, blandly, "She's gone up just a bit."
No, actually, Hillary has gone up a LOT, just as Obama has gone down a LOT. NBC and MSNBC won't let themselves say it, because they don't want to hurt Obama's momentum, but Fox will.
So does that make Fox biased? Only if you think that a news channel should stay neutral on basic questions of American patriotism. And on those questions, Fox is unabashed. I have seen Ailes quoted saying, in effect, "We are an American network. We will never distance ourselves from America."
And that's the key to Fox. If you are pro-American, then Fox is more likely than not to be be pro-you, at least until persuaded otherwise.
No wonder Hillary likes Fox, and no wonder Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffewent on FNC after Hilary's Pennsylvania victory and praised FNC for being "fair and balanced."
Look, I have no doubt that FNC will have plenty of critics tomorrow morning, just as it did last week and last year. But watching Hillary Clinton tonight on NBC, The Cable Gamer--OK sometimes I am The Broadcast Gamer--concluded that if the Democrats are smart, they can co-opt a huge chunk of the FNC audience.
So now the question is whether or not Olbermann and his Noisy Minority can scare people away from this Silent Majority strategy. My guess is, "no." As much as any Democrat doesn't want Olbermann attacking him or her--and come to think of it, too late in her case, because KO has been savaging her for months now--the Democrats ultimately want to win elections. And that means going where the voters are. Which is to say, Fox.
PS: Michelle Obama is a pill. Asked tonight, about the Wright business, on the same Andrea Mitchell "Nightly News" segment, for an interview to appear on "The Today Show" Thursday, Mrs, Obama managed to pack three gaffes into one answer to Meredith Vieira: "You know what I think Meredith? We gotta move forward. You know, this conversation doesn’t help my kids. You know it doesn’t help kids out there who are looking for us to make decisions and choices about how we’re going to better fund education."
Wow. Now let's unpack that, three ways:
First, Michelle dismisses the question out of hand--"we gotta move forward." As Bill Clinton said a decade ago, when he was caught with his pants down, "let's move on." Or, now, "let's move forward." Just ignore the issue.
Second, "This conversation doesn't help my kids." Oh, OK, let's talk about your kids, not anybody else's kids. Shouldn't the voters get to decide what's an important issue, not her?
Third, she said that the voters are "looking to us" to make decisions. "Us"? Who is "us"? Since when did "us" get elected? Do the voters really want to go back to Bill Clinton's 1992 line, "Buy one, get one free"? Especially with Mrs. Obama, who waited until she was in her mid-40s to be "proud" of the country that, among other things, made her rich? (We "know" that ordinary proles in Pennsylvania cling to their Gods and guns because they are "bitter" over losing their jobs, so what's her excuse? That she got too rich too soon via University of Chicago earmarks?)
Also, interestingly, Mrs. Obama defined improving education as "better fund" for education, and nothing more--it's as if all the lessons learned over the last 40 years have been lost on her. And of course, those lessons--that there's a difference between simply spending money and actually getting results--have been lost on her. In her liberal-left world, those lessons have not been learned. That's why they are left-liberals!
Folks, this Cable Gamer will take off her detachment for a moment. I can deal with Fox helping Hillary winning the Democratic nomination, even the presidency itself. Compared to her Democratic rivals, Hillary is starting to look positively triangulated, and that's a good way to win.
But we must stop the Obamas from getting anywhere near the Oval Office. NBC might not agree, but I hope and pray that the American people agree on the need to stop them, with John McCain, or even Hillary.