Obama sets Thursday O’Reilly Factor interview

News out that Sen. Barack Obama will be sitting down for his first major prime time appearance on Fox News in an interview with Bill O’Reilly. Apparently the negotiations have been in the works for over a month.

The crux of this story focuses around Obama sitting down with top Fox News execs with regard to ensuring he gets fair treatment at the network.

Report from the Washington Post:

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 2 — At a secret meeting with Barack Obama three months ago, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes says, he tried to clear the air with the Democratic senator by saying that his organization was determined to be fair but would not be “in the tank” for Obama’s campaign.

During the sit-down in a Waldorf-Astoria hotel suite in Manhattan that included Rupert Murdoch, the network’s owner, Obama expressed concern about the way Fox was covering him. “I just wanted to know if I’m going to get a fair shake from Fox News Channel,” Ailes recalled him saying.

“Senator, you’re the one who boycotted us,” Ailes says he replied. “We’re not the ones who boycotted you. Nor did we retaliate for your boycott.”

The meeting appears to have eased tensions between the two camps, which began when all the Democratic candidates, complaining that the network favors Republicans, refused to hold any primary-season debates on Fox. After resisting invitations for months, Obama now plans to appear on Bill O’Reilly’s prime-time Fox program on Thursday, the night that John McCain delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican convention here.

The talk turned to “The O’Reilly Factor,” and Obama said he would appear on the show before the election. Ailes says he told the senator that there would be no “embarrassing or underhanded stuff” in the interview and that if he had any overall concerns about Fox’s treatment in the future, he should call Ailes directly.

Asked to assess the sit-down, Ailes said: “I wanted him to understand that we’re a real journalism organization and we’re going to cover what’s there. We’re not out to get him. . . . Neither of us was overly aggressive but neither of us blinked.”

The big news here is that clearly Obama is attempting to take some wind out of McCain’s sails on Thursday night. The O’Reilly interview will be big with viewers from across the political spectrum. However, O’Reilly airs at 8pm eastern and McCain will not be speaking probably until 10pm eastern or later.

We’ll have the full video once it airs.

Developing…

Update

Watch the first part of the interview and get more information about when the next parts will air:

Video: Barack Obama on The O’Reilly Factor (Part 1, 9/4/08)

  • And I hear Bill’s email is rejecting emails now, there’s an overflow on gretawire.com with people all threatening to stop watching O’Reilly if he allows Obama to try to steal the spotlight from McCain on Thursday night. Something that McCain did the opposite of. Typical of Obama to only accept Bill’s long standing invitation and finally keep his old promise to appear on the night of McCain’s acceptance speech. Kinda like wanting a Town Hall meeting on the 4th of July. Also typical of Obama to want promises from the boss before appearing on Fox – oh please, don’t upset me or ask me the wrong question, I need leg tingling if I appear.

    We’ll see if Bill’s legs tingle, I won’t be watching.

  • Dreadsen

    Babs

    O’Reily is going to tear his ass up. He won’t even come as close to Hilary’s performance. She was magnificent. The soundbites of the catastrophic asswhooping will be played all over the place. He should not have gone on this show.

    I watched the DNC as well and i saw tons of negative McCain commercials the entire time. McCain knew that even if he tried he wasn’t going to steal anything from Obama. Especially the way everyone claims the media is so bias.

  • Stalin

    This interview will be a joke. I’m sure the Obama campaign gave the Factor a list of topics that are off the table. There is no way Obama would agree to this interview unless he knew he’d be thrown softballs. I hope I’m wrong though.

  • nyth

    This should be amusing, as Bill O’Rilley is one of the more right-leaning hosts on the right-leaning network, who is renown for not letting people on his show get a chance to defend against his incessant opinionated babble (at least, if they hold a position different than his).

    I am surprised that Obama is bothering making an appearance on a network – and show – that is infamously bias, and not very credible.

  • Stalin

    nyth,

    Which network do you think is truly balanced? MSNBC? CNN?

  • Grey

    Fox news is pretty bad. I don’t care how leftist everyone claims other networks to be- having the audacity to even use the words “terrorist fist jab” is just pathetic.

    It’s undoubtedly true that the other news networks lean to the left. They try bring out Republicans from time to time, but it still shows.

  • Dreadsen

    Leaning to a direction and lying are two different things.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    Obama did this to try and steal some of McCain’s thunder from his speech, haha wont work Barack and I know bill is going to have some fun with him. Obama is in no way going to do what Hillary did.

    Grey,
    Fox is actually the most balanced news network out there,

  • PeoplePower

    Media bias is in the eye of the beholder. It is rare that someone judges what is being reported as perfectly balanced in an unbiased way.

    The best way to truly tell if a news program, or channel, is being unbiased is to compare what they report to the facts and to assess how much they’re reporting the news versus adding commentary. The latter often includes a bias.

    A balanced network, in my opinion, is one where everyone complains they have a bias, whether they’re lefties or righties – they think the program skews the other direction. Now *that* is balance!

    O_S, with such an inflamatory screen name, it’s no wonder you see Fox as balanced.

    If my opinion about measuring the balance of a network is correct, Fox is extremely skewed to the right. Even the most right-leaning people I know have never once called Fox liberally-biased.

  • Grey

    O_S, don’t you think it’s possible that you see Fox News as balanced because you’re strongly right leaning yourself?

    In truth, I always thought of myself as independent, but maybe I’m actually a liberal at heart- personally, I see very few “softballs” thrown at Obama. An example straight off the top of my head is the Saddleback Civil Forum. Each of those questions in that setting was perfect for McCain and tough for Obama- and really, for a pro choice/anti war candidate to stand in front of a conservative Christian audience is really gutsy.

    I won’t rule out my own bias, but I have yet to see McCain answer a tough question. I’ve never seen him take his pro-life, pro war views, go up to a strongly liberal audience and make his case.

  • I’ve been waiting for Obama to be interviewed by Bill O’Reilly for some time, I hope he goes hard on him.

    Since the convention is being covered by god knows how many networks I fail to see how it’s going to be stealing McCains thunder, unless people are only glued to Fox News. And saying that, McCain wasn’t entirely quiet or not doing interviews when it was the DNC last week.

    So far I’ve been bored shitless watching the RNC and Sarah Palin didn’t light any fires of interest. Watching O’Reilly tear into Obama will be a welcomed break.

  • I concur with Nate on this one. This was tactical– if anything else. Obama can come off saying he has finally been on the O’Reilly show, and he can try and siphon some of the attention away from last day of the RNC. It is a little similar to the McCain campaign’s ads and attempts during the DNC. Both Parties do it.

    Back during the interview with Hillary Clinton, Bill was extraordinarily nice to her. He took her on only two or three times, and other than that, was extremely cordial and complimentary. I think at that time she was losing to Obama…

    I hope that O’Reilly does not act the way he did with Clinton. He was not himself then, and I felt the whole thing interview was staged in a way. Hopefully FOX will let Bill act his part and Obama will act his.

  • Maria S.

    I don’t care that Fox News is a subtle right-wing propaganda machine. It is, and MSNBC is left-leaning network but much more credible. MSNBC programming provides much more primary evidence to support the angle of their stories, whereas Fox somehow thinks badgering their guests who disagree and then cutting them off is “fair and balanced”. I place CNN somewhere in the middle depending on the flavor of the month. And all three networks have a couple of panels and regular analysts depending on the issue, and we all have representatives at each network and we have our favorites. It’s the “fair and balanced” creed that drives me insane. Grow a pair and just say “America’s Conservative Channel”. I’d have much more respect for them that way, and would probably utilize their counterpoints much much seriously. The claim to fairness and equality is despicable. My question to illustrate this is as follows: Why did Fox News not present the speeches of Romney and Huckabee? MSNBC brought us all 4 of tonight’s speeches and provided tangential coverage of the role call. Fox pundits kept jabbering away until Gulianni. Why would you deny your viewership the opportunity to hear all the speakers? The answer: we can’t manipulate people if we stop talking. better keep our punditry going as long as possible, and deny viewers the chance to think and examine for themselves.

  • I’d prefer to listen to Romney or Huckabee any day over Guiliani.

  • DAVID B.

    TO MY SHOCK AND AMAZEMENT BILL OREILLY ADMITTED TO HIS VIEWERS LAST NIGHT THAT HE HAD CONSPIRED WITH THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN TO DISRUPT THE NIGHT OF JOHN McCAIN’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH. HE ADMITTED THAT THEY TOLD HIM THEY WANT TO UPSTAGE McCAIN AND THAT HE HAD TO AIR IT THURSDAY NIGHT, PRIME TIME OR NO INTERVIEW, AND OREILLY AGREED. THIS IS GUTTER POLITICS AT ITS WORST ON THE PART OF OBAMA. WHILE THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT FROM OBAMA, PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW OREILLY HAS ANY CREDIBILITY LEFT. HIS EXCUSE WAS, “I MIGHT NOT GET ANOTHER CHANCE” AND “ANYONE WOULD HAVE DONE IT.” LAME, AND LAMER… NO BILL, ANYONE WITH INTEGRITY WOULD NOT HAVE AGREED TO PARTICIPATE IN A DIRTY POLITICAL STUNT. IN FACT, I COULD BE WRONG, BUT UNTIL THIS POLITICAL TRASH FROM CHICAGO CAME ALONG, I CAN’T RECALL ANY OTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE STAGING AN EVENT IN PRIME TIME ON THE NIGHT OF HIS OPPONENTS NOMINATION… CAN YOU? I THINK THIS COULD BECOME THE WORST MEDIA SCANDAL IN HISTORY. HOW CAN FOX NEWS CLAIM THEY DON’T HAVE AN AGENDA WHEN THEY OPENLY ADMIT TO COOPERATING WITH THE AGENDA OF ONE OF THE CANDIDATES AND ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF HIS OPPONENT? THE FACT IS, OREILLY HAD BEEN SO BLINDED BY HIS EGO THAT HE HAS BEEN INSULTING THE VERY PEOPLE WHO MADE HIM A STAR IN THE FIRST PLACE IF THEY TRY TO POINT OUT JUST HOW CORRUPT THIS IS. LAST TIME I CHECKED, YOU CAN’T BE NUMBER ONE WITHOUT THE 8,000,000 PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAMERA… I’M SORRY, 7,999,999.

  • Michael, I’ve heard O’Reilly admit that he was in Hillary’s corner, and has been friends with Hillary for a long time. I didn’t expect him to go at her in any way, and what little he did, it came across as staged to me.

    The word is that Obama gave O’Reilly an ultimatum on this interview – it was tonight before McCain’s speech, or not at all. Typical of Obama, but also expected for O’Reilly to cave for ratings. Not to mention the fact that he has seemed to defend Obama for some time now, even cutting guests off that would say anything negative about Obama. He said himself on this Talking Points memo that after hearing Obama’s speech, he convinced him.

    There are still hundreds of posts on GretaWire.com from viewers who have turned against O’Reilly for caving to Obama’s ultimatim. We’ll see what this does to his ratings.

    Pudding, if you expect Bill to go after Obama tonight, watch. You’re in for a surprise. He’s the newest convert drinking the koolaid.

  • Excuse me, this was directed at Dreadsen, not Pudding.
    “if you expect Bill to go after Obama tonight, watch. You’re in for a surprise. He’s the newest convert drinking the koolaid.”

  • Stalin

    I love how Fox News always gets ripped for being right wing. I will admit they have more right leaning hosts than other networks…The funny thing is that you liberals get your panties in a bundle over our ONE network. You have all the rest…MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, nearly all major newspaper and magazines. Good God people, don’t you have enough????

    nzpudding:

    Don’t get your hopes up, this will be a very boring interview. Don’t be surprised if O’Reilly agrees with Obama and kisses his ass.

  • Well, OMG, Fox has posted a teaser on the interview tonight. Says Obama:

    “I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated,” Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. “I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

    The first commenter said:

    “The surge succeeded beyond anyone’s “wildest dreams”? Well, sir, not beyond Senator McCain’s wildest dreams. McCain didn’t just dream that the surge would be effective, he led the surge.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. 😉

  • Grey

    I have no problem with Fox being conservative. They just irritate me because they’re just bad journalists. One example:

    http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/4757/obamaby2.jpg

    I have nothing to say to things like this. It’s appalling that the network allows such things.

  • It’s OK Babs you don’t have to speak to me…LOL

    BTW: How did McCain lead the surge? He may have supported it but that’s not leading it.

    I couldn’t watch the interview, damn atmospheric interference with the satellite.

  • Jennifer

    Obama_Sucks, it’s obvious from your name that you like Fox News, no surprise there. I agree with pudding-how did he lead the surge?

    And McCain claims he “fought” so many different people-lobbyists, lawyers, ethically and morally wrong members of politics. When, where? Can I see the fruits of your labor?

    The McCain/Palin ticket is an angry, hostile pair. We already have few allies-the last thing we need are pissed off right wing neocons to help us in that department.

  • It does seem the McCain/Palin ticket is a little be angry and a very lot hostile. The Obama camp could use that to their advantage in ads, as you don’t want angry people running the country.

  • Darren

    Yea nzpudding… we don’t need angry people running this country. We need naive,inexperienced people who think they will be able to figure it out as they go along. Yea that’s the kind of future I want to leave my children with. CHANGE!
    Sounds great! Yippy! And then we all got nuked,and their was no more!

    I guess there’s something nzpudding that just made it go kaboom!!!!

  • Todd

    Jennifer

    Mac led the surge b/c nobody wanted to do it accept for the time when Nancy Pelosi was calling for more troops (she changed her mind when Bush do it). Mac also led it b/c/ he knew he was running for president and still called for something he knew 60% of the country did not want.

    Tell when Obama has done that

  • Seems to me Darren that you excited very quickly. If what you’re saying is true, then why worry about your kids future if you think you’re going to get nuked?

    So are you saying Todd that Bush and Petraeus can’t lay claim to leading the surge it’s down to McCain? I did not know that.

  • Todd

    Pudding I said what is the truth Mac was calling for more troops long before Bush did it.

    Spin it all you like, the democrats certainly did nothing but arm chair quarterback and critic the process, oh yeah they did vote to send them in the first place, I forgot.

  • Surely Petraeus being the Iraqi Commander would have been the first to call for more troops? I’m just trying to get clarification of the facts that are being touted Todd.

    But if McCain was championing more troops before Bush, it just goes to show how inept Bush is as a Commander In Chief, does it not?

    No one in the right (or left) mind can say that it would take a willing suspension of disbelief that the troop surge didn’t have an effect in reducing the violence, it clearly did. But wasn’t the reasoning behind the troop surge for political reconciliation amongst Iraqi leaders? something that’s only coming to fruition some 18 months later.

  • PeoplePower

    The Congress (Dems & Repubs), along with the country, were manipulated into sending the troops into war by false intelligence or partial intelligence that left out cogent facts. Colin Powell convinced me, but he too had been snowed…and he lost credibility with me.

    If you add 100 cops to an event, you will have better & tighter security. Criminal acts will go down and things will look better, at least where the cops were added.

    But to say the surge worked is not being entirely truthful. The Sunni Awakening (where we’re paying the Sunnis to not fight us) had a great deal to do with the violence going down.

    Adding more soldiers is analogous to the added cops from above.

    But the primary point of the surge was to propel the Iraqi government to meet the conditions we had set for our withdrawal. Eventually, more were met, but very few of the total have been met. Although, recently, I believe more conditions have been met.

    It’s annoying that credit is not being given where it is due –

    – The Dems, and Obama especially, have talked of withdrawing the troops in a (roughly) 16 month timeframe upon taking office

    – Bush eventually followed suit by calling for a timeframe (calling it a “time horizon”, continuing his 1984 new-speak) for withdrawal

    – The Dems, and Obama especially, have talked of the importance of Diplomacy even with our enemies. Mind you there’s a *huge* difference between diplomacy (one tool Obama plans to use) and appeasement (a highly charged accusation that should get any legitimate journalist ran out of town)

    – Shortly after this, the Bush Administration began diplomatic efforts (more than simply “here’s our demands before we’ll talk”) with Iran

    I’m glad President Bush has begun to learn that sometimes stubborn, shoot-from-the-hip policies don’t work and is *finally* trying a different approach. I just wish he hadn’t waited 6 years to try it out. Or does this make him a flip-flopper in your eyes? Sad, if it does, but the landscape is always changing and modifications to tactics are often in order.

    And for those of you terrified of another terrorist attack, know that the odds of dying in one are much, much less than the odds of getting hurt/killed in a mugging/robbery/common crime. If you’re so afraid of terrorists, either grow a pair or become a shut in. Talk about letting the terrorists win…