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Obama Asks Fox News to Stop Interrupting

Posted on Mar 17, 2010

The president took a break from leaning on House members Wednesday to pitch his health care plan to Fox News. Things got a little testy, but Fox’s Bret Baier ended up apologizing for interrupting so much.


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By saige, March 19, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Republicans are just being Republicans. They just can’t help themselves. I will never vote for a single Republican every again.

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By rollzone, March 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

hello. i thought the Oboymamma bingo game that has
circulated is hilarious. we are all going to have a lot
of bingo playing time when he gets done with us. i read
about the rotten tomato throwing, molasses and feathers
public humiliation rally being organized for this
Sunday in District of Collagen. i can not even afford
the bus ride to be there. i will be looking for the
fair and balanced media coverage. all the money
everyone is throwing at this is so entertaining.
illustrates how poor i really am, and i do not have
health insurance.

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By Katie, March 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Hulk 20080,

I watched & read again this interview after reading your comments, and I am honestly missing the personal attacking that you & others apparently perceive.  I have not seen any other Bret Baier interviews, so maybe it’s in his style that I’m unfamiliar with as to why I’m not catching on. 

I think you may have misunderstood my point regarding this interview.  I was not looking for “simplistic yes or no answers”.  Answers, be they “simplistic yes or no” or complex and elaborate, was all I was listening for.  I care about what our president has to say, and after listening to it again, I still didn’t hear President Obama answer one question.  While I’m not seeing a secret agenda embedded in this interview and you may not understand how I can’t see it, I cannot understand how anyone can listen or read this interview and not get frustrated with not hearing any answers to any of the questions.  I thought that that’s what interviews were for.

Yes, there was the question of President Obama as to whether he stood by his statements made as a state senator that he believed that a president cannot govern if he has to eke out a victory of 50 plus one on something as important as health care.  Being he now is the president of the USA, and health care and that precise scenario is the exact issue of the moment, I would think all Americans would be interested in knowing if he feels the same way now.  (Apparently it’s not even going to have to be eked out – Slaughter Solution passed 222-203.)
I personally am curious to know how my president feels about “his bill” (his words) moving on in this way, but he chose to not answer that question as well.

While you may feel differently, I thought that the balance of the questions were about the bill itself.  As the senators who were elected to represent our state weren’t savvy enough to obtain any special deal(s) for us before committing their yes votes, I was very interested to hear if the deals made by other, more astute senators were going to be upheld.  Of course I was disappointed when he didn’t answer those questions when asked.  And yes, those answers will be able to be found somewhere on the internet once the bill is made public.  But because an interview (supposedly) “is a conversation between two or more people (the interviewer and the interviewee) where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee”, the necessity of having to look elsewhere for the information to the questions begs this question, “what was the point of the interview?”

As to the past eight years, I can only suggest that to live in the past is to go nowhere.  Yes, politically the past 8 years were crummy.  Yes, politically a lot of people wanted Hilary as nominee and are wishing she was the president right now. Yes, personally a lot of people have had unhappy pasts.  Yes, personally most of us have made mistakes and have regrets.  The point is, every action and decision (political or personal) has a consequence (good or bad, desired or not); and perhaps instead of dwelling on the negatives (which accomplishes nothing), by using the knowledge learned from our past experiences we can focus on working for what can be good today and now, so that this time we’re in -right now- isn’t such a darn disappointment when we look back at it 8 years from now.

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By Big B, March 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

I keep assuming that prez Barry has a master plan. That all of this reaching out to conservatives and getting his hand slapped is just part of the sting that he plans on pulling on his neo-con adversaries.

He is a smart and slick lawyer, isn’t he?

Unfortunatly, the longer he flounders, the more times he is rebuked in his attempts to make “kissy face” with the neo-con nazi’s, the more he looks like Bart Simpson reaching over and over again for the cupcake that his sister energized with a car battery. How many more times will he say “Ow, Ow” before he gives up?

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By Leefeller, March 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Katie, quick; nswer the question “yes” or “no”, do you watch Perry Mason a lot?

Next time Fox interviews a guest,  maybe they should plan on asking only multiple choice questions, if that is to hard, like if the guest is from Texas or may have been a Governor of Alaska, they could try “true” or “false” questions? In fact Fox could tell the guest not to show up and just fill out and answer the test questions and then they could just read them over the air!

People who watch Fox must expect news to be what they want to hear, wonder why that is?

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By Hulk2008, March 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

If you analyze the interview, it was once again a Fox attempt to make the President himself the target rather than health care.  Recall that Hannity always calls Obama “the annointed one” - it’s a left-over from the election cycle. Fox and Freaks started even before Obama was elected to invalidate him as a person, as a candidate, and now as an elected President.  You would see similar tactics if Hillary had been elected.  The point is to tear down the opposition rather than present lucid arguments - to dream up phony secret agendas instead of debating the problems of health care.
  To those who wanted simplistic yes or no answers, notice that such questions were about the President’s future success i.e. will a no vote kill your Presidency etc. We had simplistic approaches for the prior 8 years - war, deficits, unfunded Part D, 4-dollar-plus gas, nukes in North Korea, pre-emptive attacks on countries that neither attacked the US or had citizens who participated in 9/11.
Maybe you guys/gals would prefer Obama attack Northern Ireland.

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By Katie, March 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being prepared with questions is part of the job of an interviewer, be it in the news industry, human resources, or interrogation.  That’s standard practice, and just plain old common sense.

Listed below is the bulk (not all) of the questions asked of our president.  I find it troubling that even one American should find these too complicated for our president to answer.  While the proposed health care bills themselves may be complicated, the questions (as you can read & watch) were clear, concise, and to the point.
Even more concerning is that anyone should find them pointless. As American citizens, we have a right to hear our president directly as to where he stands on what’s going on in D.C.  Considering these basically required simple yes or no answers, it would have been nice to hear our president answer them, and then use the time he had to elaborate.  Unfortunately, there was not one question in which our president chose to give a direct answer, so any time for elaboration of his answer was spent trying yet again to hear one.

Question #1: BAIER: You have said at least four times in the past two weeks: “the United States Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote on health care.” So do you support the use of this Slaughter rule? The deem and pass rule, so that Democrats avoid a straight up or down vote on the Senate bill?

BAIER: So you support the deem and pass rule?

BAIER: Monday in Ohio, you called for courage in the health care debate. At the same time, House Speaker Pelosi was saying this to reporters about the deem and pass rule: “I like it, this scenario, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” Is that the kind of courage that you’re talking about?

BAIER: Do you know which specific deals are in or out, as of today?

BAIER: So the Connecticut deal is still in?
BAIER: OK, the Florida deal, in or out?
BAIER: Paying for Medicare Advantage, exempting 800,000 Floridians from —
BAIER: Connecticut, Montana — there are a lot of deals in here, Mr. President that people have issues about.
BAIER: Couple more process things, quickly.  You said a few times as Senator Obama that if a president has to eke out a victory of 50 plus one, that on something as important as health care, “you can’t govern.” But now you’re embracing a 50 plus one reconciliation process in the Senate, so do you feel like you can govern after this?
BAIER: Mr. President, you said Monday that you praised the Congressional Budget Office numerous times. You also said this, this proposal makes Medicare stronger — and you just said it to me here — OBAMA: Right.
BAIER: — it makes coverage better, it makes its finances more secure, and anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or is trying to misinform you.  OBAMA: Right.
BAIER: The CBO has said specifically that the $500 billion that you say that you’re going to save from Medicare is not being spent in Medicare. That this bill spends it elsewhere outside of Medicare. So you can’t have both.  OBAMA: Right.
BAIER: You either spend it on expenditures or you make Medicare more solvent. So which is it?

This last one is just outright frustrating.  President Obama agrees that it cannot be both ways, and then when asked which it is, he again doesn’t answer the question - UGH.

And on and on and on - questions without answers.
The whole interview was a big disappointment.

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By gerard, March 18, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Tactics for conducting Faux interviews:
  1. Read prepared questions that are complicated and have no clear point,  yet appear to be based on deep understanding of issues.
  2.  Do not allow time for answers, which will also be complicated due to the fuzzy questions.Interrupt when the interviewee takes a breath.
  3.  Try to cover a wide range of material in a few brief segments. Interrupt frequently. Ask for “clarification.”
  4.  Lean forward to give the appearance of honestly seeking information.
  5.  Give the appearance of being puzzled by answers, then begin the next question with “You said: ”        “, hoping to trap the interviewee and make him/her explain what he/she already explained, or justify previous remarks out of context.
  6.  Apologize for interrupting and try to look as if you half-way mean it.
  7.  Shuffle off to Buffalo.

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By Katie, March 18, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good grief.  After watching this clip, then finding and reading the transcript of this interview in full (,2933,589589,00.html), I find myself coming to the conclusion that, for me to expect a direct “yes” or “no” answer to a direct “yes” or “no” question of our President is just plain unrealistic.

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By dev, March 18, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its amazing to me how someone can talk so much yet say so little. That interview was more than painful.

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By Leefeller, March 18, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Asking Fox to provide real news is like asking a politician to not fantasize of becoming a lobbyist!

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By nancyP, March 18, 2010 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fox kept staying on point and repeating - that’s how they get their point across. Obama did a fairly good job of trying to explain - We have to learn how to counter this type of interviewing - we just have to.

Or, we can sit back and just complain about it….

—What worked in this interview?—- I think countering with the reality of people writing in and talking about healthcare problems…

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By dogdiva, March 18, 2010 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Oh and he MEANT IT SINCERELY!  I’m sure when his fellow workers were riding him around on their shoulders after the interview he just kept repeating how terribly sorry he was!

The interview really proved nothing…very little was actually completed in whole sentences.  Of course, that wasn’t the point.  Pi$$ing over the top of the POTUS was the point!

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By zeroinfinity, March 18, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The President needs to stop brown-nosing conservatives in his speeches.  He needs to stop showing up on Fox News Channel also.  I do not understand why the President keeps doing this.  He is willing to engage in dialogue with people who call him vicious names that borders on treason.  How dare conservatives claim that our President is not a USA citizen!  How dare conservatives claim that he is a socialist!  Trust me, most conservatives have this opinion because most do not know how to conduct research for themselves. 

The President should leave conservatives alone.  They are obstructionist traitors who were the first to cause the USA to go trillions in debt anyhow.  He should sick the CIA on them…  grin

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By Spiral !mpact, March 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

Shame on Mr. Baier and FOX ‘news’. This wimpy BS mascaraing as news needs to stop! NOW!
The office of The President of The United States is worthy of honor and respect!
President Obama has an overwhelming mandate to lead us through these multi-dimensional difficult issues. Terror, economy, environment, globalization, etc. require the ‘best’ from us all. We, the people, need to recognize and empower the authentic leadership coming from our current administration.
Let us recover our dignity, work together and solve the problems of the day.
Vote the partisanship out of representing the Union of Americans.

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