Well, 'suppose you've read all about the great Fox News Interruptus encounter with President Obama yesterday.

Commentary about The Interview - Obama's first since the administration lifted its ban against the news org - has been everywhere, doubtless reinforcing whatever one's position is on any number of issues, and not just those relating to health care bill. (What you think about Fox News...what you think about the health care bill...what you think about the press...)

I will say this: In all my years covering this industry, I have never once - ever, never - heard a  major interview with the president close with the offer of an apology from the anchor for "interupting" him so many times.

Or as Bret Baier noted, "Sorry ... but we were trying to get the bang for our buck."

I counted a dozen interruptions in the first 10 minutes, and I simply gave up counting the second 10. The Prez got testy: "Bret, you gotta let me finish my answers here..." 

Bret even got a little testy ... "it's one-sixth of the economy!!"

Man, it was fun. And distracting. And bizarre. 

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Of course, I wish someone at Fox News had been this tough on President Bush before the outbreak of the Iraq War. ( I wish anyone at Fox News had been tough on Bush, besides Alan Colmes.)

My thoughts on this whole affair? I'm so glad you asked: I thought Baier did a good job. It was perhaps borderline disrespectful, but where exactly is that line?

Is there a booklet out there - a booklet of "Ten Things Thou Shalt Not Do Whenst Questioning POTUS?" 

If there is, I'd like to read it. I need a good laugh.

Is there an unwritten rule that says "thou shalt not interrupt the POTUS?"

If there is, then it should have stayed unwritten. It's a stupid rule.

Is there a point at which "too many interuptions is too many..."

I suppose, but life will go on. I certainly don't think Baier was disrespectful, and he did exactly what his viewers wanted him to do: Press POTUS off his talking points and get him to explain various issues that are bugging them (from the so-called "demon rule" to special deals and pork in the plan).

Hey! Guess what? Many people are bugged by the health care bill and the process it's gone through; is Baier supposed to sit back and say, "talk to me Mr. President. You can tell me anything you want. I'll just bask in your glow."

No. He's not. 

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I'm sure the president and his flacks are furious. Good. Did they think they were gonna get a commercial, a 20-minute free ride, on Fox News, which has hammered this administration with every rhetorical flourish, declaration, insinuation and exclamation at its disposal?

In fact, the president did a good job here. He answered Baier's questions, interruptions and all, and gave a sense of authority and knowledge. The Interuptus Interview actually helped him make his case. 

Anyway, if you haven't seen yesterday's St. Patty's Day Surprise - both had green ties, of course - then you must! It's a talker. Here's the second half; fireworks begin shortly.

 

 

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