While many Republicans, including Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, are distancing themselves from and condemning thin-skinned plutocrat Donald Trump in the wake of his comments on John McCain’s war hero status, others in the right-wing media have attempted to stay the course and defend the GOP Presidential candidate. Count Bill O’Reilly among Trump’s champions. On Monday night, Trump appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to do some damage control. For the most part, O’Reilly went easy on him, and since Trump and Bill-O are buds, Trump was largely subdued.
However, the most interesting part wasn’t the actual interview, in which O’Reilly helped the Trumpster walk back his comments a bit, as Trump said that if there were a misunderstanding, he’d take it back. Of course, Trump also stood by the bullshit defense of his that he called McCain a war hero four times after saying he wasn’t, dismissing the fact that the additional times were said sarcastically and with caveats like “because he was captured.” So, just because a disgraced reporter like Sharyl Attkisson came to your defense — likely without actually watching the video — doesn’t mean people didn’t see and hear what you did, Donald.
No, the most interesting part of O’Reilly’s broadcast followed the interview, when he spoke with Fox News colleague Brit Hume. The former anchor told Papa Bear that both he and Trump did well in the interview, likely because they are friends, meaning Trump wasn’t going to attempt to bulldoze O’Reilly. At that point, O’Reilly claimed that Trump should be forgiven for what he says due to the fact that he’s “a showman” who doesn’t mean “half of what he says.” (Is that what we want from a President?) Then, it got weird, as Bill-O said that he thought Trump may have actually been inspired by a Chris Rock bit that was done in 2008.
O’Reilly played the joke from Rock, which was unearthed by The Daily Caller on Sunday in an apparent effort to show liberal hypocrisy or something when it comes to McCain. (The same thing has been done with an Al Franken joke from 2000.) After airing the video, O’Reilly turned to Hume, who said he doesn’t know if that had any effect on Trump’s thinking, but also that the comedian isn’t running for President, like Trump. Bill quickly moved on from there, although he did add a quick little petulant dig at Franken. (The former comedian and current Senator ripped O’Reilly to shreds in a book about right-wing media last decade.)
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: