On Sunday before the Super Bowl, controversial Fox News host Bill O’Reilly interviewed President Barack Obama at the White House. They talked about Egypt, healthcare, and taxes, but toward the end of the interview, O’Reilly asked the president, "Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?"
Obama chuckled. “You know, the truth is that the people—and I’m sure previous presidents would say the same thing, whether it was Bush or Clinton or Reagan or anybody,” he said. “The people who dislike you don’t know you.”
“But they hate you,” O’Reilly pushed.
“The folks who hate you, they don’t know you. What they hate is whatever fun-house mirror image of you that’s out there, and they don’t know you,” Obama said. “And so, you don’t take it personally.”
O’Reilly prefaced the question by indicating he had asked former President George W. Bush the same question a few weeks prior, and he didn’t seem to be saying he personally hated the president, but some have bristled at the question. Was it an appropriate question to ask the president of the United States?
U.S. News blogger Susan Milligan thought the interview showed the media’s immaturity. “The First Amendment, thankfully, allows people to say both brilliant and idiotic things. What’s irresponsible is fueling fights for ratings or Web traffic,” she writes. “Obama’s behavior indicates he is unwilling to engage in petty political food fights, instead choosing to just do his job. The media might consider following suit.”
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Previously: How were this year’s Super Bowl ads?