Charles Krauthammer on How Press Will Try to Help Re-elect President Obama

Charles Krauthammer on how press will try to help re-elect president


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 24, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: As we reported last night, elements of the national liberal media have begun their campaign to re-elect President Obama. The attacks on Fox News are being stepped up, and we used an example of NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell deriding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for criticizing Mr. Obama.

Here now to talk about the Obama advantage in the media, Fox News political analyst Charles Krauthammer, who is in Washington this evening. So how much of an advantage? Because in my lifetime covering politics, 35 years now, I've never seen a media as rabidly invested in a president as the liberal national media is in Mr. Obama. Have you?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that is true, and you can see it in a Pew study, Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism that they did in 2008 election. They found that of the three cable networks, Fox played it absolutely right down the middle, the same amount of favorability to McCain as to Obama. CNN three times as favorable to Obama as to McCain; MSNBC 5 to 1. So, I mean, and that was four years ago. Interesting, to give you an idea of how biased the media is, when it issued a press release on that study, Bill, it played it as CNN was the cable norm, with MSNBC on one side and Fox on the other deviating from the norm. The norm being the pro-Obama bias of CNN, rather than the norm that any objective American would say, which is what Fox has done, which was to play it right down the middle.

O'REILLY: Sure. Now, there was another study done by the Center for Media and Public Affairs that showed the network broadcasts -- CBS, ABC and NBC -- were 68 percent positive for Obama, Senator Obama, then-Senator Obama, 32 percent negative. For John McCain, it was the reverse: 36 positive, 64 negative. So, my contention is that nothing is going to change this time around. That the national TV media and the big urban newspapers, like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, will all be trying to get President Obama re-elected. So the question then becomes: How much of an advantage is it for the president?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, it's a major advantage, but you've got to remember this. The left, the Democrats always have the press on their side. They've had it for 40 years. Nonetheless, the Republicans have won the presidency seven out of the last 11 elections, and that's because what Republicans have, what conservatives have is the country, which is a center-right country, has remained so almost unchangingly for four decades. So what the media bias does is it slightly -- it gives an advantage. It's a major advantage, but it's undoing the deficit that Democrats and liberals already have because it's a country that is not essentially conducive to a liberal message.

O'REILLY: All right. Now Karl Rove at the top of the broadcast admits this is going to be the dirtiest campaign in -- almost in history, that the Democrats are going to attack whoever the Republican nominee is and visa versa. I'm sure that's going to happen, even though John McCain really kept that at a minimum. Mr. Rove believes it's going to break out into real mudslinging this time around. Do you see that?

KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely. Look at two indications of it. No. 1, we heard last week the Democrats are already preparing dirt-digging on Governor Christie of New Jersey, who isn't even a candidate. And second, look how the media have covered the Medicare proposal of the Ryan plan, the one that the House Republicans have supported. Democrats have been running these truly scurrilous ads which essentially say it's the abolition of Medicare. It's going to happen to your granny, even though if they're honest about it they would say it doesn't start for 10 years and it's a change in the structure of the program. It's not an abolition of it. You're getting echoes of that already in the press. So you're going to get the press supporting the Democratic narrative and the lies, I would say, about Medicare. And that's a very strong issue. There's going to be an election tonight, a bi-election in New York state for a seat that was left open where the Democrat might even win a Republican district almost entirely on the Medi-scare. And you're going to see the press line up like lemmings right behind the Democrats on this issue.

O'REILLY: Scaring Granny. Now, finally in the new Suffolk University poll out of Boston, it puts Fox News far and away the most trusted network at 28 percent. How powerful is FNC right now compared to the rest of the media?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's extremely powerful for one major reason. It broke the monopoly that the left had, the liberals had on all the media for about 30 years. ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, the major papers, as you mentioned earlier, the universities, all of the commanding heights of the culture. Here comes one network with a different point of view, one that is an anathema to the liberal elites, and not only succeeds, succeeds resoundingly. It's what I've always said about the genius of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. They found a niche in the audience for American broadcast news and it was half the American people.

O'REILLY: All right, Charles. Thanks very much.

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