Dick Morris on Obama Complaining About FOX News

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, let's bring in Dick Morris of the political Web site dickmorris.com, whose new book "Catastrophe" will be released next week, and you can order it on the Morris Web site.

DICK MORRIS, DICKMORRIS.COM: To get a signed copy, actually.

O'REILLY: OK. Whatever you want, Morris will get it to you.


O'REILLY: There's got to be more to this...

MORRIS: Balloons, stuffed animals.

O'REILLY: …more to this than just whining. There's got to be more to this than that.

Click here to watch the segment!

MORRIS: No, it's got nothing to do with whining. He is getting an avalanche of incredibly positive publicity. One network had a two-day series with him at the White House. Another network is invited to do a full day's broadcasting from the White House as long as they focus on health care reform. With that kind of sloppy sentiment coming from the media, he has to talk about criticism.


MORRIS: Well, because he has to appear that the media is being fair and balanced to him and he has to say, oh, I'm being criticized, so he can counterbalance public perceptions that he is getting a sweetheart deal from the media.

O'REILLY: But why does he care what people think about media coverage of him? Why does he care about that?

MORRIS: There was a metaphor that I derived in my years of work with Clinton that's fairly elegant, but I think accurate. There is a hothouse of adulation within the White House, people loving him within his staff, and then he gets criticized, cold criticism outside, like he claims from FOX. And when the cold meets the warm, it creates a fog that gives the president notoriously bad vision of what's going on around him. And I saw that exact phenomenon take place with Clinton, takes place with every president, and it's probably what's going on with...

O'REILLY: But how does that act out in policy? Look, I think I'm a pretty fair observer here at FOX. Now again, I offer a challenge to anybody. If you think I have been unfair to President Obama, put it in here and we'll kick it around. I mean, you know what I do. I criticize people, I praise people, depending on how I see it. I'm not ideological. But he had an intent to say that, and you feel it's because he wants to — he wants the American public to think that the media is not in the tank for him?

MORRIS: Exactly.

O'REILLY: Everybody knows the media's in the tank for him.

MORRIS: That's why he has to say the opposite.

O'REILLY: Didn't the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle come out today and say...

MORRIS: Yeah. Look, Obama has a political method, political MO if you will, which is he says very often the precise opposite of what he and everybody else knows to be true. Today he had a piece in The Wall Street Journal, an interview where they said he wants a light regulatory hand. Yeah, tell that to the guys at GM that are getting fired. That he says that he wants to leave your health insurance untouched and then he's talking about cutting everybody's costs...

O'REILLY: But all politicians do that.

MORRIS: Yes, but the point is that if he in fact is getting media adulation on a skill no president has ever gotten.

O'REILLY: Ever gotten. That's true. Absolutely. So, that's why it comes off as whining.

MORRIS: He needs t o come back and talk about FOX News because he needs to create the impression that it's more...


O'REILLY: Yeah, isn't it true that every president wants to manage the media? I mean, President Bush certainly did, Bush the elder, Ronald Reagan. They all want to manage the media. So, when you were with Clinton, did Clinton talk about the media a lot?

MORRIS: Constantly, constantly. He was constantly complaining about it.

O'REILLY: This was before Lewinsky?

MORRIS: Way before Lewinsky.

O'REILLY: Yeah, OK, because once Lewinsky happened, everything changed. Before Lewinsky, what was he complaining about?

MORRIS: Before Lewinsky it was a scandal every day: Paula Jones, the FBI files, the Travelgate thing. Every single day there was a new story, new scandal.

O'REILLY: And that's what he didn't like.

MORRIS: Not only didn't like, he spent, I would say, half his time, half of his waking hours...

O'REILLY: Managing that.

MORRIS: No, screaming about it, hollering about it, moaning about it. And then he would go after specific reporters: Susan Schmidt of The Washington Post, Jeff Girth of The New York Times.

O'REILLY: When you say go after, how did you go after that?

MORRIS: Well, all I knew is that he would physically complain about it. And he...

O'REILLY: He was whining about them.

MORRIS: God knows what he in fact was doing to them. But, the idea was that they were Bete noires. He may have had a dartboard and thrown darts at them.

O'REILLY: So, he was reading this stuff and he knew what was doing. In your opinion, what is the difference?

MORRIS: The exception was Hillary, who refused to read negative stories about herself.

O'REILLY: What is the way Clinton perceived the media back then and Obama perceives it now?

MORRIS: Well, the media goes in cycles and I don't think it's only partisan, obviously, it's less biased, but it's also cyclical. When Clinton took office, people had given Reagan a very easy time of it and to some extent, Bush. And the media was determined to be much more critical. And as a result, they were much more critical of Clinton. Then after 9/11, they decided to give Bush a free ride because they were scared to death about what was happening to the country. Then they decided we have been too soft on Bush and they went way over in the other direction. And now they are being very pro-Obama, A, because they are liberal and, B, to compensate for all the negative publicity...

O'REILLY: Last question, 15 seconds. I don't think Obama has a legitimate beef here. Do you?

MORRIS: No, of course not.


MORRIS: Of course not.

O'REILLY: Dick Morris, everybody.

MORRIS: FOX is more conservative than liberal, but it's not more or less pro-Obama. It's when Obama agrees with them we agree with him.

O'REILLY: I think the Pew study said it all, OK. We were the fairest and most balanced. And what I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, the former editor, Phil Bronstein, said the media and Obama should get a room. That was his quote and he's about as liberal as they come, that guy.

All right. Dick Morris, everybody. "Catastrophe" is his book out next week.

MORRIS: The bridal suite?

O'REILLY: Whatever it may be.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.