What would Bill O’Reilly and his Fox News cohorts do if they couldn’t fill the airwaves with the latest softball interview they saw on a competing news network? Last night, it was Jon Stewart’s turn. He interviewed Hillary Rodham Clinton in a friendly Tuesday night two-parter. “Was it instructive, was it informative?” O’Reilly asked commentators Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn. “When he has conservative guests on, he manages to skewer them with humor,” said Kurtz. “When he has somebody like Hillary Clinton on, it is a kissy-faced moment.” Noted O’Reilly: “He’s gentle.” No one mentioned that Fox Newers Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren stood accused — unjustly — of softballism when they had Clinton on the set last month. Upshot: No matter what happens in a Clinton interview, many, many people will be disappointed.
The half-segment on Stewart’s work caps a frenzy of recent O’Reilly media criticism, which includes: Another half-segment on a New Jersey TV reporter who was punished for editorializing; a short segment in which he denounced a Huffington Post item on Jesus, which he used as an excuse to warn viewers to be skeptical of what they read “on the net” and to promote his best-selling book “Killing Jesus“; a Tuesday segment titled “National media getting tougher on the President“; a Monday segment in which he ripped the “liberal” press for wanting Central American children to “be resettled here”; a segment last Thursday titled “Mainstream media coming down harder on the president“; a segment last Wednesday night titled “Are the media finally critical of President Obama?”; and a segment from last Tuesday night titled “Can you trust the media?“