I just saw a few minutes of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly being interviewed by Matt Lauer on The Today Show regarding President Bush’s surprise visit to Baghdad along with other issues of the Iraq war. Undoubtedly, there will be some folks who will parse and critique every word that Matt and Bill uttered, some positive, some negative. There will be the Fox minions who hang on O’Reilly’s every “non-spun, fair and balanced” word as well as those who agree with Keith Olbermann’s ongoing assessment of BO’R as a multi-time candidate for “Worst Person in the World”, whether it involves gross distortions of candidates and issues, or just phone conversations with a subordinate regarding showering with a ground paste of spiced chickpeas. As much as I find BO’R to be a thuggish hack, that’s not my point here.
No, instead I am wondering why NBC chose to interview BO’R at all regarding this topic. Is Mr. O’Reilly an expert on foreign policy? No. Has he served in high government office? No. Is he a former general or military analyst who could shed some light on the subject? No. Has he spent considerable time in Baghdad over the past decade or year, or perhaps accompanied the president on this trip, allowing him a unique perspective? No. Does he, at the very least, hold an advanced degree in pretty much any area that might be germane to the topic, no matter how far-fetched, including, say, middle eastern cartography? Uh, no. B’OR has no credibility on this topic. He is not an expert, has no “inside story”, personal history, unique connections, or other credentials that in any way single him out as an appropriate choice for an intelligent interview on the subject. His raison d’etre is as a mouthpiece for Fox News. Someone needs to tell NBC that interviewing commentators from other networks does not make for good analysis.
When it comes to getting information on Iraq, I’d only call Bill O’Reilly if I needed commentary on using a loofah with some falafel in Fallujah.