Nobody really won this Fox News cage match, but nonetheless, it was a delicious interaction to witness when Bill O’Reilly hosted Washington Post reporter Jennifer Rubin. She’s coming from the perspective of a paper (including her own columns) that has consistently called out Trump’s behavior during his campaign. Whereas O’Reilly is most decidedly on Trump’s side, although he downplays their friendship. And O’Reilly will often shut down Trump, but he always does so in the most loving of tough-love ways.
In this discussion, O’Reilly can barely contain contain his contempt for the word “blogger” as he introduces Rubin. He also reminds her that her own publication has described his Trump interviews in ways such as “instant classic” (which is true). Further, O’Reilly didn’t appreciate a column in which Rubin wrote, “Trump should do interviews with real news people, not Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, in preparation for the debates. He’s otherwise in for a rude awakening when someone asks a real question.”
This is, of course, a massive burn. Hannity has claimed that he’s not a journalist (which apparently justifies his concubine references and the fact that Trump has him on speed dial). But O’Reilly feels otherwise, so it must have really stung when Rubin confronted him on his show: “My criticism is really that you actually are in the spin zone. It’s presented as a news program or pseudo-news program … parroting a lot of what Trump is saying to you.”
From there, the two journalists both tripped over their own words, but he was more defensive while Rubin played it cool. She brought an entire list of ways that O’Reilly has helped Trump along during interviews. So, O’Reilly peppered her for details of what happened on specific days, and if she didn’t have an answer immediately, he declared, “You’re ill equipped for this interview!” Then he called her a fraud and produced his own montage of clips where he grilled Trump, which is part of his routine. He bats Trump around like a little bunny and then pats him on the noggin when the interviews end. But no matter whether one agrees with Rubin or O’Reilly, this confrontation is a joy to watch. Another instant classic, if you will.