Yesterday on the radio program “Brian and the Judge,” Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera criticized fellow network personality Bret Baier for not treating President Obama respectfully during his recent interview. Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino was also on the show and completely disagreed with Rivera, claiming that President Bush also received “aggressive” treatment:
RIVERA: At a certain point, you gotta recognize, in my opinion — and again, I’m not putting Bret down in any way shape or form — when the President seemed exasperated and frustrated and unable to complete a sentence, I thought at some point you got to make a difference between the guy who’s the Senate whip or the House whip, or the assemblyman, the leader of the state senate. He’s not a mayor, he’s the President.
PERINO: There’s not a single reporter who ever interviewed President Bush who would have done anything different. … I was there for 7.5 years, I watched them all. … They’re aggressive and they should be. […]
RIVERA: I’ve done some of the most aggressive interviews ever on television, I’ve been down people’s throats, I’ve had my hand around their neck, I’ve had my nose broken. Point: there is some decorum and if that same thing happened to George Bush and I was watching that, I think that everybody at Fox News would’ve said, “Hey, that Keith Olbermann went way too far.”
PERINO: You can’t compare Bret Baier to Keith Olbermann!
Rivera added that the only person who gets “beat up the way Bret Baier beat up Barack Obama” is Sarah Palin. Listen here:
Fox News, however, treated the Bush administration with kid gloves, which is why officials went on the network so often. As Outfoxed showed, Bush’s cozy relationship with Fox News was around even during the 2000 campaign. In December 2008, at the end of the Bush tenure, Vice President Cheney thanked Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace for personally defending the Bush administration, promising him a big interview in return. ThinkProgress put together a video comparing Baier’s interview with Obama vs. his 2008 interview with Bush. Watch it here.