By Dave Andrusko
It would be interesting to know if people such as Will Leitch who write New York Times op-eds such as “For Better or Worse, Trump Will Get His Favorite Things on Super Bowl Sunday” ever run their arguments by people not ensconced inside the same we-hate-Trump bubble.
Here’s the subhead and the gist of Leitch’s grievance: ”His pregame interview with [Fox News’] Sean Hannity offers unfettered airtime in front of a huge national audience.”
In case you’d forgotten, Bill O’Reilly, then of Fox News, twice interviewed President Barack Obama before the Superbowl—in 2011 and 2014.
Leitch can’t quite make up his mind if O’Reilly was excessively harsh (from Leitch’s point of view), but he concludes “Mr. O’Reilly brought a more combative, feet-to-the-fire style to his [interview], but still, the general tone of both his interviews was friendly, even cordial, and the subtext was, ‘Let’s all try to come together on the Super Bowl.’”
Is Leitch suggesting that Hannity won’t also subscribe to and advance the idea of the nation coming together over the most watched event of the year? No, not really. In fact, Leitch probably fears that both the President and Hannity will emphasize what brings us together, not what we divide over.
Leitch is just angry that (a) Hannity won’t try to draw blood; (b)“It is entirely possible, even likely, that he’s going to have this open platform in front of the country the very weekend he’s acquitted for impeachment,” and (c) therefore “that give[s] this particular bully pulpit a power and a spotlight it hasn’t had in years.”
Leitch is almost laughably lacking in self-awareness or context.
Is he really not aware that, courtesy of the Internet, the Major Media (led by the New York Times and the Washington Post) literally—not figuratively—attacks the President every minute of every hour of every day of every week? I’m guessing the Hannity interview will run in the neighborhood of the time span of the other pre-Super Bowl talks, 10-16 minutes.
Is that really a fair tradeoff?
One other concluding thought. Another thing Leitch manages to miss. O’Reilly interviewed President Trump in 2017. He was every bit as aggressive with him as he was with President Obama.