Bill O’Reilly Dissects CNN Debate: ‘All About The Show’

Following Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate on CNN, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly analyzed the network’s debate format and noted how CNN’s moderators “made the debate very personal using Donald Trump’s attacks on other Republicans to frame questions.”

Rather than focus on the need to solve “vexing problems” O’Reilly maintained that last night’s debate was “all about the show” and “[i]nstead of incisive questioning, we got gotcha.” The Fox News host lamented that much of the debate focused on how “Trump said this. How do you respond, Governor Bush? How do you respond Carly Fiorina? Or Rand Paul? Or Ben Carson? That was a waste of time and obviously a strategy to energize ratings.”

Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer agreed with O’Reilly that he “didn’t like the format” of the CNN debate and pointed out that the moderators were “throwing meat into the arena. It was like WWE without the entertainment value.” 

Later in the show, O’Reilly brought on Bernie Goldberg to offer up his assessment of CNN’s debate format and while the Fox News contributor praised Jake Tapper’s performance he had some less flattering things to say about the debate’s other two panelists: 

I thought Jake tapper did very well. He kept the trains running on time. I wasn't thrilled with cutting some of the answers off before they were finished but that is not his fault Bill as much the problem of the format. If they only had a minute or only 30 seconds they should have expanded that in the beginning. As for Hugh Hewitt and Dana Bash, I'll be looking for their pictures on milk cartons in the morning because they’re missing in action. 

See relevant transcript below. 

Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor 

September 16, 2015

BILL O’REILLY: The CNN moderators made the debate very personal using Donald Trump’s attacks on other Republicans to frame questions. Time after time, Trump said this. How do you respond, Governor Bush? How do you respond Carly Fiorina? Or Rand Paul? Or Ben Carson? That was a waste of time and obviously a strategy to energize ratings. Instead of incisive questioning, we got gotcha. Trump was up for the challenge, never backing down. But what have we learned? It's all about the show. Not about solving vexing problems.

--

O’REILLY: And joining us now from Washington, Charles Krauthammer. Alright, let’s get down the list and grade the participants….And the moderators?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think it was, I agree with you. I didn’t like the format. 

O’REILLY: Yeah, the bear baiting was a little bit too much. 

KRAUTHAMMER: It was throwing meat into the arena. It was like WWE without the entertainment value. 

--

BERNIE GOLDBERG: I thought Jake tapper did very well. He kept the trains running on time. I wasn't thrilled with cutting some of the answers off before they were finished but that is not his fault Bill as much the problem of the format.

If they only had a minute or only 30 seconds they should have expanded that in the beginning. As for Hugh Hewitt and Dana Bash, I'll be looking for their pictures on milk cartons in the morning because they’re missing in action. 

O’REILLY: Yeah, they weren’t there very much.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, I don’t know what that was about. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor Bernie Goldberg Bill O'Reilly Charles Krauthammer

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