They Don’t Call TV the Boob Tube for Nothing

The other night on the O’Reilly Factor Bill asked me what I thought were some of President Obama’s weak points.  I mentioned the crummy economy, of course, but then I said there was another issue, an intangible, that I would describe in a word as “disappointment.”

A lot of Americans who voted for Barack Obama, I said, are disappointed today because he told us he would change the tone in Washington and practice a new kind of politics.  It didn’t turn out that way, I said.

Instead of being a new pol, I continued, Barack Obama is nothing more than an old style Chicago politician.  The only thing new about him, I said, was his race – immediately explaining that all the other U.S. presidents who came before him were white.

Pretty simple, right?  Who could argue with that?  Well, Bill H can for one.  This is what he wrote to me:

Mr. Goldberg

Re: Your comments on Bill O”Reilly’s show that the “new” thing about Obama is his “race”.

What the hell does that have to do with him being president and what he’s done thus far?

Sir, just come out and say you can’t stand that there is a BLACK MAN in the white house.

Afterall, that’s just what you and your obviously RACIST pals really feel.

Most Sincerely, Bill H


Then there was the piece on by someone called John Sanchez, Jr who wrote that,Bernard Goldberg, former journalist and Fox News denizen puked out the filthy racist lie that Barack Obama was elected because he was black, rather than in spite of it.”

Thanks to people like Bill H and John Sanchez the word racist has been turned to meaningless mush.  Ironic, isn’t it, that liberals – the ones who led the fight for civil rights in this country – have taken a powerful word and by promiscuously abusing it, rendered it virtually meaningless.  Congratulations, chuckleheads.

Back to The Factor …

Looking into the camera, I also said, Please, my conservative friends, don’t shoot your humble messenger, but as far as a lot of independent voters are concerned Barack Obama is … likeable.

They may not like his politics, I said, but they like him.  They like his million- dollar smile, the way he carries himself, the way he walks and the way he talks.

For that, I got a couple of emails saying I didn’t know what I was talking about because, “I’m an independent and I detest Obama.”

I used the word “chuckleheads” before in this column, right?

This is like the liberal woman from the New Yorker magazine who in 1972 famously said, “I don’t understand how Nixon won.  I don’t know anybody who voted for him.”

Nixon carried 49 states that year to George McGovern’s one.

In 2008, Barack Obama won a majority of the independent vote — though obviously not the Einsteins who wrote to me.

You know why they call TV the “Boob Tube”?  Because of all the boobs watching it.

Of course, I don’t mean YOU.

Here’s the video… Thoughts?

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  • http://BernardGoldberg. daryl d duke

    TODAY! ( 06/07/2011 ) Fox nation story. Gun gun control. I sign in to comment page ,then can’t fine comment page. Hit twitter acc. tritter over. Go to facebook acc. to pass over. Facebook image gone. Something not right.

  • Nancye

    Bernie said:

    The only thing new about him, I said, was his race – immediately explaining that all the other U.S. presidents who came before him were white.


    He didn’t say anything about Obama being elected BECAUSE he was black – only that he was elected and was/is the only black person who has been elected president – a far cry from what he is being accused of. I can read – why can’t everybody else? And furthermore I agree with all of you who have responded to this question and stated how arrogant, etc. Obama is.

  • Kathie Ampela

    I had a family member try to recruit me to the Obama camp back in January, 2008. She sent me a YouTube video of a speech that then Sen. Obama gave at an event on Martin Luther King’s birthday. It was at that point she began working on his campaign. I remember watching the video and feeling the contagious excitement. Remember…I used the word “feeling.” The other side of my brain said “Something’s not right..check this guy out.” I did my own research, ignoring the narrative the MSM was pushing back then and came to the conclusion that his far left worldview/background would be a grave danger to America. Anyone who voted for him in 2008 either: A) Agreed with his worldview and accepted his background B) Accepted the narrative that the MSM presented as gospel C) Was blinded by the idea of Obama rather than the reality. I think we are seeing a similar phenomenom with Sarah Palin..true she has more executive experience than Obama did..but are we really willing to take the gamble that she is truly ready for higher office? In any event, this has nothing to do with race but ideology. I think Bernie was partially wrong when he said Obama was elected because he was black. Obama is a brand and so is Sarah Palin, race is only a partial component..the shiny exterior. Palin is a beautiful woman..part of the brand. But the nuts and bolts of this is ideology. We can only be a better country when we stop voting for “brands” or this will continue in the future.

  • Lisa Meisch

    I honestly find it hard to believe that anyone, even the vaunted “independents,” could ever consider President Obama “likeable.” He’s about the most unlikeable politician I’ve ever seen. Every time he opens his mouth, his tone is elitist, arrogant, and condescending. He has no tolerance for anyone who disagrees with him, and regularly insults his political opponents. He whines like a spoiled child when someone criticizes his policies. Certainly many of us in Texas didn’t consider him likeable when he came here and flippantly commented that those who were concerned about border security wanted to put alligators in moats around the border. I suspect that many of the tornado victims in Missouri and Oklahoma didn’t consider him very likeable for gallivanting off to the UK on yet another lavish foreign trip while they’re trying to put their lives back together. I could go on, but you get my point.

    I don’t think independents voted for Obama because he was “likeable.” I think most of them voted for him because they fell for all that high-minded rhetoric and “new tone” nonsense and wanted to be able to pat themselves on the back for being tolerant and open-minded by voting for America’s first black president.

    Come on, Mr. Goldberg – you’re smarter than this. It sounds like you were desperate to find something positive to say about Obama and it’s all you could come up with.

    • leigh39

      I’m with you. I have never found this guy likeable. He is an arrogant, condescending know it all. I think people are afraid to say they don’t like him for fear of being called racist.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie, the moment the “only thing new about him” comment left your larynx, one could foresee the twisting to come from the chucklehead gallery. And from my friends who can see no positive attribute to Obama. Some of us can appreciate that “I detest Obama, and you should, too” is not a winning strategy, not even a strategy. Conservatives cannot analyze his strengths if we don’t even consider that they exist. Here’s an irony for you- we’re surrounded by boobs and chuckleheads, left and right (who, for their part, consider us boobs and chuckleheads) in a country largely run by boobs and chuckleheads- and it’s about the best place on earth. Go figure.
    Off the subject, can you compare the MSM coverage of the Ryan Medicare plan to its coverage (if any) of the Obama health plan cut of Medicare? I don’t recall npr or wire service giving any mention that ObamaCare had such cuts.

  • Bruce A.

    Shortly after Ronald Reagan won in 1980 I remember one of the Boob Tube commentators stating hs opinion that people always vote their wallet. Many of us remember the stagflation & dead economy during the Carter years. Now we are greeted with headlines that a double dip recession is about to hit or something worse than that, even some of the MSM picked up on that. What does that mean for our President?

  • Shirl

    Alot of people got fooled by Obama, enough to vote for him in 2008. Well, shame on them if they don’t see the clear difference in the choice we will have 2012. AMERICANISM vs SOCIALISM. A vs C (Americanism vs Communism) was a required course to graduate high school in 1968. If it was still required, alot more people would have understood what BoBo meant when he said he was going to fundamentally change America.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Liberals are really an amazing bunch…
    People like the guy b/c he comes across as likable. He did get elected didn’t he? He also didn’t change the tone in DC like he promised. My only disagreement Bernie is the “he is a Chicago politician” angle I hear so often. He really isn’t. He’s from Hawaii and doesn’t have an ounce of city kid in him.
    People are disappointed in him and I believe it started with his comments about the Cambridge police officer who had to haul in the Harvard professor. The cop is a decent working class guy and Obama came across as an elitist. That and letting the idiot Nancy Pelosi spend away trillions with the failed stimulus bill.

    • Jeffreydan


      I’m betting Bernie’s Chicago politician reference meant the reputation (well-earned) of Chicago and its pols. Only the most ruthless, sold-out, aggressive sort thrives in and comes out of that city.

  • Brit In Michigan

    You regularly discuss what is not said in the news. Well it took a read of the Daily Telegraph to find out that The President played Golf on Veterans day in the afternoon. How much of a hubbub would there have been if that was President Bush, who gave up golf because of the wars and the respect he has for service personnel. Non Satis as my old headmaster use to say.

    • JDO

      President Bush could’ve parted the Red Sea and the mainstream media and libs would’ve accused him of environmental abuse.

      • Bob Hadley

        And if President Obama parted the Red Sea he’d be accused of trying to create a tsunami.

    • Wil Burns

      Bush was playing golf in 2002, 2003…

      Bush: “Now watch this drive.” On August 4, 2002 — several months after the United States began bombing Afghanistan — Bush was filmed speaking to reporters on the golf course. Immediately after denouncing a suicide bombing in Israel, Bush said: “Now watch this drive,” then took a swing.

      Bush gave up golf; took up biking. On May 13, 2008, Politico reported that Bush said he gave up golf in August 2003, quoting him saying: “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. … I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.” However, as The Washington Post reported, “Although Bush says he has given up golf, he is a mountain-biking enthusiast who has been photographed taking part in rides. He took up biking after an injury sidelined him from running.” Bush was also seen playing golf in October 2003, as a video MSNBC aired shows.

      • Jeffreydan


        I’m impressed. This is the first time you’ve directly addressed the substance of someone else’s statement, providing substance of your own, without being obnoxious and hyperpartisan.


      • Ron Kean

        There’s no comparison. Obama is like the Chevy Chase character in Caddyshack. Bush flew fighter planes.

        • Wil Burns

          Yep, All over Texas, big deal!

          • Paul Courtney

            So GW was weak, and gave in once to his inner golf demons to squeeze in 18 out of the public eye in ’03. At least he didn’t have the sort of demons as certain obnoxious congressman, broadcasting pictures of his mashee niblic!

      • EddieD_Boston

        But you actually look deeper at the truth Obama has played golf and gone on vacation way more than Bush. It’s not even close.

        • Bob Hadley

          Careful Paul, You know politicians giving in to inner demons is bipartisan. Look at Sen. Ensign, who resigned only after a full ethics committee report came out and it looked as though it was goning to be referred to the JD. Sen Craig and Sen. Vitter are others. Rep. Lee was the only sensible one or, maybe it was Borner who sensibly told him to leave. If he had stayed, much more damaging info could well have surfaced about him.

  • Ron Kean

    Victor Davis Hanson said to expect 3 things:
    1. Bush is responsible for the bad economy.
    2. Republicans want to kill granny.
    3. Criticism of Obama is racism.

    If Republicans can’t get proactive in rebutting those three things, Obama may very well win again.

    • Wil Burns

      Ron, Don’t you people realize Obama is trying to correct the mess Bush left our country in. Are you people that uninformed? You cannot start 2 wars and cut taxes on the wealthy and not put the country in dire straits! You should be able to cite some examples of what the democrats did to cause today’s problems. I’m waiting… And remember Bush was in complete charge of our government until 2009! Nothing happened without his okay!

      • chuck

        Wil, The mess Obama inherited was caused by a financial meltdown in the housing market. It can be attributed to all the politicians (republican and democrat) who looked the other way and greedy wall street bankers who worked the system to a T for their own gain! It was necessary to pass the TARP bill or we would have gone into a catastrophic depression. Credit markets froze and everybody freaked out. Obama’s failure is that just when the economy needed help to get going again Obama instead pushed through overburdening regulation on businesses (Obamacare), massive debt, and threats over evermore tax burdens on job creators. Business will not start growing and hiring until they are certain what the ramifications of all of this. As long as the president keeps up his class warfare rhetoric and redistribution BS they will continue to sit this one out!

      • Ron Kean

        The Democrats pushed the banks to lend to people who couldn’t afford to own a home. Then they had the government insure the loan. Barney Frank said nothing was wrong with Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac 2 weeks before they crashed. Bush tried to put controls in but was unable because the Democrats painted him as mean to the poor. It was the housing loan situation that fell through the worst.

        Also, tax cuts gave confidence to business people which invested more and hired more. That’s why unemployment was so low all that time. Now there’s an anti- business atmosphere and big players are hoarding their money rather than investing in America and making jobs. That’s because people think employers are bad guys or polluters or greedy uncaring scrooges.

        Put another Republican in the Whitehouse and watch things turn around.

      • rwilymz

        [[Obama is trying to correct the mess Bush left our country in]]

        Seriously, bud? You’re seriously trying to claim this?

        I’m new here and don’t necessarily understand the intricacies of the personalities doing the jabbering, so you may be trying out sarcasm and irony for size.

        [[You should be able to cite some examples of what the democrats did to cause today’s problems.]]

        I’ll assume until further notice that you’re more/less serious.

        IF you believe the Bush $500B deficit is an issue, then explain how Obama’s $1T deficit is not.

        IF you believe that Bush starting two wars is an issue, the explain how Obama not stopping them is not.

        You can believe all you want that taxing “the rich” is a good thing, but beliefs that defy supportable data – like the Laffer Curve – amount to religion. And I prefer to go with the the aphorism: “If you want more of something, tax it less; if you want less of something, tax it more.”

        …which makes me ask the Tax The Wealthy afficionados: why don’t you like wealth?