- Backlash March 12
Bill O'Reilly has some questions about President Obama's interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns: Was appearing on the awkward-is-funny, absurdist talk show a worse idea because of Vladimir Putin, or because of Abraham Lincoln?
O'Reilly noted that Obama filmed the Funny or Die video two weeks ago, before Putin invaded Ukraine, but said that the president needs to be aware "of how his enemies perceive him." (Presumably he means Russia here, not Fox News.) "It looks like Putin believes the president is a lightweight, will a comedy video counter that?" O'Reilly asked.
On top of that, he added, sending the president himself to tape web-only comedy series to promote the "dubious" Affordable Care Act smacks of desperation. "All I can tell you is, Abe Lincoln would not have done it," he added — which, I think we can all agree, is true. Whether that's because we're a deeply divided nation and "serious times call for serious measures," as O'Reilly argued, or because Lincoln wasn't very funny, didn't know what a video was (much less the internet), and didn't have ObamaCare to defend... well, that's another question.
The White House is pleased that Obama's Between Two Ferns appearance sent a horde of young people to HealthCare.gov. But Obama-joking-while-Putin-pillages is also the focus of Kathleen Parker's column in Wednesday's Washington Post, so whether you think Obama's PR stunt was brilliant or disastrous, you'll probably hear about it until the 2014 midterms. --Peter Weber
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be a moral internet citizen on the often-immoral internet
- 7 common estate-planning mistakes
Subscribe to the Week