Bill O’Reilly is apparently not a fan of President Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns” with comedian Zach Galifianakis. According to O’Reilly, it was unpresidential, because Abraham Lincoln would never have done the same thing.
On Tuesday, Obama sat down with Galifianakis to promote the Affordable Care Act, and later that day, O’Reilly was ready to fire back on his Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly, author of the best-seller “Killing Lincoln,” took umbrage with the appearance, saying that while he was fine with it “in general,” he thought “Between Two Ferns” could make Obama look weak to foreign enemies like Vladimir Putin. Most importantly, O’Reilly says, a great leader like Lincoln wouldn’t have done it.
“The Affordable [Care] Act is dubious to say the least, and using a comedic website to enroll people is a little bit desperate, don’t you think?” O’Reilly said. O’Reilly praised Obama as “quick” and having a “good sense of humor,” but that’s apparently not enough to make the interview worthwhile.
He continued, stating that perhaps White House press secretary Jay Carney should have made the appearance instead.
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"I’m all for PR and if Carney wanted to go on Funny or Die, fine. But the president of the United States? All I can tell you is Abe Lincoln wouldn't have done it," he said. "There comes a point when serious times come for serious action."
And it’s likely true: Abraham Lincoln doesn’t seem like the type of man or the type of president to appear on a comedy program.
Lincoln was fond of jokes, usually at his own expense, but for the most part he maintained a stern demeanor. Almost the entirety of his presidency took place in the midst of a brutal war for the nation’s soul, and appearing on a comedy show would have been too cheery for the times. Of course, Lincoln also lived and died decades before television or the Internet were ever envisioned.