Bill O'Reilly: Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have done "Between Two Ferns"

Something tells us Lincoln wouldn't have sat down for a pre-Super Bowl interview with O'Reilly, either

Published March 12, 2014 2:32PM (EDT)

President Obama's recent appearance on Zach Galifianakis' fake interview show, "Between Two Ferns," has sent many right-wingers and D.C. centrists toward their fainting chairs, pearls firmly clutched in hand. In their telling, Obama's participation in the online series imperiled the "dignity" of his office. (The president is only allowed to be funny when his audience is a bunch of elite journalists, it appears.)

Of all the silly reactions from the right, however, none were quite as unintentionally humorous and bizarre as that of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. During his show on Tuesday night, the frequent sayer of silly things claimed that while he had no issue with the White House using humor to promote Obamacare, sitting down with a comedian, as Obama did, is just something Abraham Lincoln, one of Obama's heroes, would never have done.

"The interview was a farce," O'Reilly told his audience, "and some believe it was demeaning." O'Reilly never said who, exactly, considered the interview demeaning, but he went on to state that a president "under intense scrutiny" choosing to participate in a comedy bit "raises some serious questions."

"I don't really have a problem with it in general," O'Reilly said. "But I think the timing hurts Mr. Obama."

O'Reilly then went on to argue that Obama shouldn't have done the video because Russia's Vladimir Putin "is clearly testing" him and "thinks he's a lightweight."

Ultimately, though, O'Reilly's problem with Obama's going between two ferns was based around his prior opposition to Obamacare. "The Affordable Care Act is dubious, to say the least," O'Reilly said. He went on to describe Obama's being in the clip as "desperate."

"All I can tell you is, Abe Lincoln would not have done it," said O'Reilly, the author of a best-selling book on Abraham Lincoln that has been widely panned by historians. "There comes a point when serious times call for serious action," he continued. "We're a divided nation which ... is in decline."

"[Obama] needs to be aware — he needs to be aware — of how his enemies perceive him," O'Reilly continued. "Because I believe the testing of America is just getting started."

You can watch O'Reilly do his best to pretend to care about Obama joking around with Zach Galifianakis below, via Media Matters:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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