Bill O’Reilly to interview President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday
Super Bowl Sunday will feature more than one marquee matchup in 2011. A Fox News spokeswoman and the White House each confirm that Bill O’Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel’s top-rated prime-time show, will interview President Obama as part of the Fox network’s pregame show before the NFL championship game on Feb. 6.
The news was first posted by the Drudge Report.
It won’t be the first time Obama has sat down with “The Factor” host. During the 2008 presidential campaign, O’Reilly interviewed the then-Democratic nominee in York, Pa., on the final night of the Republican National Convention.
Since Obama became president, however, the White House has publicly clashed with Fox News. Senior officials in the White House press shop have repeatedly accused the cable channel of being a propaganda arm for the GOP.
O’Reilly was among the Fox personalities who fired back.
“There is something very disturbing about the Obama administration fighting harder against Fox News than against the Taliban,” he said last fall.
After becoming president, Obama did not sit down for his first interview with the network until March 2010, just before passage of his healthcare reform law. The broadcast, highlighted by host Bret Baier’s repeated interruptions of Obama, attracted nearly 3 million viewers.
The president was interviewed by CBS’ Katie Couric during the Super Bowl XLIV pregame show in 2010 and by NBC’s Matt Lauer before Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. The broadcast is typically the highest-rated television program each year.
This year’s Super Bowl XLV is being played at the new Cowboys Stadium outside of Dallas, Texas, which former President George W. Bush now calls home.
The NFL playoffs begin Saturday. Obama’s favored Chicago Bears qualified for a first-round bye.
Matea Gold contributed to this report.