Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is about to enter the "No Spin Zone."
The Illinois senator is due to be interviewed by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, host of the "The O'Reilly Factor," on Thursday, the final night of The Republican National Convention, according to TVNewser.com.
I am sure executives at Fox parent company News Corp.
) were high-fiving each other when that interview was secured. The clash between the suave Obama and the bellicose O'Reilly will make for interesting television. It will be like a car accident on the highway that people can't help themselves from gawking at.
Maybe Obama views it as a chance to show his supporters that he is not afraid of O'Reilly, who is a pussy cat compared with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. It's also quite a contrast to the strategy
of Republican John McCain, who is keeping the media at an arm's length. His campaign even canceled an interview the candidate had scheduled with CNN's Larry King because it did not like the tough questions anchor Campbell Brown
asked its spokesman about the qualifiicaitons of his running-mate Sarah Palin.
Both the Democratic and Republican conventions have been a dream come true for the cable news channels. More people tuned into CNN
, which is owned by Time Warner Inc
. (NYSE: TWX
), for Obama's acceptance than for Fox, MSNBC and the broadcast networks. The address got more viewers than the American Idol final, the Oscars, or the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Fox, though, continues to attract more viewers overall, especially during the Republican get-together in St. Paul. General Electric Co.'s
) MSNBC is gaining viewers too, though some may be curious to see if its feuding on-air personalities will break into a fist fight.
All three of the cable news networks are raking in major bucks from those annoying 30-second TV spots that are an unfortunate part of American political life.
A winner has already emerged from the Obama-O'Reilly confrontation before a single punch has been thrown: News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch. The media baron lusts for the power to set the nation's political agenda. Come Thursday night, that's exactly what he will be able to do.