Time To "Make Book" on The CBS Obama Interview

It’s the May ratings period so it’s perfect timing for CBS to interview Barack Obama about the recent killing of Obama bin Laden.



The interview has already been done (it was shot Wednesday) but I am still going to put my Vegas numbers on what Steve Kroft will, and will not ask the president. Hey, if my buddy John Avello at the Wynn Las Vegas can make odds on Dancing With The Stars, I can put odds on the media and the president.

The only segment we’ve seen so far deals mainly with the releasing of the photos. Kroft asked the president about the photos, but there were no “follow-up” questions. Any good reporter knows the second and third questions are always the tough ones where you get the best answers. From the video that CBS released, there were no follow-ups on the photo issue, Kroft just accepted the goodness of Dear Leader to answer and just went on from there. Next question.

Here are my Vegas odds on the issues that I believe are the most important.

4 to 1 odds Kroft will not ask if this was a flat-out assassination. This is a big deal here. Was this a kill or capture mission? There are still serious questions about that on both sides of the aisle. We are all happy bin Laden is dead, but did Obama give orders to kill on sight? Did OBL put up a fight? Would they have taken him prisoner? Why not a trial? Was he read his Miranda Rights? These are the policies the White House says are important to restore American values. The media is working hard to cover for Obama on this by presenting the case that Osama put up some sort of fight, but they don’t know and the White House has been very unclear on this issue. Kroft may ask initially, but there must be follow-up questions for this long shot to cover the spread here.



6 to 1 odds Kroft will not pester the president about the half a dozen different versions of the 40 minute Navy SEAL operation at the Osama compound in Pakistan. It’s clear---and was clear on Wednesday---that the Obama administration has botched their versions of the story horribly. As remarkable as the Navy SEALs were on that day, the White House has been dreadfully inept in the days since. We need to find out why the conflicting stories and Kroft needs to spend significant time trying to figure this out. If they were all there watching (I count 13 faces in the photo) this operation go down, how have they messed up so badly on their story of what happened?

7-1 odds Kroft will not ask about waterboarding. This is the toughie right here. The media wants to ignore this issue because it brings up the double standard they share with this president. Years of opposition to “enhanced interrogation” but it is very clear (and was on Wednesday) that waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed back in the Bush Era led to the name of the courier that led to the day that bin Laden was killed. Without the KSM evidence gotten from waterboarding, this would not have happened. CBS should show video of Obama opposing waterboarding, the interviews are everywhere, and counter them with the evidence in this case and ask him how he feels about waterboarding now. He will say he still opposes it, but how can he now not accept its effectiveness?

10-1 odds they don’t show the video of Obama opposing waterboarding. ‘Nuff said. They still have time to insert this video, so if they do not, then we know that issue is just way, way too difficult for those brilliant journalists at CBS to confront.

12-1 odds. Secret prisons. Won't come up.

20-1 odds Kroft will not ask Obama about the Navy SEAL who is currently being prosecuted by the White House for giving one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq a fat lip in 2009. Real media would find this delicious, this media will find it distasteful to even ask.

Again, for these bets to “cover” Kroft must ask serious follow-ups. Not just ask and accept. That’s a typical tact of the activist old media to just take the official line (the president has those answers to the initial questions well rehearsed,) and not ask tough follow-ups.

We’ll be watching on Sunday evening to see the full interview and see if Kroft gets to the heart of the matter and does his job. I don’t know what we will see---I’m just setting the odds here at my little faux Sports Book here in Vegas. I’m betting I’ll come away the winner on most of these on Sunday night, and America will come away the loser.

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