Serious Q: Any prior case of a network figure *begging* a candidate on-air for a favor, the way O’Reilly did with Trump tonight?— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) January 28, 2016
One reader’s response: “2000, Letterman pleading for months for Hillary to come on his show,” to which Jim replied, “Yes, fair, but he’s not a ‘news’ figure.” Another reader claims that “Cronkite begged Reagan on air, NFL ratings were down and they needed the viewers for advertising dollars,” but I couldn’t corroborate that online. (If you can, please drop me an email.) Yet another reader finds that “Colbert begging Biden to enter the race comes closest.”
But not quite as close as this example submitted by reader Ken Dukes: On Real Time in July 2004, when Bill Maher and Michael Moore get down on their knees to beg Ralph Nader to drop out of the presidential race:
Update: Oh man, this is too good:
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump once complimented Fox News host Megyn Kelly for her performance moderating a GOP debate in 2011. Trump spoke to Kelly in 2011 about his frustration with candidates refusing to participate in a debate he was set to host with NewsMax. The businessman implied the Republican candidates declining invitations to attend his debate lacked “courage.”
He then heaped praise on Kelly.
For that, better to watch: