Hillary Clinton should send the Saturday Night Live writers fruit baskets and expensive bottles of wine. Without them, she might be out of the running for the presidency right now.
Allow me to explain. According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a nonpartisan press watchdog group, Barack Obama has been getting unprecedented favorable coverage from the American media. From the middle of December to the middle of February, 83 percent of the reports dealing with Obama on the network news telecasts were positive. That is truly astounding, as the media's traditional role is to be skeptical of those seeking power.
Hillary Clinton didn't do half bad, either; 53 percent of the stories about her were nice and easy. A good number, but nothing like the Obama love-fest.
In the debate last week this bias was clear. You may remember NBC News interviewer Tim Russert hammering Clinton with a barrage of tough questions. That was legitimate, as Clinton should be facing difficult fire. But Russert and Brian Williams did not put Barack Obama to the same test when they easily could have.
Millions of Americans, including the Saturday Night Live gang, witnessed that. And so, last Saturday, SNL skewered Russert and Williams, mocking their bias toward Obama. The devastating satire got major play on the Internet and cable news programs.
I believe that exposition helped Hillary Clinton in both Ohio and Texas. Americans of all political stripes do not appreciate the media trying to manipulate an election. We saw that after the New York Times hatchet piece on John McCain, when liberals and conservatives alike condemned it.
Exit polls from Ohio and Texas show that Clinton routed Obama among Democrats who made their choice within three days of the vote - exactly the timeframe of the SNL skit. In Ohio, Hillary won those voters 58 percent to 40 percent. Could be a coincidence, but I don't think so.
It is true that Louis Farrakhan's endorsement did not help Obama, and neither did his economic adviser telling some Canadians that Obama isn't really an anti-NAFTA guy, after all - that his rhetoric is a campaign ruse. That was not good.
But among everyday voters, those are small deals. The mocking of the press, however, was huge; everybody was talking about it.
So the liberal media has now hurt their own guy because it got greedy. Instead of doing the usual stealth bias number, the committed left press sensed blood in the water and openly tried to knock Hillary Clinton out of the race.
Didn't work, and with that attempt now in tatters, some in the liberal media realize they must repair the damage and actually report the race fairly or face the rising anger of the electorate.
Not good news for Barack Obama.
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM.