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Roger L. Simon

Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl interview of Barack Obama was mighty slow going and felt a good deal longer than its fourteen minutes and sixteen seconds. Two or three minutes in I was about to shut it off, but I kept watching, almost fascinated by the sheer pointlessness of it all. The predictable subjects were brought up — Egypt, health care — with completely predictable responses. The only new fact — if you can call it that — to be gleaned was the president didn’t want to be disturbed by his Super Bowl guests during the game. He preferred to watch the contest unmolested. (Oh, and he thought the Steelers would have a problem because they were missing their center. Maybe he was right.)

Well, that’s something I guess, but pretty thin gruel for such a ballyhooed confrontation. But then I thought — what did I expect? These men are both vastly overexposed. There is almost nothing they could possibly say that would surprise us.

In fact, overexposure is endemic to our political life, for politicians and pundits. It’s an endless cycle. Everyone has to be on television at every possible moment to validate themselves, even the president. It seemed as if he felt Super Sunday wouldn’t be Super Sunday without him. And, of course, O’Reilly couldn’t have been happier to comply because he too wanted to horn in on the Super Sunday noise, as if we hadn’t seen enough of him. My only disappointment was we didn’t have Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham into the bargain. (And then the Black Eyed Peas had to log in with their puerile views on education. Enough, enough.)

Of course, no one has that much to say — your humble servant included — yet we all keep on saying it. Few of us know when to shut up.

The coming presidential campaign has practically been destroyed in advance by Fox News because most of the possible Republican candidates are either constant contributors or have their own shows on the network. Even attractive new faces like Paul Ryan could be old faces before we know it.

And Obama, most of all, has turned in to President Rerun. Even if he changed his politics entirely, every single idea, I still wouldn’t want to see him ever again. Enough already indeed.

So where does that leave us — so many predictable people saying their predictable things again and again and again, as if locked in a perpetual Geraldo rehash of the OJ trial with Faye Resnick as the co-host? (In case you haven’t been watching, Faye has resurfaced on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.)

Mein own self — I’m tuning into sports. At least there, unlike when O’Reilly interviews Obama, you don’t know everything that’s going to happen in advance. The Celtics may justifiably be favored over the Lakers on Thursday, but there’s still hope.

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