Fox Host Bill Hemmer Left Seething After Obama's Press Conference on Islamic State

November 16, 2015

Fox News host Bill Hemmer was visibly angry after President Obama's press conference concluded in Turkey on Monday, his voice shaking as he recounted Obama refusing to change strategy against the Islamic State and calling Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris a "setback."

Hemmer is the normally upbeat anchor of America's Newsroom and is not known for his opinionated commentary like those of Fox's more conservative evening personalities. But, as Mediaite pointed out when it flagged his comments, he was "uncharacteristically opinionated and aggressive" as he discussed Obama's response to the latest atrocity from IS.

"If you were waiting to hear a U.S. president say 'I feel your pain,' or if you were waiting to hear a U.S. president say 'It's them or us,' that is not what you just heard," Hemmer said. "President Obama called the attacks here in Paris a setback at one point. He was asked, 'Is it time for you to change your strategy?' More or less, he said no. 'Have you underestimated the abilities of ISIS?' More or less, he said no. 'Do you understand how to defeat ISIS?" His response: This is a variation of the same question.'

"President Obama has made it quite clear in that Q-and-A that lasted more than 45 minutes that he has accepted there are evils in this world and evils in places like Paris, France, and this is something that we all must face today. It's a reality in the world we live. If you're at home wondering, with your own set of anger and your own set of fears about what could happen next, you are not alone, because that's precisely what you feel here in Paris, France.  And if you were waiting for clarification on your feelings through that Q-and-A, you weren't going to get it. The president's strategy, as stated over the weekend, continues as is."

Hemmer then went to fellow Fox host Bret Baier for more commentary, who noted Obama appeared angry at the repetitive nature of the questions he got about his counterterrorism policy.

Hemmer was not alone in media condemnation of Obama's tone and rhetoric. NBC's Chuck Todd called Obama "extremely defensive" at the press conference. CNN's Christiane Amanpour said that Obama was wrong to say IS was contained and that military experts told her that Obama's anti-terrorism strategy was not working.