This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Weekdays with Bernie Segment" tonight. Political hatred it is certainly on the rise in America as both liberals and conservatives battle for power. But why is the vitriol worse now than it was even during Vietnam and during the Iraq wars?
Joining us from Miami, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg.
So I agree with you. I've read your column on your Web site. I agree with you. It's now, I think, the worse that I have ever seen in my life. Why?
BERNARD GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, let me agree with your lead in I do think it's -- it's worse than Vietnam and I think frankly I think it's as bad as it's been since the Civil War. But during Vietnam and during the Civil War there was no Internet, there was no cable TV and there was no talk radio the way we have it today. They didn't start the fire. They didn't create the hatred and the polarization.
But what they did, Bill, is they created a battlefield where the right and the left can fight each other 24 hours a day nonstop every day. And what we have got as a result of that is more polarization, more anger, so one side -- neither side wants to hear what the other side has to say. Neither side likes the other side. And when you go to these platforms, you go there only to get your own entrenched views validated.
We don't -- we wall ourselves off to anything we don't want to hear. We segregate ourselves to things we don't want to hear. And I think that creates even more polarization and more anger.
O'REILLY: All right now I agree that the fuse gets lighted in the media because every little thing gets blown up into a big story.
O'REILLY: Because we have to fill time.
O'REILLY: I mean here on the Fox News Channel we have got to fill 24 hours of time here. Ok and then talk radio these guys usually do a three hour block and they have got to get calls and they got to generate controversy - - so any little thing. I call it small ball is whipped up in. But it's a mentality thing too on the part of the consumer who absorbs it.
O'REILLY: Now, in Vietnam -- and Bernie and I were obviously eyewitnesses to what happened. You had (inaudible) state where the kids shot down in the street and then you have the counter culture attacking Johnson and then Nixon. And you have real, real you know, angst and violence in the streets. You have -- we don't have violence now, physical violence, but we have mental and verbal violence, correct?
GOLDBERG: Yes. And what started during -- during that time of Kent State (ph) and Vietnam and Watergate was the breakdown of respect for our institutions. And I think that also creates this polarization and divisiveness and hatred.
Look during the Great Depression, there was a lot of bad stuff going on in America but we were united. During World War II we were united because we had faith in our institutions. Now because of Vietnam and Watergate, we -- who trusts Congress? Who trusts.
O'REILLY: Nobody according to the polls. Nobody does. Nobody.
GOLDBERG: Who trusts journalism? Who trusts the mainstream media?
O'REILLY: But here is the question. Is Congress worse now, the caliber of individuals sitting in the Senate and the House, are they collectively worse now than they were in 1971.
GOLDBERG: Well, I will tell you what the big difference is.
O'REILLY: We get a lower form of politician?
GOLDBERG: Whether we do or not, and this is where the consumer that you mention comes in. There is no -- compromise now is --
O'REILLY: Sell out?
GOLDBERG: -- tantamount to sell out.
O'REILLY: Yes right.
GOLDBERG: It's a crime against humanity.
GOLDBERG: And that's because everybody today is afraid that that consumer that you mention will call the talk radio station, will, you know, go on the Web site. So they are afraid to -- they are afraid to compromise. They are afraid to be seen as sell outs.
Again, this contributes to the polarization and the anger. And the fact that the democracy of the media. Now, knuckle heads who couldn't get a letter to the editor published years ago, now they go on the Web, they write you mail and I'll bet you, you get a ton of hate mail.
O'REILLY: I don't read it but we get it but that -- and that brings me to the point of our society and the way that parents are raising children going back I would say 20 years ago. They're abdicating their responsibility in many -- and certainly public schools are.
Whereas the behavior, the personal behavior is yes you want to be a bully, yes go ahead, you know, oh yes it's not that big a deal, or you want to use four letter words. You want to call somebody a racist, you want to diminish your opposition, you want to dance on them you know when they are down, go ahead. So I do think it's just as much consumer-driven, individual behavior --
O'REILLY: -- as it is mass media behavior.
GOLDBERG: Yes I think that's a good point. And I think the bill that -- that the bill that was rung up in the 60's is coming due today. Because starting in the 60's it was hey, do what you want. You don't have to respect authority. Do whatever you want. And that's what -- that's what's happening. And we're seeing it more --
O'REILLY: Yes hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today? I mean that started it. All right that -- that -- go ahead.
GOLDBERG: Right. And Bill, on that -- on that matter, that's an important point. On that matter, in the last administration, the left called George Bush a Nazi. And that was just commonplace. Now, I get e-mails from people and I mean this literally, I get e-mails from people today who think President Obama is worse -- they hate President Obama as much as I hate Adolf Hitler and I mean that literally. That's how angry things have gotten. You know, Bush was a Nazi. Obama is as bad as Hitler. And this is all coming from people who as I say couldn't get a letter published --