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What Did Michael Moore Say?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 14, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Earlier this week, the “Talking Points Memo" dealt with dissent versus dishonor. Well, one of the points was that in a time of war, you have to be real careful about what you say that could help the enemy of your country.

By all accounts, Michael Moore (search) has harshly criticized the U.S.A. overseas. And now, he has said some questionable things in front of the foreign press here in New York City. With us is Sabrina Cohen, an Italian journalist, and Carolyn Overington, the U.S. correspondent for the Sydney, Australian "Morning Herald."

All right, you guys were at this — I would have gone down there, because Moore is running away from me, he's afraid of me.

CAROLYN OVERINGTON, AUSTRALIAN JOURNALIST: I'm certain you weren't invited.

O'REILLY: Yeah, I wasn't invited. Actually, he and I had a pretty good relationship up to the point where he made this movie. And then, a lot of the things in the movies have been debunked, but he doesn't want to talk about that. What impressed you about his press conference? Did he say anything vitriolic or something that impressed you?

OVERINGTON: I'm not sure that impressed is the right word. The press conference, I thought, was disappointing on a number of levels. But mostly, it was disappointing, I think, because many of the questions were fawning. I think that the foreign press admires Michael Moore very much. And there is an opportunity there to ask some...

O'REILLY: Tough questions.

OVERINGTON: Difficult questions, tough questions...

O'REILLY: Right.

OVERINGTON: ... about the movie, but also about his stand on various issues. And I don't think that opportunity was taken.

O'REILLY: All right. So they softballed him. They just got on board with what he was saying. Do you agree, Ms. Cohen?

SABRINA COHEN, ITALIAN JOURNALIST: Yes. I mean, he has been talking about a lot of subjects and issues, and he has been asked questions by everybody — basically by people from Far East and from Europe. And surprisingly, I mean, nobody asked him about anything about Iraq.

I mean, they were stressing the point more on the political points of view rather than what he was...

O'REILLY: Was it an anti-Bush fest?

COHEN: Not so much...

O'REILLY: Because I know he said bad things about Berlusconi, didn't he?

COHEN: He didn't say specifically anything about Berlusconi. He didn't pronounce the name. But he said that he wishes that Australia and Italy could change regimes.

O'REILLY: Well, I've got a quote from him. Maybe you missed this, but I've got a quote from him. This is Moore saying on Italy, "If I were an Italian citizen, I would have left the movie theater asking myself what in the world Berlusconi was doing by hanging out with George W. Bush. It's embarrassing for Italy, and there should be a regime change in Rome."

COHEN: This is what he said?

O'REILLY: Yes. So he's talking about Berlusconi. But he was kind of badmouthing anybody who cooperates with George W. Bush. All right, look, we know what this guy's agenda is. Do you think he went over the line, Carolyn?

OVERINGTON: No, I think that's too difficult to say. The point is, I think that he has his opinion, and he's voicing it wherever he can.

O'REILLY: Right.

OVERINGTON: He said at the outset that it is his goal to remove Mr. Bush...

O'REILLY: Yeah.

OVERINGTON: ... President Bush from the White House. That's his goal.

O'REILLY: But in previous forays into the foreign press arena, he's said Americans are stupid.

OVERINGTON: He has.

O'REILLY: He's said that capitalism is, quote unquote, "diabolical."

OVERINGTON: He has.

O'REILLY: So he, to me, is more than a dissenter. I mean, he just basically wants a total country change. Did that come across in this press conference?

OVERINGTON: Oh, it certainly did. And he asked the same thing for Australia too. Australia will have an election later this year. We don't have the date yet, but it will be before the end of the year. And he said that the Australian people should punish the current government for joining the "coalition of the willing" and exercise regime change in Australia.

O'REILLY: And all the foreign press loved that, right?

OVERINGTON: They did.

O'REILLY: Yeah, they loved it. Eat it up. Fair and balanced.

OVERINGTON: And yet, our press is always asking the United States to stay out of Australian politics, but not Michael Moore to stay out of Australian politics.

O'REILLY: Right. Well, we know that the foreign press is overwhelmingly anti-American, and it's too bad. Do you agree with that, Ms. Cohen?

COHEN: Totally? I mean, this is what...

O'REILLY: Foreign press is anti-American all the way down the line, even though we have freed, here in America in the last 20 years, almost a billion people.

COHEN: This is actually what he was highlighting during the press conference. You guys like us because we are free and you can have freedom in the states. That's what he said and stressed the point many times. And actually, I think that this is what everybody thinks about the United States. You can have a free press and a free whatever you want — you can have it here.

And from my point of view, I'm Italian, I can 100 percent say that he is right. Yes, you are free here in the United States, and that's the reason why he was able to do a movie such as "Fahrenheit 9/11."

O'REILLY: But why is a guy like this admired by the foreign press? He is a subversive in the sense that he doesn't like the capitalistic system. He doesn't like any of our politicians. He's a socialist. We had him on a program and he proved that. But I mean, you know, in the last 20 years, the United States has freed almost a billion human beings.

You know, how many human beings has France freed? Do you know? None. Yet France is like Michael Moore's goal of what a society should be. They've freed none; the U.S.A. has freed a billion. So I'm not getting the hostility of the foreign press. Can you explain it to me?

OVERINGTON: Well, it's not just the freedom either. Also, this country has given him everything. He was a poor kid.

O'REILLY: Yeah, and he's taken money to the bank, and he's Mr. Socialist...

OVERINGTON: And he's now extremely wealthy and he has an Oscar, and he has the highest performing documentary ever. This country has given him everything. And there are people all over the world that would give their right arm to swap places with Michael Moore.

O'REILLY: This country has given me everything and I criticize the country too. There's nothing wrong with criticizing. It's the way you do it. And he does it in a way that I believe is disrespectful. But again, let's get back to the foreign press. I don't understand why the foreign press doesn't put things into perspective.

You can dislike President Bush and not like his administration without making the country, America — do you realize that 40 percent of Canadian teenagers think America's an evil country? That's right at the doorstep of the Canadian press.

OVERINGTON: Yes, but you're a soft target, because I can say whatever I like about the United States, and I'm not going to end up in a killing field in Central Park, am I?

O'REILLY: No, but I don't know why the press does it. The Australian press, I think, is pretty — about as fair as we're going to get. But the European press...

COHEN: I can only tell you one thing. It's like, if Moore thinks that the success of the movie in Europe will have the same — let's say that people are going to see the movie in Europe the same way they are going to see it in the states, it's different. The effect that you have here in the United States, it's different from Europe.

Nobody knows Wolfowitz, Ashcroft. They only know Bush. I mean, I can go, and I have friends in Italy and France and the UK, they are going to see the movie...

O'REILLY: Right.

COHEN: ... because they have — I mean, they have...

O'REILLY: But it's your responsibility, Ms. Cohen, to put the movie in perspective. This movie has been debunked from top to bottom. Even people like Richard Clark say the movie's a bunch of hokum, all right. And it is. That's why Moore isn't sitting where you're sitting right now, madam. He's hiding in the bank, in the vault, because he knows that he can't defend his movie, because it's not true.

And that is the message that you guys should get out. Made a lot of money, badmouths his country, not true. Wouldn't that be a fair message?

OVERINGTON: You know what? I think in this particular case, Moore has probably gone too far. I think you would be surprised by the amount of criticism that he is facing around the world.

O'REILLY: Well, here he is. It's turned on him here.

OVERINGTON: The last film, I think he got a lot of critical acclaim. This time, I think people aren't so happy.

O'REILLY: A gossip column in the New York Daily News — I've got to tell this to everybody, and ladies, we really appreciate you coming on — reported today that Michael Moore won't even go on Larry King, all right. He won't even go on Larry King, because Larry King said, "I want to bring you on, but I want to bring on a White House spokesman too, to be fair and balanced," and Moore said no.

Well, the truth police just told me I might have been a little unfair to Michael Moore, and we do not want that to happen. CNN did want, according to this item in the New York Daily News, to have the White House rebut Moore's points. And Moore said that he'll go on, he'll do it, but he hadn't heard back from King.

All right, so maybe Moore will do Larry King. But look, Moore, you come on here. You know, we don't need any White House guys. Just you and me, buddies, all right. We'll get little mugs for you, “Factor” gear. Right here. We want to be fair.

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