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Should Rosie Be Fired From ‘The View’?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 29, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O’REILLY, HOST: One of the biggest Bush haters in the media is Rosie O'Donnell, a fanatical leftist who has been given a daily platform by the American Broadcasting Company.

Ms. O'Donnell is now actively supporting Iran against her own country and Britain. On her Web site Ms. O'Donnell posted this quote about the British hostages.

"False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The British did it on purpose. They went into Iranian waters as the U.S. military build up on the Iranian border. We will be in Iran before summer as planned." Unquote.

So according to Rosie O'Donnell the British set up their own people to be kidnapped to incite another war. This nutty theory goes along with O'Donnell's contention that 9/11 was a conspiracy and that terrorists mean us no harm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O'DONNELL, HOST, "THE VIEW": There were 15 British sailors and marines who apparently went in to Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians. And I have one thing to say. Gulf of Tonkin. Google it.

Very hard in America when anyone from the Mid-East has been so demonized that no matter what it's impossible for some people to believe that the Iranians could ever do anything ethical in any capacity.

I think they've been dehumanized to the point where they're not people. They're just the enemy. They're terrorists. They have two choices, faith or fear. Faith or fear. That's your choice.

You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks differently than you and try to convert them to your way of thinking.

And I think that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm person of faith but I also believe...

O'DONNELL: Then get away from the fear. Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: "Don't fear the terrorists."

The question is what should ABC do? Remember ABC fired Bill Maher after he said the 9/11 killers had courage.

Joining us now from Washington, Jane Hall, and from Miami Bernie Goldberg, both are fox news analysts. OK. Now, I get a lot of calls on the radio today Bernie, about people going what do you care about Rosie O'Donnell. I don't care what she says. She has freedom of speech to say whatever she wants.

Obviously, though, she has a platform, a big platform. She is using for purposes that are irresponsible in my opinion. How do you see it?

BERNARD GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well I think we should be concerned about what Rosie O'Donnell said. The first reason is as these television signals travel into outer space there may be a time when some far away civilization actually stumbles on to the show and becomes convinced there's no intelligence life of earth. So that's a reason to be concerned.

But the other reason is she is mainstreaming hateful nonsense. All the things you just played, these are — I want to be kind but they're stupid things. They're idiotic things. And she is not saying them in some dark, far-left corner of the World Wide Web. She is saying it on a major broadcast network that's owned by a giant entertainment conglomerate.

The same people who bring us Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are bringing us this orgy of left-wing nonsense five days a week in the middle of the morning aimed at the most unsophisticated, politically unsophisticated, viewers in all of America. That's why we should be concerned about this.

O'REILLY: Now, Jane, we asked ABC to give us a comment about the situation. And it is rapidly deteriorating over there. We know that.

And they said the show represent as variety of viewpoints. There's a platform for free and open exchange of ideas. I don't believe that to be true. I don't believe Ann Coulter will get a program any time soon on ABC.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

O'REILLY: Do you, Jane?

JANE HALL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well they've got the woman Elisabeth on the show who is hardly a match for Rosie O'Donnell. I think until recently ABC made a commercial calculation that at least in terms of this war in Iraq public opinion had shifted.

I mean, the reason they fired Bill Maher was that it was right after 9/11. I think they made a calculation that women like Rosie. Even if they don't agree with her. They sort of like her fighting Donald Trump and this was provocative and got them on YouTube and your show. Right now, having seen the stuff where she talks about conspiracy theories and look up the Gulf of Tonkin which was you know the reference to Vietnam starting perhaps under false pretenses under Lyndon Johnson, I mean she is putting out a very political point of view. It's not countered within the program.

I can't think of anybody else. I mean there are right wing talk show hosts all over cable news. So there's plenty of spectrum of opinion. But she is the only one — now, I was thinking about this. Oprah champions going after child predators. But she doesn't go on and trash Bush every day.

O'REILLY: But here's the deal. ABC would never hire a conservative individual to do what she does. But I want to throw out some stats here. Since January, "The View" has lost almost half-a-million viewers. Now year to year they're up. But the calculation they made, Bernie, looks me now to be coming into a disaster area.

GOLDBERG: It's always a gamble. It's always a gamble when you figure the American electorate or the American public, more to the point, has moved in a certain direction so we'll play to that direction.

You know, first of all, they're only guessing what they think the American people are feeling. And that could change at any point.

And let me just say one other thing, Bill. You made a very important point about how Ann Coulter who also says outrageous things, she does. But Ann Coulter is smarter than everybody on "The View" put together. And nobody's giving her or any other conservative a five-day a week slot on a mainstream television program.

HALL: How do you account for cable news?

O'REILLY: Well cable news is a different animal. And if you look at, Jane, if you add up all the commentators on cable news it will come out 50/50.

But here you have young Elisabeth Hasselbeck getting hectored by Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar, two of the most far left women in the United States of America. But it's beyond that.

These women aren't speaking for themselves. And I think both of you understand what I'm saying. They're spitting out the worst propaganda that is fed to them by far-left American haters on the net. That's where they're getting the false flag, Gulf of Tonkin and all this other business.

GOLDBERG: And that's why I say, Bill, that the real danger is that they're mainstreaming this hateful nonsense. That's what this is about.

O'REILLY: Right. We got to take a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'REILLY: Continuing now with the controversial and perhaps irresponsible comments Rosie O'Donnell is making on ABC. Some of the remarks are deeply hurtful to Americans who lost have lost loved ones in the war on terror. One of them called me today on the "Radio Factor.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER: My son-in-law Sergeant Buddy Huey was killed in Afghanistan on February 19th of this year. How dare Rosie O'Donnell say that he died defending a bunch of liars and corrupt politicians. Have her walk a mile in my shoes. Have her watch her daughter screaming and moaning no, no, it's got to be a mistake. Have her tell my four-month-old grandson that his father died in vain. Why don't she step up and be the breadwinner for him for the rest of his life. How dare her open her fat mouth.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Talking with Bernie Goldberg in Miami and Jane Hall in Washington. See, this is what I object to, and this is targeted right at the ABC network, right at Disney. That woman is hurting people. That guy didn't fake that call. OK?

Hurting people in my neighborhood who lost loved ones on 9/11. That woman, Rosie O'Donnell, is hurting these people directly. She has no right to do that, Jane. She has no right to be this irresponsible. And ABC has got to be held accountable for her. Am I wrong?

HALL: Well, you know, that is a tragic phone call. And I agree that she should not say things that are not true about 9/11 or Afghanistan. But I will say if she were here, which she will never be, she would say that this war in Iraq, that she did not start the war in Iraq.

O'REILLY: That's fine. And nobody objects. And that caller didn't object to that. That caller made a very explicit point, Bernie. He said that his son-in-law, married to his daughter died for his country in the pursuit of trying to free people in Afghanistan which is true.

While Rosie O'Donnell is saying that our country, America, attacked itself to launch the War on Terror. This is off the chart.

GOLDBERG: And I would say that she has every right to be as irresponsible and as stupid as she is. And then in this capitalistic system of ours, especially the broadcast capitalistic system, if enough people say you know what, I've had it with this idiocy, then the ratings will drop. And ABC which will never make a decision based on anything but ratings, will say, you know what Rosie's losing her popularity with her base or with the audience and then we're going to have to let her go. And that's how it should be.

O'REILLY: The ratings are dropping, Bernie. Since January they dropped in both categories, 25-54 and in raw audience, down big.

So now what you get, Jane, is you have a corporate decision. The ratings are going down. Year to year they're up, a little. But they're going down the last three months because she is become increasingly irrational on the program. Anybody can see it.

So ABC's got to make a calculation, now. If they are going to say we're in it for the money and we don't care about the guy that called O'Reilly or any of the thousands of other Americans who have lost loved ones, we don't care about them, this sticks to ABC. Does it not?

HALL: Well, let me just say I disagree with Bernie. I don't think she has a right to be as irresponsible as she wants and wait for the ratings.

I would defend her right to say whatever the heck she thinks. But I don't think if she's misstating the facts and is irrational and causing harm...

O'REILLY: There are no facts, Jane. I mean, a false flag operation, Britain set up its own sailors to be kidnapped. There are no facts.

HALL: OK. Well I mean she happens to be on a mainstream broadcast network. There's a lot of right-wing craziness that is out there, too.

O'REILLY: It doesn't justify it. You don't point to bad behavior.

HALL: I'm not justifying. But I'm saying on the one hand I don't think that she should be allowed to be irresponsible. But on the other hand it's very hard to say what you're going to take her off the air because she is saying controversial things.

O'REILLY: I don't know. I'm going put Bernie in charge of the ABC television network. Do you take her off, Bernie?

GOLDBERG: I just want to — I'll answer that in half a second. Jane, we agree. That's what I am saying. That you shouldn't take her off for making controversial statements.

HALL: But I am saying she has no right to be irresponsible. That's not a First Amendment right.

GOLDBERG: Of course she does. Well, it is. It is. Joy Behar has every right to go on the air and compare Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler and I have every right to say I'll never watch that show even if somebody has gun to my head. And that's what more American people should do. They should say these people are not intelligent and they don't make any sense so don't watch.

O'REILLY: What do you do, Bernie, as president of ABC? What do you do?

GOLDBERG: Oh, I would have taken her off a long time ago for all the reasons you are stating. But I think she has a right to be stupid.

O'REILLY: All right. Bernie Goldberg, Jane Hall, thanks very much. Rosie O'Donnell is invited on this program any time she wants to reply.

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

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