Published April 15, 2008
This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the church pews, Reverend Jeremiah Wright shows up again. Speaking at a funeral in Chicago, Barack Obama's former pastor says he loves all people, but some others do not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT: FOX News can't understand that. O'Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity's stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. The judge's faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world, not just one country or one creed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now call me crazy, but I personally didn't feel a lot of love coming from Reverend Wright or the crowd. Also, I have no idea what his beef is.
Joining me now from Harrisburg to educate me, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, who teaches at Temple University. And from Chicago, attorney Steven Greenberg, who knew the man eulogized by Reverend Wright, Eugene Pincham.
All right, doc, we'll begin with you. I mean, come on, now what's the beef? Will you just tell me what the beef is? I'm not getting it.
DR. MARC LAMONT HILL, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Well, first of all, I'm surprised you didn't feel the love. I could feel the love reverberating through the speakers, so...
HILL: …I mean, that's just my perspective. But I think he's right here, Bill. You know, he wasn't just talking about the Jeremiah Wright controversy. He was making a broader critique of the type of chauvinistic mannequin sort of distinctions that people make between people who love America and people who hate it. If you critique America, you don't love it. You know, that's what he was talking about.
And Bill, I have heard you say in the past that certain people don't love America. And oftentimes, those are people who are your ideological opponents.
O'REILLY: Well, I don't say they don't love America. And I said quite clearly that Reverend Wright was anti-American in his remarks when he equated the United States with Al Qaeda, put them on the same level. And I, you know, doc, if you want to argue that, you can argue it all day long. But it's ridiculous, it's absurd, and it's an anti-American comment. My job is to tell the truth. But be that as it may...
HILL: I would argue the comparison is…
O'REILLY: OK. Yeah, and look, you can justify it or rationalize it all day long. We parsed this for three weeks. But in this little...
HILL: That's his point, Bill. That's his point, Bill, that we parsed it for three weeks.
O'REILLY: Yes — no, the point is that I don't understand that he somehow is loving everybody by saying that the United States is like Al Qaeda. Yes, he's right: I don't understand that.
HILL: He never said that though.
O'REILLY: Yes, he did.
HILL: That's the point. He's saying that he loves America enough to tell the truth about itself even when it's wrong.
O'REILLY: Tell the truth that Al Qaeda and the United States...
O'REILLY: ...are the moral equivalent? That's the truth?
HILL: But he never said that. You're the only one saying that. The only person who's ever said that is you. He didn't say they're moral equivalents. He said that America's chickens have come home to roost because they're problematic...
O'REILLY: No, no, he said flat out there's no difference between what Al Qaeda does in the name of their god...
HILL: He did not say that.
O'REILLY: And what we do in the name of our God.
HILL: He never said that.
O'REILLY: Yes, he did. Hiroshima, Nagasaki remarks. He said exactly that.
HILL: Al Qaeda wasn't responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That's the point.
O'REILLY: No, we were. And he's saying that what they did on 9/11 was what we did on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. That's what he said. That's exactly what he said.
HILL: He's doing what all Christians do. He's advocating global peace. He's saying that when you put out war, war comes back. When you put out violence, violence comes back.
O'REILLY: All right.
HILL: That's the same argument that Martin Luther King made.
O'REILLY: Yes, all right.
HILL: That's the same argument that Gandhi made. Thank you for taking that seriously.
O'REILLY: Yes, OK. Doc, now isn't it true that every time Reverend Wright shows up, Barack Obama loses five points? Isn't that true? Shouldn't say somebody say hey reverend, can you just take a vacation until next November?
HILL: The more we talk, the more we reach consensus. This is definitely a bad move for Barack Obama. I mean...
O'REILLY: He can't control the guy. He can't control the guy. It's not Barack Obama's fault.
O'REILLY: I'm sure somebody has whispered into Jeremiah Wright's ear, hey, maybe you want to take it easy. But Wright's going to do what he wants.
Now Counsel, you know, or you knew Judge Eugene Pincham, who is eulogized by Reverend Wright. And would you think that the judge would want this kind of a presentation at his funeral?
STEVEN GREENBERG, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The judge was eulogized by many people at that service, and all of them praised him. What Reverend Wright did though was take advantage of the time he had on the pulpit there to expand his 15 minutes of fame. Hence, we'll talk about him longer.
I don't think this is what the judge would have wanted. The judge was about including people. He devoted his life to the downtrodden, to providing for justice, to fighting the fight for those who were less fortunate than everybody. He didn't draw distinction.
Although he was African-American and many of his efforts were in the African-American community, his real focus was about making sure that this remained a country of opportunity and fairness for everybody. And I don't think that he would have appreciated Reverend Wright taking the opportunity to get on the pulpit there and expand his 15 minutes of fame.
O'REILLY: How long did you know the judge? Did you know him very well?
GREENBERG: I knew the judge for 20 years. He was a guy you could go to with any question. He had unlimited time for anybody to help anybody out. From people on the street, he would help out, to young lawyers, as I once was, he would help out, to judges who would go to him.
O'REILLY: Now I just want to make sure that you know what you're saying here, counselor. You're calling Wright a grandstander. You're saying that he used an occasion inappropriately to bring attention to himself. Do you really want to say that?
GREENBERG: That's my opinion. Now I'm a Barack Obama supporter. And I would love to see this guy just go away. Or I would love to see Barack Obama just denounce these viewpoints. But on the other hand, I think that we also should admire him for not saying I'm just cutting and running from someone...
O'REILLY: Well, look...
GREENBERG: ...because I maybe disagree with his views.
O'REILLY: As I told Dr. Hill, people can make up their own mind about Reverend Wright and Obama's participation in Wright's life or vice versa. But I think we all agree that every time Reverend Wright shows up, in ain't good — it's not a good day for Barack Obama. It's not a good day.
HILL: But Bill, he doesn't just show up through Reverend Wright. He also shows up through FOX News. Because I mean, it can be a weather report and we're showing, you know, Jeremiah Wright's comments.
O'REILLY: I didn't have him on the docket until he did this. I didn't have him today. He wasn't on my rundown today. He did it.
HILL: I'm not talking about today though. What I'm saying is part of Jeremiah Wright's critique is that we have been running this ad nauseam as a means...
O'REILLY: We covered it.
HILL: ...to divide and conquer the American people.
O'REILLY: We're ready to move on to Hillary Clinton being Annie Oakley and Barack Obama not liking the guys who go to church. We're willing to move on to that.
HILL: That's fair and balanced.
GREENBERG: Fifteen minutes is up. The 15 minutes is up.
HILL: No, no...
O'REILLY: All right.
HILL: If there's one thing wrong here, it was reporters sneaking into a funeral in the first place. Black churches have always been about politics as well. There was nothing wrong with him giving that speech.
O'REILLY: All right. Gentlemen, always good to see you both. Thank you.
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