This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 13, 2009. 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: An article in The Washington Post today says the federal government is regulating just about everything, including Cheerios. The cereal was saying it lowers cholesterol, and the feds replied, hey, you can't say that; only drugs can lower cholesterol. That's just one example of more and more regulation under President Obama.
Joining us now from Los Angeles, radio talk show star Leslie Marshall. OK, can't buy pistachio nuts. The FDA says, hey, no, better not eat pistachio nuts. That puts all those people out of business. Then you have trans fat ban in California. No trans fats. Then you have smoking, no smoking anywhere. In fact, Michael Jordan gets whacked for having a cigar on a golf course. So the question becomes: nanny state USA? Do you like it or not?
LESLIE MARSHALL. RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I don't smoke, and I've lost over 50 pounds from last year, Bill, so maybe the trans fats was a good thing here in California. I love Cheerios, my kids eat Cheerios, but if I have high cholesterol and I'm eating Cheerios because I think it's going to reduce my cholesterol, then I think the government and our president is right that General Mills, that owns and runs Cheerios, shouldn't be sending that message. I don't think it's wrong to say hey, this is healthy and this is why. But I think it's bad to give that kind of message because that should come not only from a drug, drug company but certainly from a medical…
O'REILLY: OK, I don't have any beef with Cheerios and the government saying, look, you know, unless you can prove this in clinical studies, you got to take it off. I want honesty, and I want people to know what's going on. But they're taxing soda now. You know, you get a coke, you're going to pay a sugar tax. The intent, Leslie, is good. The execution, though, is nanny state. It's almost a quasi fascism. It's basically Barack Obama and his merry guys saying, you know, we think Oreos are bad. We're going to tax them. We think Ding Dongs are bad, Cheetos are bad, we're taxing them. We don't want you to do this.
Now you know, the logical extension is that if you don't exercise, we're going to have to pay a little bit more income tax. You know, but if you're in shape, like me, you get a tax break. You know, when does it stop? When does it stop?
MARSHALL: Look, although I'm a liberal Democrat, and we're known, Democrats, for having more and bigger government, this would be too much government to have the intrusion into your personal fitness center, etc. However…
O'REILLY: But you have it now.
MARSHALL: ...as Americans, but we are fatter, Bill. And we are less healthy. And heart disease is killing us. And we need to worry about not only ourselves, but our kids and our kids' kids, etc.
O'REILLY: OK, but then you have the…
MARSHALL: So if the government is…
O'REILLY: Here's my beef. You're right. And we don't want to be a chubby nation of people keeling over when they're 55 of heart attacks. But do you force people, force them into behavior? Or do you suggest that, hey, this is really the right thing to do. It's more of a persuasion.
Now, you have McDonald's, the fast food industry. They're posting now the calories. I'm for that. I'm for that. I think that's good. But I don't want them to slap 20-cent excise tax on a Big Mac. I think that's bad. You don't punish people for their choices. You advise them; you don't punish them. Go.
MARSHALL: When you said that, you know, you kind of, you know, guide or gear an individual. Then maybe we can look at the tobacco tax as such.
O'REILLY: But that's different though.
MARSHALL: Somebody has to pay more, maybe they won't smoke. But why is it different?
MARSHALL: Is it different because it's lung cancer vs. girth…
MARSHALL: …which affects your arteries and your heart.
O'REILLY: It's the difference between crack and marijuana. I mean, some things are so dangerous, that you have to regulate them. You have to, all right? But a Big Mac isn't. A Big Mac can be enjoyed once in a while. A Coke can be enjoyed once in a while. You shouldn't be punishing people if they want to have some comfort food. I don't want that kind of a government, Leslie. I don't think it's right. Go.
MARSHALL: Well, I'll tell you, I agree with you that having a Big Mac — my personal favorite is a lot of macaroni and cheese for my comfort food.
O'REILLY: Yeah, once in a while.
MARSHALL: But if I sit and eat macaroni and cheese, and I've done it, and if I sit and eat macaroni and cheese day after day, and if I have 10 Big Macs instead of one, that's where the problem is. We lack self-control, and if the government can help us get a little…
O'REILLY: I know.
MARSHALL: …I think it's a good thing.
O'REILLY: But if the government's gong to tax everybody without self-control, we're all going to be bankrupt. Leslie, everybody. We appreciate it.
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