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Brit Hume on White House's War with Fox News, Anita Dunn-Mao Controversy

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: What does Brit Hume think about all of this? The Fox News political senior analyst joins us now from Washington.

Let's get to Anita Dunn first. I don't think Dunn is putting Mao Zedong up as a role model as a person, but as a strategist. Am I wrong there? Do you see it differently?

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BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, she didn't say strategist, Bill. She said philosopher. And look, she may have misspoken. It's a little hard to believe, as you suggest, that she really does admire Mao the man. But the way she put it was, you know, that for — when it came to political philosophy, this guy was obviously a Communist and as you pointed out a mass murderer as well, that's his philosophy. That's — that goes…

O'REILLY: But it was a philosophy, if you read it, Brit, and correct me if I'm wrong, she ties Mother Theresa in on the same theme that Mao Zedong.

HUME: Go your own way.

O'REILLY: Yeah, that's right. Do it your own way.

HUME: Do it your own way, right.

O'REILLY: And you can overcome tremendous odds.

HUME: Right.

O'REILLY: However, the use of Mao is insensitive, particularly to Chinese Americans. Look, what if you said well look, Hitler came out of nowhere after the Weimar Republic and single-handedly raised himself up to a fuhrer level. Gee, he was a pretty good political strategist. If you had done that, then everybody in the world would have been condemning you. Yet you can take a Mao Zedong, arguably a worse mass murderer than Hitler, and nobody says a word. Doesn't that strike you as strange?

HUME: Well, it has something to do with Hitler. And you know, Hitler has become the ultimate dirty word of politics in our time. And you know, you have to be extraordinarily careful about using it. And I think the rule of thumb has to be just never say it. Just never…

O'REILLY: Yeah.

HUME: …compare anybody to the Nazis or Hitler.

O'REILLY: Right.

HUME: You can't — it doesn't work. You can't get away with it. It's over the top.

O'REILLY: Unless you're Mel Brooks, you can't get away with it.

HUME: Pretty hard to do.

O'REILLY: But it is interesting though that this story we broke on Thursday on Fox News, Glenn Beck had it on, no mainstream media pickup at all. No discussion about it. So maybe, maybe, the strategy of the White House to isolate Fox News is working.

HUME: Well, I think that's what it's about, Bill. I think this is an effort in effect to quarantine Fox News and to discourage other media outlets from picking up on stories that originate here. My guess is it won't work. I mean, here's why I say that.

It takes the mainstream media a while already to pick up on stories from Fox News. They're already reluctant to do that. It took them a long time on Van Jones. It took them a long time, and even longer time if you look at it, on ACORN. So they're not going to be in any hurry anyway.

And the other thing you have to ask yourself is: If the White House is already encouraging these people to do something that they're already doing, that is hesitate where Fox News is concerned, how do the rest of the media feel about being patted on the head by the White House and told that they're good little media organizations and we're the bad guys? I mean, I think it's kind of embarrassing. And you look at the commentary that's coming out of those news organizations ranging from CNN to The New York Times, really kind of across the mainstream spectrum, it's all been quite negative on this campaign against Fox News. So my sense is it isn't working very well.

O'REILLY: OK, now you say that the Obama people are trying to marginalize Fox and trying to quarantine your work, and I believe there's something to do with that. But I think the motivation is that Barack Obama himself just hates to be put in with Ayers and Wright and Jones and all — he hates it. And since we're the main news organization that does that, that's why he doesn't like us. What do you think?

HUME: Well, I don't think you can rule that out. Certainly those — if you look at the things that have happened to Barack Obama in the news media, since his campaign for president emerged last year, the first bump he ever really hit in the road was the Reverend Wright controversy.

O'REILLY: Yeah.

HUME: And that was, you know, that was — ABC News broke that about the same time we did. And everybody kind of before was all over — the sound bites were so compelling. Everybody used them. And they really raised some questions about Barack Obama.

The Bill Ayers controversy, I think we were almost alone on that for a long time. That didn't go as far as — but we know from the complaints they've made that they hated that story. They thought it was unfair all along.

O'REILLY: They hated it, and it — maybe it was unfair, because it's hard to gauge, and I tried, and I know you did, too. It's hard to gauge what kind of a relationship Barack Obama had with Bill Ayers. Yeah, they were in the same precincts in Chicago. Yeah, they crossed paths at certain times. But the president has always maintained he didn't know this guy. He wasn't around. You know, the guy supported him. You take the support. So, maybe Obama had a beef there.

HUME: Well, be that as it may, I think it's fair to say this, Bill. This remains a center right country. I don't think there's any doubt about that. This is a center left or certainly left of center presidency.

O'REILLY: How far left? How far left?

HUME: Well, I don't think it's — you mean Obama?

O'REILLY: Yeah. How far left is the administration?

HUME: I think he's left of center left.

O'REILLY: Because I do, too. I think, based on his appointments and based on who he's got with him, I think that he's about — he's the most left president that I've seen in my lifetime.

HUME: I think there's reason to suspect that that's true. Not everything he's done is comported with that, but we will see more in the fullness of time. But reporting that continues to remind people of his leftish sensibilities…

O'REILLY: Yeah.

HUME: …and background and associations has got to be something that they don't appreciate. And I don't blame them. I wouldn't appreciate it either if I were in that situation.

O'REILLY: No, listen, we understand, you know, but…

HUME: But I just question this strategy. I just don't think it works really well. Look at Glenn Beck, he's having a field day with this.

O'REILLY: Of course. And these stories are worthy.

HUME: And he clearly is one of their main objects.

O'REILLY: These stories are worthy. It's not like we're making them up.

HUME: …Van Jones and ACORN are worthy.

O'REILLY: When your White House communication director points to Mao as a philosopher she likes, you know, hey, what's next? Mussolini?

(LAUGHTER)

O'REILLY: Brit Hume, everybody.

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