This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Jan. 21, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Factor Follow-Up" segment tonight: As we've been telling you over and over and over, the American Civil Liberties Union (search) is not looking out for freedom of speech anymore. It is an organization designed to shut people up for the most part, by using lawsuits and intimidation.
Here's more proof. Two ACLU board members may be fired because they told reporters they disagree with ACLU chief Anthony Romero (search) on some issues.
With us now is one of the guys who's involved with this, Michael Meyers, who's a stand up guy, by the way. Comes on in.
This is all about what?
MICHAEL MEYERS, ACLU BOARD MEMBER: This is about the free speech of what members to dissent. This is about the ACLU betraying their values, their core values with respect to protection of people to be whistleblowers, the protection of people to speak freely, the protection of our of our privacy of our members and our donors. This is about the ACLU executive director betraying those values by actually signing a certification that says that he would check our employees against a governmental blacklist, something that we've been litigating against, by the way.
O'REILLY: The government terror list, you mean?
MEYERS: Blacklist, terror...
O'REILLY: All right, but let's be accurate here, Michael.
MEYERS: Yes, but it's also about the executive director of the ACLU having actually advised the Ford Foundation to mimic and mirror and parrot the USA Patriot Act, the language which the ACLU is opposed to.
O'REILLY: All right.
MEYERS: So what we board members and data mining, with respect to the ACLU national office, actually if you give the ACLU $20...
O'REILLY: Right. They'll sell my name to another...
MEYERS: No, no, they won't do that. What they'll do is they will go and find out who your partners are, how much money you got...
O'REILLY: They'll look into my background?
MEYERS: Look into your background.
O'REILLY: Wow, the ACLU?
MEYERS: And there maybe an electronic dossier on you. That's what the issues are.
O'REILLY: All right. So you...
MEYERS: We've been criticizing.
O'REILLY: You and the other member, you objected to this. You brought it to Romero's attention. You said, look, this isn't the spirit of the organization. We disagree.
And then they're threatening to throw you off the board? You've been on the board for 23 years, Michael.
MEYERS: Twenty-three years, perfect attendance. I am a civil libertarian. And I speak up and I speak out. But this is now an offense in the ACLU. It's an offense to speak freely.
O'REILLY: I told -- didn't I tell everybody this was going on?
MEYERS: You have to speak the party line now.
O'REILLY: Yes. Didn't I tell everybody...
MEYERS: In fact, we have gag orders from the president of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen and Anthony Romero. The only time we can -- we can't even comment on your show.
O'REILLY: I know! I've been telling the folks.
MEYERS: This may be another impeachable offense.
O'REILLY: Good, I'm glad I'm hearing this now from you. Because look, I disagree with the ACLU on their point of view. I disagree with you.
MEYERS: Yes, you do.
O'REILLY: But I respect you.
O'REILLY: I mean, I want to hear what you have to say. And I want the audience to hear it so they can make up their mind on which way they want to go.
But now we have an organization in the ACLU that not only wants to muzzle you, all right, and the other dissenting member, but they're using their considerable power and money to stop people from talking about spirituality in the marketplace and this, rather than to do what their mandate was when you first began to allow people to talk. Am I wrong?
MEYERS: I don't understand how the ACLU has come to where it is. I don't understand how the ACLU board can call members of the board "whistle punks", meaning whistleblowers when they defend outside the ACLU and external to the ACLU whistleblowers.
O'REILLY: IT should be transparent, right?
MEYERS: I don't understand how Nadine Strossen, the president of the ACLU, who has this reputation of protecting and advocating free speech, can give credence to people who want to stop the speech of board members who disagree...
O'REILLY: But they've been doing that for a while, you know?
MEYERS: Well, yes, for at least the last three years.
O'REILLY: That's right. And then I've been on their case for the last three years. I had -- and before that, I was with you in spirit because I want a watchdog organization to protect my freedom of speech and make money doing this.
MEYERS: But not only are they doing that in terms of perverting and inverting the policies and the values of our freedoms and civil liberties internally, what they're doing now is they're inverting them. They're saying that our open public meetings policies no longer are operative.
So when I'm a national board member and I go into an executive session of the executive committee, they exclude me, which is against the policy of the organization.
O'REILLY: Now they may decide to throw you out tomorrow, right?
MEYERS: They do not have any grounds to throw me out.
O'REILLY: But they could decide.
MEYERS: They could try.
MEYERS: And they could vote that way, but the problem is all the rules are on my side. I have followed every rule and followed every policy.
O'REILLY: Why don't you start your own...
MEYERS: And I know all these policies.
O'REILLY: ...why don't you -- look, I think these guys are poison now, this ACLU. Why don't you start your own group? Get back to the roots?
MEYERS: I am a loyal ACLU member. I am a loyal member of the ACLU board. I am standing up for the policies and the values of the ACLU.
The people who are trying to gag my speech and Wendy Cabman's (ph) speech, they are the enemies of freedom. They are the enemies of free speech. And we're not going to concede the control of the ACLU to these renegades who are trying to hijack the ACLU.
O'REILLY: All right. Now -- so I have been right the last three years, have I not?
MEYERS: Well, I can't say you've been right all the time. You have been right some of the time.
O'REILLY: Basic tone?
MEYERS: I've been right all the time.
O'REILLY: Right, you always are. The basic tone, basic tone. Not issue by issue. Basic tone.
MEYERS: Well, the tone of the ACLU these days is one of...
O'REILLY: Right, not freedom of speech, is it?
MEYERS: Absolutely right.
O'REILLY: OK. Mr. Meyers, let us know what happens, all right?
MEYERS: I will.
O'REILLY: And we respect you for coming in.
MEYERS: Thank you.
O'REILLY: Thank you very much.
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