This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Feb. 14, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Comedian Chris Rock, who is scheduled to host the Oscars later this month, has come under fire Monday for some comments he made recently in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. When asked about past Oscar shows, Rock said, "I never watch the Oscars. What straight, black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one."
And when asked if he's rooting for anyone, Rock responded, "Awards for art are bleeping idiot."
The producer of the Oscar telecast, Gil Cates, issued a statement Monday afternoon that reads in part, "Chris's comments over the past few weeks are meant to be humorous digs at a show that some people, obviously including Chris himself, think may be a bit too stuffy. Contrary to some published reports that quote jokes made by Chris out of context, the Academy has heard no grumbling from its members and has no intention of suggesting that Chris step aside."
Joining us now, an exclusive and very rare television interview, is Matt Drudge.
Matt, why the rarity?
MATT DRUDGE, DRUDGEREPORT.COM: Well, you know, I do most of my business on that dirty Internet that you were just talking about, where I find there is a lot of freedom to report exactly what I want. And this is what I did this weekend.
It's just not the comments in Entertainment Weekly that Chris Rock is running up against here. He was quoted in one of his acts — and we're not sure if he was playing a character, if he's playing Chris Rock or what he's playing here — "Abortion, it's beautiful. It's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to abortion rallies to pick up women, because you know they are blanking."
COLMES: You can look at any of his material. I mean, clearly, he's an edgy comedian. And he's making a social comment. You may or may not agree with him. That's what he does.
The point being, are you suggesting he shouldn't host the Oscars because of his political point of view?
DRUDGE: Alan, this is supposedly the classiest night in Hollywood. It is our largest export to the world, the entertainment business still. Sorry about that Wal-Mart.
Why in the world would they pick this gentleman to represent them? This is the question I have. Now, I'm not the one driving this. I was approached recently by a household name who is furious that the Academy has gone to this extent to shore up the ratings.
We just got word the Grammy Awards last night hit a 10-year low for hitting the high road. Queen Latifah singing "Lush Life," not rapping. They couldn't get a number.
So now, in an effort to get a number, they have gone so far down market. This gentleman, Chris Rock, has one rant, 35 F-words a minute.
Alan, don't you think, in the history of Oscars, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, the history of class, of the class act, why have they gone to such a lewd route to shore up their ratings? It's a story.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Matt, thanks for coming on. Good to see you again.
HANNITY: You do quote some members here that are upset. This is supposed to be Hollywood's big, classy night, but Hollywood's changed dramatically. Maybe this is representative of the changes they have gone through or the metamorphosis that's taken place. What are those others telling you?
DRUDGE: Well, this is what the point of contention is. The Oscars went out immediately last night and quoted in Daily Variety. They had already gone to press even before I posted it on the Web site. It was miraculous speed, which tells me they are a little bit concerned, saying, you know what? We haven't gotten any complaints.
And the producer, who was 70 years old, who thinks Chris Rock is the way to be hip — this is what they think in Hollywood is hip, to say "F" and "M" and "S" and "MF," things we could say here on cable, but FOX News has decided not to do that kind of stuff.
This is not hip. To pick someone who is on record, or at least joking about abortion being beautiful in America.
DRUDGE: This is going to divide so many people who care about issues.
And, Alan, you could say, well, this is a joke, that this isn't meant to be taken seriously. Some people, I can tell you, in Hollywood, are taking it seriously, do take movies seriously and the arts and here's someone who has confessed to never even watching the broadcast before. Why did they pick someone who has never watched the broadcast to host the show?
HANNITY: What if a conservative, Matt, what if you, what if Rush, were to make derogatory statements about gays? I mean, clearly, very derogatory statements that he made in that case, the "F" word every 35 minutes. You know, what is America going to think when they hear the statement, "Abortion is beautiful. Abortion is legal. I go to abortion rallies to pick up women because I know they blank."
Is there no line for Hollywood? Does not Hollywood say that this is it? At this point, we don't go any further, or...
DRUDGE: Well, in The L.A. Times tomorrow, Gil Cates, the executive producer of the telecast is saying, "You know what? We have to get used to this, because Chris Rock — he's going to be doing and saying things just like this in the show."
I can't imagine ABC is going to allow Chris Rock to get out there and just start spewing the hatred. And what he did against Bush, also, on the gay marriage issue.
HANNITY: Yes, I saw that.
DRUDGE: Mr. President, what about gay marriage? Blank them blaggots. And I'm cleaning it up. This is the face of the Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences? This is the face out to the world? They are claiming they are going to have nearly a billion people watching this thing. This is a transition period.
They could have gone to Regis. They could have gone to Jerry Seinfeld or to Bette Midler. They could have gone to someone with a class act. They went to the gutter. They went to somebody who doesn't really know how to do comedy unless he's using all the dirty words.
HANNITY: What do you get, Matt, 10 million hits a day on average? About that, I've seen the stats.
DRUDGE: I don't know, Sean. How many times do you come on the Web site? I don't know.
HANNITY: I think quite a bit. It's my home page. I love going to your site.
DRUDGE: We're about to mark an anniversary, 10 years.
HANNITY: It's amazing.
DRUDGE: And, you know, there is a lot of discussion here, with all the influence, the rise of these bloggers, and this is something new and exciting. I feel like a granddad. I mean, where were they when we were doing all of these stories back last century? You know, they keep rewriting the same theme, like the rise of the Internet. And, you know, this is almost like the second or third rise now.
Did you talk to Chris Rock for this story? Did you get in touch with him?
DRUDGE: No, because there is simply enough out there, there is enough audio. I've spent weeks going through the audio clips and everything.
Again, I know it's a comedy act. The problem is, it's also social commentary. I don't know if Chris Rock thinks abortion is beautiful. We don't know these things. He has said that publicly.
And I think the Academy Awards do have to be called on the carpet, preferably a red carpet, to say, "Why is he now representing the Academy?" What is this?
As if it were — like you introduced me — if any of us said these things, even if we're joking, even if we're mocking — there was a gentleman on another channel, Michael Savage, you could say it was performance art what he said about AIDS and everything like that. They threw him out of there so fast. Why didn't he just say it was a comedy routine? He could host the Oscars. Michael Savage could host the Oscars.
HANNITY: What's the reaction, though, to this story? And, look, you have built your reputation. And I think one of the reasons you are so popular is you take on these institutions single-handedly on just about every major story as it related to President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. You were breaking all of those stories. And you were being attacked daily for it.
Similarly here, this goes to the heart and soul of this institution known as Hollywood. Has there been reaction to what you're doing here?
DRUDGE: Well, the reaction is almost like the San Andreas Fault. There is a split out there. Many of the old timers don't think this is the route to go. Don't go down in the gutter. Don't go foul mouth, potty mouth. Go to celebration of the arts. Go to celebration of humanity. Don't go to this trash talking and don't go into this. What Chris Rock does, is just burn everybody.
It's a very curious choice. Again, I know it's a hard job, the Oscars. Nobody wants it after David Letterman. I mean, it took him years to rebound after that performance.
People like Oprah have taken a pass. We assume Jay Leno has taken a pass on this. He's the logical choice.
So they are left with kind of working through these comedians. The problem is, when you've got somebody out there who is so rabid, full of hatred, especially towards people — he has one thing about, oh, weird white guys getting overly patriotic with their blanking flag hats on.
We've got a logo right here at FOX right now that says "Live" with the flag waving, which I'm sure Chris Rock must think is weird and everything else. To expand an audience, it seems to me they are going to go and they're going to fracture the audience.
COLMES: You know what?
Matt, first of all, you can't compare Chris Rock and Michael Savage. Chris is a professional comedian. Michael is a controversial talk-show host.
But look, don't you think the Oscars love this publicity, the fact that we're talking about it here? Isn't this going to drive people to watch the telecast and increase their numbers? So aren't they kind of happy that this little bit of controversy has arisen?
DRUDGE: Well, if now they can actually get some people who are not gay to watch the show, if that's what you're alleging, if Chris Rock is saying that only gays watch the show — I don't know if that's the kind of publicity they want for this broadcast.
They were not happy that I was going out with this, going into this weekend. And, again, many people, especially those of the old school, think this is not the appropriate way to go. Maybe MTV, yes. Maybe even the Grammy's, even though they have cleaned up their act now. But the Academy Awards, kind of the last place to go for class, for a night of celebration, where everybody cleans up. In this case, it seems like it's going the other way.
COLMES: Are you using your Web site, or do you plan to use your Web site, in an effort to try to get them to change so that Chris Rock ultimately doesn't host the Oscars?
DRUDGE: Oh, I don't know. I mean, I'm reporting what I've got, a lot like we did with the Reagan movie over at CBS, when I was out there pounding away at scripts that I had seen and comments and all the rest.
And I don't necessarily think anything on a Web site can have a result. A lot of people are giving credit to the Web sites for the removal of the CNN news president and other assorted things. I don't think it happens that way. I think there is a reality that the Internet can highlight, but there is a reality nonetheless that the Academy has to decide, if this truly is the face of the Academy Awards or the mouth of the Academy Awards, better put.
COLMES: Look at the effect the bloggers have had. We talked about that a few moments ago. And aggregate, even if you're one peg in that, do you have an agenda where you would like to see them change who the host is this year?
DRUDGE: No. I want one place I can go that is not going to be lewd. And I'm not sure there is anything left here. I guess we can go to "Desperate Housewives" to have a nice homely, family broadcast. I guess we can go to these other places.
It seems to me we are losing our way in an effort to get the ratings. If the Oscars come up with a low number, I think there will be a lot of self-reflection, especially with Gil Cates who said maybe this wasn't hip after all.
COLMES: And if they come up with a high number, do they ramp up the controversy next year, pick somebody more controversial, hope to get more press, more attention prior to the event, and becomes a peg in the opposite direction, or in the direction we're going?
DRUDGE: Oh, no doubt about it. Controversy is a way to do it. The problem is, when you have controversy to this degree, with having a host who is out there making jokes about abortion, that it's beautiful because all the women at least are screwing. I'm not so sure that's the way Hollywood wants to go, at least right now.
But they are standing by their guns. And they're saying this is where we're going. This is our guy. He's never seen the show before. He may think awards are idiotic for the arts, but he's our man.
HANNITY: All right. Matt, I have a funny feeling this story's going to be ratcheted up in the next couple of days as you continue to lay it out there on DrudgeReport.com.
Good to see you, Matt. Thank you for being with us.
DRUDGE: Thank you, gentlemen.
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