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O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg Respond to Jon Stewart's Criticism of Fox News, Part 2

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 21, 2010. 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. You know it. Joining us from Miami, the growing legend, Bernie Goldberg.

All right. We're having, you know, we're taking this not so seriously, but it is a serious issue because I believe Jon Stewart has now emerged as the point man for the left-wing media in America. With the decline of The New York Times and other liberal newspapers, they no longer have the power they used to, he is now the face of the left on television. Am I wrong?

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BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think you are. But let me first say that I don't have a problem with anything he did last night. All inbounds, all civil, you know, no problem. And I'm flattered, as a matter of fact, that he spent half his show talking about me. Clearly, clearly, I got to him by saying that he wasn't as gutsy as he thought he was or courageous and had a — he played it safe too often and had a small audience and all that. But, fine. I'm not looking to continue any war with Jon Stewart. I've been on his show twice. He was civil to me both times.

But as to your question, he has a lot of influence with — he doesn't have a big audience — but he has a lot of influence with young viewers who are very, very, very loyal to him. You know, I was on the show Monday night, and then he did this thing on his show. My website at BernardGoldberg.com, it's a civil place. People agree with me, disagree with me. It's always civil though until last night. These people came out of the sewer that is the world wide web and put the most vile, vulgar, hateful stuff on, mimicking stuff that Jon Stewart said about, you know, go "F" yourself. And, you know, I could handle that, but I don't think that's good — I don't want to get too highfalutin here, but I don't think that's good for the culture when people get that angry. I mean, Jon Stewart and I can have an honest civil discussion about where we disagree. But his hardcore fans, not all of them, not even most of them, but the hardcore few, they don't want any criticism of their guy. And that's where…

O'REILLY: No, that's the Daily Kos crowd, and they've done that.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: But they do it on the right, too. The hard right does it, too. All right, now let's get…

GOLDBERG: Hold on. Bill, hold on just a second.

O'REILLY: Go ahead. Go ahead.

GOLDBERG: I don't believe that your most loyal viewers who are agreeing with me tonight would go to Jon Stewart's website and tell him to go "F" himself.

O'REILLY: Not my viewers.

GOLDBERG: But his most loyal viewers…

O'REILLY: But there are viewers…

GOLDBERG: …came over to my site and told me…

O'REILLY: OK. Not my viewers, although there are probably a few. But on talk radio, with the extreme right-wing people, I'm not talking about Limbaugh, I'm talking about people way more right than him, you'll get some of that.

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: But the point of the matter is that Jon Stewart is now with a comedy show on a cable network. He's far more influential than Bill Maher, Michael Moore, all of these other bomb-throwers, because the print press loves him…

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: …and the entertainment press loves him. And he himself is smart. He knows how…

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: …to position and to sell satire. Now satire is 80 percent directed at conservatives, and we pointed that out. He doesn't like that. But I think this helps Stewart. His influence is growing.

GOLDBERG: Yes. Again, it's not related directly to audience size. But he has, you know, he has that kind of audience that advertisers for instance love…

O'REILLY: And he's on the Internet. He's on the Net. Look, if you went in last night…

GOLDBERG: Everything he does winds up on the internet, right.

O'REILLY: Right, if you went in last night to all the media websites, there it was, Jon Stewart fires back at FNC. Now, I also said there are no conservative comics…

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: …who have their own television program. Now I don't want to be racist, but is there a blacklist?

GOLDBERG: Well, it's an interesting question, and it's not an easy one, but I'll give you a theory. The suits on the East Coast and the West Coast that hire comedians to do shows, I think that they see some really hard edge nasty stuff about George Bush as genuinely being funny, because the suits also think that George Bush is an idiot and a war criminal. But if there's a conservative comic out there who does anything, anything, you know, too hardcore against Barack Obama, they're not going to find that funny. And maybe that's why they don't want to give any of those guys a show, but I don't know.

O'REILLY: OK, but even the Fox Broadcasting, you got "The Family Guy", far left. You got the Simpsons, not far left, but liberal. And overwhelmingly, the comedy writers are in that ilk. But there are enough funny, conservative traditionalists, centrists, comedians that you feel one would get a shot, but nobody. Total shutout.

GOLDBERG: But — because the entertainment community is a liberal community.

O'REILLY: Yes.

GOLDBERG: And I think they see these guys automatically as not as funny as liberals.

O'REILLY: It's all about money, Bernie. You figure they'd give it a shot, right? If Wanda Sykes can get her own program, come on.

All right. Bernie Goldberg, everybody.

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O'Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O'Reilly, airs on Weekdays at 8PM ET on Fox News Channel.