Bernie Goldberg on Mainstream Media Missing Major News Stories

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Continuing now with our lead story: why the establishment media largely ignored the Black Panther-Justice Department controversy and is often misstating the Arizona illegal alien lawsuit.

Joining us now from North Carolina, Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg. You know, Bernie, history has a way in America, if you study us from the beginning, of correcting bad things in the country.

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O'REILLY: And I think we are at that point now with the media. I think that this Bob Schieffer, Howard Kurtz, Black Panther-Justice Department, Arizona thing has brought to the head a fact that Americans can no longer get the news from their old outlets. They will not get it. Am I wrong?

GOLDBERG: No, you're not wrong. As a matter of fact, ever since I wrote "Bias," I've been predicting mainly on this program that the so-called mainstream media, the television networks are becoming less and less relevant by the day. And if we have this discussion next year, they will be even less relevant than they are today.

As it pertains to our close personal friend Bob Schieffer, like you, I believe every word he said. I believe he was on vacation, and I believe he didn't know anything about the story. And the reason he doesn't know anything about the story, and this goes to your question about yesterday vs. today in the media, is because the story wasn't in The New York Times. That is the only world Bob Schieffer and all the other Bob Schieffers live in. If it's not in The New York Times, they don't know about it. You can have a meteorite breaking through the atmosphere, killing 20,000 people on Bob Schieffer's block in Washington, and if it isn't in the The Washington Post or The New York Times, he doesn't know that it really happened.

A year ago, a year ago, Charlie Gibson, then of ABC News, was asked by a Chicago radio station about the ACORN tapes. Everybody knew about the ACORN tapes. Charlie Gibson said, I was on vacation, right? I was on vacation, and I don't know anything about it. That story wasn't in The New York Times either.

Bill, these people, the Bob Schieffers and Charlie Gibsons and Diane Sawyer, all of them, they fancy themselves sophisticated and worldly. They are the most provincial people out there. They don't know anything if it's not in their bible, The New York Times. And that's why Schieffer was so totally clueless about this.

O'REILLY: OK. What about Howard Kurtz on CNN saying Fox is pushing the story, you know, in a kind of snide way on every hour.


O'REILLY: And his own guy, the very day that Kurtz on CNN is saying this, his own guy says, you know what? We totally blew this story.


O'REILLY: Does Howard not read his own newspaper? Or do you think he disagrees with the ombudsman?

GOLDBERG: No, I think during the segment, he mentioned the ombudsman at The Post. I think he said that. But let me answer your question. Of all the media, the people who write about the media, Howard Kurtz is certainly one of the best. I mean, a lot of the others are total bozos. And I don't mean Howard's not a total bozo. I mean, he's good for the most part. He should not have said -- and I think he would agree, frankly, he should not have always said well, you always know a story when Fox is pushing it.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: It's not a matter of pushing it. It's a matter of Fox also pushed the Van Jones story. Fox also pushed the ACORN story. And on both of those, The New York Times public editor slapped the newspaper around for not covering them, just as The Washington Post public editor did it on Sunday. So they're…

O'REILLY: Then why isn't Kurtz getting the memo that's directed right at him? Look, Kurtz, his history is not being kind to this network. Now, I don't have any ax to grind with him. He's on CNN. I understand that. OK. But he continues to push this fallacy that we're in business to promote the Republican Party and to promote a conservative agenda. That's why we're in business. We're not -- according to Howard Kurtz -- we're not in business to report the news. My contention and I think your contention is that we report the news better, better certainly than CNN, which is going right down the drain, OK and The Washington Post, which misses story after story after story, seemingly because of ideological reasons. You know, so, I guess Kurtz is just not getting that.

GOLDBERG: No. He still, I want to emphasize, he's still better than the bozos who cover…

O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: …the media for lots of other papers.


GOLDBERG: Having said that, we're in a transition period. The old media isn't totally dead yet, but it's dying. It really is dying. And Howard still thinks, I guess, Howard still thinks that the The Washington Post, The New York Times, the networks, that's the mainstream and Fox is not the mainstream.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: Here's the news. Here's the news. No, no. Fox has become the mainstream in America.

O'REILLY: Well, there's a new sheriff in town. And I'm going to have to arrest Howard Kurtz.


O'REILLY: Now, in the aforementioned Washington Post, there is an article about U.S. intelligence…


O'REILLY: …and how disorganized it is. All right, now, you can read the article, ladies and gentlemen. And I don't have any beef with the article at all. None. I think that the two authors are trying to paint a picture of the apparatus now is so big, nobody knows what's going on.

GOLDBERG: Right, exactly.

O'REILLY: It costs a fortune. OK. But one of the authors is this William Arkin.


O'REILLY: Arkin was the guy a few years ago who accused military, our military in Iraq of being mercenaries, having fabulous perks. Arkin is a despicable human being, was suspended because of that. And we caught up with Arkin. Roll the tape.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Mr. Arkin, can we talk to you about some of the comments that you made?

WILLIAM ARKIN, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: Can you leave me alone for just a sec?

WATTERS: Actually, no, we'd like to talk to you for a second. How could you say what you said? I mean, don't you think that was really hurtful and harmful to the military families?


O'REILLY: So Arkin is back and his name is on that article. What do you think?

GOLDBERG: Yes, well, I think for the most part, the story is about how big and clumsy and inefficient the bureaucracy is in the intelligence community. And you and I have no problem with that. But if I'm Dana Priest, the main reporter on the story, she's a Pulitzer Prize winner. She's very, very good. She's very, very serious. I don't think I'd want to share a byline with the guy who called the American troops in Iraq mercenaries, and who is seen by many people as not a middle-of-the-road journalist, but as a left-wing anti-war journalist. I don't think you'd want to share your byline with that person.

O'REILLY: Because it taints the article and it makes everybody suspicious of it. Right.

GOLDBERG: It taints the article, exactly.

O'REILLY: But why do you think The Post put Arkin back on a front page assignment? I mean, I just…

GOLDBERG: I'm guessing if this is a two-year investigation, he may -- who knows, he may have come up with this story. I mean, he certainly has a lot of contacts.

O'REILLY: Yes, it's probably true. But I mean -- I got no beef with Arkin on the op-ed page. I mean, if he wants to do this far-left crazy…


O'REILLY: …op-ed stuff there, that's fine. But on page 1? Last word.

GOLDBERG: But Bill, here's another example of what editors at big places like The New York Times and The Washington Post, they're unaware of all the other things, like the Black Panthers. They're unaware of Arkin, really.

O'REILLY: Yes, or they sympathize with his point of view. One of the two.


O'REILLY: Bernie, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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