Beck on Criticizing Obama and Obama Criticizing Cable News Commentators

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 1, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: In the "At Your Beck and Call" segment tonight, President Obama criticizing some cable news commentators. Can that be possible? Also a new survey saying that Fox News is dominating election coverage this year.

I spoke with Beck last night.


O'REILLY: So here's Beck. And we're going to analyze this new Politico/George Washington University poll. A very fine poll.


O'REILLY: It says that cable news is dominating the election cycle coverage and, of course, Fox News is dominating cable news so we are the big dog.

BECK: Yes.


BECK: All right.

O'REILLY: And they also said, "Please tell me if you think this person has a positive impact or a negative impact on political debate in the country." And then they named me and you and a whole bunch of other people.

BECK: Let's just concentrate on you.

O'REILLY: OK. Positive impact, Bill O'Reilly, 49 percent. Nearly half the country.

BECK: Forty-nine percent.

O'REILLY: Forty-nine. Look at that. Negative impact, 32.

BECK: And let's stop there. Let's just stop there. That is a happy story. Congratulations.

O'REILLY: What does that say to you?

BECK: That says that you're a -- I can't believe I'm saying this to Bill O'Reilly. You're a likeable guy, Bill.

O'REILLY: Ooh, that had to hurt. That had to hurt. All right. So half the country thinks I'm a positive impact on the political discourse.

BECK: You know what that is?


BECK: That is my effect. That is my effect.

O'REILLY: You humanize me.

BECK: I humanize you.

O'REILLY: All right. And then they polled you. Glenn Beck, is Glenn Beck a positive impact on the political discourse? Thirty-eight percent. You came in second. Thirty-eight percent say yes, but 32 percent, same as mine, negative say no.

So I beat you by 11 points. What's that all about?

BECK: Show your ring. I've got to kiss your ring. No. Bill...

O'REILLY: You're on the cover of "New York Times" magazine. You're the big guy.

BECK: Here's the thing. I think I've even said in that interview I wasn't born for this, because I think out loud a lot. You don't.


BECK: You just think and then like all of the sudden you're like "Now I will proclaim," where I think out loud a lot. So I've said things that I regret.

O'REILLY: I know. And now you have to become more disciplined. Now that 38 percent of the people think that you're a positive influence on the discourse.

Now, in the same vein, President Obama weighed in on the cable news universe.

BECK: Of course he did.

O'REILLY: Roll the tape.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What happens is these cable shows and these talk show hosts, they figured -- a lot of them have figured out, "The more controversial I can be, if I'm going out there and I'm calling Obama this name or that name or saying he wasn't born in this country, that will get me attention. I will then write a book. I'll go and sell it. I'll get" -- right?

And they're folks on the left who do the same thing, trying to be purposely provocative, saying that the meanest, nastiest things you can say, that's the other side. They get rewarded in the way our media is set up right now.


O'REILLY: See the kid in the back yawn?

BECK: I know. Why is he talking to 8-year-olds here? Twelve-year-olds?

O'REILLY: He's right. He is right.

BECK: He is right. I haven't read about any of these books. The only time I ever hear about his birth certificate is usually from him or somebody in the White House.

O'REILLY: No, there are people who do that.

BECK: The only ones in the mainstream media that are talking about it are him and Robert Gibbs.

O'REILLY: It's a talk radio talking point in some precincts, but the interesting thing about it is he's right, he's right. But the two big guys, you and me, we don't do that. We don't do that.

BECK: No. I think he was born in this country.

O'REILLY: But we don't use invective to marginalize.


O'REILLY: That's not what we do.

BECK: I will tell you that I am -- I have said things that are more controversial in the last year than you have.

O'REILLY: The worst thing you said, and you apologized for it on "The Factor," was that President Obama is a racist.

BECK: And that was -- that was not only -- that was not only wrong to say. I talked to Chris Wallace about it. And I really did two shows on it this week. It was naive to say or it was -- it was just purely wrong. It was purely wrong.

O'REILLY: If you want to make a point that President Obama may not be doing something responsibly, you've got to really zero in on it.

BECK: But you have to -- this is, again, where I think out loud. You look at his policies, and you're like, OK, well that -- you know what it is? When you're trying to figure him out, you've got all of these -- these round pegs and square holes or square pegs and round holes. And you're like it must be this one. No, that's not it. It must be this one.

O'REILLY: He's hard to figure out sometimes. I'll cede you that. But if you look at his policies, and that's what I did in "Pinheads & Patriots," if you look at his policies.

BECK: Are you trying to sell a book?

O'REILLY: Of course I am. Don't be jealous. Don't be jealous.

That's what the president was talking about here. But you know, this is what is -- and you just made an interesting point. I don't think you knew you made it -- you knew you made it. If somebody went up to the president and said, you know, "I agree with your statement that you just made about some host being mean and despicable and trying to market that." He might put you and me in that category.

BECK: Oh, I know he would.

O'REILLY: Because he doesn't really see us enough to really know what we're doing, that -- that we are trying to get to the bottom of President Obama. At least I am. I think you are.

BECK: You think I am?

O'REILLY: I think you really want to know who he is.

BECK: I don't have anything against the president personally. I don't know him personally. But he is affecting my life, your life, everybody's life.

O'REILLY: That's "Pinheads & Patriots."

BECK: It is our responsibility to question. It is our responsibility to understand.

O'REILLY: Right. But we've got to be -- we've got to do it in a very responsible way.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: You can't be throwing these hand grenades out, because that just -- but I don't think the president likes criticism at all across the board. I don't think he responds well to it.

BECK: No. No.

O'REILLY: Unlike you and me, who just lap it up.

BECK: You like it. I don't. You like it.

O'REILLY: Do you go home and, like, brood when people say bad stuff?

BECK: No, I just stopped -- I just stopped listening to it. I just - - you know.

O'REILLY: I don't like it, but I understand where it's come from and the intent. When the intent is malicious, then I go. When it's just stupid, I ignore it.

BECK: Yes. I would agree with that. But the intent being malicious is usually from anyone who really rises to the level of paying attention to.

O'REILLY: The malicious stuff comes from the far-left lobby.

BECK: Yes. Yes.

O'REILLY: Which is funded, organized and...

BECK: George Soros.

O'REILLY: We know who you are. All right, Glenn Beck, everybody.

BECK: That is spooky man George Soros.

O'REILLY: Notice the nifty suit tonight, very, very good.

BECK: I dressed well. I'm coming to the big boy table tonight.


O'REILLY: One footnote: Beck and I will be appearing together in Connecticut on October 30 and in New Orleans on December 3 and in Dallas on December 4. If you'd like to see us, please go to for information.