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'The Factor' Confronts NPR CEO Vivian Schiller

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: It's amazing the difference a few days make. One week ago, Juan Williams was Juan Williams, a respected journalist. Now Williams is world famous, even idolized in some precincts, all because his former employer, NPR, fired him for no reason. The chief villain here is NPR president Vivian Schiller, who will not voluntarily appear on "The Factor," so we sent Jesse Watters out to say hello.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: It just seems like you fired him not for his opinion but for his personal feelings. Is that how you run a news organization?

VIVIAN SCHILLER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF NPR: We terminated Juan's contract because he -- there was a series of violations of our news ethics code. We had talked to him about it. Nothing changed. This was the latest in a series of incidents.

WATTERS: But you've had -- you've had NPR people advocate the killing of Christians, advocate the killing of Jesse Helms. Were those people fired?

SCHILLER: That's not true.

WATTERS: Yes, it is. I have it right here. I have the quotes right here, Vivian.

SCHILLER: I spoke to you. I have given you my statement and now let me go on to my meeting, OK?

WATTERS: One last thing. I mean, you suggested that Juan needed to see a psychiatrist. That's absolutely shameful. Don't you admit?

SCHILLER: I apologized for that statement. It was -- it was a glib, thoughtless remark.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: All right. Well, that's an improvement for Ms. Schiller, but unfortunately, far-left bomb-thrower E.J. Dionne is keeping the fires burning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: What they should have said is sat Juan Williams down -- he's done a lot of good work for them -- and say, "Look, you've got a choice here. Look at the context you were on with O'Reilly. You could barely get your points out in the middle of the propaganda. You want to work for Fox, that's OK, but -- or you want to work for us that's OK. But you've got to decide."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: He's such a pinhead. It's just unbelievable.

Joining us now from Washington, Fox News analysts Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams. Juan, I think you dominated the conversation last Monday. I mean, you got your points out. You were fired because you got your points out. And Dionne is on NPR. I don't know whether you were listening earlier with Bernie, but we have a sheet taken off the NPR website. There aren't any conservative analysts in the whole organization. Yet they say, "Our standards are -- you know, we're fair and" -- I mean, come on. What's going on over there? Are they all sniffing glue or what?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think, you know what? They're self-righteous, and they think they're right. And they think that the journalistic standard that they abide by, Bill, is that I shouldn't talk to you.

In other words, they must have missed the segment where Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams are actually engaged in a conversation, where they're not, like, pointing fingers, and I'm not questioning your integrity. You're not calling me a psycho like some people at NPR. But you're listening. You invited me to say, "Hey, Juan, where am I wrong?" Now that's an adult, mature dialogue. I think that's what we need in this country. Apparently, the minute you deviate from their liberal orthodoxy, then you have to be demeaned...

O'REILLY: Then you're suspect.

WILLIAMS: ...and you are -- yes, you're supposed to be a bad guy.

O'REILLY: A couple of things, Juan. No. 1, I call you a psycho behind your back. I don't do that in public.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

O'REILLY: Sure. No. 2, I'm hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire this week, and this is a true story. I'm hiking in the White Mountains, all right? Way up there. They've got beautiful fall foliage and that. I'm watching for bears. And all of a sudden this lady comes up and goes, "Do you really know Juan Williams?" I said, "What, are you kidding me, lady? Do I know him? Let me tell you a little bit about Juan," and then she went screaming off. You -- you now are unbelievably famous. Has that changed your life?

WILLIAMS: You know what? The last few days, Bill -- and I say this to you as someone who does know me -- I've had to process the hurt. I mean, people come up to me and say, "Oh, now you work for Fox, congratulations," all this kind of stuff. And I am emotionally still focused on the idea that, you know, they tried to first demean me and say I'm crazy and all of this. And then secondly, that I'm a bigot. And now third -- this is ongoing. This is where they are today. "We may have handled this badly, but we made the right decision that as a journalist we've got problems." You heard what she said to Jesse Watters.

What is that madness about? I was there for 10 years. I was a host of a program, their senior correspondent and their news analyst, and there was never any question about my journalism. My journalism -- I mean, I'll let others be the judge. I've got a body of work, of books, time at The Washington Post and at Fox News in addition to NPR. You know, let the audience be the judge about the kind of journalist I am.

O'REILLY: OK. So you're still kind of caught up in the unfairness of it all.

Now, Mary Katharine, you've been with Juan, what, a couple of years now. Back and forth. When you hear this propaganda that Juan is now here, and he doesn't get his say, caught up in the propaganda mill and this and that, how do you process that?

MARY KATHARINE HAM, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Look, here's what I think is interesting is that certainly Juan is a left-of-center guy. He's maybe a little right of the far left over at NPR. And he's a little bit left of a lot of folks at Fox News.

But guess where he has -- still has a job? Guess where he still voices his opinion? It's here, where we can actually talk on both sides of the aisle and have this discussion.

So I think that's really telling about NPR. I think they really disgraced theirselves with the way that they handled this. And I think the reason it became such a huge story is because it speaks to a fear that many normal people have that they can be speaking with as good intentions as possible and they can be trying to make their feelings known, and they can get called a bigot. And it really kind of ruins your life for a little while when you get those accusations.

O'REILLY: Nobody wants to be punished for sincere, responsible reaction.

All right. Now Mary Katharine, a couple of things. The ombudsman, this Ms. Shepard person, says that, "Hey, you know, Fox News, they're just in business to promote one side, the Republican Party," this, that and the other thing. "You don't hear the other side on Fox News." And I'm going...

HAM: How filtered.

O'REILLY: ...is he invisible? Is Williams invisible? Is Alan Colmes invisible? Are these people somehow in a cable system they evaporate? They're either unbelievably stupid -- and if they are, they shouldn't be working there -- or they're liars. There's no in-between.

HAM: Well, here's the problem. I think it might be that -- how sheltered do you have to be to accuse Fox News of being one side but not recognize that NPR just fired the one guy who was like a more moderate voice than some of the people on -- I mean, this idea that he is a bigot went off the rails. They had to back off of that, the idea that there are certain standards that mean he can't opine. That's just insane, because what happened was they just don't like the opinions he was giving or the venue he was giving them. And they're allowed to rewrite their rules, depending on who they like and don't like.

O'REILLY: It was all -- it was all an anti-Fox play. That's what it was.

Now, Juan, did you hear the conversation up top with the CAIR guy from Chicago? Did you hear that?

WILLIAMS: I did.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, this is what it's all about. You strip away all the political garbage, the left/right stuff, what it's all about is I believe -- and I think you guys believe it, too -- there is a genuine Muslim threat in the world. There is.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

O'REILLY: OK? And there are 1.5 billion Muslims, the vast majority of which are good people. There's no doubt about it.

WILLIAMS: Which is what we said in that segment, by the way.

HAM: We talked about that.

O'REILLY: But they haven't -- but they haven't joined with the United States, Western Europe, other countries to fight the jihadists to any extent. Now, Jordan, absolutely a friend to the United States, helps us, OK? Some people in Pakistan help us. Most don't. Some people in Saudi Arabia help us. Most don't. But I cannot convince the CAIR guy or Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg or anybody else that there is a Muslim problem, Juan. They're not going to acknowledge it, and I don't get it.

WILLIAMS: Well, again, I think if you said that there is a Muslim extremist problem, maybe they would then say OK, because there's no getting away from the idea.

O'REILLY: But the problem is that the 1.5 moderate good Muslims haven't banded together to fight the bad Muslims.

WILLIAMS: Well, that's a -- that's a glaring problem. The glaring problem is that what you have here is a silent group that somehow intimidated -- intimidated by people who threatened violence who would excommunicate them, call them not good Muslims if they dare stand up and say the use of violence and intimidation, putting out, you know, attacks on writers who simply write books, that these words are now sacrilege and you have a right to kill the writer. Much less attack the United States or any other country, kill innocent people. We need moderate Muslims to stand tall, and they haven't been doing it. That's an issue.

O'REILLY: All right. Juan, Mary Katharine, thanks very much.

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