Bernie Goldberg on Media Rebranding Obama the 'Comeback Kid'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Weekdays With Bernie" segment tonight: two hot topics, beginning with the mainstream media echoing this theme.


BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Charles Krauthammer called President Obama this week the new comeback kid, and he said Republicans are underestimating him.

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN: Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer hasn't had much good to say about President Obama. He's now written two columns, the last of which praises him as the comeback Kid.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: Pretty good week for a guy who got shellacked a little over a month ago. One conservative columnist dubbed Mr. Obama the new comeback kid.


O'REILLY: All right. Amazing how similar they sound.

Joining us from Miami, Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg. So this is a rebranding of the president, correct?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, but it's a rebranding, as you noted, that started with -- with a conservative, Charles Krauthammer.

The second point is that after the November that Barack Obama had with the shellacking he took in the midterm elections, I mean, anything short of getting hit by a truck would be considered being a comeback kid. Whether he really is or not, let's wait and see. There's a long way between December 2010 and November 2012. So, you know, it's way too early to tell that.

O'REILLY: I said in my radio commentary today, it'll take at least a year...


O'REILLY: ...for you to be able to brand the president the comeback kid because you'd have to see if the tax compromise...

GOLDBERG: Yes, we'd have to wait.

O'REILLY: Right --- stimulates the economy and the unemployment rate goes down.

GOLDBERG: The media angle -- right -- the media angle though is that a lot of journalists are like birds on a telephone wire. You know how you see one bird and then a second later you see 100 birds? Well, the media version of that is that one journalist says something clever, and then 10 seconds later you have 500 journalists saying the exact same thing. I mean, that's the degree...

O'REILLY: But they want -- I believe that the mainstream media, which has a lot of emotion invested in Barack Obama, they want him to be the comeback kid, so why not call him the comeback kid?

GOLDBERG: That's the point.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: That's the point. That's exactly the point. The reason so many liberal journalists are repeating what Krauthammer said, to get to your branding question, is because then they can say, "You see? A conservative -- a conservative said he's the comeback kid."

O'REILLY: He's the comeback kid. Right.

GOLDBERG: And that's -- and that's the rebranding that they want. By the way, when Charles Krauthammer says something negative about Barack Obama...

O'REILLY: Nobody says anything.

GOLDBERG: matter how clever, no matter how catchy, that doesn't -- that doesn't catch fire the way that this expression did.

O'REILLY: That's -- it's an interesting -- and we've seen it, you and me, for years, that this is what -- you know, they co-opt a certain thing to fit into what they want the American people to believe.

GOLDBERG: Exactly. But that's exact -- you see, that's how bias really works. It isn't that some journalist goes on television or in a newspaper and says something blatant. They take in what they want, and then they lay it off on somebody else.

O'REILLY: OK. Now last week, we talked about Goldberg's infatuation with wealthy people, and how they, you know, should be praised, not scorned. And then you received a lot of mail.


O'REILLY: Tell us about that.

GOLDBERG: Well, a lot of it was positive. And the most heartwarming of it came from people who said, "I'm not rich. I work hard. I have a family. But I don't begrudge the rich anything," and they realize that think of America without rich people. So that was really touching.

Then there were angry, really angry people. I just -- I'll give you a couple. One was from somebody named Mary Ann, and by the way, I didn't say one negative word about poor people or middle class people. Not one negative word. All I said was that rich people deserve our gratitude for all they do. So Mary Ann says, "You actually made me physically ill. You are the worst of the worst."


GOLDBERG: Eric said, "This is one of the most disgusting articles I've ever read in my life."

And then there was George, who was pithy, Bill. He just said, "F you," and that was the entire e-mail. And he didn't say "F," if you know what I mean.

But the angriest e-mails, interestingly, the angriest came from religious Christians, who said when I said to you on the air and you brought up the religious thing and I answered your question about eye of a camel and -- and a rich person getting into the kingdom of heaven. Listen, I think you and Brit Hume made a lot of sense tonight. I think reasonable people may disagree on whether Jesus would be a liberal or a conservative. But the most pious of your viewers don't think that reasonable people may disagree. They think that if you don't agree that Jesus would be a Tea Partier, as some of them actually told me -- I mean, they really said that -- then you are the devil incarnate.

O'REILLY: Well, I think if you -- if you study -- and the only historical basis we can, you know, analyze the Gospel is that Jesus was totally apolitical. He didn't take a political bent. Everything came back to how you treat your fellow man and how you treat the God who created you.


O'REILLY: That was all.


O'REILLY: And then he -- so under the lesson...

GOLDBERG: Let me ask you this.


GOLDBERG: Let me ask you this along those lines. Let me ask you this. A modern-day politician, somebody in Congress, for example, gets up on the floor of the Congress and says, "You know, it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." All I'm asking is this: Is it more likely that those words would be uttered by a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican? That's all I'm saying.

O'REILLY: Well, it would be a liberal Democrat. But there was...

GOLDBERG: Of course.

O'REILLY: didn't have really anything to do with about how money is handled. It had to do with who's your God. Is it money? Or is it God? I mean, that is always the theme throughout.

GOLDBERG: And all -- and all I'm saying, Bill, is that reasonable people...

O'REILLY: Can disagree. I know I'm going to get a flood of mail, and it's going to be all over the place.

GOLDBERG: They're all going to -- they're all going to agree with you.

O'REILLY: No, they're not. Oh, no.

GOLDBERG: Trust me, they're going to agree with you.

O'REILLY: No, they're not. No. I guarantee you. And I'll read that mail tomorrow. I guarantee they won't.


O'REILLY: But McDermott, he's using Jesus. Jim McDermott, the congressman, he's using him for political reason. There's no doubt about it in my mind.

GOLDBERG: He was in -- he was in my book "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America." And that was years ago I wrote that.

O'REILLY: All right, Bernie, thanks very much.

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