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Journalist Group Wants to Change Term 'Illegal Alien' to 'Undocumented Immigrant'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 3, 2011. 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 interesting topics, beginning with the Society of Professional Journalists.

One footnote: I have no idea what that is and have never been invited to join.

Anyway, that group has a diversity committee, and a member of it says the term "illegal alien" may be inappropriate. Here now, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. He joins from us Miami. Now, Bernie, are you a member of this society?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: First, I have to -- you made a mistake in the last segment. I have to correct that first. You said the president doesn't have his own network. That's not true. He does: NBC.

O'REILLY: OK. That is true. I stand corrected.

GOLDBERG: I needed -- I needed to.

O'REILLY: You're such a wise guy, Goldberg. Anybody ever say that to you, that you're a wise guy?

GOLDBERG: No, never. Never.

O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: Not in the last 10 minutes anyway. As far as your question, yes, actually, I'm a member of the Professional Society of Journalists, whatever it's called.

O'REILLY: Are you a member? You're not kidding? Are you a member of this?

GOLDBERG: Well, let me answer. I'm the chairman of their "There's Too Damn Much Liberal Bias in the Media" committee. Unfortunately, I'm the only member of the committee, and nobody, including me, goes to any of the meetings.

O'REILLY: So you're not a member?

GOLDBERG: No, I'm not a member.

O'REILLY: Have you ever heard of the Society of Professional Journalists? Have you ever heard of it?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: Yes?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: Have you been invited to join?

GOLDBERG: No. As a matter of fact, seriously, in my years at the Associated Press and local television, almost three decades at CBS News and 10 years after that here and at HBO, I've never had one colleague, not even one, say, "Hey, let's all go down to the Society of Professional Journalists meeting tomorrow night." So...

O'REILLY: I'm insulted that I haven't been invited to join. I think I'm a professional journalist, but I guess maybe I'm not. Anyway, the head of their diversity committee, or a member of their diversity, Leo Lawrence, San Francisco guy. Leo says that all journalists, including you and me, I guess...

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...should avoid using the phrase, the words "illegal alien"; instead "undocumented immigrant."

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: Now, is this just politically correct nonsense or does he have a point?

GOLDBERG: No. He doesn't have a point. It is politically correct nonsense. This started, at least in part, when members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists expressed discontent with the term "illegal immigrant," and certainly they don't like "illegal alien." Sounds like people from outer space.

My first reaction to that was tough noogies. I mean, too bad. They're here illegally. They're illegal immigrants or aliens.

My second reaction was this is one more reason why there should not be a National Association of Hispanic Journalists or an association of black journalists or gay journalists or women journalists. Because too often they put journalism second and the interests of their particular group first. And these groups -- and this is a very important point -- these groups are all liberal groups. And American journalism wasn't as liberal two or three decades ago as it is today. But as these groups first came into existence, came into the newsroom and then started exerting influence in the newsroom, American journalism moved further and further to the left.

And in this case, as we both know, they have an agenda, and the agenda very simply is, "Let's call them -- let's call them 'undocumented,' because that sort of sounds like a bureaucratic hang-up type thing, instead of 'illegal,'" which sounds exactly like what it is. They're illegal. They're here...

O'REILLY: Right, it's a crime.

GOLDBERG: They snuck in, and they're illegal.

O'REILLY: Right. But you have to know that the liberal forces in journalism don't believe that sneaking into the country is a crime, and that's where this emanates. But anyway, we're trying to get Leo and another person from this organization on tomorrow. We'll see how we do.

GOLDBERG: Good.

O'REILLY: Now, I think you were one of the few people watching the Oprah network over the weekend? It debuted on New Year's Day, correct?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: Most people watching the bowl games, football, but Bernie was glued to Oprah.

GOLDBERG: Come on, no. That -- you know that not a syllable of what you just said is true. You know that.

O'REILLY: No, I don't. We gave you an assignment to watch the dopey network and you watched it, right?

GOLDBERG: No, I didn't. I was watching football all weekend.

O'REILLY: You didn't? How can you comment on it?

GOLDBERG: Because I know, I know things.

O'REILLY: All right. Let me stop you, all right. So you didn't -- you didn't watch it. Why? Why didn't you watch it?

GOLDBERG: Good question. I have never watched, of all the years she's been on television, a single episode of Oprah Winfrey.

O'REILLY: You don't like Oprah? Is it personal?

GOLDBERG: Because I'm not -- no, because I'm -- because I'm not part of her target audience. But I'll tell you this: What she's trying to do here on this new network is a very good thing. She says she doesn't want -- she wants a network with no cynicism, with no mean-spiritedness. And in a culture that's filled with cynicism and mean-spiritedness and vulgarity and nastiness, and the web especially where you could be, as you and I well know from first-hand experience, where you could be anonymous and they could slander you simply because they don't agree with what you said on the show, for no other reason, I think anybody who is trying to bring us back to civility needs to be applauded.

O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: And I'll tell you what. Let me just say, this, Bill. I know -- I know that reality is going to smack me in the face sooner or later, probably sooner.

O'REILLY: Well, we'll see. I just want to give everybody -- since I didn't see it and you didn't see it, let's roll the tape and give people a little taste of the new Oprah network. Go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL: John Travolta is coming. Good lord. John had said no and now he's decided that he is going to come on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perfect.

WINFREY: OK. So John and I are dancing our way out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dancing your way out. And then we'll move into the script.

WINFREY: I was racking my brain, should I pick the entire audience again? Should I? I don't know. So then we're going to Australia!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: So this basically looks like the whole network is shot from Oprah's living room, and she has got some friends in there. Why can't we get this job?

GOLDBERG: And you wonder why I don't watch this stuff?

O'REILLY: But don't you want to see John Travolta? I mean, come on.

GOLDBERG: Here's my hope for the new year, Bill. I'm serious about this.

O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: I hope -- I hope her idealism is contagious. I hope it spreads to certain other cable channels. I hope it spreads to the guy walking down the street yelling into his cell phone, dropping F-bombs. And I hope it spreads to the dark corners of the lunatic asylum known as the World Wide Web.

O'REILLY: All right, Bernie. That's absolutely good.

GOLDBERG: I hope it works.

O'REILLY: All right. We hope -- we wish the best for Ms. Winfrey and her venture.

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