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Poll: Fox, O'Reilly Most Trusted News Sources

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 23, 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: As we told you in the "Talking Points Memo," a new poll out of Suffolk University in Boston says that Fox News is by far the most trusted TV news operation in the country. So we asked our media guy and purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com to analyze the situation. Bernie joins us now from Miami. Now, I know it galled you, it had to gall you, to see me at the top of that most-trusted political guy list, you know? I know it galls you.

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Yes. I hate -- you know, it didn't gall me. But I hate to break the news to you, Bill. I feel bad. You just won a popularity contest, so congratulations.

O'REILLY: And that's the first time I've ever won a popularity contest ever.

GOLDBERG: Well, that -- you should be very happy. Because almost everybody on this list isn't -- isn't a political reporter, No. 1. And a lot of them aren't even journalists. But there's a serious point here. They could have -- the people could have voted for anybody. The way the poll was conducted, they didn't have a list and said, "Which of these people do you think is the most trusted?" They just said, "Who do you think is the most trusted?" And they could have said anybody. And more people said you than anybody else.

O'REILLY: A lot more.

GOLDBERG: And that -- a lot more. And that does say something. And it -- frankly, it does say something good. It says that, yes, you're popular; yes, there's name recognition. But they could have picked anybody, and they picked you. Congratulations.

O'REILLY: All right. And we're happy they did. Now, the broader picture though on Fox News...

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: ...as opposed to the others is a much more definitive statement, correct?

GOLDBERG: And a much more important one, I think, with all due respect to you, of course, Bill. Let me answer the question this way. Almost 10 years ago, my first book "Bias," about liberal bias in the media, came out. And I was immediately put in the crosshairs of -- by liberal journalists who said, A, there's no liberal bias; B, that I was a right-wing lunatic, which came -- came as news to me and anybody who knew me. And even -- they even said that I was a traitor for writing the book. These are people who don't call real traitors a traitor, but I was a traitor. What they didn't understand back then is that they didn't have an argument with me. The debate wasn't between me and the mainstream networks. It was between the mainstream networks and their own audiences that lost faith in them and lost trust in them.

The same thing is happening with this poll. Despite a constant barrage of criticism against Fox, both by supposedly objective journalists and supposedly honest opinion journalists, Fox still comes out not just ahead, but way ahead as the most trusted political source for news.

And here's the important point. Every vote for Fox, every single vote for Fox was a vote against everybody else. And I think even today, 10 years after "Bias" came out, they still don't understand, the mainstream networks, their problem isn't with people like me. It isn't with conservatives who watch Fox. It isn't with you, Bill O'Reilly. It isn't with the Fox network. It is with the American people, who have lost faith and trust in them.

O'REILLY: I don't think there's any doubt about it.

OK. We asked Bernie to look into Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, who on the night of the bin Laden raid, gave tip-offs to some networks that something big was going down. We wanted to know if Mr. Carney was fair in that. Was he?

GOLDBERG: Yes, he was. The White House was absolutely fair in that. They contacted basically all the networks at the same time, and they did the right thing. No problem at all. White House did the right thing.

O'REILLY: OK. Fox News got the same courtesy that NBC News got?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: OK. Good.

GOLDBERG: We looked into it. We looked into it, and that's exactly what happened.

O'REILLY: Good.

And finally, Katie Couric leaving her chair last week. Got a little publicity but not a lot. Does that change CBS News, in your opinion?

GOLDBERG: Well, if by change you mean will the new anchor and the new regime, the on-air regime that is, bring CBS News back to the glory days, the answer is probably not. Scott Pelley may do better in the ratings than Katie Couric, or he may not. I don't know. You know, we'll see.

But in the bigger sense, is it going to bring CBS News back to the glory days? The answer is almost certainly not, because the evening news on all the networks was once a major American institution. It no longer is.

Scott Pelley, there wasn't even a lot of talk about him taking over. There was great deal of talk when Dan Rather took over for Walter Cronkite and a great deal of talk when Katie Couric took over for Dan Rather. But almost no talk here, because -- this isn't a shot at Scott Pelley -- it's because the evening news isn't an important institution in America any more. Just isn't.

O'REILLY: All right, Bernie. We appreciate it.

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