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Interviews

Diane Sawyer in the No Spin Zone

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal Story Segment" tonight, all the major TV operations gearing up to cover the 2012 presidential campaign which has already begun.

Now, you may remember, the last time around the TV media was very friendly to then-Senator Barack Obama. A study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs said that CBS News coverage was the most pro-Obama operation; 73 percent news of CBS News stories positive for him, 31 percent positive for Senator McCain -- what a gap. NBC News was 56 percent positive for Mr. Obama, just 16 -16 percent- positive for McCain. ABC News faired best among the fair and balanced; 57 percent favorable for Senator Obama, 42 percent favorable to Senator McCain.

With us now is the anchor of ABC's "World News" broadcast, Diane Sawyer, who was not behind the desk in the last campaign. That was Charles Gibson.

DIANE SAWYER, ANCHOR, ABC WORLD NEWS: It was.

O'REILLY: With the little nose glasses with Sarah Palin. You remember that interview.

SAWYER: I'm giving him your home phone number, let him call you up.

O'REILLY: I told him that that hurt him. That interview hurt Gibson because it wasn't so much the questions that he was asking the governor, because she has been on this program and we have had back and forth and she doesn't respond too well if you -- but it looked like he was talking down at her. With the glasses on the nose and I think that hurt him.

SAWYER: Is she very different now, you think, than she was then? Because I haven't interviewed her.

O'REILLY: No, no. I think Sarah Palin is a working class woman who reacts emotionally to what's in play. And that's the way I am. And if she doesn't like it you know right away. That's why I like talking with her.

But Gibson hurt himself and ABC News. But as you just saw ABC News had the most balanced coverage but it was all favorable to Obama -- all the three networks. And I think that has to change.

SAWYER: Well, again, I want to stand up for my buddy, glasses or not. Do you wear reading glasses?

O'REILLY: No. No I don't need any glasses.

SAWYER: See, there you are. The psionics -- reading glasses.

O'REILLY: You know the pose. I have known Gibson as long as you have known Gibson.

SAWYER: You know is he a wonderful man.

O'REILLY: He is not a snotty guy. He's not. He's a regular guy but he came across that way. You know that, come on.

SAWYER: I'm going to defend him because I think he asked really good questions. I do. I think it was all new. Do you remember the moment when it was all new? Everybody was.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: -- the questions. It was the condescension that I don't think he meant but it came across that way.

That's the question to you. Are you aware in this campaign how much scrutiny you are going to be under? You, Diane Sawyer are going to be held accountable for how your news operation treats both candidates.

SAWYER: We are aware and we are really proud of our team in what we are going to do.

O'REILLY: So you are going to be fair and balanced.

SAWYER: You know our team Jonathan Karl, Jake Tapper, George Stephanopoulos, Sharyn Alfonsi. You've got Amy Walter. We have an incredible team.

O'REILLY: But they are all liberal people in real life.

SAWYER: Take a look. Take a -- everybody is from diverse backgrounds.

O'REILLY: No, but they're all liberal people in real life you know that. I worked at ABC, it was 10 to 1.

SAWYER: I do not know that. I don't know that. And I think you might be very confounded if you know what happened --

O'REILLY: It doesn't really matter. Look, I think there are more liberals on my staff than conservatives. But it doesn't matter if the product is fair.

Look at this study. This study is exhaustive. And it just wasn't fair the last time around. Barack Obama got kid gloves treatment.

SAWYER: I want to say again you are talking to the network --Obama White House -- remember the network that broke the Jeremiah Wright tape. You are talking to the network -- I went down personally to cover the Tea Party when the Tea Party came out. I went down and broadcast the show from there.

You are looking at a network that plans -- this time around we have fantastic political coverage coming. We are even talking about having two people cover some of the big issues as they develop so that it's not the one person which often happens, giving you both sides of an issue -- but two people giving you two ways of looking at the story.

O'REILLY: That's a good idea. But you only have 22 minutes so you are really limited in a lot of things you can do. It's not like -- I have an hour to bloviate out here every night so I can do a lot more stuff than you can.

SAWYER: But we have a lot of broadcasts. We have "Nightline". We have mornings.

O'REILLY: I'm interested in Diane Sawyer and "World News". I don't care what those pinheads at "Nightline" do. I'll deal with them one on one. But I am concerned as an American --

SAWYER: We have the "Nightline". You are a bold fresh piece of adjectives.

O'REILLY: You bet, I am. When this study comes down on my desk I am concerned -- I am concerned as an American that the three network news nightly broadcasts are in the tank for the Democratic candidate. And I don't think that's fair.

SAWYER: Look at what we do. Look at what we do.

O'REILLY: All right. So you are going to have a whole new change. Now, I want you to come back mid-campaign.

SAWYER: I'll be back.

O'REILLY: Ok, good.

SAWYER: I will fully be back.

O'REILLY: One of the things that you changed. I worked at "World News" when Peter Jennings was on the desk. And you were working, I think "20/20" at the time or one of those news magazines.

SAWYER: "Primetime".

O'REILLY: "Primetime" ok. One of the things that Jennings resisted, ok, was an advocacy position in the broadcast. He was an old-school guy, just straight down the line, another liberal guy. But Jennings, he won in fairness. That's why -- he liked me.

You have taken a little bit more advocacy in a sense that you are trying to get Americans jobs on "World News". Right?

SAWYER: "Made in America."

O'REILLY: Yes.

SAWYER: We are not diluted about the world economy and global economy. But we have talked to every single person we can to ask the same series of questions which is what will create jobs for Americans and is there something -- we're galled that American flag pins are made overseas. When we go in the Museum of Natural History, we go into the Smithsonian and their gift shops are filled.

O'REILLY: With Japanese, Chinese stuff.

SAWYER: As other things. Is it time to stop saying to ourselves, what is it in our closet. What in our house? You know our number? $3.33 per person a year will create 10,000 American jobs.

O'REILLY: Is it a union intrusion though because the manufacturing can be done for far less overseas than here because the union rules here as we have covered now for months are pretty stringent.

SAWYER: Well, you have wages overseas that have been so much lower than here.

O'REILLY: Yes, because they don't have unions over there.

SAWYER: Not a function of unions. You have Chinese, you have the billions of people in China. But they're rising to 17 percent a year, the Chinese salaries are rising. Some companies are bringing them back here because not only are the American workers fully competitive but they are more productive.

And we're just saying, all things being equal -- all things being equal, why not say when you walk in the store hey --

O'REILLY: Buy American.

SAWYER: Is there something American?

O'REILLY: I have a GM car. No Volvo for me. I'm buying a GM.

SAWYER: But you know one of the things we're going to be asking. It's a really interesting question. Which creates more jobs actually pound for pound more jobs -- a car, a GM car made here or a Toyota car made here? They create equal --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: I think you are on the right track, buy American if you can.

SAWYER: Will you take the challenge?

O'REILLY: Sure. Whatever you want, Diane, I'll take.

SAWYER: The challenge is to go into your house and you e-mail and tell me what's made in America.

O'REILLY: All right. And I will set on fire anything that's not --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Diane Sawyer, everybody. We are watching her. She'll be back and we appreciate it.

SAWYER: Ok.

O'REILLY: Thank you very much.

SAWYER: I'm going to be back.

O'REILLY: Excellent.