Interviews

Round 2: O'Reilly vs. Geraldo Over Casey Anthony Trial

Fox News hosts shoot it out once again

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Fridays with Geraldo" segment tonight: You may remember that on Tuesday our pal Geraldo supported the jury's acquittal of Casey Anthony on murder charges. But after hearing one juror put forth preposterous reasons for that acquittal, we wonder if Mr. Rivera has reassessed. He joins us now from Orlando, Florida.

I'm talking about my assessment of the Juror No. 3, I think it is or four, who said that basically she thought there might have been, could have been an accident and all of this stuff and then when I asked the prosecutor was there ever any evidence in that courtroom of an accident and the answer was absolutely none. So that disturbs me. Did it disturb you?

GERALDO RIVERA, HOST, "GERALDO AT LARGE": Well, let me answer your first question whether or not I have reassessed my position. And the answer is, yes, I have reassessed my position. I have three quick points to make.

No. 1, I'm a veteran reporter but I'm also a pretty good lawyer and, more importantly, I'm a loving, doting father of five children, the last three of whom are girls, the last one just six years old. And the suggestion by many people who feel that this mother got away with murder, that those of us like me who feel the prosecution case is thin, love our children or care less about this -- this sweet toddler, than they do is false, Bill, and it is disgusting.

Second point: For that snarky Bernie Goldberg to come on your program and to suggest that my view of the prosecution case would be different if the victim was a Mexican immigrant was lying, low blow with heavy racial overtones and I owe him a bloody nose. I am serious. That was really a punk thing to say and to do.

My third point: I still think that the prosecution case was very thin. No cause of death. No place of death. No manner of death. No fingerprints. No DNA evidence. No eyewitnesses. They tried for a death penalty conviction. They tried to take this woman's life for allegedly killing this child and they did it with a very thin case. And those people who compare Casey Anthony's acquittal to the acquittal of O.J. Simpson overlook the fact that in O.J. Simpson's case there was DNA, there was the perpetrator's footprints in the bloody mess that he left when he took the -- the mother of his children's head off and Ron Goldman's head off. There was a blood trail to his house. And to suggest that these two cases are similar really belies reality.

O'REILLY: Well, I'm going to disagree with you on two points.

RIVERA: Now as to -- OK.

O'REILLY: No. 1, I'm going stick up for Bernie because I know Bernie for 25 years. He's not a racist; he didn't have any racial overtones. It was more of an ideological…

RIVERA: Yes, why -- why the Mexican -- why the Mexican immigrant? He did that to inflame your audience.

O'REILLY: Because Geraldo, let me explain it -- let me explain it to you. Calm down. You're passionate on that issue. You're passionate on it. You know it and I know it and the world knows it. You're passionate on…

RIVERA: I'm passionate of the victims of the Holocaust, too. I'm passionate about victims of atrocities everywhere. Why Mexicans? He knew what he was doing.

O'REILLY: OK, so when get involve in an issue in which you are -- because you are known for your passion on the border immigration issue.

RIVERA: There -- so -- so what does the border immigration issue had to do with that case of a child killer?

O'REILLY: I'm not saying that you have to agree with the point. I'm saying it wasn't a racial thing. It was an ideological thing.

RIVERA: It was a low blow and a lying…

O'REILLY: Well, in your opinion it was; in his opinion he made an honest analysis. The audience can re-evaluate.

The second thing is I'm going to submit to you, Geraldo, that you are overlooking something that is very, very important in this whole murder case. And that is that when a two-year-old disappears from the parent's charge and the parent lies about the disappearance, that is as compelling as a footprint. It's as compelling as a footprint. It's as compelling as anything other that you just cited on O.J. Simpson. And when you combine that with what was found in the car, testified by FBI experts, then it becomes more than a circumstantial case.

With all due respect -- and you know, Geraldo, you and I respect each other -- with all due respect, I have no doubt that Casey Anthony murdered that girl or at least participated in it. And I'm not going to acquit Casey Anthony based on some harebrained theories that have no validity and no backup. And that's where I am and that's a mistake I think you've made. You've cut her far too much slack. Go ahead.

RIVERA: I didn't cut -- I thought they were going to convict on manslaughter. I would have been satisfied with a manslaughter verdict. They never should have gone for the death penalty. Only two females in the 150-year-plus history of the state of Florida have ever gone to death row, both of them serial killers. This elected district attorney going up against a law & order Republican in a primary or in an election sought to show this community that he was tougher than anybody else. He went overreaching for the death penalty.

O'REILLY: Well, maybe he did overreach. I had the prosecutor on…

RIVERA: And now listen, wait, wait a second. Let me -- let me say what you suggested.

O'REILLY: I had him on last night. Go ahead.

RIVERA: Let me say what you said. I'm not talking about Jeff Ashton. I'm talking about his boss, Lawson Lamar. Now, you said about the -- you thought that you were convinced beyond a doubt that Casey Anthony killed this child either alone or in consort. Those are different. Did she have help? Did she not have help? Did…

O'REILLY: Well, I'm not going to go in theory.

RIVERA: Did -- where is the proof as to how the child dies?

O'REILLY: Look, I agree with you.

RIVERA: I mean, how do you know the child didn't drown and then she panicked and then did all the hideous things?

O'REILLY: How do I know that? Because…

RIVERA: Her -- her behavior was hideously -- her behavior was hideously inappropriate in the weeks following this child's death, we know that.

O'REILLY: You cannot acquit based on -- you can't acquit on a theory that has no foundation in fact.

RIVERA: Why didn't they charge her with obstruction of justice? They could have…

O'REILLY: Look, I'm going to -- I'm going to cede this point to you. They probably, the prosecution overreached and should have gone for a heavy duty manslaughter deal. Probably that in hindsight would have been right. Now let's advance the story. Today Casey Anthony's mother wanted to talk to her.

RIVERA: OK.

O'REILLY: She said no. She's going to be released on Tuesday. What's going to happen to Casey Anthony?

RIVERA: OK, she's going to be released now on the 17th. I'm not sure which day of the week that is; I don't have my calendar in front of me. But I did speak in anticipation of our get together and I respect you as you respect me. I mean, you really are a warrior and I fight fair and you fight fair and that's -- that's just the way things are. You give me a chance to respond and I appreciate that.

But here is what Jose Baez told me not more than an hour and five minutes ago. After visiting Casey Anthony in the Orange County women's house of detention: "The defense team is going to take her someplace safe. We plan on getting her mental health counseling and therapy. Remember, she has lost her child. She has been in solitary confinement. And for the last three years she has been facing the death penalty. After all of the trauma she has been facing our goal is to get her well."

That from Jose Baez. So I assume they're going to take her to some kind of facility some place. I doubt they're going to keep her in Orange County. Maybe not even here in central Florida because the -- the animosity that our audience nationwide and worldwide feels against this woman is far more intense here. But clearly they believe she is wounded, deeply traumatized and I think that as -- as Jose Baez says, another man who's been unfairly maligned this attorney, his goal is to get her well.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, why wouldn't she speak to the mother? Do you know?

RIVERA: I, you know, I don't know the dynamics. I didn't ask that of Jose Baez. I think that would have required him to reveal some lawyer-client privileged information. But clearly the testimony of mom and dad cut both ways and a lot of what they testified to is very harmful to her defense.

O'REILLY: Yes. There's no doubt that she used to live with them, with Caylee. She can't go back and live with them anymore, that is for sure. And she has no job prospects, high school dropout, no skill level that we know of. Probably will try to sign a deal. Do you think somebody is going to sign a deal with her? Some entertainment company?

RIVERA: I doubt it, and if I were her attorney right now I would say just lay low, go to a nunnery, go to church, find your own truth. I doubt if she can sort fact from fiction, you know, now that she told so many lies. You know, I think that's the first thing they have to do. And then from a practical point of view I would let some time pass, months, even years before I signed any kind of deal. I would declare bankruptcy to get rid of some of the onerous debts that are coming her way from Zanny the nanny, from the state demanding restitution. And then, you know, once she is well physically and mentally, emotionally; once these cases are behind her…

O'REILLY: I don't think that's ever going to happen, Geraldo.

RIVERA: …then she can sign a deal. Well, you may be right. You may be right.

O'REILLY: You know, a woman like that, 22 years old, damaged beyond repair. Geraldo, we appreciate it.

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