Bernie Goldberg on Far Left Calling Tea Party 'Terrorists'

Bernie Goldberg breaks down reporting on debt debate


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 1, 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: there are two themes developing among pundits in the debt debate. On the right, it is that the Obama administration and the Democrats are simply bankrupting the country. And on the left, the new spin is that Republicans are extorting the country.


STEVEN RATTNER, "MORNING JOE" ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's like a form of economic terrorism. I imagine these Tea Party guys are like strapped with dynamite standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour and saying either you do it my way or we are going to blow you up, ourselves up and the whole country up with us. So, you tell me how these kinds of standoffs end.

MARGARET CARLSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS COLUMNIST: They have strapped explosives to the Capitol and they think they are immune from it. The Tea Party caucus wants this crisis.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: The GOP has become the Wahhabis of the American government, willing to risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology.


O'REILLY: The Wahhabis. Joining us now from North Carolina to analyze, the purveyor of, Mr. Goldberg. So, they are strapping explosives to their Wahhabist chests.

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right. You know what's funny about this, Bill? There is one thing, I think, that's funny about it.


GOLDBERG: These are people who don't call real terrorists terrorists.

O'REILLY: That's right. They refuse to identify terrorists. They are just misguided people.

GOLDBERG: That's right. They are misguided. They didn't mean it when they shot up the Army base. It was an accident. OK. But, beyond that, I see two storylines that have developed. One, mainly from liberal commentators, is that Barack Obama is a weak president, that is he letting the Tea Party Republicans in the House push him around, that they thought they were helping to elect a real progressive liberal and is he not liberal enough for them as crazy as that is.

But the second storyline has to do strictly with the Tea Party. And you played a couple of those things. I want to make clear: I'm not here to defend the strategy or the tactics of the Tea Party. I'm not taking a position on that. But if you are a journalist, you could portray them either as principled patriots who care about their country or dangerous, scary, stupid, whackos, and a lot of the liberals have portrayed them as the latter.

I want to give you just a few specifics. Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek, said they were suicide bombers. Tom Friedman, New York Times, compared them to Hezbollah. Peter Goodman of The Huffington Post said they are acting like terrorists. William Yeomans on Politico, he teaches law, said the Tea Party faction in the House has now become full- blown terrorists. Fareed Zakaria, you played this in the beginning, said they want to blow up the country. Paul Krugman, they want to blow up the economy. Even David Brooks, the only kind of conservative they're happy with at The New York Times, said they have no sense of moral decency. And today, the vice president of the United States said they are acting like terrorists.

Earlier this year, Bill, the president of the United States said we should all tone it down after the Tucson massacre. Apparently, his own vice president, who has thrown the word terrorist around, and his most loyal base in the media never got that memo.

O'REILLY: That's ironic because Gabby Giffords, of course, you may have heard, showed up to vote in favor of the compromise today. And you're right. I mean, look -- but I don't take -- maybe I'm wrong here, Bernie, but I don't think the metaphor that the far left is using in any kind of a violent capacity. I don't. But what is amusing to me is that some of the people that we heard and we have discussed, are so radical in their thinking, so radical, that the fact that they would call the Tea Party reactionaries and crazy people when, look at Krugman. And we pointed out in the "Talking Points Memo." Here's a guy who is demanding more trillions of dollars to be spent by the federal government when we're already $14.5 trillion in debt. He wants more, all right?

GOLDBERG: And have you noticed, Bill? Have you noticed that the sound bites that you played and the ones that I read, they represent the administration's position on these things.

O'REILLY: But who is crazier? I mean, if you step back and you are a man from Mars and you just come down and you look at the Tea Party and the Tea Party said, you know what? We don't want any more spending, OK? That's it. We have had it. And then you look at these guys going, we want trillions more and we don't really care that the country is $14.5 billion in debt. So, who is crazier?

GOLDBERG: But even if you accept that that that's an arguable position, the other side aren't terrorists, whether you mean it in a violent way or not to. To compare them to suicide bombers and strapping themselves with dynamite and blowing up, that's just wrong. And you know? I think they are doing it because it doesn't work anymore when they call conservative Republicans racists. You know, if you are a racist…

O'REILLY: So they have to up it to terrorist. What's next? Racist, terrorist, what's next? Mass murderers. Terrorists are mass murderers.

GOLDBERG: Could be.

O'REILLY: I don't know.

GOLDBERG: I mean, I think everybody realizes that calling people racist is a waste of time, nobody buys it anymore. If you are a racist because you are against Obamacare and the stimulus and the worldwide apology tour, if that makes you a racist, what do you call the skinheads who are really racist? Well, it just -- it's passe. Nobody is accepting it.

O'REILLY: But I don't think anybody is buying it.

GOLDBERG: They kicked it up. Now it's terrorists. By the way, these people don't have an ounce of originality among them. One person says terrorist and they all jump on. Yes, terrorist.

O'REILLY: That's right.

GOLDBERG: One person says, let's blow -- they are blowing up the economy. Yes, blowing up. I mean, it just takes one person and they all -- it's like birds on a telephone wire.

O'REILLY: There they are.

GOLDBERG: One bird lands, they all land. One bird takes off, they all take off.

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

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