Janine Turner in No Spin Zone

Hollywood star discusses transition to conservative radio show host


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 4, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: Janine Turner achieved great success in Hollywood starring in the TV program "Northern Exposure," as you may know. She's one of the few high-profile actors who is conservative. Now Ms. Turner is working in her home state of Texas doing a political talk show on KLIF in Dallas. She joins us from Fort Worth, right down the turnpike. So what do you want to accomplish on this radio program, Janine?

JANINE TURNER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I like to say where is reason? Because I feel that in this country, reason just isn't -- doesn't really exist anymore, and that party division is sort of stagnating our country. And I hearken back to George Washington's farewell address, where he -- he said, "Look, the party system may destroy the country, because people will care more about their party than they will America." And so of course, you know, I'm conservative, but I really like to keep things reasonable. So that's what I try to achieve on the show. Let's find the reason.

O'REILLY: So a common sense discussion about the issues of the day. Now, you wrote a column in the Washington Examiner about Hollywood and the difficult time you had there when you were starring in "Northern Exposure." And I'm going to just throw out a few quotes, and then you can comment on them.

"I had to listen to left-wing rants for years on sets, at dinners and rehearsals, in the make-up chair and award ceremonies. Usually the rants were so hostile that I was afraid to speak up or so ridiculous that I thought it was futile to reply."

Now why -- you're pretty feisty. Why would you be afraid to speak up?

TURNER: Well, you know, that's a really good question. First of all, you're usually in a make-up trailer and you don't have -- you're learning lines and you don't have a lot of time. But it was -- it was tricky because if you -- they don't have a lot of tolerance. I think liberals have a real blind spot. It's either their way or the highway. And that's pretty ironic to me when -- when Hollywood is based on freedom to create, freedom to persuade through art. They don't want any constraints. And yet they constrain anybody who disagrees with them. And I think that that's very hypocritical.

O'REILLY: Did you -- did you fear that if you had debated some of the liberal actors on "Northern Exposure" -- and there were more than a few -- that you would be fired or that they would do something to you to hurt your career?

TURNER: Well, you know, I didn't worry about it on "Northern Exposure" as much as maybe a little bit later. I mean, I had people actually -- I did stand up, when I was on your show before during the McCain-Palin, I was on "Friday Night Lights," and I was expressing my opinion, and I stepped out of the trailer, and someone came up to me and said, another actor, "I'm with you, but don't tell." And so, you know...

O'REILLY: Don't ask, don't tell. On "Northern" -- I mean, not "Northern" -- on "Friday Night Lights," which is supposed to be in Texas.

TURNER: Right.

O'REILLY: So I know a lot of actors who say the same thing. "Look, this is my livelihood. There are very few jobs, particularly at the higher levels. And if I tee off a Steven Spielberg or a Jeffrey Katzenberg or one of these guys, and my agents are telling me to shut up."

But it seems that the left-wing actors, guys like Alec Baldwin, they can say whatever they want, and they work all the time. But if you're a conservative, with the exception of Gary Sinise. He's been able to do it. But a lot of the other guys -- and there's a society called the Lincoln Society or the Friends of Abe. I think that's what it is in Hollywood of conservative actors. And I think they meet at underground bomb shelters or something. They give them directions at the last minute. But the fear is real out there that if you talk conservative politics, or support conservatives, that you won't work.

TURNER: Well, it is. That's why I finally wrote this op-ed because I've sort of had it. I mean, I've sat through so many awards ceremonies where -- where, you know, it's one attack after another attack, and even at the recent one, they're standing there talking about the Tea Party. They're calling -- Morgan Freeman's calling the Tea Party racist. And I just think there...

O'REILLY: What's up with Morgan? Do you know him?

TURNER: I don't know, because he's a wonderful actor. But to call the Tea Partiers racist is just a division in this country.

O'REILLY: I don't know either. What I -- what I saw there was that he was very angry, Mr. Freeman, about the treatment that Barack Obama is getting. He's a big Obama supporter. But interestingly enough, when the Obama people went to Hollywood last time to try to raise a lot of money, they had trouble. They had trouble. It wasn't like the first time around where the people were kicking the doors in to give them money. Now it's a little shrinkage here. What's going on with that?

TURNER: Well, I think that he's a bit aloof and he's sort of stuck in this sort of neutral mode where he's not able to really accomplish anything. Not what the left wants, not what the right wants, not what the country wants. So he's sort of stuck in this mire, and he's disappointing the far left. And maybe -- maybe the people in the center and a little bit center-right are getting more reasonable and saying, "Wait a minute. This isn't the direction we wanted to go at all," because Hollywood epitomizes capitalism. I mean, it's all about who's the highest paid actor?

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

TURNER: Who's the highest paid actor? What do the movies make? So for them to kind of regurgitate on capitalism all the time and to say socialism is a really great idea, I think they really think that's great for the flyover states, but not really them.

O'REILLY: Well, guys like Matt Damon, Ron Howard, you know, openly said, "Look, we'll pay more taxes," and, of course, the reply is, well, go ahead.

TURNER: Yes. That's what I say.

O'REILLY: Nobody's stopping you. You know, sell one of your Ferraris and give the money to the government if you want.

TURNER: Exactly.

O'REILLY: But you know, strangely enough though hasn't been a lot of big Hollywood people getting behind Barack Obama this time around.

We wish you the very best, Janine, with your talk show on KLIF Radio in Dallas. Used to be the home of the "Radio Factor" when I was doing that, so we love the station. Thank you. We'll see you again soon.

TURNER: They call it legendary….

O'REILLY: Legendary, there you go. When we come back…

TURNER: …because you were on it.

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