Gingrich continues his assault on the media

Bernie Goldberg responds to the Speaker challenging a CNN moderator


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 27, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight only one time in last night's debate did Newt Gingrich challenge the CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer and it was over money.


BLITZER: Are you satisfied right now with the level of transparency as far as his personal finances?

GINGRICH: Wolf, you and I have a great relationship, goes back a long way. I'm with him. This is a nonsense question.

BLITZER: Mr. Speaker, you made an issue of this, this week when you said that he lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts. I didn't say that, you did.

GINGRICH: I did. And I'm perfectly happy to say that on an interview on some TV show. But this is a national debate where you have the chance to get the four of us talk about the whole range of business --


BLITZER: But if you make a serious accusation against Governor Romney like that.


GINGRICH: I simply suggested --


BLITZER: You need to explain that.


O'REILLY: Joining us from Miami Bernie Goldberg who is usually on Monday evenings but will be out of town so in case he never comes back we wanted to have him on one last time today.

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Very nice, Bill. Very nice of you.

O'REILLY: I'm always looking out for you Bernie, you know that come on, man. Now you know, you know that the CNN suits, the people behind the throne told Blitzer that if you -- if he comes after you, you better slap him back. You know, no more John King stuff. You better go back after him.

That's exactly what that was all about. And I thought Blitzer did a pretty good job saying, hey, if you are going to make a big deal out of it in your campaign.


O'REILLY: And I'm going to ask you about it. And don't give me any garbage. I would have done that.

GOLDBERG: Right. Yes, here -- here is my rule of thumb. It's legitimate to go after a reporter or moderator if he asks you an unreasonable or unfair question that clearly shows his own biases. But Wolf Blitzer asked a fair and reasonable question, especially as you just said, since it was Gingrich who initially brought up the Swiss Bank account thing earlier in the campaign.

So you did notice though, you did notice that the audience applauded Gingrich and booed Wolf Blitzer. I think this is a reflexive reaction. I think the so-called mainstream media has made a lot of enemies over the years by their own actions and as a result the audience reflexively was rooting for Newt Gingrich.


O'REILLY: I see it a little bit differently.

GOLDBERG: But -- but let me just add one sentence.

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

GOLDBERG: But -- but Wolf Blitzer did absolutely in my view nothing wrong.

O'REILLY: No. And I think it was Newt Gingrich's supporters who booed but the people at home, I don't think that they were mad at Blitzer.

GOLDBERG: I agree.

O'REILLY: I think exactly the way you do and -- and I think, they went wait a minute there is a difference between what John King did on the set-up coming right out of the box to make Gingrich look bad.

Here is an interesting thing. I did it on one of my rare print interviews because they are doing a big article on why Fox News has been number one for 10 years. And by the way I told them one name, Bernie Goldberg. That's why.

GOLDBERG: Thank you, Bill. Thank you.

O'REILLY: Ok but the --


GOLDBERG: I got to go. Check, please.

O'REILLY: A reporter asked me would you have asked the question that John King asked about the Speaker's former wife? And I said to him I would not have asked that question at the top of the interview because that gives the accusation too much credibility.


O'REILLY: You don't do that and when I did ask the question I would have framed it this way. I would have framed it this way: Mr. Speaker, there has been an accusation by your former wife, which we at CNN have not been able to corroborate, not been able to corroborate, ok?


O'REILLY: Do you feel it's going to hurt your campaign? I wouldn't have said what the accusation was and I would have said we can't corroborate it, that would have been the way to do it. But you know, these people who do these debates they don't even think about this stuff anymore. They are just right in your face.

GOLDBERG: Yes. And I think -- I think in that case it was right in your face because John King was trying to start a food fight. He was trying to get an audience and hold an audience right off the top of the program.

But that question could have been asked at the very end of the debate and if Newt Gingrich had a problem with it then, that would have been Newt Gingrich's problem. But by asking it off the top of the debate, with the reaction that it got, it just -- it was -- you said last -- didn't you say it was a gift --


O'REILLY: Yes it was a gift to Gingrich. They were prepared for it.


GOLDBERG: They were chocolate and something and flowers.

O'REILLY: Right, look, yes, they gave -- they handed the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich right there. The media gave it to them. But it's the same thing --


GOLDBERG: But that's -- during that segment.

O'REILLY: It's the same thing that happened last night. Gingrich and his handlers knew that was coming. And they knew that they were going to go right after the messenger and blow him out of the water and that happened.

GOLDBERG: It didn't work. It didn't work.

O'REILLY: No, it worked. It worked for Gingrich. Gingrich knocked it out of the park in South Carolina.

GOLDBERG: No, no, no. In South Carolina but it didn't work last night.



GOLDBERG: Because the difference between last night and South Carolina.


O'REILLY: Different question.

GOLDBERG: South Carolina was not legitimate and -- and last night it was a legitimate question.

O'REILLY: But you agree with me though that the CNN people that -- that pulled that Wolf Blitzer in and they slapped him a couple of times like this and then they said hey, if this guy comes after you, man, you have got to go right back at them. We don't want any more of this.

So you be ready and that's exactly what they told Wolf Blitzer. And Wolf Blitzer was ready and he went right back. I'll give you the last word.

GOLDBERG: You can only -- you can only get away with that kind of thing if -- if you're a candidate, if you're in the right. If you're picking at every little thing and -- and you're not in the right, and the person asks you a legitimate question and you pull that, it may work inside the building, but it doesn't work with the broader audience.

O'REILLY: No and that's my column by the way I'm going to do a plug- in on BillO' my newspaper column this week. Bernie Goldberg, everybody. We'll miss you on Monday Bernie but he'll be back the following Monday we hope.

Plenty more ahead as the FACTOR moves along this evening. We're trying to get to the bottom of a conversation between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama. See that finger? That looks like my finger there. It's not easy to get to the bottom of this story. There's a lot of subterfuge. But we'll have the report.

And then, Lou Dobbs on whether money will prevent Mitt Romney from ever becoming President of the United States. We hope you stay tuned to those reports.

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