This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight, once again, I will tell you I believe the upcoming presidential race will be the nastiest in the nation's history, and that's saying something. Both sides are lined up to take the opposing candidate apart. Billions of dollars are likely to be spent doing that.
One of the most vicious left-wing outfits is Media Matters, which is pledging to spend $20 million to influence news coverage in favor of President Obama. But few Americans know much about Media Matters.
Joining us now from Miami, Tucker Carlson, FOX News contributor who has been investigating Media Matters for the Daily Caller Web site.
First of all, in your first report that I read today, and you have a couple of more coming up, you use unnamed sources, people within Media Matters. You feel comfortable using those sources?
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We would prefer named sources. But it was difficult to get anybody on the record. I would say that we interviewed so many people in and around Media Matters -- and I think it's obvious in the piece -- that you really get a granular sense of what's going on inside their offices.
O'REILLY: Why wouldn't they...
CARLSON: By the way...
O'REILLY: Why didn't they want their names used? Some of them don't work there anymore. Why didn't anybody want their names used?
CARLSON: Well, because they're still in the orbit of Media Matters. And frankly, I think virtually everyone we talked to was still a committed leftist. It's not that they have ideological problems with what Media Matters is doing. It's that they have problems with the management of David Brock, who runs the organization. And that's why they came to us.
O'REILLY: Surely they know that you were going to write this, and it's not going to reflect well on Media Matters.
O'REILLY: But I just wanted to point out that they are unnamed sources.
OK. Let's get to the headlines. MSNBC, you say in your reporting, is pretty much taking what Media Matters puts out, and what Media Matters does is propaganda.
O'REILLY: And they're taking it, and they're basically throwing it on NBC's air without any kind of fact check or whether it's true or not. They just take it and throw it on the air.
CARLSON: The line that we had from someone who worked at Media Matters for a long time was, and I'm quoting now, "We basically write their prime time. Anything we write, particularly anything that pertains to FOX News." And a lot of what Media Matters writes does pertain to FOX News, they run it basically verbatim.
O'REILLY: OK. Now, is that a violation? Phil Griffin is the head of MSNBC. Obviously, he works for NBC News. I mean, is this kind of an ethical violation of the news industry?
CARLSON: Well, it's certainly dishonest. You know, what our journalistic ethics. That's an entire separate conversation. But I would say, yes, of course, it's something that viewers don't know when they're watching. It's collusion that takes place behind the scenes. There's a political agenda.
O'REILLY: They don't cite Media Matters. They just take the information and throw it out there.
All right. Eugene Robinson is one of the main contributors of MSNBC, but he works for The Washington Post and writes a column there. And you say that he takes Media Matters stuff and just throws it on out there?
CARLSON: According to sources at Media Matters, he is one of the journalists who is receptive and has in the past taken information from Media Matters and reprinted it, yes. With or without attribution.
O'REILLY: All right. Another Washington Post guy, E.J. Dionne, syndicated columnist, is he doing exactly what Robinson is doing? Or is there a difference between the two men?
CARLSON: That is correct. I mean, I would say both of them have been around. They're well-respected in Washington as liberals. I don't think most people know when they read their stuff, however, that they have been talking to Media Matters. And I think it's worth knowing that.
O'REILLY: OK. And the Los Angeles Times, another liberal newspaper columnist Jim Rainey. You say...
O'REILLY: ... you've been told that he, again, receives propaganda from Media Matters, turns it around, and puts it in his column as fact?
CARLSON: Cited as someone -- by someone who has given him information in the past. That's exactly right.
O'REILLY: All right. In the New York Times, there's Brian Stelter who writes media for them; wrote a very flattering article about MSNBC today. Again, he is linked into Media Matters?
CARLSON: He was described by someone who works at Media Matters as, in effect, friendly to Media Matters. They did not cite examples of him taking information without a filter on it. He was described by someone they believed was friendly to the organization, yes.
O'REILLY: All right. Now, you spent some time on this guy Greg Sargent, another Washington Post person, who has a -- I guess a close relationship with Media Matters, right?
CARLSON: Yes. There wasn't one person virtually we interviewed from Media Matters who didn't say the following: if you've got something and you can't place it, no one will take it, give Greg Sargent a buzz on his cell. He'll take anything. Person after person told us that.
O'REILLY: And what does he do? What does he do?
CARLSON: He is a columnist for the Washington Post. He writes a blog called "The Plum Line," which is liberal. I didn't know. He was actually an object of ridicule among the Media Matters people because is he's so easy to turn.
O'REILLY: OK. Finally, the organization says it will spend $20 million trying to influence media coverage in favor of President Obama. They make no pretense that's what they're going to do. Where are they going to get the money?
CARLSON: Well, they get it from big Democratic donors. Keep in mind that Media Matters, and we just demonstrated this in the piece has been colluding with the White House.
The head of Media Matters, David Brock, met with Valerie Jarrett, the president's chief advisor in the White House. They have weekly conference calls with the White House. So Democratic donors who give money to Obama give it to Median Matters and get along.
O'REILLY: So Media Matters has power in the sense that they have entree to the White House. They can get to the White House, and they go back and forth?
CARLSON: And influence in the press, in the mainstream media, without question.
O'REILLY: All right. Tucker, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
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