Goldberg: The media and Sandra Fluke

Bernie Goldberg breaks down reporting done on the Georgetown University student's quest for contraception coverage


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 5, 2012. 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, as we told you in the "Talking Points Memo," as we told you, Sandra Fluke, a liberal activist, who is now in the center of the campaign to reelect Barack Obama. Here's what Ms. Fluke said today on "The View" about people who have personally attacked her:


SANDRA FLUKE, LAW STUDENT: I would encourage everyone to go to Media Matters because they have an excellent story on their Web site that gives a list of the various commentators who engaged in this type of language.


O'REILLY: Now, anyone citing Media Matters has to be a committed leftist.

Joining us now from Miami, the purveyor of, Mr. Goldberg.

Ok. So this story, as I mentioned, and I think you would agree with me, because Bernie and I chatted on the phone earlier today about it, is a much bigger story about a re-election of a president. That's where this is now landing, rather than a talk radio story, an ideological story. Would you agree with that?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Unfortunately, I agree 100 percent with that, and the reason I say "unfortunately" is because all the attention is now focused on the comments that Rush made and whether the apology is real or not and what the long-term effects of what he said will be. Where the... and to some extent that's all legitimate. I have no problem with that.

But it's distracted us from another set of questions. One, here's a woman who was smart enough to get into Georgetown Law. She's smart enough to get into that school. She's smart enough to get into a whole bunch of other schools. Yet, she thinks that a Catholic university, which she consciously decided to attend, should change its values to suit... to suit her. That discussion isn't really happening.

O'REILLY: Yes, and she knew... she knew that Georgetown's insurance policies that cover students did not include contraception when she agreed to go to the school.

GOLDBERG: But there should be... there should be more of a discussion about that. She believes, and a lot of other people on the left believe, that... that the federal government has every right to require an entire industry to give away a product for free. Ok? Where's the discussion about what other products can the federal government require businesses to give out for free? That's a very important question.

O'REILLY: That's what I said on Friday. I mean, if you're going to say this is under the banner of women's health, all right. Then there's a whole bunch of other products that are under the banner of not only women's health but men's health. So where does it end?

GOLDBERG: This woman also, again... and she was very civil in her testimony. I have no problem with that. My only problem is with the content of what she said.

She is a poster person for the entitlement society. Let's have a discussion about that. But, because of what happened on this radio program, our attention and the media's attention is focused on that, understandably, and not on these other issues that are at least as important...

O'REILLY: Let me... let me...

GOLDBERG: ... as what a radio talk show host said in a manner that he should have never said it. Much more important.

O'REILLY: Let me put this forth. Let me put this forth. I believe that the media that wants to re-elect Barack Obama doesn't want to talk about what you're talking about and what I'm talking about. So they're never going to do it. Because that brings it back to a subject that was not working for the President.

So, they're going to ignore the big picture, what I said here, what you're saying. Not going to cover it, Ok? They're going to concentrate on demonizing... all right... the conservative guys who are going after Ms. Fluke, which was not smart to do. So they're going to make that the story and try to, as someone said earlier in the program... I think it was Mary Katharine Ham... try to link them with the Republican party.

See, so this is what the media now does in this country. It absolutely knows, as Bernie and I know, what the big story is here. Not going to cover it. What it's going to cover is the sensational sidebar story and then try to link that in to the Republican establishment in the hopes of diminishing it. And that's why this whole thing is big. It's big.

GOLDBERG: Yes. And your analysis is correct. But unfortunately Rush gave them the ammunition to do that. If he didn't say the things he said, they'd have a much tougher time doing that. But you say... you say that there are things that they don't want to talk about. Let me tell you a couple of other things... I did some research here... that they don't want to talk about.

Ed Schultz, who called Laura Ingraham a right-wing slut, that didn't get a lot of play.

O'REILLY: He got suspended by NBC for a week for doing that.

GOLDBERG: Yes, he did, and he apologized. But in the liberal media...

O'REILLY: Nothing.

GOLDBERG: ... that didn't get editorials. Ok.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: A former NBC anchor who now works for Al Gore said that S.E. Cupp, the conservative commentator, who strikes me as a very nice woman, should have been aborted, that Michelle Malkin is a mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.

Bill Maher referred to Sarah Palin with the four-letter word that begins with the letter "C." And Mike Taibbi, who is a regular guest on the Fox Business Channel's "Imus in the Morning" program, has said so many things about conservative women that are so dirty that I can't even figure out a way to clean them up for this program.

O'REILLY: I think that's... I think that's Matt Taibbi... who works for Rolling Stone.

GOLDBERG: I'm sorry. Thank you, thank you. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.

Now let me make clear that none of these people are as important to the political culture as Rush Limbaugh. That's true. Nobody knows who Matt Taibbi is and Ed Schultz isn't that important. And Rush is much more important than any of them are to the Republican political machine. Operation.

But, we would take a lot more seriously the concern over what Rush said if the liberal media had shown just a little, a little outrage...

O'REILLY: Yes, a little fairness.

GOLDBERG: ... over all the misogyny, all the misogyny aimed at conservative women.

O'REILLY: Good point, Bernie. That's why we you have you on the air.

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