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Goldberg: Matthews is right about network liberal bias claim

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 11, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, as you may know, we have been reporting that the American press firmly committed to reelecting President Obama.

A new FOX News poll asks "Who do most members in the media want to win the election?" Fifty-eight percent say Mr. Obama. Just 31 percent -- 21, I should say, 21 percent believe the press favors Mitt Romney. Thirteen percent of the registered voters polled are unsure.

Also committed Democrat and MSNBC broadcaster Chris Matthews recently said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: The big networks for years had establishment liberalism as their basis of true north. That's what they were, Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, establishment liberal. Everything was liberal, basically, but it was a point of view.

And they laughed at Goldwater. Cronkite mocked him with the way he pronounced his name. It's all true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Mr. Matthews perhaps unknowingly backs up Bernie Goldberg's book "Bias" from 10 years ago. Mr. Goldberg joins us now from North Carolina.

So were you surprised by Matthews' admission?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Pleasantly surprised. Pleasantly. He was absolutely right in what he said. And he deserves credit. I give Chris credit for saying it.

Look, if we're ever going to make progress on this media bias problem, it's going to take liberals to admit that there is a liberal bias, and it's going to take conservatives to admit that there's a conservative bias. Because if we just have conservatives yelling about liberal bias and liberals yelling about the other side, we're not going to get anywhere. So hats off to Chris for this one. He got it right.

O'REILLY: I don't think the right -- the right denies talk radio tilts conservative, because all the big guys that are making money there are conservative. Not one liberal yacker makes any money on talk radio. I mean, substantial money. So that's provable right there. That's provable.

FOX News, I mean you have a network that basically is different from the establishment network that Mr. Matthews is talking about. Takes a much more traditional approach. It has conservative hosts on that have programs. That's unheard of in the other precincts. Never happens, never has happened. All right. I don't think anybody would disagree with that - - to that description.

Then when you get into the New York Times bias and then NBC, and CBS and ABC and the culture there, you heard the former president, David Westin of ABC here, when I was grilling him about the culture over there is left he wouldn't even admit it. He wouldn't admit it.

GOLDBERG: Right. Two things. First, I'm talking about liberal guys and conservative bias. Without going into a long song and dance, I contend there are biases on both sides.

As for David Westin, the former president of ABC News, you're absolutely right. He wouldn't even acknowledge what everybody this sided of Neptune knows, that the culture of ABC News and NBC News and CBS, the culture, the institutional culture is liberal. He couldn't even acknowledge that.

O'REILLY: And I know that, and I was a little bit surprised. You know Les Moonves who runs CBS and CBS News?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: He was at that big Obama fundraiser in L.A. He was there, and he said, "Hey, it's a different world now. Yes. I'm in charge of that -- you know, here I am."

So I think -- I think all of that is now crumbling, so the question then becomes, all right. So everybody knows it. Anybody who denies it is not telling the truth. We all know. You were right 10 years ago. You actually got fired for being right.

GOLDBERG: No, no. No, no. I never got fired.

O'REILLY: You got the Elba, the island of Elba treatment.

GOLDBERG: No -- yes. I got the island of Elba treatment, but I quit to write "Bias."

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: I couldn't write "Bias" if I was still at CBS.

O'REILLY: Why? Why couldn't...

GOLDBERG: I never got fired.

O'REILLY: Why couldn't you write "Bias" if you were at CBS?

GOLDBERG: Is this a serious question or are you pulling my chain?

O'REILLY: I'm not sure yet. It depends on your answer.

GOLDBERG: Well, no, I mean, this is a book about bias. This was a book about liberal bias in the media and how it worked and how it worked at a place that I had worked for 28 years at CBS News. They would have -- I mean, I would have been turned up missing in some swamp lands or something if I had been there when I wrote that book.

O'REILLY: All right. But they -- they would never say, "Well, we're going to take a reprisal against Bernie Goldberg" or Bill O'Reilly or whoever it may be, "if they give an opinion that our operation here is tilting left." I mean, they would never say that.

I mean, Dan Rather, you heard him say last week that, you know, "Oh, you know, they're crazy. There's no liberal bias." We used David Westin as a better example. Dan Rather still running around saying there isn't any liberal bias.

I'm not sure why -- and I don't think Rather goes on these television shows and says, "I'm going to lie." I think he's talked himself into it?

GOLDBERG: Absolutely true. Absolutely. If you hooked Dan Rather up to a lie detector machine and said, "Was there a liberal bias when you were the anchorman of 'The CBS Evening News,'" he would say no and the needle wouldn't budge. I mean, he's not lying; he's delusional.

O'REILLY: And Cronkite?

GOLDBERG: Well, Cronkite admitted. Cronkite admitted. You know, after -- after I wrote "Bias," somebody asked Cronkite about it, and he admitted there was a liberal bias. But he said it was because journalists saw the under side of life. They covered the courts. They saw the downtrodden, the poor. And they tended to be liberal as a result.

Where Cronkite led his let his liberalism affect things in a bad way is Cronkite went to Senator Robert Kennedy and urged him to run for president against Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic primaries.

First of all, you can't encourage somebody to run for president, you know. You can't do that.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: And secondly, you can't do that and then pretend you had nothing to do with his deciding to run for president. That's where Cronkite's liberalism induced him to cross the line. That was just one example.

O'REILLY: All right. Thank you.

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