Anchor fired over military service?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight a lawsuit filed against the Weather Channel. Nicole Mitchell worked there for nearly seven years forecasting the weather. But in 2010 her contract was not renewed.

Ms. Mitchell says that when the Weather Channel was sold in 2008 to NBC, the management began to question her status as a Captain in the Air Force Reserves. She believes her military position was a factor in her firing.

She joins us now from Burbank, California. How you can possibly prove that Captain?

NICOLE MITCHELL, FORMER METEOROLOGIST ON THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Well, I consider myself tremendously fortunate because not only were there the verbal instances that happened and then schedule changes when I wouldn't comply with coming in on military weekends and not putting the Weather Channel over the military, which they've never denied but I also have emails which a lot of people do not have in these cases. And then even when I was told my contract was not renewed it was right after I had come back from military service.

So, you kind of look at that overall picture of timing and emails and everything else and that builds the picture.


MITCHELL: That my renewal was biased.

O'REILLY: I don't really understand this so you're going to have to walk me through it.


O'REILLY: All right, so you're -- you're there at the Weather Channel and who owned it before NBC? Who owned it?

MITCHELL: It was privately owned by... a company called Landmark

O'REILLY: Ok. Privately owned. So you were on cable television. You were doing the weather. And you know, the Weather Channel is not competing for ratings. It's a service. All right, it's a service.

MITCHELL: Correct.

O'REILLY: You are there, you get paid a salary, you tell people what the weather is. They tune in, they tune out. You know the game. So, you're there for quite some time. And you're not having any trouble with your military obligation. When you need to go, they let you go, correct?

MITCHELL: Yes, there is always going to be scheduling challenges. But I had never felt like my job was in jeopardy to cover that.

O'REILLY: All right they never gave you a hard time as far as threatening you or anything like that, the old management?

MITCHELL: Right. Correct.

O'REILLY: Ok, so then NBC takes it over and then you are subject to scrutiny? Did your superiors say hey, listen, Captain, we don't like the fact that you are going off on your weekends or you have got this obligation you can't be in the studio. They actually say that to you?

MITCHELL: I was asked a lot of questions about how much time off do we have to give you? What are we required to do? I was asked to come in on weekends. They knew I had one of my military weekends.

O'REILLY: So, they set you up? Are you saying they set you up they that. They knew you had a schedule. That you have to be in the military... and the military is not something you can say look I can't go I've got to give the weather in Kansas. I can't be there. You've got to go when you have got to go. All right so you...


O'REILLY:'re saying that NBC... not NBC. I don't think it goes up to the top of the NBC but the management of the Weather Channel was actually setting you up making it more difficult for you to fulfill both obligations... your job obligation and your military obligation, correct?

MITCHELL: Correct. And... and especially, you know, some of those things were one weekend it was over a hair consultation. And when you've known for months that I have a military weekend, why would you even ask a person to be coming in for something as frivolous as that.

And the way my lawyer puts it, and I think this is well-stated is it's a loyalty test. And part of the reason that we came forward with this isn't because of my case. So many people go through this with management, especially with management changes.

O'REILLY: But there is a tone.

MITCHELL: You know one company hires you...

O'REILLY: There is a tone. All right, look, if you were working for the Fox News Channel as a weather broadcaster, I can assure you that they wouldn't be giving you a hard time because of your military obligations on Fox.


O'REILLY: Yet NBC has a reputation of being a very liberal network and that's its reputation. So, do you think that that... that point of view that's held by some... not all but some... at NBC played into this? that they didn't like the military and want to get rid of you?

MITCHELL: I think it's more a case because I've had support from people of all political views. That it was a bad management problem and people that were arrogant and didn't think anyone should be putting anything first and they didn't care if it was military.

O'REILLY: All right, so you don't think it was an anti-military, we just don't like Captain Mitchell because she's a military ... you don't think it was that it was just like you should be putting this above anything else?

MITCHELL: Correct. But the military is protected by law. So you can't do that.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, you do have the emails and all of that stuff we hope you win your lawsuit.


O'REILLY: And Captain, we appreciate you coming on this evening. Thank you good luck to you.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

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