Goldberg: Petraeus affair will force media to cover Benghazi

Media critic examines the David Petraeus sex scandal


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, let's bring in the purveyor of who joins us from Miami.

So, this Petraeus thing, pretty stunning, is it not.

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Bill, my first reaction was, "I don't know about this. This is none of my business. It's a private matter."

And then I figured, of course, he has access to top secrets, so it's an important story.


And then, I thought, somebody ought to tell that to Bill Clinton, right. Because he also had access to top secrets and was fooling around with someone who wasn't his wife.

But if there's good news that comes out of this Petraeus matter, it's that now that sex is involved, maybe --


-- the so-called mainstream media will show a little interest in Benghazi.

O'REILLY: All right. So, you believe that the media has covered this fairly so far, the Petraeus thing. It broke, what, three days ago. It broke two days ago. It's been all over the place. I mean, you can't ignore it, obviously.

GOLDBERG: No, you can't ignore it. It's a story. And, you know, I'm not concerned. I'm not interested in it except as it -- if it pertains at all to policies such as Benghazi.

And I'm thinking, as I say, now that Petraeus is involved with Benghazi and is involved with sex, you know --

O'REILLY: Right. Your theory, as we live in the United States of entertainment and now that sex has been injected, they have to cover it.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

O'REILLY: But what about Peters, at the top of the program, being outraged by the timeline saying, "You know what, here's another example that the Obama administration absolutely knew what's going on. They buried it until after the election."

And then, you know, went on and on and on. Does that matter.

GOLDBERG: Well, I don't know if it's true. But if it's true, I guess it does because they managed to bury the Benghazi story. I mean, the media has said that since Romney didn't bring it up, they didn't feel any obligation to bring it up.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: So, if they put that past the election and they put this Petraeus thing past the election, this second term is going to be pretty ugly for Barack Obama because these things are not going to go away.

O'REILLY: I think the Petraeus thing will go away. Unless there's some compromising information that got on his computer to bad guys. I think, you know, this is a two or three-day cycle.

GOLDBERG: Well, it won't be the bad guys but there's some indication that his, whatever you want to call her, his friend may have made a speech and given away some secret information that she may or may not have gotten.

O'REILLY: I don't think that's going to happen. I think the only thing that could happen is if Holder gets dragged into this, which he may, because he obviously oversees the FBI and he knew what was going on.

And then if they see that he buried it and then he got fast and furious on his resume and all bunch of other things.

GOLDBERG: You can bury certain things for only a certain amount of time. And second terms are not kind to second-term presidents. And, I think, coupled with the stagnant economy and Benghazi and whatever comes out of this Petraeus thing -- you know, Barack Obama won the election but hey may have also lost the election.

O'REILLY: Well, we have a press conference on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the media is. I mean, this is the first press conference that the President has held since he graduated from Harvard Law School because he hasn't had a lot of those.


All right, now, you heard my "Talking Points Memo" which is, you know, quite extensive and, you know, painted, I think, a fairly-vivid picture of where we are in America socially. And you say.

GOLDBERG: Well, can I answer it, Bill, in a political sense.


GOLDBERG: Because, I think, if people agree with you, they're going to vote one way if they agree. If they don't agree with you, it's going to affect their vote.

I think -- first of all, I think Dennis Miller made a lot of sense. That's number one, all right. I'm not saying you didn't but I agree more with Dennis Miller.

O'REILLY: That is not coming back. Traditional America, as we knew it, is gone. Ward, June, Wally and the Beav out of here.

GOLDBERG: Yes, pretty much. And let's look at it this way from a political point of view. We keep hearing that America is a center-right country, right.

If it's a center-right country, how did Barack Obama win two elections. So, I'm not at all sure it's a center-right country. That's number one.

Number two, we keep hearing that republicans have a problem with black voters and Latinos and women and young people. Look, far and away, their biggest problem -- the biggest problem for republicans is with republicans, far and away.

Two days after the election, I'm listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio and a caller comes on who identifies himself as a traditional family values conservative.

I know what that means right from the jump. And he says, "I will never" -- these are his words, "I will never vote for a moderate republican."

And then for good -- and he didn't vote for Romney. He sat home. And then for good measure, he says that if any republican says, "I'm going to reach across the aisle," I will not vote for him.

Purists like that will sink the republican party.

O'REILLY: But how many republicans -- what percentage would you put on that kind of a presentation. How many republicans are in that category.

GOLDBERG: Well, we know that 3 million fewer republicans voted this time than they voted for McCain. I don't know how many of those agree with guy.

But I'll bet you, it's at least a million or so. And then if they nominate somebody that he likes, you know, some hard -- and this gets back to the "Talking Points," some hard-lined social conservative, that republican will never win either, Bill.

O'REILLY: No. You have to be able to persuade people in the middle that your vision for the country is good for them. And that's what I was saying. I think the Hispanic precincts can be won over. You just have to say, "Look, it's not good for you. This isn't good for you, what's going on."

GOLDBERG: It takes a certain kind of republican. It takes a kind of conservative Barack Obama, and I mean that in the best sense for conservatives.

And, you know what, republican messiahs don't come along that often. I don't think things look good for republicans unless they find that magic candidate.

O'REILLY: Yes, and that's why I wrote that "Killing Lincoln" book, by the way, to show people what Abraham Lincoln did under the republican banner.

Bernie Goldberg, everybody.

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