Does the American media tilt against Israel?

Bernie Goldberg examines issue


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight some Americans believe the media in general tilts against Israel. I don't think so. But the left-wing media, certainly does.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would you say to those who argue that the - - the rockets are essentially very ineffective. They rarely do damage and that the response from the Israelis is disproportional to the threat that they're under?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I wouldn't -- I would say that to the three Israeli people who were killed by one of those rockets. The 150 Israelis who have been wounded physically and psychologically by this, these rockets paralyze an entire country.


O'REILLY: A new CNN poll says 57 percent of Americans believe Israel is justified in taking military action against Hamas; 25 percent say it's not justified; 19 percent don't know.

Joining us from Miami, Bernie Goldberg the purveyor of So is Israel getting a fair shake in general from the media here, Bernie?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there's too many -- to many news organizations for -- for me to make a broad generalization. So let me say this: before Israel's counter offensive last week, Hamas lobbed between 750 and 800 missiles into civilian places in Israel. That's a lot of missiles, 800 in one calendar year -- just this year up to 800 missiles.

But that was never a big news story in the United States. I'm not saying they never covered it, but it was never a big running news story. It only became a story when Israel launched this major counter offensive. Now, why is this? I think it's because there is a fascination on the part of liberal journalists and actually liberals in general, fascination and an attraction towards the underdog. They love the underdog. They sympathize with the underdog. And if the underdog has brown skin, better yet.

So they see the Palestinians as the underdog and Israel as the oppressors, a lot of the far left media, and that's why we start to get stories about Uncle Mahmoud, who was killed in the terrible savage attack by Israel and we get incredibly dumb questions like the one you just played from the woman on MSNBC --


O'REILLY: The NBC. Right, right.

GOLDBERG: But I don't think this is a media problem so much as it's a general liberal problem. You ran that CNN poll. Let me break that down a little. The CNN poll said that 74 percent of Republicans think that what Israel is doing is justified; 59 percent of Independents think it's justified. But only 40 percent -- 4-0 percent of Democrats think it. They can't even get a majority of Democrats in this country to think that Israel's response is justified.

And why is that? Because there are a bunch of liberals and liberals generally don't like Israel. A lot of liberals don't, anyway.

O'REILLY: Well it's true. I don't know really why I guess it's tied into some kind of -- I don't know. I'm not even going to speculate. But Anderson Cooper got into trouble --


GOLDBERG: Look, 40 percent that can't get a majority.

O'REILLY: -- Anderson Cooper got into trouble on CNN when he did one of those Uncle Mahmoud stories and then it turned it was a total phony. So you got to be careful about reporting there.


O'REILLY: All right, let's -- let's pivot and get into what I was talking to Charles Krauthammer about.


O'REILLY: And you're a psychologist by hobby.

GOLDBERG: Yes right, right by marriage -- by marriage I'm a psychologist.

O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: My wife. Yes.

O'REILLY: So why is the "Washington Post" attacking me so vehemently for telling the truth which I backed up 15 different ways yesterday and tonight about the entitlement culture overcoming the traditional culture in America? Why are they attacking me?

GOLDBERG: Because too many times liberals in the media and out of the media see any kind of observation that involves race and minorities as an attack -- a racial attack.

O'REILLY: But this was just under -- but this was just income $30,000.

GOLDBERG: I know, but I understand that. But they accused you, did they not --

O'REILLY: Yes absolutely they accused me of it. They brought it right into the racial arena, absolutely.

GOLDBERG: What makes it -- what makes it so -- what makes it so dumb is that I could envision if -- and they may have actually done this. But I could envision a page one story in the "Washington Post," hard news story, saying America has changed demographically. White political clout is not what it used to be. This will affect voting patterns, which is basically what you said.

O'REILLY: That's exactly what I said.

GOLDBERG: Well, right.

O'REILLY: But I think it's further than that. I think they understand that the culture is changing very quickly and they don't want the folks to understand it. They want the folks to keep going blithely along until we fall off the fiscal cliff and then everybody will pay attention. But that's probably a few years away.

Last word, Bernie.

GOLDBERG: Well, I think that, too often, people on the left see any kind of observation that says people want things for free and -- not everybody does certainly, but some people do.

They see it as a racial attack. They are the defenders of minorities. That's how they see themselves. And they feel better about themselves attacking you for being a so-called racist because that makes them feel better about themselves. , O'REILLY: All right.

GOLDBERG: That's a psychological component of it.

O'REILLY: I'm glad I could help them out. Bernie, thanks very much.

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