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When will Martin Bashir be disciplined?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 20, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight, perhaps no politician in the country has taken more verbal abuse than Sarah Palin. And it has nothing to do with her skin color. Somebody tell Oprah. It has to do with her conservative belief system.

Now, the other day on MSNBC, one of their hateful commentators compared Governor Palin to a slave owner and said some vile things should happen to her. I'm not going to run that sound bite because it does not deserve to be aired. But in response, Miss Palin's political action committee issued a statement quote: "We would like to know what disciplinary measures you are taking about Martin Bashir's appalling statement that someone should defecate and/or urinate in Governor Palin's mouth." Bashir has apologized. No action by the MSNBC has been taken against him yet.

Joining us now from Washington, Fox News media analyst Howard's Kurtz. So what should happen to this guy?

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST, "MEDIA BUZ": It is stunning to me, Bill, that MSNBC has not suspended Martin Bashir for a substantial period of time as I would have and I probably would have considered firing his butt if it were not for the apology. Nor has MSNBC executives said a single syllable to denounce this kind of vitriol which leaves the impression that maybe it's acceptable.

O'REILLY: Well how can they possibly do that when they have been on the air 17 years and they have a long history of vicious, vile, personal smears against conservative Americans? How can they possibly say now after 17 years well, we don't like it?

KURTZ: Well, let me just say that the culture of cable television does in some ways reward harsh personal attacks by all sides.

O'REILLY: Well let me -- let me stop you there.

KURTZ: Ok.

O'REILLY: On this channel, I'm not aware of that happening. Nobody has ever been suspended for doing it. I mean, once in a while it gets rough but not very much. You go Baier, Greta, O'Reilly, Kelly, Hannity, five hours straight -- none of those people known for personal attacks. So how can you make that comparison?

CNN doesn't do it except there is one guy who does it on CNN and he's going to be fired soon, the guy in the 9:00 p.m. slot, all right? But nobody else.

KURTZ: Look, there are people who call guests or political targets idiots and pinheads. That's in a whole different categories.

O'REILLY: All right come on, come on.

KURTZ: A whole different category.

O'REILLY: Come on.

KURTZ: Hear me out, Bill. Whole different category than this kind of bile than Martin Bashir was peddling. And interesting contrast there you talk about Sarah Palin being the target of a lot of attacks and just to provide a little context. She used the term "slavery" to describe the national debt. She made that analogy. Fine to criticize her on that she's fair game. But to say what she --

O'REILLY: You don't do it that way. You just say --

KURTZ: Well absolutely not. And look at the contrast to Alec Baldwin.

O'REILLY: Look do you want to be -- let's just be frank here, you want to be frank, Howard? Do you want to be honest tonight?

KURTZ: Ok. Sure.

O'REILLY: Sarah Palin won't do this program. She won't come on the program because she doesn't want to mix it up -- just she wants to give a speech and nobody gives speeches here. Ok? So she doesn't come on. We invited her on tonight. You are in her stead. But I don't -- I don't begrudge Sarah Palin on that. She can come on. If she doesn't come on, if she does come on, whatever she wants to do ok? Fine.

KURTZ: But --

O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Ok but there is a pattern of behavior. And it's not MSNBC, it's NBC News. They own it. They run it. Ok? They allow it. Go.

KURTZ: First of all, let me give you a little breaking news. I am told that Sarah Palin has canceled a scheduled Christmas interview with Matt Lauer of "The Today Show". He's going to go up to Wasilla. Not because she doesn't like Matt Lauer of the "Today Show" but because --

O'REILLY: No that was fine.

KURTZ: -- NBC -- NBC has not taken any action on this matter.

O'REILLY: Right.

KURTZ: Secondly, I think a lot of people on MSNBC probably agree with Bashir that she is an idiot and a dunce -- those two adjectives that he threw at her. But when Alec Baldwin who also has a show there -- you may not have heard about this -- you know got involved with an altercation with the paparazzi. He used an anti-gay slur NBC was very quick to suspend him for a couple of weeks.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: All right so, so if they are knocking Baldwin off the air and he didn't even do it on his program he did it because the paparazzi are torturing him, all right, why aren't they doing it to Bashir? Why aren't they sending a message like we don't want to do this anymore? We have been doing it for 17 years and it hasn't worked, it hasn't worked. We want to stop doing it. Why don't they do it?

KURTZ: It's inexplicable to me and by the way rather than this being an off the cuff remark or somebody says something on live television that they later regret. This was a scripted piece --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Yes.

KURTZ: -- in the teleprompter with graphics the executive producer had to approve it --

O'REILLY: Everybody knew about it.

KURTZ: Everybody knew about it and I still haven't heard anything from MSNBC which to me says all right he apologized let's slip it under the rug. And where is the outrage from the rest of the mainstream media the way there would have been. The way they would have been on MSNBC if somebody had said anything like that about Hillary Clinton.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Or Barack Obama. You know and you can imagine that. I mean look I don't, I thought this English woman who they hired to be the president was going to clean this up. I mean it's getting worse over there I think it's -- I'll give you the last word.

KURTZ: I just think that this is one of those instances where something was so over the pale, so over the top, so despicable that a network has to make a statement with both disciplinary action and with a strong statement denouncing that kind of conduct otherwise it looks like you are just looking the other way.

O'REILLY: All right, Howard, thanks very much.

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