The Pope and capitalism

Bernie Goldberg on the media coverage of Pope Francis


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 14, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight. Very interesting situation involving Pope Francis, you may remember last November the Pope said that some capitalists are evil, exploiting poor folks well that got picked up all over the place in the USA mentioned on the NBC "Nightly News" and the CBS "Evening News". But this week when Pope Francis said abortion is literally throwing away human beings like garbage -- that got no mention at all. None.

Joining us from Miami, the purveyor of Mr. Goldberg. So I'm not surprised if the Pope puts the USA in a bad light. That's going to get headlines. If he condemns abortion, the liberal media will ignore it. Is that what we have here?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Once again you've stumbled on to the truth. But the issue isn't solely about how the media treat this particular Pope. There is a bigger issue. And that is that too many journalists on the left and on the right tend to play up stories that reflect their own values and play down stories that don't reflect their own values.

So when the Pope talks about the excesses of capitalism and income inequality they jump all over that story because it reflects their values, their friend's values, their family's values and probably President Obama's values because he also talks about income inequality.

But when the Pope talks about abortion being horrific and part of a throwaway society, we did some checking. The networks have devoted exactly zero time to that --

O'REILLY: Zero -- no mention.

GOLDBERG: -- and virtually every -- every major -- virtually every major paper ignored the story. Even though in today's "New York Times" there was a page one story about the Pope in which they quoted him of a few months ago saying that the church was obsessed with abortion and contraception but left out what he says --


O'REILLY: They didn't mention that he said that this was a you -- the Pope look, people should understand who are not Catholic that the basic doctrine of Christianity is all life is sacred -- all life. Death penalty, I oppose it, Christian doctrine opposes it; abortion, same thing. And Catholics and other Christian sects say the only one who has a right to terminate a life is God. Not a doctor, not a woman who is pregnant, God. That's it.

When life is in play, you can't. That's why euthanasia they oppose, capital punishment. Now, a lot of Americans don't believe that we respect that. This is a pluralistic society, we do.

But when the media, the national media uses a Pope or exploits the Pope as I think they did in this case on capitalism and then turns around and doesn't report the other stuff I think we have a serious problem in this country, Bernie.

GOLDBERG: Bill let me throw this out at you because I think we were both -- we were both hard news journalists. One could make the case -- and I'm not necessarily making it tonight -- but one could make the case that the Pope coming out, making a statement against abortion, isn't exactly a bulletin --

O'REILLY: No but it is the language though.

GOLDBERG: He is the Pope after all.

O'REILLY: No, no, but it's the language.

GOLDBERG: No there is no question that you or I could have written a pretty good page one story.

O'REILLY: That's right, absolutely.

GOLDBERG: About the whole context. I'm just saying, I'm just saying you know they are going to say --


O'REILLY: I don't care what they say but in the context of we heard the drum beat for months that this was a liberal Pope.

GOLDBERG: That's right -- fair enough.

O'REILLY: He was changing and then all of the sudden he comes out with very strong language and it doesn't exist in the United States Bernie. This does not exist, this story does not exist.

GOLDBERG: Precisely because of what I said at the open, when they have a story that reflects their values and their friends' values --

O'REILLY: They run with it.

GOLDBERG: -- they play it up.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: And when they have a story that doesn't, they ignore it.

O'REILLY: All right it's wrong, it's corrupt. It's not what journalism is supposed to be. When I was at CBS --


GOLDBERG: That's the important point that it's not what journalism is really about. That's important.

O'REILLY: When I was at CBS and ABC, I didn't know who was religious and who wasn't. I was a hard news reporter, I was running around. I didn't spend a lot of time in the office I was everywhere. And it never came up, religion never came up. And I never told anybody that I was Catholic, that I went to mass. I never told anybody and nobody told me. It was don't ask, don't tell situation. Was that your experience as well?

GOLDBERG: Well it never came up but for a different -- it never came up because virtually nobody in the news room cares very much about religion.

O'REILLY: How did you know that?

GOLDBERG: And by the way.

O'REILLY: How did you know that?

GOLDBERG: Because every -- I know that because I know they didn't go to church on a regular basis and they didn't go to synagogue on a regular basis. And having -- having written about this kind of thing for over 10 years now, I know that every poll that's ever come out -- that's ever come out says that journalists are not especially religious in a formal sense religious people. So how does -- why does that matter?

And by the way, that's fine with me. I don't care what people are but when a story comes up about abortion, they don't understand what you said about a minute ago. They don't understand that in Catholic theology and in a lot of Christian beyond Catholicism, theology, life is sacred. All they know is that hey, we are for abortion rights, what's the big deal here?

That's why it's good to have people who are people of faith who can sort of balance things out a little bit in the American newsroom.

O'REILLY: All right Bernie thanks very much as always.

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