Challenging the American press

Is the national press irresponsible in the United States?


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story Segment" tonight, challenging the American press, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos conducted a very tough interview with President Obama a couple of years ago, recently had a dust-up with Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Speaking to Politico, Mr. Ramos said, quote, "You turn on the TV and you see very bland interviews. Journalists in the United States are very cozy with power, very close to those in power. They laugh with them. I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power."

Joining us now from Miami is Mr. Ramos. You're almost saying here that the National Press is irresponsible or am I wrong?

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: Well, basically more than irresponsible. What I would say is that they're not really professional. I think our mission is really a mission, Bill. I think it's to question those who are in power and I'm not seeing that.

We have a great American tradition with Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, with the journalists of the Watergate investigation. And I'm not seeing that. Sometimes when I go to Washington it feels like a club. They are more concerned about keeping their contact than just getting the truth.

BOLDUAN: Well, that's true. And access is the big thing. I mean you know there are exceptions to the rule, Mr. Ramos, do you not?

RAMOS: Yes, of course there are exceptions but we all have biases. You have your own biases I mean whenever you are covering Obamacare or Benghazi or supporting more the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa -- have you ever seen my do a softball interview with anybody?

RAMOS: I have seen you doing tough interviews but I've seen you also supporting more Republicans than Democrats. That's fine --

O'REILLY: Maybe editorially but never in an interview.


RAMOS: What I'm saying is that we just have to honest and transparent when we do our job. I am a registered Independent and I'm not partisan, so I criticize both President Barack Obama and Speaker Boehner. I think if we're transparent, that's a way to do it.

O'REILLY: Ok. But I'm a registered Independent and I have never done a softball interview in my life. Not only on this program or any place else. And that's 37 years. \ Now, what is going on though here in the United States, and I'm glad you brought this up is access. So, a guy like me, I can't get Nancy Pelosi to come on the program, even though she said to my face she would, because the congresswoman knows.

RAMOS: But you can get Republicans, right? And you can pressure Republicans --


O'REILLY: I can get some but not -- I never got Dick Cheney -- I never got Dick Cheney until he had his heart book. Never got him.

So there are Republicans -- we never had John Boehner. You got Boehner. I can't get Boehner.

RAMOS: I spoke with him and I told him very openly, very direct that he is the one blocking immigration reform but the same way I did with President Barack Obama. He has deported more than two million immigrants so far and he didn't keep his promise. So, in other words, I think as a journalist, my responsibility, our responsibility, Bill, I think is just to question those who are in power.

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

RAMOS: And again, I'm not seeing that.

O'REILLY: I agree with you that most of the big networks don't do that anymore because they want the access. They want to get in there. And then once you start giving these guys a hard time, they don't want to talk to you anymore. So that's what it is all about.

Now, you have been a very -- you have been an advocate for immigration reform. What's your vision? What would you like to see here?

RAMOS: You spoke in the past in your own show about a sane immigration plan. I don't think we exactly agree on all the terms. But I think the most important thing is that we have to legalize 11 million people who are in this country. We are also responsible. Yet they broke the law -- I agree with that. But at the same time here, millions of Americans are benefiting from their work and thousands of our American companies are hiring them.

So, we have to do something about it. If Republicans don't do something about it and Boehner is not doing his job and Republicans are not doing their job, they are going to lose 2016 and Hillary Clinton is going to be very happy. So, yes, I think we have to do something and we can do it now.

Unfortunately we are going to have to do it before --


O'REILLY: You're an American citizen.

RAMOS: -- otherwise nothing is going to happen.

O'REILLY: You are an American citizen and you came from Mexico and you did it the legal way, correct? You did it the legal way?

RAMOS: There is a legal way. But the reality is that --

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa -- let's stay on you. You did it the legal way -- right?

RAMOS: I did. And it worked out.

O'REILLY: It worked out for you. You are successful here in America. And it worked out.

So, the other side says, primarily republicans, listen, you don't reward people who even though you are right, there has been benefits from illegal immigration, big business has benefited, agriculture has benefited. You don't reward them with automatic citizenship. Now our program here --

RAMOS: But you're never going to bring them back -- Bill, you're not going to send them back to Mexico. So I agree --

O'REILLY: No. You can't deport them all.

RAMOS: -- you don't reward them but you -- they will pay a fine, they'll go to the end of the line and then we also have to say we are also responsible for that. And not only that it's great for the economy, $200 billion in the first 10 years, $700 billion in the following decade they'll create more than three million jobs. So it's a great business.

O'REILLY: It might be and it might not.

RAMOS: Republicans in the House are not seeing that.

O'REILLY: But before you get anything done what the Republican Party wants is a secure border so you don't have everybody coming in to get in the back of the line.

RAMOS: More secure? You mean more secure border?


RAMOS: I mean it's more secure than ever before. President Barack Obama has deported more than two million so far.

O'REILLY: Well, we're still getting hundreds of thousands of people crossing over here. So the Republican Party --

RAMOS: The border (inaudible) is safer. Right now, Bill -- right now it's the safest ever.

O'REILLY: There is a lot of people still coming over and I think the fair thing to do would be to combine the reform with -- this is the date and anybody coming over, past that date, you get nothing.


RAMOS: -- use that as an excuse, anyway.

O'REILLY: Listen, it's politicized, there is no doubt about it. We will continue it and we really appreciate you coming on this evening. Thank you.

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