Can you trust the media?

Charles Krauthammer on the trustworthiness of press organizations


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 8, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, one of the reasons we have so much bitterness in America these days is that the national press heavily favors the Democratic Party and has given President Obama a pretty soft ride.

Thus, the question becomes, is there any press organization that's trustworthy. Joining us now from Washington, Fox News Political Analyst Charles Krauthammer.

So, I know I'm putting you on the spot. And we don't want to talk about Fox News because we both work here. We have a conflict of interest.

But you as a commentator, a newspaper columnist, author now, "Things that Matter," you have to watch the media reports come in.

You have to be well-informed, you have to be up-to-date, as do I. Is there anybody that you trust.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, again, apart from Fox, no, of course not. But the point is, unlike you, I don't believe that there are people who speak objective truth.

The way I get my news is try to figure out what happened. Now, what I do is I read the mainstream media. But I know it's through a liberal filter.

So, I don't accept everything I read. But, at least, I know there was an attack here on a certain day, at a certain hour.

I know that when I read the "New York Times," --


-- I'm reading the liberal flagship of America. I know it's through --

O'REILLY: Even in the news columns? Even in the news reportage?

KRAUTHAMMER: Oh, of course -- of course, it's in the news. In fact, that's where the main influence is. The editorials are so bad, so slanted, so childish, they have no influence.

What influences everybody is the choices that the editors make, what to put on the front page, because that declares to the rest of the media, who are the followers, what's important.

So, for example, if there's no coverage, essentially no coverage of the two years of the missing e-mails by the IRS in the "Times." It ends up on page A17, if anything, that's a signal to the rest of the media not to cover it.

So, the main influence is, of course, on the front page, on what's chosen, what's not chosen. The "war on the women," for example, is a phrase you will see in the news pages all the time.

They may put it in quotes, they may not. But that's a joke. Even their own ombudsman wrote a year or two ago that when Occupy Wall Street came along, the "New York Times" acted as a cheerleader in promoting it day after day --

O'REILLY: Well, gay marriage is another example.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- as the equivalent -- well, then, I say equivalent of the Tea Party. Whereas, I and many others who can see this clearly predicted it would dissipate with the first winter wind, as it did.

O'REILLY: Yes, and I was one of those as well. All right, so, every morning, you get the "Washington Post," which was an esteemed newspaper because of Watergate, and you used to work there, --


-- when you read the articles in the "Washington Post," is it the same as the "New York Times," the same skepticism?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, first, Bill, I've never worked there.


But my column has appeared there.

O'REILLY: Your column was there, right.

KRAUTHAMMER: But it's been carried there since 1984. And it still is. And I must say, the editorial page and the op-ed page of the post, the op- ed page is the finest in the country.

And I would say that even if I wasn't on it, or I would probably say it, --


-- if I was -- I'm not a hundred percent sure I'd say if I wasn't on it. And the editorial page, which is -- it has a liberal, you know, orientation, is one of the fairest, the most hardheaded and the most informed.

I read it everyday. And I read the op-ed everyday.

O'REILLY: So, you don't have a lot of beef with that but you still think, in the news columns, you've got to check it.

KRAUTHAMMER: All the mainstream media are through a liberal tint. And the only way --

O'REILLY: Let's go to electronics then.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- and I read them with profit because I apply a reverse tint. Now, if you're a 15-year-old, you don't have that. You don't have the experience.

O'REILLY: Oh, absolutely.

KRAUTHAMMER: And that's where I think the influence is pernicious.

O'REILLY: All right, let's go to the electronic media. CNN, OK, worldwide news-gathering organization, distributed on most cable systems. Can you believe what you hear on CNN.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, CNN, they're still looking for the Malaysian plane. I think they've actually located Amelia Earhart who's going to be a new anchor for them.


But who watches CNN. The only place --

O'REILLY: No, but you, you have to watch it. Do you, once in a while?

KRAUTHAMMER: The only place I watch it is when I'm waiting for an airplane in some lounge somewhere.

O'REILLY: So, you don't have any drive there. How about the network newscast, the three at night. Do you believe what's on there.

KRAUTHAMMER: I have not watched a network newscast on any of the three networks in 20 years.


KRAUTHAMMER: Because I don't -- I gain nothing from it. There's nothing they would tell me that I don't know.

I know it's soft news. And I know it's liberal news, so why would I need to read it. I get the basics from the newspapers.

But, look, the thing that I think you ought to stress here is this, we have always had liberal bias. When Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, there were only three networks.

They were all liberal. They were all anti-Reagan. That's the way it was. Reagan won. Nixon won.

I think that the media today are in better shape because there are so many outlets. The liberals no longer have a monopoly. And that's the good news on the media front.

O'REILLY: All right, Charles Krauthammer, everybody. "Things that Matter," his bestseller, still cooking.

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