Are American Schoolchildren Being Indoctrinated With Liberal Politics?

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This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, reaction to [political indoctrination of schoolchildren] from the left. Joining us from Washington, former White House special counsel Lanny Davis, and from Los Angeles, syndicated radio star Leslie Marshall.

All right, Leslie, I think I've made a pretty persuasive case, have I not?

LESLIE MARSHALL, RADIO AND TALK SHOW HOST: Well, certainly, Bill, you have a lot of facts and I'm not going to dispute the facts. However, less than 40 percent of the news media being Democratic or liberal, I wouldn't worry about a progressive future for the kids. And if so, I'm going to be the No. 1 talk show host on radio and television in the country. That would be a good thing. No. All kidding aside, there is a plan by teachers for each classroom in the public school system in America. Certainly, we have seen two tapes in two states in New Jersey and South Carolina, but this is not the norm. I would agree with you, Bill, that...

O'REILLY: How do you know it's not the norm, Leslie?

MARSHALL: …the children should not be taught politics.

O'REILLY: How do you know it's not the norm?

MARSHALL: Because I think we would have seen them surface or…

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O'REILLY: I don't know. It's hard to videotape stuff in school. I don't know if it is either — I can't say. I asked the question. Is this a national epidemic? But look, Lanny, when you have 10 to one donations from teachers going to the Democratic Party, you've got to assume that it is so skewed, so skewed in most public schools around the country, that the kids have got to be picking this up, right?

LANNY DAVIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, first of all, this isn't even a close call, Leslie. Let's just say it is inappropriate what we just heard. If it were a Republican and George Bush with a mantra, although I love George Bush as a friend, if it was a Republican, we'd be offended. What we just heard was inappropriate. Left, right or center, period.

Secondly, I am not offended by the fact that most teachers are liberal Democrats. Democrats have a better record on education. Evangelicals in the evangelical movement are mostly conservative Republicans because Republicans seem to do better in addressing their issues. That doesn't offend me at all.

And regarding the media, Bill, when I was at the Clinton White House, it sure felt like The New York times, The Washington Post, and the "liberal media" were ganging up on Bill Clinton everyday.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but they did that because of some social problems that you guys ran into. But look…

DAVIS: No, way before that. Way before that.

O'REILLY: No, Clinton got better treatment than George — than Bush the elder. Clinton got better treatment.

DAVIS: It didn't feel that way when I was there.

O'REILLY: Well, I mean, I think they analyzed that. But look, Leslie, my point is that you've got kids going to school and you — overwhelmingly the teachers in America, grammar school, high school and college, are liberal people. Now, all of them don't indoctrinate the children. There are a lot of good liberal teachers who don't bring their politics to the classroom. That's true. But when you have such an imbalance in the media and in the classroom, it's got to play out in society. And you know that. You're seeing that.

MARSHALL: I don't think less than 40 percent of people claiming that they're Democrats is an imbalance. And I don't think that two tapes is an imbalance in the school system. In addition…

O'REILLY: Wait, wait. You don't think that there's imbalance of — wait, wait.

MARSHALL: ...we would see outrage from the parents and the taxpayers.

O'REILLY: .Leslie, you don't think that after all of these stats about giving to political parties that there's an imbalance in the school system on ideology? You think there's just as many conservative teachers as liberal teachers?

MARSHALL: I — well, there's a difference between a teacher what they're doing when they go to the polls and they vote and what they're teaching in the classroom.

O'REILLY: Yeah, I know…

MARSHALL: I don't see how Barack Obama factors into that or into society.

O'REILLY: I just said that. I just that. But it's not a healthy situation. It's unhealthy. Look, Lanny, you watch the FOX News Channel, and you've known me for a long time. You've seen how personal — personally I've been attacked for years. You see how Glenn Beck's being attacked personally now. Sean Hannity gets personally attacked. Rush Limbaugh, personal attacks. You see it; it's there. It's real, and it's unrelenting. It never stops. It's everyday. There's a network set up now to attack FOX News. That's all they do. Now, they're failing, so that's the good news. But, when you have this colossus, this colossus, coming to children from school and from the media, it's got to take its toll. It has to, Lanny.

DAVIS: Well, first of all, let's try to agree again. Personal attacks coming from the right or the left — and I do agree that when they get personal about you or anybody else…

O'REILLY: But FOX News is attacked more than any other network. Why? Why, Lanny?

DAVIS: I am as…

O'REILLY: Why is FOX News — this is simple, Lanny. You can get this. Why is FOX News attacked more than any other network? Why?

DAVIS: I can't put myself into the minds of people who demonize those...

O'REILLY: You're a columnist.


O'REILLY: You watch, you know. We get attacked more than anybody. Why? Why?

DAVIS: Some people demonize people they disagree with rather than using the words I disagree and debating the issues, which is what I'm about.

O'REILLY: Right.

DAVIS: And I've been attacked both by the far right and the left.

O'REILLY: But Lanny…

DAVIS: And I disagree with anyone that demonizes you or anybody else.

O'REILLY: ...this network that you're on right now gets attacked 100 times more than any other network. Leslie, I will ask you what I ask Lanny. Why? Why do we get attacked more than any other network? Why?

MARSHALL: Bill, you have the No. 1 — and for eight years, congratulations. I commend you, I admire you and look up to you for it even though we disagree politically. When you're No. 1, when you're the king of the hill, whether you're a network or you're a host on that network, somebody's going to try and push you off, and that's why they do it. I too am attacked.

O'REILLY: The "Today" show has been No. 1 longer than we have. Do they get attacked? No. And they do liberal stuff everyday.

MARSHALL: It's different because they're not putting — they're not putting as much opinion into it.

O'REILLY: No, no, they have opinion everyday, Leslie. You turn on the "Today" show and you'll get opinion all the time. You guys know why, because the media is lined up left.

DAVIS: Hey, Bill.

O'REILLY: We're the only ones that aren't, and here they come. Lanny, last word real quick.

DAVIS: Can I — last word. In the No Spin Zone that you're so fond of and that you admire so much, the left and the right are guilty of demonizing the opposition. And both sides have it wrong.

O'REILLY: All right.

MARSHALL: I agree with that.

O'REILLY: Lanny, Leslie, thank you.

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