Published January 14, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 20, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the “Factor” follow up segment tonight: Canada. It's simply hard to believe what's going on up there. Some Toronto newspapers, the CBC, some liberal politicians are brutal toward the U.S.A. As we reported last week, a new poll says 40 percent of Canadian teenagers think the USA is an evil country.
FOX NewsChannel has petitioned the Canadian government for access. So far, we have been denied. You can't get FNC on Canadian cable. But you can get Al Jazeera (search), of all things. The Canadian government recently approved that operation for viewing.
Joining us now from Toronto is Rick Salutin, who writes for the Globe and Mail, a paper that's been overly hostile to me, and Peter Worthington, a columnist for the Toronto Sun.
All right, Mr. Worthington, let me begin with you. A lot of Americans just simply don't understand the vast changes that have taken place in Canada in the past 20 years. We're not talking about the Canada that our grandfathers knew, are we?
PETER WORTHINGTON, TORONTO SUN COLUMNIST: No, I think a lot of Canadians are kind of puzzled at it too. But I'd point out that Al Jazeera isn't here yet. It's just got approval from the Canadian Radio Television Commission to broadcast here. This puzzles a lot of people because Al Jazeera is Al Jazeera, and a lot of Arab-Canadians, apparently, want it.
Except, it's still not OK FOX News coming in here, and lord forbid O'Reilly being aired to contaminate Canadians.
O'REILLY: Yeah, and a lot of Canadians want the FOX NewsChannel, and we've heard from thousands of them. Mr. Salutin, you know, look, I am open to the suggestion that this isn't personal about the FOX NewsChannel...
RICK SALUTIN, FREELANCE WRITER: You mean it's not about you.
O'REILLY: No, and I believe that should be true. I don't think the press in Canada likes me, but because they don't watch me, they haven't been able to. They don't know what we do here. You know, they're taking it from the left-wing Web sites and all of that. But to be fair, I mean, the Canadian government veered sharply to the left. The press, particularly in Toronto, is brutal to the U.S.A., and has been for years.
And the proof is that 40 percent of your young people up there think that the U.S.A. is an evil country. That should be very disturbing to you, Mr. Salutin, and every Canadian.
SALUTIN: I think that's an example of, if you ask a stupid question, you'll get a kind of silly answer. I mean, the category of evil was introduced into politics by George Bush (search), not by anybody else. And the polls seem to follow...
O'REILLY: But see, just that statement, that statement is gratuitous. It wasn't necessary to answer that question. It was a cheap shot. And see, you just make the point...
SALUTIN: Well, I think you throw out so many red herrings, it's difficult. I don't believe Canada has changed much. In fact, I think it's moved to the right in the last 20 years, but not nearly as much as the U.S. has. So there is a gap that's opened up. But I think it's due to the movement in the U.S.
O'REILLY: Do you agree with that, Mr. Worthington, that Canada has moved to the right?
WORTHINGTON: Yeah, a little bit. In the past, 20, 25 years ago, if you expressed conservative views, you were viewed as kind of John Birch or a nutcase. Today, you're not. Some people vote for conservatives, even. But I think this poll showing the 40 percent of young people, this is young people between 14 and 18, 500 kids.
You know, they'll believe anything. And the one who introduced "evil" into the political context was not Ronald Reagan (search), but the Soviet Union, because it was evil.
O'REILLY: But look, I consider children in Canada and in America to be pretty much on the same plane. And if we did a poll here at FOX Newsand said, "Do you believe Canada's an evil country," you're not going to get American kids to say “yeah.” You'd get very, very few, probably single digits. All right, so there's something going on in the Canadian society and I believe it's media-driven, all right, that is influencing children to think ill of their neighbor to the south.
SALUTIN: Well, let me say something about the media context. We don't exactly suffer from a lack of American broadcast here. We have all the networks, including Fox. We have all of the news magazines. We also don't suffer from a lack of right wing point of view.
Most of the newspapers in the country are right wing. The two large private TV networks are clearly right wing. Now, I would be happy to have FOX News up here. There's a lineup. Broadcast bands are a scarce resource, and you have to make a decision. And if you asked me, if it came to a choice, would I rather have Fox or Al Jazeera, absolutely, Al Jazeera. I think it adds something to the mix of views that are out there.
O'REILLY: All right, so you would rather have a propaganda network that's bent on encouraging violence and sympathetic to terrorists, Mr. Salutin.
SALUTIN: Oh, but now who's being gratuitous.
O'REILLY: I'm not. That's actually factual. There is no question in any analyst's mind that Al Jazeera is sympathetic to terrorists. No question at all, sir. And if you don't know that, then, you know, I can't really convince you...
SALUTIN: Well, I follow...
O'REILLY: If you're not aware that Al Jazeera is sympathetic to terrorists who murder civilians, then you, sir, are — I'm not even going to say it.
SALUTIN: You know what I think? You'd have to find me some quotes and some citations of that. Al Jazeera deals in a region where terror is rife, and they cover it as a story. And to cover it, you have to let it have its own voice.
O'REILLY: They don't cover the story. What they do is...
SALUTIN: They absolutely do.
O'REILLY: No, they don't. And every analyst that has seen the network knows that it leaves out context, it says Americans are horrible, the terrorists are justified for doing what they do.
SALUTIN: Well, I've never seen anything — no, I don't watch it in Arabic. I don't know if you do. But I read the Web site...
O'REILLY: We get it translated for us, and we know what they're doing. Mr. Worthington, do you know anything about Al Jazeera?
WORTHINGTON: Well, I know on Al Jazeera, they're showing headless people on it that have been chopped off. Usama bin Laden (search ) uses it as a vehicle. And I suspect he could use CNN just as well, but he doesn't. I would think that, categorically, Al Jazeera is sympathetic to the Arab militant cause.
O'REILLY: All right. I want to give you, Mr. Salutin, an example of Al Jazeera so you can take it home and mull it over, because you need this example. In Basra, there was a terrorist attack that killed a couple of dozen Iraqis — Muslims, all right — and it killed two British soldiers as well. Al Jazeera reported the attack that killed two British soldiers, but left out the fact that it killed a couple of dozen Muslims.
That is what they do all day long, sir. And for you to say you'd rather have that kind of coverage in your country than Fox News, just makes my point again, that you are not an objective individual, you don't want the truth, you just want to be fed this...
SALUTIN: Yeah, if you want to turn it into a series of personal attacks, we can.
O'REILLY: No, you asked me for an example and I just gave you one.
SALUTIN: I know, but you start describing my psychology. What I'd say is, Al Jazeera frequently has Israeli officials on, they have had Colin Powell on, they debate questions of terror, they debate militant Islam. They've been attacked in the Arab world by states and by Arab sources frequently. And they've raised these issues. They've opened them up for discussion in a really healthy way.
WORTHINGTON: But I think that misses the point. I have no problem with Al Jazeera being aired here, but I have a great deal of difficulty, if it's aired here, you can't see the other side of, say, Fox News. We get CNN, but not the other.
O'REILLY: You bet. Thanks very much. We appreciate you guys coming on.
Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2004 FOX NewsNetwork, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2004 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX NewsNetwork, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.