Did the Media Ignore Three Violent Incidents in U.S. Cities?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 21, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight, racial violence. This week an African-American celebration called “Juneteenth” occurred in many places across the country. And in three of those places — Milwaukee; Austin, Texas; and Syracuse, New York — violence broke out.

In Syracuse, two people were stabbed, and police closed down the Juneteenth festival early.

In Austin, 40-year-old David Morales was beaten to death by as many as 20 men after a vehicle in which he was riding struck and injured a young girl.

And in Milwaukee, another man was pulled from a car and beaten by a mob. The police officer was also injured in that fracas. Now, some are charging the media has not widely covered the Juneteenth crimes.

Joining us now from Portland, Oregon, is Opio Sokoni, a radio talk show host at KBMS. And from Los Angeles, Tammy Bruce, also a syndicated radio host and FOX News analyst.

All right, Tammy, begin with you. Here is the roster of national coverage of the three incidents. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a story on Milwaukee, just Milwaukee. The New York Times and Washington Post ran brief stories on Austin. And USA Today ran a little bit of AP copy. That was it. We didn't see anything on our network news at all.

Conspiracy, Tammy?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, I think that there is, of course, even now with the president calling Americans racist, and the idea, of course, it's the ultimate personal destroyer, is when that word is used. And as a result, we've all become cautious in addressing issues that affect Americans who happen to be black.

We were not quite sure what to do. People are hesitant at the same time. We have other festivals in the month of June. The gay pride festival, as an example. And if similar violence broke out in a series of those festivals, you would hear it covered widely, and it would be worthy of covering, because it would be shocking.

I see this as being an issue of the fact that the more we don't look at these issues, the more we don't address what concerns the inner city. This is not about the fact that Americans who happen to be black are violent. It's about issues of despair in the inner city and the fact that we usually do turn away from it, just like with New Orleans and Katrina.

People were shocked at the situation in New Orleans. It's because we had been told by special interest groups that it was none of our business, that if you didn't have the same complexion as the people affected, you should say nothing.

And I think now as Americans, we have a duty to address it, because this doesn't happen at every festival. It doesn't happen at gay pride festivals with similar dynamics. And I think we should address it. Not doing so is the racism that we should be facing.

O'REILLY: All right. Mr. Sokoni, what say you?

OPIO SOKONI, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This, I think, is absolutely nuts. There are no small amount of negative media images against African-Americans. And at the gay pride parades, there are a lot of indecent activities like people exposing themselves to children. You don't hear of that in the news, because it doesn't represent all the gay people.

What she's trying to do is trying to polarize black people on a celebration that's really important to this country, which is Juneteenth, the end of slavery, which I think is...

O'REILLY: Let me walk through this with you, because I'm interested in this, Mr. Sokoni, very much.

You have a situation in Austin, Texas, where a man is beaten to death by 20 African-Americans. Now, it happened on the grounds of the Juneteenth celebration, and it is a horrifying, horrifying situation.

It's like the Reginald Denny. Remember that in the L.A. riots, when he was pulled out of a truck, and the guy hit him with the concrete and all of that? I mean, it's just horrible.

This guy Morales, I mean, he was involved in an accident, and now he's dead. You don't think that warrants national coverage?

SOKONI: First of all it's got national coverage.

O'REILLY: No, it hasn't.

SOKONI: Absolutely. It has.

O'REILLY: This is the first time on national television.

SOKONI: Well, you and I know about it. We get our news differently now, through the Internet. And it's on the Internet.

O'REILLY: No, no, no. I'm talking about the big, established news organizations.

SOKONI: Hold on, Bill. There were 2,000 to 3,000 people at the event in Texas. Now, there were five people that were involved in that. You're saying 20.

And the police officers themselves say it was away from the Juneteenth celebration. We never want to talk about...

O'REILLY: I can't adjudicate the case now, but I can say that with three horrendous incidents attached to this celebration. Now look, they're thugs.

SOKONI: There are many that are going to happen on Fourth of July. On the Fourth of July, there will be many more, I promise you.

O'REILLY: There won't. I mean, look, every Fourth of July we're here. We see the wires. And they don't come over with people being pulled out of cars.

SOKONI: And violence happens. Every Fourth of July, I mean, look at the celebrations at the college university, where they turn over police cars when they win the championship. When black people are violent, there has to be some big deal.

O'REILLY: All right, now, Tammy, do you believe that this is a conscious decision made by the national media, or is it just it's not important enough, a guy in Austin getting pulled out of a car beaten to death, a guy in Milwaukee getting beaten up, and two people stabbed in Syracuse? It's not important?

BRUCE: I think what we've just heard is the kind of homophobia and racism that has driven the American media to be too afraid to cover issues that would shed light on things that would actually help Americans help the inner city and the black community.

To suggest that this isn't a big deal, that we shouldn't look at it is what further isolates communities, when in fact, the suggestion that, at the gay pride parades, homosexuals are exposing themselves to children, we just don't hear about it.

O'REILLY: That happens sometimes, Tammy. Particularly in San Francisco, you know it happens.

BRUCE: Just a minute. Just a minute. I think I've been to a few more than you or your other guest.

O'REILLY: No, we have the video on tape, Tammy. So there you go.

BRUCE: I'm not saying that there isn't wild behavior, but the issue is it is discussed. And the bottom line is in this instance, what you just heard is essentially an intimidating framework that says, you're being a racist if you discuss violence in the black community.

And if we don't discuss it is when we abandon those communities, and when young people especially involved in these kinds of acts feel as though there's no hope.

SOKONI: All right. But we're not supposed to talk about pedophilia in the gay community? Not supposed to talk about pedophilia?

BRUCE: Oh, please.

O'REILLY: That's for another time. I don't believe there's any link between gayness and — that's it.

SOKONI: Turn off Channel Zero, then.

O'REILLY: All right. OK, that's it. That's it.

BRUCE: That speaks to it, doesn't it?

SOKONI: Turn off Channel Zero.

O'REILLY: All right. Thank you very much. I don't believe there's any linkage between homosexuality and pedophilia, but I do believe the media does bury stories. And they did this one, and they did San Francisco and the gay pride, too.

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