'Factor' Producer Jesse Watters Confronts Ex-U.S. Intelligence Agent That Claims Bush Administration Spied on American Journalists

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 6, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Reality Check" segment tonight: Some "Factor" viewers missed part of last night's show because President Obama came out and delivered that fiery rebuke of his Republican opponents during the 8 p.m. hour. So if you missed it, here is "Reality Check" in all its glory.

Click here to watch "Reality Check"!


O'REILLY: "Check" 1: You may remember this man William Arkin, who was a military analyst for NBC News and The Washington Post. Arkin wrote that U.S. troops in Iraq were mercenaries and said other demeaning things about them. Nobody at NBC News or The Washington Post really challenged Arkin for his outrageous opinion, but we did.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Mr. Arkin, can we talk to you about some of the comments that you made?

WILLIAM ARKIN, FORMER NBC NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Can you leave me alone for a second?

WATTERS: No, actually we would like to talk to you for a second. How could you say what you said? I mean, don't you think that was really hurtful and harmful to the military families?


O'REILLY: Well, now we have a similar situation. On January 21, former U.S. intelligence analyst Russell Tice went on NBC's cable news network and said this:


RUSSELL TICE, FORMER NSA ANALYST: The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications, faxes, to phone calls, and their computer communications. And that doesn't — it didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, you know, in the middle of the country and you never made any communication or foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.


O'REILLY: Now, that would be illegal, and if true, a very frightening situation, which could send those who ordered it to prison.

So, of course, "The Factor" wanted to know what evidence Mr. Tice has. Who exactly ordered what? NBC News didn't push him for any specific proof. No surprise there. So we respectfully called Tice, inviting him on the program. He said no. We found that strange. If you're trying to stop a wrongdoing you get the word out, right? So we sent "Factor" producer Jesse Watters to visit Russell Tice.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Hey, Russell, how are you? We're with FOX News. We want to ask you a few questions. You're claiming the Bush administration spied on the media? Who exactly was spied on?

RUSSELL TICE, FORMER NSA ANALYST: I have no comment for you guys. I've already spoken. That's enough.

WATTERS: I mean, you're going on national television and saying this. You've got to say who it is.

TICE: I've said what I'm going to say. That's it. That's enough. You guys are done.

WATTERS: Come on. I mean, this is just unprofessional. You've got to back up your accusations.

TICE: Why aren't you in front of Bush's abode there in Texas? Why aren't you there? I mean, apparently, he's the one that allowed this to happen. Why aren't you tracking him down?

WATTERS: What exactly did you do?

TICE: Good day, gentlemen.

WATTERS: That's really disgraceful. You've got to back it up, your accusations, my man.

TICE: Disgraceful? Disgraceful? Over that hill is an agency that spied on every (EXPLETIVE DELETED) American in this country. I assume you can edit that out. That's disgraceful. Good day, gentlemen.

WATTERS: Who told you this? What evidence do you have of these kind of things? We're just worried about "The Factor" getting wiretapped.


O'REILLY: Well, the bottom line on this is that Tice made some very serious accusations. He went on NBC News, and he can't back them up. Now, if we're wrong, he can join us at any time. But if he can't back them up, he is disgraceful, and so is NBC News.

"Check" 2: The FAA has now released the cockpit audio just before U.S. Air Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River.


CAPTAIN CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, PILOT: This is cactus 1549. Hit birds. We've lost thrust in both engines, returning back towards La Guardia.

LOU ROMANSKY, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Tower, stop your departure. Got an emergency returning. It's 1529. He — bird strike, he lost all engine. He lost the thrust in the engines. He's returning immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cactus 1549, which engines?

ROMANSKY: He lost thrust in both engines, he said.


Cactus 1549 couldn't get in. Do you want to try to land runway one three?

SULLENBERGER: We're unable. We may end up in the Hudson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he need assistance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It was a bird strike. Can I get him in for runway one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runway one, that's good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cactus 1529, turn right 2-8-0. You can land runway one at Teterboro.

SULLENBERGER: We can't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, which runway would you like at Teterboro?

SULLENBERGER: We're going to be in the Hudson.


O'REILLY: As you know, the pilot and co-pilot landed the plane brilliantly, saving all on board.

"Check" 3: The air crash is now part of the national conversation, as Steve Martin demonstrated.




MARTIN: Yes, I was on it. And, you know, that — that stays with you.

LETTERMAN: Let's take a look. Steve Martin getting off the U.S. Air. There it is. Look at that; that's unbelievable. That's shot one.

MARTIN: This moment I was freaking out.

LETTERMAN: You were freaking out.


Celebrity coming through. Celebrity. Where is the VIP rescue boat? Oh, woe, I didn't get a life vest. Excuse me, excuse me, where is the VIP rescue boat? Hey, do you want to buy a life vest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there goes 20 bucks.

MARTIN: Excuse me, I was in first class. Where is the VIP rescue boat?


O'REILLY: Finally, "Check" 4: Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is really, really worried about the economy.


NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs. I don't think we can go fast enough to stop that.


O'REILLY: Wow. Since there are only 300 million Americans living right now, we assume the speaker misspoke. Now, I do that all the time. Not that bad, but I do it.

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