Is Couric Right About Our Angry, 'Disrespectful' Nation?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 23, 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!

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: And thank you for staying with us. I am Monica Crowley reporting tonight for Bill O'Reilly.

And in the "Personal Story" segment, CBS News anchor Katie Couric seems to think her viewers are, well, kind of cranky.


KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I think the economic situation in this country, I think when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage.

And I think -- I feel like right now, in many ways, we're a very angry nation, and whenever I think it's never -- it's not going to get more polarized, it seems to. But it all seems to be expressed through a prism of anger and disgust and disrespect, which I find really, really troubling.


CROWLEY: Way to attract more viewers, Katie.

Is this another example of the elite left-wing media looking down on Americans, or is Katie right about the mood of this country?

Watch the segment

Joining us now from Virginia, Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, a conservative group.

So Tim, I'm wondering whatever happened to dissent is the highest form of patriotism, which we heard for eight years when President Bush was in office? But now it seems that the left is saying, "Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Dissent now is the lowest form of anger or racism" or whatever?

TIM GRAHAM, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: It reminds me a lot of 1994. I mean, when Democrats start to lose, then we have to worry about the angry Americans.

Yes, I mean, obviously, channeling anger at President Bush was not something that the networks, you know, were against. It was something they stoked on a nightly basis. So yes, I think it's one thing to say the country is angry. I think that's fair.

I think when she goes on, then, to start talking about how there's too much disrespect, that's when you're beginning to see that whole idea of how unfortunate that we would have people who would so publicly and angrily disagree with President Obama.

CROWLEY: You know, I'm wondering, Tim, where Katie Couric was and if her concern about an angry nation when the left was crucifying President Bush as a war criminal and Hitler, when Code Pink was up in Condoleezza Rice's face, and when there were wall-to-wall, left-wing, vicious, vicious attacks. I mean, where was she in that concern? I guess that's making your point, right?

GRAHAM: Yes. I mean, we knew what it was back then. And that was every piece of dissent, every Cindy Sheehan, every Code Pink person with red hands on her, red blood painted on their hands, those were all things that they -- they cheered for. They were all conscience and idealism.

And right now, she's saying, "I hate to be idealistic here, but you people are angry and cynical." And that's the sort of, yes, disdainful tone that people can pick up. We're calling it her Facebook fit (ph).

CROWLEY: You know, it seems to me that anybody who is an elite, left-wing liberal, whether they're in the mainstream media like Katie Couric or not, they are intent on smearing or tarring anybody who might disagree with the liberal agenda.

And I also think to our own government, Tim, earlier this spring, the Department of Homeland Security, under the homeland security director, Janet Napolitano, issued a formal report that basically said if you own a gun, if you are pro-life, if you go to church, if you have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, you might be a volatile nut who could pop off at any moment, and you need to be watched.

And then we've got this speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, in September saying things like, "Oh, I saw this kind of rhetoric back in the '70s in San Francisco." And she's crying about that.

Former president Jimmy Carter is saying any opposition to President Obama has got to be based in racism.

Have they last their minds, or is this just pure arrogance?

GRAHAM: Well, when they start talking about a climate of anger leading to a climate of violence, what they're trying to do is intimidate people out of speaking. That's what they're trying to do.

They're trying to suggest the tea party protests or whatever are dangerous events, not that they're great events where people stand up for liberty, but they are dangerous events that are tantamount to wishing Obama assassinated. These are the sorts of things that they say on television, on radio, on blogs like "The Daily Kos."

And yes, so what we can turn around and say is angry talk, ugly talk, we're certainly getting a lot of that out of the media, and, you know, it really never stops when it comes to conservatives. They are always seen as cynical, angry, and encouraging violence.

CROWLEY: Tim, do you think that the liberal elites really don't understand the average American out there and that they -- they consider us the unwashed masses who need the guidance of the elite liberal vanguard and come to us because we know better? Is that how they treat the average American?

GRAHAM: Well, it depends on whether they're winning or losing. You know, when Barack Obama wins, then the American people are very wise people. You know, they are creating history. And you like the American people.

And then when the polls go south, and the polls on this health care bill are not good at all right now, and the Democrats are shoving it through anyway, suddenly the people are angry and not very smart.

CROWLEY: Right. Well, it just shows the tactics of the left, right: arrogance and desperation. Tim, thank you so much. Merry Christmas.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, 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 News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.