Is NBC News Actively Campaigning for Obama?

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Weekdays with Bernie & Jane" segment tonight: two troubling press stories. Many people believe that NBC News is totally in the tank for Barack Obama, and NBC is a very powerful operation. One of their primary correspondents is Andrea Mitchell.


ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS COPRRESPONDENT: I do not know very many people who watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that is the way the McCain camp says that they took it.

You are comparing him to two people, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, who are famous, basically, for doing nothing, whereas he is a United States senator and the Democratic nominee. How do you defend the ad?

The McCain ad says, literally, that he could have gone, that he did other things, Obama did other things, could have visited the troops, but not with cameras. That literally is not true. Now the point is Obama had no intention of bringing any cameras with him. I was there. I can vouch for that.


O'REILLY: All right. Three different shows, three different days. Joining us now to react is Jane Hall and in North Carolina, Bernie Goldberg, both FOX News analysts.

Look, you can take me out of context, Bernie, and pick a clip and say that O'Reilly is voting for Obama and then O'Reilly is rooting for McCain and pick another clip. Two things: We did three separate, different interviews there. All three she was challenging the McCain campaign, going after in criticizing Obama. The second thing is she is a reporter, NBC News' chief foreign correspondent reporter. Not an analyst like me or a pinhead like you, Bernie. Not an opinion maker. She is a reporter. So what do you take from this?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, let me be specific about what she said along the same lines as you were, rather than make a broad generalization about her biases or lack of biases.

After Senator Obama made the observation that he doesn't look like other presidents on our money and after the McCain campaign said he was playing the race card, Andrea Mitchell went on an NBC News program and said Obama's aides say the commercial has nothing to do with race. OK? Of course they are going to say that, and then she played a little trick that journalists often pull. She backed that statement up with a sound bite from a supposedly neutral analyst, David Gergen, who I think everybody would agree is more liberal than he is conservative, who agreed with the Obama people, and said that there was no racial implication there and on top of that, John McCain was running the risk of looking real nasty by saying that there was.

And then she said something else. It was a tape that you played, but it is important, and I want to read the words again, because it is important. Her own observation, she said, the people in the audience who heard the Obama remark, the reporters, have never interpreted it, they have never inferred from that that he is making some kind of racial statement. So the only person making a racial statement, according to Andrea Mitchell, I guess, is Barack Obama, and then, presumably, only for cheap political reasons.

O'REILLY: No, is John McCain.

GOLDBERG: Thank you. John McCain.

O'REILLY: I want to keep all of the fans straight. Let me restate it so everybody is clear. According to Andrea Mitchell, in Bernie's analysis, the only one saying there is a racial component in that is John McCain. Go ahead.

GOLDBERG: The only problem with this is it is ridiculous. Barack Obama said, "I do not look like the other presidents on our money." Of course he was talking about race. It is not just Republicans that think this. Democrats think this. It is not only conservatives who think this. Liberals think this.

I always thought that Andrea Mitchell was a serious and intelligent journalist, but these observations that she has been making are neither intelligent nor serious. As a matter of fact, to put the best light on it, they are naive, and it is why so many people think that the media is rooting for Barack Obama.

O'REILLY: Certainly a lot of people feel that NBC News is. Jane?

JANE HALL, FOX NEWS ANALYST: I would falter on the statement that she said that nobody I knew thought this was racist. That is an opinion. That is a reporter getting into the trap of stating an opinion on a cable show when she is also on NBC News. But I watched the whole interview she did with Rick Davis, and she asked the question, what made you say that what he did was racist? What made you say he was a celebrity? I thought that was fair game and she had an interview with him, and I think that is different from stating her opinion.

O'REILLY: Do you think that she is favoring Barack Obama, based upon what you saw?

HALL: I thought she was editorializing a little bit about what she believes.

O'REILLY: Favoring Barack Obama?

HALL: No, I do not think she was favoring Barack Obama.

O'REILLY: All right. Bernie does and you don't, and I do not know. I don't watch the woman enough. But I know that NBC News is favoring Barack Obama. There is no doubt about that. I don't know about Andrea Mitchell.

Now, Bernie, I got personally insulted. I was hurt when The Palm Beach Post, all right, attacked me and my program for breaking a legitimate news story that everybody knows is a legitimate news story, and they did it because it is an ideological sheet. And you live in Florida, you know that. If that were a Republican congressman who didn't live in the district for 10 years, The Palm Beach Post would have hung that guy from the nearest oak tree. Am I correct?

GOLDBERG: Yes, but here is what you have not stated yet. You didn't just take on Robert Wexler, Congressman Wexler. You also took on a very big newspaper in Wexler's district.

O'REILLY: Correct.

GOLDBERG: You beat them on a story in their own backyard. Now, is it a legitimate story? Absolutely. You have got the only congressman in the state of Florida who does not live in his district, and for all I know, the only congressman in the entire United States of America who does not live in his district. Of course it is a story. But, Bill, you made them look bad because...

O'REILLY: There is more to it than that. There is more to it, because they would not have reported the story even if they got it. They love Wexler. I have to let Jane have a minute, and it has been unbalanced, and Jane fans, they come to my house.

HALL: Thank you. I am glad to hear that.

O'REILLY: I want you to have the last minute. There is no doubt about this. This was a legitimate story, well reported by us, and we were attacked by this terrible newspaper.

HALL: I still want to meet the left-wing loons in Palm Beach. I thought they were a lot of rich Republicans there.

O'REILLY: They don't run this paper.

HALL: OK. I have a problem with the tactic of finding these guys and the reporter in their homes, but the story was legitimate. The other newspaper reported that nobody else does this. It is a valid story. I thought it was silly for them to go after you. They were attacking the messenger.

O'REILLY: It was beyond silly. It was vile and it was unnecessary, but it was done for a reason, because they do not want anyone getting their boy. And their boy is Robert Wexler.

OK. Jane, thanks very much. Bernie, as always.

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