This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, "Reality Check." One of the highlights of my career occurred on Saturday night in Dallas when I received the Tex McCreery Award for Excellence in Journalism. The award is given out by the Medal of Honor Society, comprised of the 95 living recipients of the nation's highest wartime honor.
Navy SEAL Medal of Honor guy Mike Thornton, he took great care of me, and I was honored to be in the presence of so many brave men. Here are some of my remarks:
Click here to watch O'Reilly's speech at the award ceremony!
You know, I got a call from somebody who said, "Hey, they want to honor you."
I go, "Is that the Nobel Prize? Can I..."
They said, "No, it's the Medal of Honor committee."
I said, "Oh yes, that's better."
But next year I'll win the Nobel Peace Prize. Already — the fix is in already.
You know, the military is an interesting — let's see, an interesting industry because most Americans, I'd say 80 percent respect it, and they don't understand the sacrifice. Being a military person, you don't make a lot of money. You put your life on the line. You've got to take a lot of orders. You've got to go to bad places. And the upside is significant, too, as all of you here know. But I never served in the military. My father was a naval officer, and my path — my career path didn't go into it. I didn't object to serving. It just didn't happen for me.
But when I got some power in the media, I said, "You know, I'm going to use some of my power to watch the backs of the military, because nobody else in the media really does that." Have you ever noticed that? There isn't anybody else — I don't know what these pinheads are thinking but — it's, you know, my — part of my job is basically to see that people are being treated fairly, the folks. The military are the folks, too. And I never forget after 9/11, the towers went down, and I went on "Good Morning America" with that pinhead Phil Donahue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL DONAHUE, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST: Would you bomb Afghanistan?
O'REILLY: I would bomb surgically if I had the support the military.
DONAHUE: And if we kill innocent civilians, and those pictures shown worldwide, you don't think there's going to be — that's going to be a recruitment poster...
O'REILLY: You don't think that's going to happen anyway?
DONAHUE: ... for the Islamic radical?
O'REILLY: You don't think it's going to happen anyway?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Right away, he's bad mouthing the military. You know, Phil, first of all I'm going to give Al Qaeda directions to your house. And second of all, if I did that, the only people to save your sorry butt would be the military, so knock it off.
So that's what we do on "The Factor." We do a lot of work with the Wounded Warriors and the Gold Star Families, and we raise money for them. And then I'll go over when I can. I've been to Afghanistan and Iraq.
But more importantly, what I do is I terrify people who would cheap-shot the military, and I'll give you two examples. Jon Stewart, my pal, was on the air about two months ago, and he calls Harry Truman a war criminal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did do Hiroshima. You think Truman is a war criminal for that?
JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW": Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
(END VIDEO CIP)
So I called Stewart, I said, "Look, I'm letting you have it tonight, man. I like you, but I'm letting you have it." And I did. I just took him apart. I said, "Look, this is insane. If you know anything about the World War II theater, they would have lost five times as many people, Japanese and Americans, if they hadn't dropped the bomb. So what, are you a nut? Come on." And then he apologized. Stewart apologized the day after. That's just one very simple example.
The second example is a little more complicated. Mark Cuban, he's a super pinhead, Mark. And he bankrolls a movie about Iraq, about the atrocities, alleged atrocities in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened in there? What happened in there? Talk to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And then this pinhead, Cuban, puts up millions of dollars to make this movie that basically says that the United States committed all these war atrocities. So I basically said any theater that carries it, I'm going to be right outside it with a sign, and you better not show it. And nobody showed it, thank God. Nobody played that movie. But I just couldn't abide it. I couldn't abide it. You know, what if I served over there in Iraq and got my leg blown off, and Mark Cuban is making a movie that says me and my guys are shooting down little girls? I'm not going to — you know, so I can do something about it. And I do.
Now that, of course, draws the ire of the other side, which calls me all kinds of names and threatens me and all of that. That's fine. You know why it's fine? One simple reason. Because I know you guys have my back. Thank you for the honor. It's a pleasure to see you.
That was a great night for me.
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