This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 2, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Mike Wallace, the CBS news man, a legendary CBS newsman, is causing some controversy. Last Friday, he appeared at the World War II Memorial (search) in Washington, D.C., and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - MAY 28, 2004)
MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": This is not, in my estimation, a good war. I don't know how we got into a position where our present commander-in-chief and the people around him had the guts to take our kids and send them on what seems to be -- it sure is not a noble enterprise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Mr. Wallace talking about Iraq. Now, some people in the crowd were disturbed by it because one report said he was heckled. I don't know. Let's find out.
Joining us now on the telephone from an undisclosed location is the legendary Mike Wallace. So some people are mad you politicized this deal. What say you?
WALLACE: Look, as far as I'm concerned, Bill, it -- World War II that we were memorializing, that we were celebrating, the end, the victory there -- Al Neuharth [USA Today newspaper founder], and I, and a historian by the name of Tom Doherty, were talking about World War II: A good war, a war that unified the country, a war with allies, a war carefully understood before we went into it. As a matter of fact, we didn't get into it for a long time, until -- actually, until Pearl Harbor (search). But it was a -- it was a war that unified the country. That's not what's going on now.
And C-Span was there, and I had no idea. And the heckling came, and that's the first time that I've heard it because I've been trying to get the C-Span piece. Most of the crowd, and they were older folks, agreed with what I was saying. There were a couple of hecklers, big, big hecklers, who approached me as though I was somehow traitorous because of what I'd said.
And my friend, Ralph Davidson, who was sitting there with [columnist] Art Buchwald (search) in the front row, told these guys to sit down and shut up and they were much bigger than he was. And they said, would you like to stand up and tell me that again?
O'REILLY: Well, see, now you're getting into the area I'm in. You know, you as a reporter giving an opinion at a venue, and whenever you give an opinion, some people aren't going to like it and then they lash out at you, which is happening now.
WALLACE: Perfectly sensible. It's a free country. I brought it to a stop by saying, listen, it's a free country. You disagree with what my point of view is, absolutely you're entitled.
O'REILLY: Do you think it was the proper venue to make those comments because it was a celebratory situation and you knew that some World War II veterans would disagree with you, so was it the right venue?
WALLACE: It seemed, to both to Neuharth and to me, that it was the right venue because we talked about it ahead of time. It was a venue in which we are celebrating a war in which so many people died. But they died in the service of something that they deeply believed in.
And they were not alone. I mean, we were not alone in that. There were our allies and so forth. This is not a war -- I'm candid to admit it as much as I've already said so, I had no idea C-SPAN was there, it is not a war that I believe in. We don't have allies, we didn't...
O'REILLY: Yes, but the people who are dying over there believe in it and was it your turn to maybe denigrate their sacrifice. I'll give you the last word on it. But I think that was the opposition to what you said.
WALLACE: Well, that's perfectly sensible criticism, free country. That's the kind of business we do. Mind you, I should not probably have said it there.
O'REILLY: OK. We're glad you called and people know from reading my books and having you on the program that I respect you as a journalist and now they can decide about your remarks.
WALLACE: I feel the same about you, Bill, thanks.
O'REILLY: OK. I appreciate it.
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