This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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JUAN WILLIAMS, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Original Segment" tonight: Are conservatives a dying breed? A new book by the editor of The New York Times book review says yes. So why has Sarah Palin's memoir, which won't even be released until next month, already rocketed to No. 1 on Amazon.com's best-seller list? Bill recently challenged Sam Tanenhaus, the author of the book, "The Death of Conservatism."
BILL O'REILLY: So your book, you have classical conservatives and movement conservatives. What's the difference?
SAM TANENHAUS, AUTHOR, "THE DEATH OF CONSERVATISM": Well, I think classical conservatives believe in the idea of governance, the idea that our elected officials are there to help us run our society; that they see society and politics, the vehicles of politics as important to keeping us all together. Movement conservatism, I think, is more about a kind of culture war. It's about defining who the enemies might be in our society.
O'REILLY: Can't you be both?
TANENHAUS: You can be both. And in fact, as I point out in the book, some of the great modern conservatives have done precisely that. Ronald Reagan is a really good example.
O'REILLY: We did a poll last week asking our viewers to say which news organizations are trusted the least, and The New York Times was second. NBC News came in first. Why do so many people — conservatives, moderates, libertarians — have a problem with The New York Times?
TANENHAUS: I think because The New York Times is a liberal newspaper.
O'REILLY: But it's more than a liberal newspaper. It attacks. It attacks me all the time, and it attacks people like me. And you're 12 to 1 liberal to conservative columnists. Twelve to one.
TANENHAUS: Well, I think there we make a distinction, or I would, between liberal and left. To me, leftism is marching in the streets in the 1960s. It's a kind of hatred of American values, American society. But I don't see a liberal president, John F. Kennedy for instance, as being a leftist. I think The Times falls into the liberal tradition. Could the paper be more upfront about that? I think it could be.
O'REILLY: You know, you got guys like Herbert and Krugman and Dowd, and I mean — and Frank Rich. I mean, these are bomb-throwers, and they're doing all they can to diminish conservatives in this country.
Now, you're the editor of the book review, and interestingly enough your book is called "The Death of Conservatism." But in the last year, you've got 15 books on The Times list, including mine, that were best-sellers. Only three were reviewed out of the 15. These are conservative books. Three out of 15. Can you explain that?
TANENHAUS: No. Are you kidding? You don't read us.
O'REILLY: Yes, I do.
TANENHAUS: All during the Iraq war.
O'REILLY: No, no, no. I'm talking about these stats right there.
TANENHAUS: No, no. We were hammered week after week. I was called the king of the neocons.
O'REILLY: Three out of 15.
TANENHAUS: I was attacked constantly. I still am.
O'REILLY: It seems to me, Mr. Tanenhaus, that is unfair. Am I wrong?
TANENHAUS: Well, you may be right. But I'll tell you the grounds.
O'REILLY: OK, I may be right? Why do you allow it to happen?
TANENHAUS: Well, I'll tell you what happens. First of all, someone like yourself dominates the most important book in our section. You have an enormous platform. We review one percent of the books published each year.
O'REILLY: But these are huge books.
TANENHAUS: You want to know...
O'REILLY: These are big books.
TANENHAUS: That's exactly the point.
O'REILLY: All right. Now...
TANENHAUS: Partly because they're so big, our readers don't need us to tell us about them.
O'REILLY: Do you think you're a fair man?
TANENHAUS: I try to be.
O'REILLY: OK. And you're the editor of the book review. Let me throw up the illustration you — you put in the paper in your book review from my book, "Culture Warrior."
TANENHAUS: It's a caricature.
O'REILLY: No, the caricature makes me look like the devil, all right?
TANENHAUS: Oh, come on.
O'REILLY: Every — every — look at them. Look at the faces. Look at them closely.
TANENHAUS: It is a parody of views of you.
O'REILLY: All right, parody, caricature.
TANENHAUS: We caricature everybody. Look at the way we caricatured Hillary Clinton.
O'REILLY: I've never seen anybody caricatured to that degree.
TANENHAUS: You didn't see our Hillary Clinton review.
O'REILLY: I didn't. OK. "Death of Conservatism" is Mr. Tanenhaus' book, and we appreciate you coming in.
TANENHAUS: My pleasure.
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