O'Reilly Sets Jon Stewart Straight About FOX News

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: I like Jon Stewart. He's a clever guy, usually not mean-spirited, and puts on an entertaining program. But last night, Stewart went off the rails, deriding FOX News for its coverage of the health care controversy. So I, your humble correspondent, feel it necessary this evening to set Mr. Stewart straight.

Let's begin with the setup. Stewart told his viewers that FOX News has become liberal because we defend legitimate protesters on the health care front. Stewart then ran a clip of "The Factor."

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O'REILLY: When we cover the town hall meetings, we don't describe the protesters as loons.

JON STEWART, HOST, "DAILY SHOW": Of course you don't describe the protestors as loons. What kind of monster would describe honest Americans voicing their political opinions that way?

O'REILLY: Surveys show many protesters are simply loons.

STEWART: To be fair, those were protesters he disagrees with.


O'REILLY: To be fair? Ha. Once again, Jon Stewart took the loon clip out of context. Here's what I really said.


O'REILLY: There are the anti-Bush protesters here in New York City. While most of these people have been peaceful, more than 1,000 have been arrested, and surveys show many protesters are simply loons, calling for the destruction of the American system, calling for retreat in the face of terrorism. Here's a bulletin for you Bush haters: These protesters are not helping John Kerry.


O'REILLY: And we were talking about the arrested protesters. Quite a different tone than what Stewart played.

But to be fair, John, you're a satirist, you know? You have the license to distort, but everybody should know what you're doing and why. Forty-five percent of "The Daily Show" audience is liberal, according to a Pew research study, the biggest liberal percentage on TV in that study. So in order to retain his viewers, Stewart has to play to them like he does here.


STEWART: I'll tell you, if there's one thing that really chaps my ass about liberals it's this.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Liberals do make themselves out to be victims.

STEWART: Oh poor us, everyone is against us. I'm a liberal. Everyone makes fun of us. And in this regard, FOX News is on the extreme left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody gets beat up worse in the mainstream media than a woman conservative or an African-American conservative.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": In this PC society, Christians are the easy targets.

STEWART: Dial 911. Somebody call a waaa-mbulance.


O'REILLY: But here's what Gretchen Carlson really said in the discussion about media attacks on Christians during Holy Week.


CARLSON: Christians are the easy target.

O'REILLY: They're the easy target, absolutely.

CARLSON: They're not going to do it to Muslims, and they're not going to do it to Jews, as they shouldn't. But they shouldn't do it to Christians either.


O'REILLY: They shouldn't do it to Christians either. They shouldn't do it to anybody. Absolutely true. Perhaps even Jon Stewart would agree, as he did when I said this on his program last November.


O'REILLY: I like Barack Obama. I think he is a brilliant guy and ran the best campaign I've ever seen anyone run, OK? And I've made that quite clear, but…

STEWART: You're not an ideologue. I will say that.

O'REILLY: Now, and I haven't cheap-shotted the man ever, but I don't know what he's going to do.

STEWART: I have.

O'REILLY: Well, that's what you get paid to do.

STEWART: I get paid to cheap-shot people.

O'REILLY: Isn't that a great job?

STEWART: It's not a bad job.


O'REILLY: And he does it very well. But is it an honest job, Jon? We now do know how Barack is governing, and some of us are very worried about that. But not Jon Stewart. No, he continues to dance down the liberal yellow brick road, mocking folks who might call out far-left orthodoxy and actually protest a liberal president's policy.

Again I like Stewart, but some young people actually believe he's presenting an accurate picture of the country on his program, and that is frightening. By the way, Jon Stewart's welcome on "The Factor" any time.

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