Transcript: Casting Aspersions on Chandra Levy?

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, July 17, 2001. Click here to order the complete transcript.

BILL O’REILLY, HOST: Gary Condit's spokeswoman, Marina Ein, is reportedly telling some media people that Chandra Levy was a loose woman. Joining us now from Washington is writer, Joshua Marshall, who spoke with Ms. Ein.

Now before we get to you, Joshua, we should say she's denying all this now. I've her statement right here we'll read it a little bit later on, but you talked to Marina Ein on the telephone, is that it?

JOSHUA MARSHALL, SALON.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I talked to her at approximately 3:30 yesterday afternoon Eastern time and we talked for...

O'REILLY: And what did she say, vis-a-vis, Chandra Levy's sex life?

MARSHALL: Well, let me give you a touch of context. We talked a little about the lie detector test first. Then she went on and said how the media should now look away from the congressman towards other possibilities. And she mentioned two other possibilities. One was what "Newsweek" has reported, that there is allegedly a resident of Chandra's apartment building that has a number of assault arrests. And the other was that, according to Marina, that Chandra has a history of one-night stands, as she put it.

And when she said that, she referenced an article in Talk magazine, which is actually going to come out apparently at the beginning of August. And her point was that the writer of this article, whose name is Lisa Depaulo, had come up with this fact that Chandra had, again, as she said, a history of one-night stands.

Now I spoke to some people who are very familiar with the contents of that article. I, myself, have not read it, but they say that that's a mischaracterization.

O'REILLY: Let me stop you there.

MARSHALL: Sure, sure.

O'REILLY: So you're saying that Marina Ein, who is the PR person for Condit, out of the blue -- you didn't say, "Hey, what about Chandra Levy's sex life?" -- out of the blue said, "Hey, according to this writer in 'Talk' magazine, she had a bunch of one-night stands." I don't know how germane that is...

MARSHALL: Yes, no prompting whatsoever.

O'REILLY: Right, so she just launched...

MARSHALL: I called about a completely different -- exactly.

O'REILLY: All right. Now did you say what difference does that make or how does that tie into her disappearance? Or how could it? Did you say anything like that?

MARSHALL: Yes. I asked, you know, how would that play in? We had a brief conversation. She wasn't too specific. She kind of just let it, you know, let it speak for itself basically is how I would describe it.

O'REILLY: Now, did you tape record this conversation?

MARSHALL: I did not.

O'REILLY: All right.

MARSHALL: I took contemporaneous notes, as I do with every article that I write.

O'REILLY: Because here's what she said. She says -- this is Marina Ein. And by the way, we invited her on the program, but she didn't call us back. Maybe she's out. I don't know.

"I am writing to take the strongest possible issue with Joshua Marshall's story on the ongoing Chandra Levy investigation. The story is replete with inaccurate statements attributed to me. The story is beneath the standards of 'Salon' or any other responsible journalistic organization. Had any reporter made an effort to contact me or Mr. Condit's attorney prior to publication, errors could have been corrected. As it is, these statements and others attributed to me in Mr. Marshall's piece are false and destructive. Further, the premise of the piece, that I was somehow engaged in an effort to cast aspersions on Ms. Levy's character, is entirely false." So what's this?

MARSHALL: I would say a few things. First of all, there was no need for me to call her back because I talked to her. I talked to her in an on- the-record phone interview. I don't know why I would call Abbe Lowell. She's the congressman's spokesman, so I don't know what his attorney would have to add what she was saying.

The other point is, the part that you didn't read, at least in the letter that we got at "Salon," went through and said that a few sentences in the -- basically said that a few interpretations of what she said was wrong.

O'REILLY: Yes, the reason I didn't read that is because I don't want to contribute to the pain of the Levy family.

MARSHALL: Sure. No, I understand.

O'REILLY: You know, I don't want to talk about the woman's sex life, because to me...

MARSHALL: Let me...

O'REILLY: ... it has nothing to do with anything and I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what Ms. Ein...


O'REILLY: ... is trying to get across here.

MARSHALL: Sure, sure. Let me just say...

O'REILLY: So you're saying she's lying is what you're saying?

MARSHALL: I am saying that the quotation in my article of Marina Ein is 100 percent correct.

O'REILLY: All right, but she's denying it. So you must be saying that she's not telling the truth in this?

MARSHALL: I have no problem saying -- if she says that that quote is inaccurate, I have no problem saying that that is not untrue.

O'REILLY: All right.

MARSHALL: But I will say, if you look at that letter closely, she never denies the actual quotation in the article.

O'REILLY: Well, she says, "I never speculated on Chandra Levy's 'sordid sexual history.'"

MARSHALL: Again, there was one...

O'REILLY: So she does deny it.

MARSHALL: Well, there was one quotation in the article. And I don't have it front of me. Obviously, I can paraphrase it. I don't know. You have the article there. It's basically that she said Lisa Depaulo is working on an article for "Talk" magazine. And it turns out that Chandra Levy...

O'REILLY: Yes, she was laying it off on another reporter.

MARSHALL: Exactly.

O'REILLY: You know, I would have said to her if I were talking to her, and if she'd ever come on the program -- and she is welcome to come on here to speak for herself -- I would say, you know, why bring it up at all? Why even get down into this area when we have a woman who has disappeared, maybe dead, and a family suffering? I mean, geez. Did you ask her that?

MARSHALL: I did. I probably didn't ask it in so many words. I asked why it was relevant. And frankly, when she said that, I was stunned to say the least because I...

O'REILLY: Did she answer your question why it was relevant?

MARSHALL: Only in a very vague way.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Marshall. We appreciate you coming on.

MARSHALL: Pleasure.

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