All About Laurie Dhue

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 20, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: The FOX News Channel continues to dominate the world of cable news. And one of the reasons we are so successful is because we have a bunch of top-notch female correspondents. So we thought you might like to know a bit about some of them.

Tonight we begin with Laurie Dhue who used to read the news cut-ins on “The Factor” but has been demoted. She's now working for "Geraldo at Large." There she is.

LAURIE DHUE, CORRESPONDENT, "GERALDO AT LARGE": I can't even believe I dared to enter the "No Spin Zone."

O'REILLY: We do get letters, "What happened to Ms. Dhue?" And you're on the syndicated program which, you know, in each city plays at different times.

DHUE: Right.

O'REILLY: People are at work. They don't know what you're doing. What I'm interested in is you're at the University of North Carolina, right? OK?

DHUE: Just a few years ago.

O'REILLY: You knew you wanted to be a television newscaster then?

DHUE: I knew, I think, from the time I was 4 or 5 what I wanted to do. And if you ask my parents, they used to catch me — oh, no. They used to catch me talking in the mirror to myself when I was 4 or 5 years old.

O'REILLY: OK. So you knew very early on you wanted to be a newscaster?

DHUE: Well, I knew I was going to be a performer of some sort. And I think there's obviously...

O'REILLY: But did you have a journalism yen or was it just to be in front of the camera?

DHUE: You know what? I'll tell you. And now we're looking at an attractive picture of my high school senior year. Oh, dear.

I had my first internship with CNN in 1988 during the Democratic National Convention. That's while I was a student at UNC. And I was a booth runner. I met Larry King, Walter Cronkite, a lot of big names. And I was hooked from that moment. I knew I wanted to be on TV. And a few short years later it happened at CNN.

O'REILLY: OK, so you got an internship with CNN, which is close to your home in Georgia. And you've got experience. This is a good career. So how did you make the career happen? How do you get the first job?

DHUE: Well, I had several internships then a week after the Gulf War started back in 1991, I just graduated from the University of North Carolina. I started working there. It was a very exciting time to work there.

O'REILLY: So they hired you?

DHUE: They did.

O'REILLY: Because you did well as an intern.

DHUE: Exactly. I worked very hard during my internships. I knew I wanted to be at CNN. And actually, about five-and-a-half years later, the then-president of CNN, Tom Johnson, decided to take a chance on me and put me on the air. And I was one of the youngest people they ever...

O'REILLY: You had never been on the air before.


O'REILLY: So you were doing behind-the-scenes work?

DHUE: Yes. I was a producer. I was a booker. I was a writer. I had done every job in that building.

O'REILLY: And then they just said, "Well, Dhue is attractive. We're going to put her on the air. She knows what she's talking about." And were you nervous? I mean, you must have been nervous to get on there.

DHUE: Well, I was attractive, but I was also smart and I worked hard. And so I...

O'REILLY: That's what I said. We can say it another time.

DHUE: All right, all right.

O'REILLY: All right. So then you...

DHUE: It's not just a pretty thing, though. That's important.

O'REILLY: No, I understand. But look, let's be honest. It doesn't hurt to be good looking on camera in this industry.

DHUE: No, it doesn't hurt. No.

O'REILLY: OK, so we've got to be honest. So then you go from CNN to MSNBC to FOX.

DHUE: Right.

O'REILLY: And that's the trail that most people — you know, you have to move around in this business, right?

DHUE: Right.

O'REILLY: Ultimately, you want to do what?

DHUE: Well, right now I'm really enjoying working with Geraldo.

O'REILLY: You have to say that.

DHUE: No, no. I mean it.

O'REILLY: He paid you money. I saw the transaction.

DHUE: Not at all, you know? And I feel very fortunate, having worked for you on your show, and now working for Geraldo.

O'REILLY: That was your big break, right there.

DHUE: Well, it probably was my big break.

O'REILLY: Right, right.

DHUE: And I appreciate it, Bill. I will always tell you that I thank you for that.

O'REILLY: OK. But what do you ultimately want to do?

DHUE: Well, right now I want to continue working on "Geraldo at Large". And I'd love my own show someday. I think anyone who's in the business would love their own "O'Reilly Factor" or love their own...

O'REILLY: "The Dhue Factor"? Are you going to be mean? Can you be mean?

DHUE: Oh, Bill, I can be real mean.

O'REILLY: OK, so you want to do "The Dhue Factor" someday when I retire.

DHUE: I'm not sure I'd call it "The Dhue Factor", because you've already got it. You've got a lock on that.

O'REILLY: We could do — with Dhue, you can do a lot of Dhue — you know.

DHUE: Yes.

O'REILLY: A whole lot of places.

All right. Laurie Dhue, everyone. She wasn't fired.


O'REILLY: She's working for Geraldo. And it's a pleasant experience, as Geraldo gave her $50 before she came on the show.

DHUE: And check your local listings for the show, everybody. It's a great show.

O'REILLY: Good. You're doing very well, and thank you for coming on and speaking with us tonight.

DHUE: It was a pleasure, Bill. Thank you.

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