Bernie Goldberg on Media Disparity in Identifying Conservatives and Liberals, Ingraham-Rangel Shoot-out

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight: two very hot topics. First of all, there's a new study by the Media Research Center, a conservative group, that says there's a huge disparity in the mainstream media using the words "conservative" and "liberal" as descriptions. Also, the big Rangel-Ingraham shootout last week.

Joining us now from North Carolina is the purveyor of, Mr. Goldberg. All right. Let's take the study first. What was the point or what is the point of the study?

BERNARD GOLDBERG, BERNARDGOLDBERG.COM: Well, the study found that journalists at ABC, NBC, and CBS identified conservatives in their stories 20 times more often than they identified liberals. So they might say, "Joe Blow, a conservative," but 20 times more often than they said "Joe Smith, a liberal."

This is like when the government puts warning labels on cigarettes that say cigarettes cause cancer. This is a media warning label that says conservatives are dangerous to your mental health. It's the same thing.

But this happened before, Bill, in American journalism up until really about the 1960s, and it involved race and crime. The only time journalists would identify race in a crime story is if the criminal was black. So they'd say, "Johnny Smith, a black man, was arrested last night" for whatever. But if Johnny Smith was white, they would simply say "Johnny Smith was arrested last night for breaking into a liquor store."

The reason they identified black people, only black people, was because black people were seen as out of the mainstream, as alien and even as dangerous. Nothing is the same as race. I readily acknowledge that. But this is pretty similar. The reason they identify conservatives is because, to liberal journalists, conservatives are out of the mainstream, are alien, and their views are dangerous. But liberals, Bill, they are the very essence...

O'REILLY: Yes, I remember….

GOLDBERG: ...of mainstream.

O'REILLY: Both Bernie and I have discussed this before. There was a Reuters review, I think, of one of my books -- I can't even remember which one it was -- where in the article the body of the piece, which maybe ran 250 words, they named me as a conservative three times, in case you missed it the first two times. They just couldn't stop doing it. But I think it's more -- it's more of an annoyance. It's an annoyance.


O'REILLY: Let me make my point. Let me make my point. When a conservative is successful or gaining traction with the folks, the liberal media becomes very annoyed and says, "Don't you realize" -- to themselves -- "Don't you realize this is a conservative? So I have to tell you that," over and over and over. But they don't do that on the left.

GOLDBERG: Yes. But it's more than an annoyance, because it's Exhibit A, proving beyond any doubt that there's a liberal bias in the media. And, if they don't deal with this problem, they will never solve the problem of bias in the media.

O'REILLY: Well, they're never going to solve it anyway. You know that.

GOLDBERG: Because they -– that's a good point.

O'REILLY: It's not going to happen. So that's why the Fox News Channel is here, to give a little balance.

All right. Now, last week, I was out and swimming in the ocean, and I heard this thunderclap. And I thought it was the weather, but it was "The Factor," OK. And people were, like, texting me "You've got to watch your own show, you idiot. Where are you?"

And I said, "I'm under water, but I will watch the 11." And then there's Rangel and Laura Ingraham. Roll the tape.


REP. CHARLIE RANGEL, D-N.Y.: Let me say this, that Bill O'Reilly told me he had a secret weapon. I didn't know it was just a pretty girl that he would bring here.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: That's very condescending, sir.

RANGEL: I'm sorry I said that you were attractive. I withdraw that completely.

INGRAHAM: That's all right. I was going to make a joke about the condo in the Dominican Republic, and I didn't make it out of due respect for you.


O'REILLY: All right. So that got a lot of ink. What do you think?

GOLDBERG: Well, if the question, the implicit question, is "Did Charlie Rangel cross the line?" I want to be very clear on this. A big, fat emphatic no. When did we become such sissies that something like this becomes a big deal? It's clearly a generational thing. A younger guy wouldn't have said it.

And let me say something else, Bill. No spin? Let me say something else here. Laura is lucky that that's all he said about her, because there ought to be a rule on these shows. The host asks the question and then shuts the hell up.

O'REILLY: You can't do that, though, Bernie. Because I'm guilty of that, as well.

GOLDBERG: You just did what I'm saying.

O'REILLY: I know, and I have to test -- because I have to challenge.

GOLDBERG: And then let the guest -- and then let the guest answer it. And you know what? Charlie Rangel was clearly frustrated. And he said that. I repeat: big deal.

O'REILLY: OK. Two things. It wasn't the pretty girl thing that I think was -- and I think Rangel was wrong in saying it. It was "just a pretty girl." "Just" is the key word there.

The second thing is, you have to interrupt when you ask a question, Bernie -- you know this -- because many times the question isn't answered. The person will deflect and go into a totally different area, or they'll lie or they'll say something that isn't true. So as a host, you have to do it.

GOLDBERG: Are you alleging, right here, right now on your program, that Charlie Rangel lied?

O'REILLY: No, absolutely not. I'm giving you a general primer on why interruption has to happen.

GOLDBERG: That's relevant.

O'REILLY: No, it's not irrelevant. You said that…

GOLDBERG: I said relevant, relevant.

O'REILLY: …that the question should be -- the question should be asked, and then the interviewer should step back and allow an answer that is dishonest or a dance. And I say, no, I'm not wasting people's time.

GOLDBERG: Was that either a dishonest or a dance? You're not making that statement. You're not saying that Charlie Rangel was either dishonest or was dancing around. Look, come on. Let's go behind the scenes. A lot of time the hosts have an agenda. And the person starts to answer the question, but they want to make a speech. People at home are tired of that. They really -- I get as much e-mail on that as anything else. They say, "Come on. Let the guest answer a question." Now, you're right….

O'REILLY: What if the guest is making a speech?

GOLDBERG: If the guest is dishonest, you should interrupt.

O'REILLY: That's right.

GOLDBERG: If the guest is dancing around, you should interrupt.

O'REILLY: Filibustering. Filibustering. You have to. So, look, I'm not going to take -- I'm not going to take -- look, No. 1, I like Rangel. He's a stand-up guy. I think he did some bad things with his taxes. He paid a price for it. But he's a stand-up guy.

GOLDBERG: I'm with him on this one.

O'REILLY: And I like Laura, because I think Laura is feisty, and Laura doesn't want any B.S. on the program. And she's in charge when she's here. But I think it was the "just a pretty girl" line. "Just a pretty girl." That, you know. It would be like saying, "Bernie, the only reason you're an analyst for 'The Factor' is that you're just a pretty face, Bernie. Come on, that's it."

GOLDBERG: That's true.

O'REILLY: "You have nothing upstairs."

GOLDBERG: But that -- but that's true.

O'REILLY: Did you just say that was true?

GOLDBERG: Both statements are true.

O'REILLY: Nothing upstairs?

GOLDBERG: I'm just a pretty face and have nothing upstairs. I admit that.

O'REILLY: Bernie Goldberg, breaking news tonight, ladies and gentlemen.

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