Bernie Goldberg on Media's Reaction to Possible Trump Run

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 4, 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: Millions of people saw my interview with Donald Trump last week where he laid out his vision for the country and the world. As you may know, Mr. Trump says he might run for president, and the media is kind of confused about how to cover that.

Joining us now from Miami, the purveyor of, Mr. Goldberg. So first of all, do you take Donald Trump seriously in this regard?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let me start out by talking in the capacity of a reporter, not an analyst. I spoke to someone today, Bill, someone who is in a position to know, and that person tells me that Donald Trump has made up his mind and that, as of today, barring any unforeseen circumstances, he will -- he will run for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. That's as of today, and that's barring any unforeseen circumstances. That's what I learned today.

O'REILLY: All right. So now that you've reported that, the media has an obligation to scrutinize Donald Trump, or at least weigh in on him because he's got a lot of money and he's obviously getting a lot of attention. Do you think the media will cover him fairly?


O'REILLY: How have they done so far?

GOLDBERG: No. I don't think they will, and I think there are two reasons for that. One is that they don't believe he is a serious candidate in that they don't think he's going to run. They think it's all publicity, and my source, you know, could -- could be wrong. But -- but one reason is they don't take him seriously as a candidate who will run.

The second reason is they don't take him seriously because so many Washington journalists see things through a certain prism, and that's a prism of politics. What they don't understand, even the journalists that I have a lot of respect for, what they don't understand is that millions of Americans who live between Manhattan and Malibu think that Donald Trump's greatest asset is that he's not a politician, that he doesn't talk like a politician or think like a politician, and that he is a businessman, and most politicians couldn't run a lemonade stand. That's the disconnect between the journalists who will be covering Donald Trump and the people they're reporting for, the people who live in the United States of America.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, so far the reportage has been kind of snarky, I would say. Not vicious like Palin. Not at that level at all. But, you know, condescending. Look at this guy, here's what he says. And I was actually accused of that when I interviewed him, but I was basically challenging him and I absolutely have no intention to diminish what he wants to do. But the Palin thing, outsider, governor, you know, populist. Trump is a populist. Bachmann is a populist. The press doesn't like that, but so far they haven't really unloaded on Trump.

GOLDBERG: Yes. But if he decides that he's going to run, as I was told today he will, then you can expect even more snarky coverage.

O'REILLY: But is it going to reach the Palin level? Is it going to get to be that hostile?

GOLDBERG: It could. Well, it will if he catches on. If he doesn't catch on, it won't. But if he does, it will get real nasty because look, as I say, the media is insular. They see -- if he were the least important governor in the United States, they would take him more seriously than Donald Trump, businessman and TV show, you know, impresario, whatever you want to call him. They just don't take that kind of thing seriously. And I want to emphasize the point I made earlier, that to a lot of Americans it is a big plus in this day and age not being a politician.

O'REILLY: No, I know. But the media can get you...

GOLDBERG: That's what Trump has going for him.

O'REILLY: The media can get you off your game by relentless personal attacks, and we've seen that in the Sarah Palin stuff. Beginning to mock you; you get on all the shows. The late-night guys go after you. "Saturday Night Live," and they make you a joke, which...

GOLDBERG: It will happen. It will happen.

O'REILLY: Yes, I think it will, too, if Trump starts, as you said, to get traction.

Now, last week we also reported about the GE tax story, great story, where they are not paying any taxes because they are parking money offshore and CEO Jeffrey Immelt is heading up a presidential commission on trying to get jobs in the United States. So, I mean, obviously this can't go on much longer. But there really hasn't been an outcry by the media about this. There's been some reportage, not a lot.

GOLDBERG: This is something you know, Bill, but let me explain to the civilians out there how this works. When producers and anchors come in in the morning, and even before they come in in the morning, the first thing they do is they read page one of The New York Times. That's how they decide what they're going to put on the news that night because The New York Times sets the agenda. If The New York Times went on strike, they'd have no idea what to put on the nightly news. Are we supposed to believe in this case that Brian Williams and his producers read page one of The New York Times and then decided that this wasn't a news story? No. That's not how it happened. This was embarrassing…

O'REILLY: Because The New York Times did run this on page one.

GOLDBERG: Yes, they did. But this was simply a matter. It's very simple. It was embarrassing to one of NBC's parent companies. That's why they didn't run it. But NBC, by the way, they lose credibility when they do that because then the viewer understands that they care more about themselves than they care about the viewer.

O'REILLY: But I don't want to stick up for NBC. You know how I feel about them. But the financial press in general didn't really rush to this story. They didn't because the financial press in general upholds the loopholes that allows GE to legally -- to park that money offshore. And that was it. That was our debate. I've got to go. Real quick on the last word?


O'REILLY: So Bernie broke -- breaks the big story. He's saying that, at this point, Trump is running. And he was right about Couric being out of there at CBS, so you got to take it seriously. Thank you, Bernie.

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