Bitter End for Helen Thomas

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 7, 2010. 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: the headline is Helen Thomas. After 50 years as a White House correspondent and commentator, she has been forced to retire. That after Ms. Thomas said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any comments on Israel? We're asking everybody today.

HELEN THOMAS, RETIRING WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh. Any better comments?


THOMAS: Remember, these people are occupied, and it's their land. Not German. It's not Poland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where should they go? What should they do?

THOMAS: They need to go home.


THOMAS: Poland, Germany.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should just go back to Poland and Germany?

THOMAS: And America and everywhere else.


O'REILLY: Apparently, Ms. Thomas has never read the Bible.

And joining us now from North Carolina, Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg, the purveyor of the very fine website

You know, 89. Got to admire her for her longevity and working at that age. But obviously, this is pretty crazy. So do you feel sorry for her at all?

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BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, I don't like it — I don't like to see somebody lose a job because of a controversial statement. But I'm not going to lose any sleep over this one, Bill. Look, we just heard the tape. She wants the Jews of Israel to get the hell out of Palestine. She doesn't even use the word "Israel." I don't know if you noticed that. And go home. Well, here's a bulletin for Helen. They are home. Get used to it.

The second point is, her position on this is exactly the same, not similar, exactly the same as that of the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadnutjob or whatever his name is. Exact same position. Because he has said — he's said he wants the Jews out of there and let them go to Germany. Same position as Helen Thomas. You don't want to have the same position as the president of Iran.

The third point: Helen Thomas is taking flak for this, but let me assure you that what she said is said on a regular basis at our most elite universities by left-wing intellectuals all the time. They call for boycotts of Israel. They detest Israel, and they don't utter a single syllable about the atrocities that are going on, on a regular basis in the Arab world.


GOLDBERG: Here is the ultimate irony, Bill. Here's the ultimate irony. Helen Thomas is taking the advice that she gave the Israelis. She's getting the hell out and going home, and I didn't feel bad about that.

O'REILLY: Now how pervasive? You said in academia that her view is pervasive. How pervasive is it in the media? Now, here is what Helen Thomas said before that comment on the Israeli commando raid. Roll it.


THOMAS: Her initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful. What do you mean you regret? Something you should be so strongly condemned and any other nation in the world had done it, would have been up in arms.


O'REILLY: OK. So how pervasive is that, is her view that the Jewish people are occupying the land, they're oppressors, this was a massacre, Israel doesn't have a right to self-defense? How pervasive, in your opinion, is that in the media?

GOLDBERG: Yes. I don't believe that there's a big difference between liberals in the media and liberals outside of the media, so I don't know. I've never done a poll — I don't think anybody has — on how many people in the media feel that way. But, generally speaking, whether they see the Palestinians as the oppressed people and the Israelis as the oppressors, I'm assuming it's a fairly common position among liberals in and out of the media. In and out of the media.

O'REILLY: When you worked — when you worked at CBS News, did you see a tilt in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

GOLDBERG: Yes. You know what? I had no idea you were going to ask me that. But I once wrote a memo to a senior vice president on that very matter. I thought our coverage in the Middle East tilted to the Arabs. And I think that's because liberals in general root for the underdog. Never mind that Israel is surrounded by a million — hundreds of millions of Arabs that would like nothing better than for Israel not to exist. The Palestinians are seen as the underdogs, and I think the coverage tilts in that direction.

And by the way, the last — I don't want a Jewish correspondent covering Israel for any news organization, because they will bend over backwards to not take the Israeli side in these matters.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, in another media situation, we have seen over the past three or four weeks some left-wing people criticizing Barack Obama. Roll the tape.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm the president, and the buck stops with me.

JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW": Unfortunately, I left the buck at the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration. How much heritage and basketball (EXPLETIVE DELETED) do you have to do in a month? Get back to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) spill.

SPIKE LEE, FILMMAKER: He's very, as I know, as I've seen, calm, cool, collected. But one time, go off. And if there's any one time to go off, this is it.


O'REILLY: So is this a trend?

GOLDBERG: Well, it's a very interesting question. I think the criticism of Barack Obama, you know, there's a temptation to say that the love affair is over because of that and the questions at the news conferences. The love affair is over. The slobbering has ended. Journalists have finally decided to act like journalists.

But let's examine the nature of the criticism against Obama vs. the nature of the criticism against Bush. What are they saying about Barack Obama? That he's not emotional. That he needs to get angry. But when they criticized Bush for Katrina, it wasn't about his emotional state. It was about his mental state. That he was a dolt, an idiot, they said, and that he was incompetent. There's a big difference between criticizing President Bush as incompetent, in their words, than criticizing President Obama as not emotional enough.

So there may be a trend, but the trend will be much milder. The criticism will be much milder towards Barack Obama than it ever was — was towards George Bush. The love affair has not ended, no matter how it looks.

O'REILLY: OK. Last question, New York Times basically still sticking up for Obama, even in the Gulf. Most of their columnists are. That surprise you, real quick?

GOLDBERG: Oh, yes, Bill. Yes, it does. I am so shocked. I'm going to fall off my...

O'REILLY: But I mean, you know. Dowd hasn't. Dowd has given him a little — a little jazz. But the rest of them are — "Well, you know..." All right.

GOLDBERG: Right. I'm shocked that The New York Times editorial page — you're telling me The New York Times editorial page is defending Barack Obama?

O'REILLY: I'm sorry, Bernie.

GOLDBERG: I can't believe it.

O'REILLY: I'm sorry. Don't get eaten by a bear, by the way, out there in North Carolina. A bear...

GOLDBERG: They are out right in back of me.

O'REILLY: All right.

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