Canadian Youth Taught America is Evil?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 4, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: On July 6th, I reported that a poll taken in Canada found that 40 percent of teenagers there thought America was a force for evil in the world. The number rose to 64 percent among French-Canadian teenagers. On July 16th, one of the guys who took the poll, Rudyard Griffiths, wrote in the Toronto Globe and Mail this, quote: "The first sign that the Drudge Report mention was whipping up a tempest in a teapot came in the form of a screed by a Canadian baiter and top-rated Fox News personality, Bill O'Reilly."

Joining us now from Toronto is Mr. Griffiths, who is the director of the Dominion Institute. All right, where am I going wrong here, sir?

RUDYARD GRIFFITHS, DOMINION INSTITUTE: Well, what I really took exception to is your comment that America's got the franchise on liberty and that you said, straight to the record, that Canada was equivalent to France, the Canadians had freed nobody, whereas Americans had freed hundreds of millions of people across the world.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRIFFITHS: That's just straight out wrong and it's a statement that I resent and that a lot of Canadians resent.


GRIFFITHS: The truth is, we fought together in the First World War. We went into that war three years before you did, by the way.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRIFFITHS: We fought together in the Second World War (search). We went into that war about two years before you did. You know, about 10,000 Canadians served in Vietnam (search), and you sent about 16,000 draft dodgers up here. You know, in Bosnia, in Afghanistan (search), you name it, we've stood shoulder to shoulder with Americans, we've bled with Americans for the ideals of democracy and freedom, yet...

O'REILLY: All of that is true, but also true is the fact that America was a driving force in World War One and World War Two to liberate Europe from the Nazis and that's the main theater in which you fought, and Canada helped. And Canada also helped in Afghanistan, by the way, and we respect that immeasurably.

But my point was that the Canadian media and the Canadian education system is now skewing their reportage about America so that all of these children, millions of Canadian children, feel that we are an evil force in the world. They're not providing perspective to the children up there and I believe I'm absolutely correct, sir.

GRIFFITHS: Well, you know, perspective is often a problem and the problem is that the images out of Iraq are pretty negative, and that a lot of young people are watching TV a lot more than they're taking to their textbooks.

O'REILLY: Look, they're negative if you put them in that kind of a context. Certainly, no American wants anybody else killed in Iraq. But if you give a balanced presentation, which the CBC does not, the Toronto Globe and Mail does not, and say to your children, "Look, this is a rough war. This is a tough thing. But a brutal dictator who killed hundreds of thousands of people is out of office, 56 million Iraqis, or whatever it is, 36 million, have a chance at self determination."

So it's not black and white. America is not the bad guy in Iraq. It might have been a mistake, but we're not the bad guy, Mr. Griffiths, and we are being portrayed in your country as such.

GRIFFITHS: No, you're not. Public opinion in Canada was pretty divided going into that war.

O'REILLY: When you've got 64 percent of French-Canadian teenagers saying America's a force for evil, you've got a problem in the media and education up there.

GRIFFITHS: Look, I think this is a temporary problem, but it's a problem for Americans and it's a problem with this current president that you've got.

O'REILLY: Not a problem for America. We have a balanced media here. You don't.

GRIFFITHS: Well, look, I think you've got a real responsibility as one of the leading network personalities in America to give a balanced assessment of Canada and Canadians' views. You can't just cherry pick one statistic out of hundreds of surveys and say that that's Canadians' views of Americans.

O'REILLY: We have been tough...

GRIFFITHS: We love your popular culture. We love...

O'REILLY: We have been tough on Canada because Canada, Chretien particularly, has been brutal on us. All this stat said to me was that the Canadian media and the Canadian education system is not giving the U.S.A. a fair shake. And I will stand behind that analysis and I'll give you the last word on it.

GRIFFITHS: Well, you know, two years ago when I appeared on your show and had the privilege, I invited you up here for a Canadian beer. I think you turned me down. Come on up...

O'REILLY: I didn't turn you down. It's just a matter of whether I can get up there or not.

GRIFFITHS: Some great ale, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)... you know, it's not getting south of the border because of mad cow...

O'REILLY: Look, Toronto is a great town. I'm going to have to come to Toronto...

GRIFFITHS: Please do.

O'REILLY: And I'm going to have to straighten you guys out.

GRIFFITHS: We'll roll out the red carpet for you.

O'REILLY: I'm going to have to come up there because you won't take the Fox News Channel, because your government is afraid of it.

GRIFFITHS: We watch it on the Internet.

O'REILLY: So I'm going to have to come in person to do it. Tell your government to take us so then you can watch us every night and then the kids would get a fair shot.

GRIFFITHS: OK, you're on record, you're coming up to Toronto.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Griffiths, thank you very much, we appreciate it. Give the kids the fair shot.

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