Hypocrite? John Edwards vs. News Corporation

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 3, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

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MICHELLE MALKIN, GUEST HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, John Edwards's desperate effort to bring some attention to his beleaguered presidential candidacy is backfiring. Yesterday, Edwards demanded that his Democratic rivals return any campaign contributions from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns FOX News Channel.


JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What's happening is, and Murdoch is a perfect example of it, we've seen a consolidation in the media that's not healthy. FOX News, I think has a clear and long history of bias against Democrats. And for all those reasons, I think that anybody who is running for president as a Democratic — running for the Democratic nomination should return any money that's been taken from those people. And I think we just have to stand up to them. I mean, hey, it's time to put a stop to this


MALKIN: But wait a minute! It turns out Edwards himself got nearly a million bucks in a book deal with one of News Corporation's publishing companies. Can you say hypocrite?

Joining us now from New York is Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky.

Julie, you've got to be snorting at this utter display of hypocrisy. You know, the other day, Bill had asked me how to explain what "hoisting up a petard" is. Here you go. What's your response to this?

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think hell is freezing over because you and I have actually found something that we agree on. You know, people in glass houses shouldn't thrown stones.

And look, I'm a Democrat. I voted for John Edwards four years ago. I actually supported him in the primaries. But you can't cast, you know, aspersions like this if you live in glass houses. He did take money from Harper Collins, which is an imprint of — a Rupert Murdoch imprint. And obviously, he's gone on FOX News many times by my own calculation. So you cannot accuse other people of doing something that you yourself do.

But as you said, he is stuck in third place. He is trying to appeal to the Democratic base, among whom, perhaps, FOX News is not their favorite cable station. And so, as a result of that, I think he's doing what he's doing. But it's a huge mistake. Because obviously, he himself has not only taken money from a Rupert Murdoch Corporation, but has appeared on FOX News and has obviously, you know, been involved in News Corps' activities over the course of his career.

MALKIN: Right. I mean, it's one thing to toss a pebble when you live in a glass house, but he has tossed a boulder, OK?

ROGINSKY: That's a good way to put it.

MALKIN: Because it was — a half-a-million dollars for this book deal for the book that we just flashed [on the screen], "Home". And Harper Collins published it. And then apparently reportedly, he had $300,000 in expenses. Now that's a lot of haircuts. You know?

ROGINSKY: Not the $400 kind, Michelle. Maybe the kind you and I get..


ROGINSKY: ...but maybe not the $400 kind.

MALKIN: Yes. I guess so. I do want to note that "The O'Reilly Factor" had asked the Edwards campaign to answer questions about his claim that all that money went to charity. And he refused to cough up any evidence to the New York Post. And he won't answer questions now. Who's running his campaign?

ROGINSKY: Well, that to me is what's so disappointing. Because when you're running for president, you're obviously running for the highest office in the land. It's a serious office. Clearly, the most serious office you can run for. So you should run a serious campaign.

And he must have known that if — he had actually attacked Hillary Clinton on this, he must have known that even if News Corps would not have done a segment on this today, that Hillary Clinton would have obviously looked at his background, looked at his contributions, and also looked at his expenditures, and where he's received money including Harper Collins, and the fact that he has gone on FOX News a lot.

So, you know, to me it's kind of disturbing of somebody who has run many campaigns over the course of my career to be so ill prepared. When you're making an allegation, you'd better be having something to back it up. And it seems to me like he doesn't have it backed up. And that's the mark of a non-professional campaign. And that's what's so disappointing to me is that he is running for president. He should have a serious campaign that is at least done some self-research before they're casting these kind of allegations.

MALKIN: Right, right. Definitely not ready for prime time when he goes out there, goes out on a limb. And he's for taking Rupert Murdoch's money before he is against it.


MALKIN: Now why.

ROGINSKY: Let's not go back to for before we're against.


ROGINSKY: But look, you're absolutely right. Of course if he's going to be attacking Rupert Murdoch, as is his right to attack whoever he wants, he better be sure that Rupert Murdoch has never helped him out. It seems to me like he's made a few bucks off Rupert Murdoch himself, as well as gotten some publicity off of Murdoch's media empire. So he - you know, that was a - just a bone headed move on his part.

MALKIN: Why haven't we heard from any other Democratic candidates about this?

ROGINSKY: Because you guys are doing such a good job of tearing him apart. They could just sit back and relax. Why do they need to say anything? You're — you know, you're basically taking the hit for them. And so obviously, they don't need to say anything themselves about it.

MALKIN: That's true. You did a pretty good job of it yourself, Julie.

ROGINSKY: Oh, thank you. For once, you and I agree.

MALKIN: Yes. Thanks. John Edwards bringing us together.

ROGINSKY: Thank you, John Edwards, for that at least.

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