Megyn Kelly on Black Panther Story: It's About Fidelity to Law, Not Panthers

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: Megyn Kelly is mentioned in that Newsweek article as one who is driving the [Black Panther] story unfairly. She joins us now. All right. We'll get to the Newsweek thing in a moment. But why do you feel so passionately about the Panther story when there's only eight Panthers? It's a very minuscule organization.

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MEGYN KELLY, ANCHOR, "AMERICA LIVE": Yeah. It's not about the Panthers. I got involved in this more seriously, more extensively once the DOJ whistleblower came on…

O'REILLY: Came on your show.

KELLY: …and gave us…

O'REILLY: Adams.

KELLY: …his first television interview.

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: And the reason that I'm passionate about this case and this story, Bill, is because I believe in fidelity to the law. And I feel like your viewers know that about me. It doesn't matter whether it's left or right, conservative or liberal, I try to follow the law. I try to give you an honest interpretation of what the law requires, whether it's from defending Justice Ginsburg to defending those crazies from the Westboro Baptist Church and their free speech rights. And it's not always popular, but I try to see honestly what the law requires. And what this whistleblower is alleging is that there is not fidelity to the law at the Department of Justice right now.

O'REILLY: But remember, according to Newsweek, he's a Bush guy.

KELLY: Well, that's the thing. OK, so they try to discredit J. Christian Adams…

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: …by saying he's a conservative, which apparently he is. So that's fine. So that's what you've got. He's a conservative. Based on that, and the fact that he was hired at the DOJ at a time where they tended to hire more conservative people, they dismissed his sworn testimony. They besmirch a lawyer of 18 years.

O'REILLY: Well, it doesn't matter. If he's a Bush guy, he's lying, of course.

KELLY: OK, so, but the viewers can make their minds about whether they believe…

O'REILLY: No, I'm being facetious. All right.

KELLY: But I'm just saying…

O'REILLY: So let me stop you here.

KELLY: So that's fine. They can make up their minds one way. But the question is why isn't there an investigation? Why don't people actually want to get down to the truth?

O'REILLY: OK, but I'm more interested in you and your passion here. OK, so you are saying that because in your opinion from what you've heard and seen on the videotape, there was an illegality that took place in the Philadelphia polling…

KELLY: Yes, because what people forget to say, they always say, oh, nobody actually testified to voter intimidation. No. 1, that's not true. I've read the testimony, unlike almost everybody who comments on this case. And it wasn't just Bartle Bull. It was another guy named Chris Hill, who testified that in particular there was a black poll watcher there who was very shaken up, who was visibly upset, who demanded that the police be called, because he was called…

O'REILLY: And the police were called.

KELLY: He was called a race traitor…

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: …and told him if he stepped outside, there would be hell to pay. That was a black poll watcher. Plus, they testified at least three voters turned away.

O'REILLY: OK, all right, so there is enough evidence, and I've said that on "The Factor" from the jump.

KELLY: And even attempt at intimidation is…

O'REILLY: …to go and prosecute. All right, so we believe, Kelly and O'Reilly both believe and even maybe Ruth Bader Ginsburg would agree with us, maybe, all right, that there's enough evidence to go forward to prosecute the case, but it wasn't prosecuted.

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: But the real atrocity is the attorney general blew it off and didn't even explain why. He's just hiding.

KELLY: Well, that's the thing.


KELLY: OK, go ahead.

O'REILLY: So that's the fact. Enough evidence, attorney general of the United States doesn't feel that the American people deserve an explanation of his behavior. So it's a big story. But Newsweek…

KELLY: Well, he's come out and said the facts in the law weren't there.

O'REILLY: But that's bull.

KELLY: But that's the problem.

O'REILLY: That's bull. If he doesn't know they're there, then he doesn't deserve to be attorney general because they certainly are there.

KELLY: I mean, that's the question.

O'REILLY: OK. So it's a big story. Voter intimidation, attorney general, apparently doesn't know the law; doesn't care.

KELLY: And the policy, according to the DOJ, was a policy now at the DOJ…

O'REILLY: Of not of race.

KELLY: Of not pursuing cases…


KELLY: …where the defendant is black and the victim is white when it comes to voter intimidation.

O'REILLY: That's what Adams says?

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: All right, now, so Newsweek then goes in and says, you know what? Holder's right and Kelly and O'Reilly, they don't mention me, they're wrong, this is bull, shouldn't be prosecuted. And they assign a 24-year-old Cub Scout.


O'REILLY: You didn't see him in his uniform, but I think we have it. OK? Look at this guy. Look at him.

KELLY: I know.

O'REILLY: Look at him.

KELLY: I know.

O'REILLY: All right? And they assign him. And he's supposed to be writing a news story. And he writes this hit piece.

KELLY: Listen…

O'REILLY: And you react how?

KELLY: I say that's fine. He can -- Newsweek can hire whoever it wants. You know, I will stack my nine years of the practice of law and my experience as a journalist up against his one year working at Newsweek any…

O'REILLY: Not even one. He was hired in February.

KELLY: …day of the week. So if he wants to tell me he knows better than I do what would qualify as voter intimidation under the law, that's fine.

O'REILLY: OK, but why did Newsweek, No. 1, assign a guy who's in way over his head, OK. And, No. 2, allow this to go on their website, which is a blatant political piece with white -- have you ever seen anybody that's -- three whites in there.

KELLY: No, describe the race of the witnesses in the case.

O'REILLY: Right.


O'REILLY: They're white.


O'REILLY: OK, so why would Newsweek do that?

KELLY: A whistleblower. I really think that the reason Newsweek is covering this the way it is, and the reason others in the left-wing press in particular are covering it the way they are, which is not at all or to downplay it is it doesn't fit their narrative, you know, they -- I do think some the left-wing press is in the bag for President Obama. And they don't like to report on stories that don't look good for the White House. I think that's been established.

O'REILLY: But Obama didn't have anything to do with it, other than he supports Holder.

KELLY: Well, or his emissaries, you know, other than Holder.

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: You know, also, Holder and the others.

O'REILLY: But you haven't heard any accusations against Obama, have you? I haven't.

KELLY: Not against Obama in particular, but there is one former Department of Justice attorney who suggests the White House visitor logs show that the White House was potentially weighing in on that decision. But that doesn't necessarily tie it to President Obama.

O'REILLY: Well, look, he -- Obama has not repudiated the decision. He hasn't said anything about it.


O'REILLY: And he obviously thinks Holder's doing a great job.

KELLY: But the problem here is that not only does the left wing press not apparently want to report on it, but you got pieces like this that detract, that criticize people who are reporting on it. You know?

O'REILLY: Like you.

KELLY: Right. And they accuse you of race-baiting, and it's a sensitive subject.

O'REILLY: No, it was more than that. It's a -- you are a far-right kook bent on bringing down President Obama. That's why you did this reporting Kelly, don't you know that?

KELLY: I didn't see that in the Newsweek piece, but I guess it was between the lines. I -- listen, racism -- being a racist is the worst thing you can say about somebody. I mean, it is such a charged accusation. And I really think people should be very careful before they level that.

O'REILLY: Well, that's what we're going to come up right behind you is the Tea Party-NAACP…

KELLY: In the press or otherwise.

O'REILLY: That's what that's all about. All right.

KELLY: But I have say as a journalist…

O'REILLY: Just summing up.

KELLY: …I feel an obligation if there's news to cover it.

O'REILLY: OK, but just summing up, you are entirely comfortable with your position that this case should have been prosecuted by the federal government and the reason it hasn't been is still flimsy?

KELLY: That's how it looks to me as a lawyer.

O'REILLY: All right. Megyn Kelly, everybody. You can catch her 1:00 p.m. on her own program, two hours of Kelly. And if that's not enough, you can see her here on "The Factor," all right? OK, Megyn, thank you.

KELLY: Thanks, Bill.

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