New York Times vs. White House Over Tea Party Story

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Weekdays With Bernie" segment tonight, two hot topics: conservative purity and The New York Times vs. the White House on the Tea Party story.

Bernard Goldberg, the purveyor of, joins us now. OK, let's throw that headline up there. Page-one story: Obama administration wants to assault the Tea Party and tie them in in this extremist way, and then the Obama administration tells Fox News the story is BS. Your take on it?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: My take is that the story is probably true. Now, technically, maybe it's not the Obama administration that's going to assault, you know, the Republicans with this Tea Party label. But it's some groups connected to the White House. You know, a wink and a nod. And...

O'REILLY: Why would they -- why would the White House then go and try to make The New York Times look like a bunch of charlatans, which they did? They said it's a bogus story. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times loves the Obama administration.

GOLDBERG: Maybe -- maybe it's because they don't like the -- as simple as they don't like the word they're going to "assault" the Tea Party people, because there's a strategy, Bill. This is the point that interests me the most, is there's a strategy linking the whole Republican Party with -- with the Tea Party people. That's not a strategy that's going to work in 2010.

O'REILLY: No, it isn't. It isn't. But here is the dynamic of the story. You have the White House, all right? Both you and I believe somebody inside the White House leaked this to an unnamed source. You know, somebody who is unnamed leaked it to The New York Times, OK. No. 1, The New York Times is stupid for continuing to do this kind of stuff.

GOLDBERG: You mean unnamed sources?

O'REILLY: Yes. Particularly on page one. It's stupid to do it. They didn't like the way it came out. The White House didn't like the way it came out. So they say, "We didn't do it. They made it up." Why would they want one of their most powerful media allies as The New York Times indicted? Don't they have a risk here?

GOLDBERG: What's the risk, that The New York Times is going to turn on the Obama administration?

O'REILLY: Or ignore them. Or not stick up for them anymore.

GOLDBERG: When the going gets rough, the media circles the wagons for their people.

O'REILLY: All right. So you…

GOLDBERG: Let me just say a word about the strategy, if I might. Some other year this might work, but this year it's just crazy. Because if the polls are right, the American people think it's the Obama administration and the Reid-Pelosi Congress that are extremists. That really...

O'REILLY: Interesting point. It's not the Tea Party people.

GOLDBERG: No. No. No. That's right, that are out of the mainstream.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: In some other year, maybe the voters would reject some of the more colorful Tea Party candidate. But if I'm living in Nevada this year, I'd vote for Scooby Doo before I'd vote for Harry Reid.

O'REILLY: Yes, it's not going to work. And I think probably cooler heads at the White House know that. All right. Now...

GOLDBERG: Maybe that's why. Maybe it was one of those things that they talked about, but cooler heads realized that.

O'REILLY: Not good using the word "assault" in that headline. Not good. OK, on the same token, on the right, we have a lot of people who are very angry with people like Karl Rove...


O'REILLY: ...and Charles Krauthammer because they're not in lockstep...


O'REILLY: ...with every Tea Party candidate.

GOLDBERG: Right. I think -- I think they're -- I think they're asking for trouble. I think they're wrong.

O'REILLY: Who's they?

GOLDBERG: Well, it's a civil war -- and if you don't like the term civil war, it's something pretty close to it -- between the purists, Jim DeMint, a conservative from South Carolina in the political world. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity in the media world. They're the purists on one side, right? They're ideologically pure. They just want conservatives, end of discussion.

On the other side you have Krauthammer, Karl Rove, others, including me, who are more realistic. And we say, "Look, the kind of conservative that could win in Alabama is going to have a tough time winning in Maine."

O'REILLY: OK, but, but, but, it's a different year, as you just pointed out.

GOLDBERG: That's right. That's the...

O'REILLY: It's a different time. So the radio commentators, and they readily identify themselves, by the way. And I write in "Pinheads & Patriots" I don't have any beef with them. I don't have any beef with conservative or even liberal radio commentators as long as they tell you where they're coming from. They say, "Goldberg, you're wrong this year."

GOLDBERG: I know. I know.

O'REILLY: "This is our chance to get the conservative line in."

GOLDBERG: I hope they're right, and I hope I'm wrong. But instead of going with Jim DeMint's philosophy of "I'd rather have 30 conservatives in the Senate than 60 wishy-washy moderates," good luck, because the Democrats will shove it right down your throat if you only have 30.

O'REILLY: Yes, you know…

GOLDBERG: But I'm with Bill Buckley on this. I want the most viable conservative candidate to win, and viable means electable. I'm just being realistic. But I hope -- I hope this year is different.

O'REILLY: So if this Christine O'Donnell wins in Delaware, I mean, that is going to send a signal that ideological purity, as you put it, is back; that the people have had enough of business as usual. They don't care if she's ever had a job.

GOLDBERG: That's the point, and this is the year it could happen.

O'REILLY: It could happen.

GOLDBERG: Because people have lost their jobs, are worried about losing their jobs; have lost their homes, are worried about -- and that makes this year totally different.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, Bernie Goldberg is carrying this -- can you get this? He's carrying this book around.

GOLDBERG: My wife...

O'REILLY: "I Am Moxxy Dog." All right. So you want to explain this, Bernie? Because people are going, "What's wrong with Bernie?"

GOLDBERG: No, no, no. This is -- my wife wrote this book.

O'REILLY: Your wife? Oh, there it is. Your wife wrote the book.

GOLDBERG: And it's for young kids. So if anybody out there has young kids or nieces or nephews...

O'REILLY: "I Am Moxxy Dog."

GOLDBERG: ...or friends who have young kids, go to

O'REILLY: There you go.

GOLDBERG: ...or my website. Look at that. I mean, she did a great job.

O'REILLY: I was worried about you.

GOLDBERG: And the illustrations are by Donna Underwood who...

O'REILLY: I figured I'll give you that free plug, Goldberg, because you help me out a lot.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

O'REILLY: I appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.