O'Reilly vs. Donahue in the No Spin Zone

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 23, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Thank you for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight, while most politicians have stayed far away from Cindy Sheehan because of her somewhat radical views, a few showbiz people have embraced her.

In the past, Ms. Sheehan has criticized Israel, saying it is occupying Palestine, has called Iraqi insurgents freedom fighters, has accused Americans of killing people ever since we stepped on this continent, has threatened Hillary Clinton with the loss of her job unless she calls for a pull-out of U.S. troops from Iraq and has called the U.S. action against Afghanistan a failure. Quite a resume.

And with us now is Phil Donahue, who supports Ms. Sheehan's dissent.

So I'm assuming you don't — you don't support all her positions that I just ran down.

PHIL DONAHUE, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST: Let's understand what's happening here. Once again we have a woman who got to be just a little too famous for the people who support this war. A minority of the American population, by the way.

And so the effort to marginalize this woman is underway. And you're helping out.

O'REILLY: I'm — I'm the leader of the pack.

DONAHUE: You're suggesting...

O'REILLY: I'm the leader of the pack.

DONAHUE: First of all, Cindy Sheehan is one tough mother. And nothing you say or anyone else is going to slow her down.

O'REILLY: No, that's fine. She has a right to do that.

DONAHUE: You can't hurt her. She's already taken the biggest punch in the nose that a woman can take. She's lost a son.


DONAHUE: She's lost a child.

O'REILLY: But look, I'm not putting words in her mouth.

DONAHUE: And by the way, she is going to be at the center of one of the largest rallies since the Vietnam War: proud, patriotic Americans who will show up in Washington this week for one of the most massive, largest demonstrations, protest demonstrations...

O'REILLY: And we'll cover it.

DONAHUE: ... right outside the president's window.

O'REILLY: And we'll cover it.

DONAHUE: And FOX is in the business of saying that this woman is somehow saying un-American things. Hyperbole.

O'REILLY: No, no, no, no.

DONAHUE: Listen to what she's saying.

O'REILLY: Nobody said she said anything un-American. We say that her positions are radical. And they are radical.

DONAHUE: Let me tell you what's radical. What's radical is to send more Americans to die in this war, which is a monumental blunder...

O'REILLY: All right.

DONAHUE: ... by a president who swaggered us into it with, by the way, the at least tacit approval of the Democratic Party. There's a lot of sin to go around here.

O'REILLY: What's radical...

DONAHUE: You want to send more people to this war? Is that your position?

O'REILLY: If we cut and run out of there like you want to do, we would be putting every American in a thousand times more jeopardy than they're in now.

DONAHUE: We're going to cut and run anyway, Bill.

O'REILLY: Well, that's your opinion.

DONAHUE: It's not my opinion. American military leaders have said we're going to draw down, beginning next year. The reason they said that...

O'REILLY: There's a difference between drawing down and cutting and running.

DONAHUE: Well...

O'REILLY: You're a cut and run guy, and I don't want my family in danger because of you.

DONAHUE: You want to stay the course, don't you? You don't...

O'REILLY: Look, here's what I want to do. I want to give the Iraqis a chance to train their army so they can defeat these people who are trying to turn it into a terrorist state.

DONAHUE: Bill...

O'REILLY: That's what I want to do.

DONAHUE: Bill...


DONAHUE: Iraq was not a terrorist state.

O'REILLY: Oh, no.


DONAHUE: I hope I don't patronize you for thinking that.

O'REILLY: He was a swell guy. He was...

DONAHUE: Saddam — Saddam was a bastard. But he was our bastard.

O'REILLY: He wasn't anybody's...

DONAHUE: Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in the '80s.

O'REILLY: Well, that's true (ph).

DONAHUE: You saw the pictures. Now listen. Listen. You wouldn't send your children to this war, Bill.

O'REILLY: My nephew just enlisted in the Army. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

DONAHUE: Very good. Very good. Congratulations. Be proud.

O'REILLY: Yes, and he's a patriot, so don't denigrate his service or I'll boot you right off the set.

DONAHUE: I'm not — I'm not...

O'REILLY: That boy made a decision to serve his country. Do not denigrate him or you're out of here.

DONAHUE: I'm not Jeremy Glick, Billy. You can't intimidate me.

O'REILLY: That's right. A little bit more intelligent than he is.

DONAHUE: I'm not somebody you can come and just do all your...

O'REILLY: Don't tell me I wouldn't send my kids.

DONAHUE: Loud doesn't mean right.

O'REILLY: My nephew just enlisted. You don't know what you're talking about.

DONAHUE: All right. You — your nephew is not your kid. You are...

O'REILLY: He's my blood.

DONAHUE: You are part of a loud group of people who want to prove they're tough and send other people's kids to war to make the case.

O'REILLY: You have no clue about how to fight a war on terror or how to defend your country. You are clueless. So is Ms. Sheehan. For Ms. Sheehan to say that the insurgents have a right to kill Americans, and you're shaking her hand? You ought to just walk away.

DONAHUE: How many more young men and women are you going to send to have their arms and legs blown off...

O'REILLY: This is a war on terror.

DONAHUE: ... so that you can be tough and point at people in a kind of cowardly way...


DONAHUE: ... take people like Jeremy Glick, who comes on to, in memory of his parents...

O'REILLY: Oh, bull.

DONAHUE: ... and you go off on him...

O'REILLY: Jeremy Glick is...

DONAHUE: ... like a big bully. Do you feel that you have to be — you have to feel sorry about that.

O'REILLY: Mr. Donahue, with all due respect...

DONAHUE: Have you apologized to him for that?

O'REILLY: Baloney. Jeremy Glick came on this program...

DONAHUE: You know what I'm talking about?

O'REILLY: ... and accused the president of the United States...

DONAHUE: Oh, and you had...

O'REILLY: ... of orchestrating 9/11. That's what he did, right after 9/11 happened. Do you know what the pain that brought the families who lost people in 9/11?

DONAHUE: This war...

O'REILLY: You buy into left-wing propaganda...

DONAHUE: This war...

O'REILLY: ... and you're a mouthpiece for it. Go ahead.

DONAHUE: This war is not fair to the American troops. This war is unconstitutional. This war turned its back on the people who framed the most fabulous document in the history of civilization. I speak of the United States Constitution.

O'REILLY: Why — why isn't the Democratic...

DONAHUE: This — we have — by the way...

O'REILLY: ... Party speaking that way?

DONAHUE: I'm sorry that it isn't. I am. But let's understand something.

O'REILLY: Are we all — are we all so misguided?

DONAHUE: Twenty-one — excuse me. Twenty-one Democrats in the Senate voted against this war, as well as Jeffords, an independent. And may the Lord shine his blessings down upon Lincoln Chaffee...

O'REILLY: All right. I'm going to give you...

DONAHUE: ... the only — I'm almost finished, Billy.

O'REILLY: I'm going to give you the last word.

DONAHUE: I'm almost finished.

O'REILLY: All right.

DONAHUE: Lincoln Chaffee, the only Republican in the Senate to vote against this war. We should be building statues to all these people.

O'REILLY: All right.

DONAHUE: October 2002, they stood up to a president and they knew that, first of all, only Congress can declare war. Why is that unimportant to you, Billy?

O'REILLY: It's not — I'm not...

DONAHUE: Why can't you become the patriot that your loud voice proclaims to be?

O'REILLY: A loud voice...

DONAHUE: And stand behind the Constitution and insist that we never go to war again without the approval — and...

O'REILLY: All right.

DONAHUE: ... the United States Congress.

O'REILLY: If they want to take action, they can take action. Now I want to say something, I'm going to give you the last word. The Iraq war is not something that I embrace. It absolutely could be a tactical error.

DONAHUE: Well, you should...

O'REILLY: All right?

DONAHUE: It's hard to know this, Billy.

O'REILLY: Listen to me and then you're going to have the last word. Not something I embrace, could be a tactical error, optional war and we have not waged it the way I had hoped we would wage it.

DONAHUE: But what?

O'REILLY: But we are in the war on terror.

DONAHUE: You want kids to die (ph).

O'REILLY: We are in the war on terror. Our cause is noble.

DONAHUE: It has nothing to do with the war on terror.

O'REILLY: Yes, it does. And if you don't understand geopolitics and you don't understand Iraq would be a terrorist state if we pulled out of there...

DONAHUE: The mistake...

O'REILLY: ... you don't know anything.

DONAHUE: ... it was poorly planned...

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

DONAHUE: ... poorly executed, but Bill O'Reilly wants to send more kids to fight and die. We've already had almost 2,000. Just let me have the last word. In the last year, two things have doubled. The number of dead American troops in Iraq have doubled, from over 1,000 to almost 2,000. You know what else doubled, Billy? The price of Halliburton's stock.

O'REILLY: All right.

DONAHUE: From $33 to $66. That doesn't shame you? That doesn't make you wonder?

O'REILLY: I'm not obsessed by Halliburton stock.

DONAHUE: If this is an enterprise that is worth the support of the American people? We need you at this rally on Saturday, Billy.

O'REILLY: I don't care. I'm not going to be there. DONAHUE: We need you out in front of it to be — to protest.

O'REILLY: Not going to be at the rally.

DONAHUE: There is no democracy without dissent.

O'REILLY: Not going to protest.

DONAHUE: You should be proud of people who stand up and dissent.

O'REILLY: I am. I respect your...

DONAHUE: A lot of fine men went and died to give me that freedom.

O'REILLY: All right. You got it. You got it. I respect your dissent. I think you're way off in your analysis of the war on terror.

DONAHUE: You want to send more people to die in Iraq? Is that — is that your position?

O'REILLY: I want to win the war in Iraq.

DONAHUE: Win. What does win mean? Tell me what win means. O'REILLY: It means those people have a chance at democracy. I've got to go.

DONAHUE: How long is that going to take?

O'REILLY: Got to go.

DONAHUE: How long is that going to take?

O'REILLY: Those people deserve a chance at freedom. Thank you for coming in.

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