The media turning America into battling factions

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 28, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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GUTFELD: Thanks for staying with us. I am Greg Gutfield in for Bill O'Reilly. And, in the weekdays with Bernie segment tonight, how much of the media is replacing facts with opinion in the wake of the Ferguson riots. Bernie's most recent column deals with the subject.

Joining me from North Carolina, the purveyor of Bernard, Bernie Goldberg. So, Bernie, your column was very good. It was on the polarization of opinion, particularly in the Ferguson case.


GUTFELD: Why do you think it seems to be getting worse from every crisis to crisis it gets worse?

GOLDBERG: Well, the column, by the way, was about the polarization of America, about how deeply divided we have become, about how if you listen, just listen to the other guy that is tantamount to treason. And, I wanted it see how it played out in Ferguson.


GOLDBERG: Despite the fact, Greg -- despite the fact that none of us really knows what went on there. Both sides have already reached a verdict. The left, not every single liberal but there is a liberal take on this.


GOLDBERG: And, the liberal take is that the kid was black. The cop was white.


GOLDBERG: The kid was unarmed. He got shot six times. The cop is guilty, case closed.


GOLDBERG: On MSNBC, they had a contributor who said that what Ferguson shows is that black boys are about to be -- they are all under attack. This is insane. This is crazy. It is liberal delusion, but while conservatives -- conservatives are not much better.

They at least start out the sentence by saying, "Let us wait until the facts come in." But, I got emails through my website. They have also reached a verdict. And, that verdict is the kid was a thug. He robbed a store. The cop had no bad record. The cop is innocent. The kid is guilty.


GOLDBERG: I was a reporter -- Let me just say this. I was a reporter long enough to know that there are bad 18-year-old kids and there are bad cops. I do not know which is which in this case. And, all I am saying is, before the facts come in, do not circle the wagons. Do not take your side and the other side takes their side because all that does is divide America even more and that cannot be a good thing.

GUTFELD: Yes. Do you know what is interesting? In all cases of life, there are only two sides. People -- when something happens, everybody splits.

GOLDBERG: Right. Right.

GUTFELD: My theory is that opinion has now become -- or ideology has become a team sport.

GOLDBERG: That is right.

GUTFELD: So, nobody waits for the facts. They immediately put on their uniforms and they get ready to get on the court or the field and fight because it is a team.

GOLDBERG: That is exactly right. Every now and then, not often, Greg, you stumble onto a brilliant point. But, you are absolutely right. I will be criticized. You know, I do not get hate mail from liberals. I get hate mail from conservatives when I dare stray from the conservative plantation.

And, black conservatives they get nailed when they stray from the liberal plantation. That is what it has become. You cannot even consider the other guy's point of view because then you are giving ammunition to the enemy. I want to make clear. I am not making an argument for wishy-washy even-handedness.


GOLDBERG: I am not making an argument for moral equivalency. There are some issues that are deeply held. We have some values and principles that we hold deeply and we should hang on to them. But, in Ferguson, in Ferguson and only in Ferguson, where the facts have not come in yet. Do not, as you rightly say, put on your uniform and either take this position or that position before you know what really happened.

GUTFELD: I have a theory as well that polarization has become worse because of the media obedience to Obama is so devout that any criticism is met with screams of outrage, which then causes the rebound effect. So, in fact, it is the media bias towards Obama that has caused it even to get a little bit more intense.

GOLDBERG: Yes. That is a possibility. Look. President Obama said he was going to unite us. He is the most polarizing President since Abraham Lincoln anyway. So, you have -- if Barack Obama were caught on videotape, Greg, robbing a bank, on videotape, his liberal supporters would say, "Hey! The bank was closed. He needed money. It was his money, anyway. He made a deposit last week. What is the big deal?"

But, if Barack Obama found a cure for cancer tomorrow morning, there are conservatives and we both know that this is true, there are conservatives who would scream and yell because he did not discover a cure for cancer a year ago. I am sick of it. I have positions on most issues and most of the time they are right of center positions. But, I am sick of this mindless polarization.

GUTFELD: Yes. I think in a way for many networks, not Fox News, the way stories are packaged, so they are like mini specials with ominous music and serious graphics that demand conclusions before there are facts because they see something happening and they make it into a crisis and then they have got it fill those buckets with people with opinions. Not facts.

GOLDBERG: Yes. Literature and journalism depend on conflict and confrontation.


GOLDBERG: And, it is called good television. You know?


GOLDBERG: And, that is why what you just said, I am -- frankly, I am shocked. You have made a couple of very good points in this exchange.

GUTFELD: And, I am sober doing it, which is amazing.

GOLDBERG: That is why it happens because we need conflict. We need confrontation. It is good television.

GUTFELD: You know what we should do? We should have a polarizing debate on polarization. That is what we should do and scream about it. We got to go, Bernie. Thanks so much for coming.

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