Virginia Tech Holds Concert to Welcome Back Students After Tragedy Featuring Controversial Rapper

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 16, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Thursdays with Geraldo" segment tonight, Virginia Tech and a rapper who trades in violence. Last night we told you about a concert to welcome back students at V.T., which will feature Nas, a rap guy with a rap sheet of weapons conviction here in New York City.

You may remember that a killer murdered 32 people on the campus of V.T. and wounded 26 others last April. So the booking of this guy Nas is incredible. Listen to this.


NAS, RAPPER: 3 loaded clips, 4 (expletive deleted) roll, one (expletive deleted) drives, 500 Benz, 6 reasons why this kid should die. We're shooting every (expletive deleted) outside. Pulled on his block; jumped out the car, guns in our hand at the same time everybody ran. There that (expletive deleted) go, hiding in the crowd, let the trigger blow.

Shoot 'em up! Just shoot 'em up! What? Kill! Kill! Kill! Murder! Murder! Murder! Shoot 'em up! Just shoot 'em up! What? Kill! Kill! Kill!


O'REILLY: Isn't that nice?

Well, many "Factor" viewers contacted the Virginia Tech president, Dr. Charles Steger, to object to this ridiculous situation. Today the school announced it would pay the families of the 32 victims and those who were badly injured in the shooting $30,000 more than had been promised. Some will receive $180,000.

Now, the announcement may be a coincidence, or it may be an attempt to soothe public opinion.

With us now with his opinion on the matter and also a look back at Elvis Presley, Geraldo Rivera.

You know, I mean, I know you're liberal social guy, social liberal.


O'REILLY: This is crazy.

RIVERA: Well, you know why? The problem is — and I hate censorship, and you know I do. And I really believe that, if people like that stuff, let them listen to that stuff.

The problem here is the venue. And the problem is that you have seven of the families who are bitterly complaining about the fact that this man has been booked. I think you've got a dilemma on your hands right now.

O'REILLY: If you are the president, and some day, God help us you may be, of a university, and you're sitting there in your little ivory tower...

RIVERA: Bill O'Reilly studies course.

O'REILLY: Bill O'Reilly U. Geraldo will be in charge.

You're sitting there in your little ivory tower, and — because we gave this Steger guy a week. We sent him all this stuff. We said, maybe you don't know. We don't expect this guy's listening to the rappers.

He basically said, "I don't care." And then he issued a statement today saying that I'm mis-categorizing Nas. I mean, what else do I have to do?

RIVERA: How would you feel if they canceled the entire concert?

O'REILLY: I don't want them to cancel the concert.

RIVERA: You're going to tell me and the audience what — how you would react if the president says, "Because we have our First Amendment scruples we can't censor this man."

O'REILLY: They would disinvite him.

RIVERA: I don't believe that that's possible at this point.

O'REILLY: Yes, they could. Yes, they could. They could disinvite him.

RIVERA: I think that Nas could voluntarily withdraw. That may be the only appropriate solution.

O'REILLY: What, you think Matthews wouldn't go on the bill if they chucked Nas? They're coming to see Matthews, not him.

RIVERA: I agree with that 100 percent, but I think that Dave Matthews would be in a real creative dilemma, and he would really be hard-pressed to go on if Nas was not.

O'REILLY: All right. Let's put all this aside. This is wrong. This is insensitive. It embarrasses the families. It embarrasses the university.

RIVERA: It's wrong, ipso facto, if you have seven people complaining that it's wrong.

O'REILLY: You think it's wrong, too. You think it's inappropriate, too. I can tell on your face.

RIVERA: How can you tell?

O'REILLY: I can tell.

RIVERA (singing): How can you tell, because I'm talking about murdering people.

O'REILLY: Come on. You didn't like that clip.

RIVERA: I didn't like that clip. It seems ironic that this is the theme.

O'REILLY: Ironic?

RIVERA: ... a cruel booking, in many ways.

O'REILLY: It's ferociously cruel.

RIVERA: All right. But let the families decide. And I think the president is in a jam. And I think that right now they've got to rethink it.

O'REILLY: If you want to agree with Geraldo for the first time in your life, you can get in touch with Steger by going to We got his e-mail posted there and his phone number. And I think that's what's going to happen. Public opinion is going to have to — this guy should be fired, Steger.

RIVERA: Well, he's going to — I said at the time the families were in a state of shock, that they are going to get very bitter about the way the university handled the day of the slaughter. I think that...

O'REILLY: Right. Well, this is a third strike for him, because he let Marcus Vick play, Michael Vick's brother. And Marcus Vick had a long...

RIVERA: I remember that.

O'REILLY: This is third strike for him. He's got to go.

All right, Elvis Presley. Now you — everybody remembers, my friends, where we were when Elvis died. I was in Lake Tahoe on vacation. And I listened to KGO television like this. Because I was a big Elvis fan.

You were actually involved in reporting about his death, and you knew some of his associates, correct?

RIVERA: And I met Elvis in '72 and '73. Jerry Weintraub, my legendary manager at the time, was also in charge of Elvis's concert tours. I was back stage and I was honored to meet him in one of these kinds of settings.

And he had that kind of — it seemed almost like a faux politeness — "Well, how you doing, sir?" — and all that kind of stuff.

O'REILLY: Did he know who you were?

RIVERA: Yes. He watched. They watched, you know, various — I did "Good Night America" at the time. Elvis definitely watched. He was also a Kennedy conspiracy buff, interestingly enough.

But what was interesting is how I fiercely defend Elvis against the rumors of his drug abuse, because a book by the bodyguards of Elvis had just come out at the time he died. And I went on "Good Morning America," where I worked at the time, and I said these guys don't know what they're talking about, because Elvis wasn't a drug addict.

But I began the investigation. And I investigated Dr. "Nick" Nichopoulos, Elvis' doctor.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: And found that Elvis had been prescribed 15,000 narcotics and dangerous drugs, individual pills — 15,000 of them, a pile of them, in the last three months of his life.

O'REILLY: And that's what killed him.

RIVERA: And he was toxic in five different drugs. He died on the toilet.

O'REILLY: In analyzing this story, did you ever find out the “why” behind it? I mean, here you have a guy — here you have a poor guy. I mean, he's raised in very humble surroundings in Mississippi. He rises up to be the biggest star in the world. He's got everything at his feet, everything. Everything he wanted material, got women, got everything he wants.

Why would you want to take drugs to get away from all that?

RIVERA: A couple of things. First of all, they were never illegal drugs. They were always prescribed. I only say that because Elvis was very big on the DEA.

O'REILLY: He wasn't taking...

RIVERA: Nixon made him a narcotics officer. And all the rest.

O'REILLY: But the drugs killed him.

RIVERA: Right, it was Dilaudid and all those prescription drugs.

The problem is, if you're an entertainer, and he had a weight problem, remember that. So you're an entertainer. You have a little headache, you have a little bit — you can't sleep.

Then you have doctors around you. He had Max Shapiro, the dentist. He had Nick Nichopoulos. He had a guy I won't mention who's still practicing out of Las Vegas. He had a doctor in every one of the four corners of the country who would give Elvis whatever he wanted.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: If he — you know, and more.

O'REILLY: But why would he want it?

RIVERA: Once you go down that road it is almost a self-fulfilling cancer in many ways. If you start taking it then you — if you take it to go down and you need one to come up.

O'REILLY: I don't know.

RIVERA: If you're up you need one to go down. And he took — I mean, to be toxic in five different drugs you've really got to work at it. It's a miracle that he survived as long as he did.

O'REILLY: I think the guy was very unhappy. I think, despite everything he had, he was a very unhappy guy.

RIVERA: Why? Because he was shooting at his television set and cars?

O'REILLY: Well, you look at him as the individual guy and how he didn't take care of himself and all of this.

RIVERA: He lived in a very insulated world. No one. He had no one like you have me to tell you when you're full of it. He had nobody like that.

O'REILLY: But you could get fired. You know, I mean — look, I just think he was an unhappy guy. And I don't know why. But I think he was the best entertainer ever.

RIVERA: My — first suit I ever got, my dad got me a black suit with pink saddle stitchings. I wanted to be just like Elvis. I grew the sideburns just like Elvis.

O'REILLY: It didn't happen, Geraldo.

All right, Geraldo Rivera, everybody.

RIVERA (singing): Treat me like a fool. Treat me...

O'REILLY: Yes. And you can catch Geraldo Saturday and Sunday at 8 Eastern Time.

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