Word Games: Times Wrestles with 'Illegals'

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, because I have no life, I read The New York Times columnist Bill Keller's blog where he confessed that something horrible. Yes, readers were mad because he called illegal aliens illegals. Yes, that short-handed phrase is now considered a slur.

Why is that? Well, Keller's cohort says the anti-immigration side uses that phrase. See what they did there? They said anti-immigration.

But wait, isn't that a slur? See, if you dislike illegal immigration, they call you anti-immigration even if you are a pro-legal immigration.

I mean, I love immigrants. Some say too much. But I'm also frown on law-breaking, but The Times erases that stance with a sinister slur.

Keller then obsesses over new phrases from illegal immigrant from undocumented to mixed status households, and finally grabs the gimmick of offering too much information. Meaning, he is not illegal, he just overstayed his visa. He is not illegal, he's just working without a legal permit. And my favorite, just he's not illegal, he's just entered the country illegally.

What about he is not a drunk driver, he just drives drunk? Oh, the joy of lying -- I mean, euphemisms.

So from now on, I will no longer call Bill Keller a wimpy editor, but just a dude who neutralizes the truth.

Bob, because you are the liberal representative here, why does the lefty to manipulate the language to hide facts? Is that a loaded question?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: It was a very aggressive question.

I think that "undocumented workers" is a much better term. I know you're like to ask, are they here illegally? Yes. But virtually, most -- a lot of people came here illegally. Maybe some of our own relatives came here illegally. You never know.

I don't have any problems -- I like undocumented workers because they are undocumented workers. Are they here illegally? Yes.

And he is right about that. The right wing has made illegal --

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Bob, Bill Keller checked a style manual (INAUDIBLE) when they said don't use undocumented workers.

I think it's so ridiculous. So, Blago is a corrupt politician. Would "The Times" call him an ethically challenged politician?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: The good thing for them, now everything is on blogs, they have more room to use longer words.


PERINO: As a former editor, you could probably appreciate it.

GUTFELD: By the way, Bill Keller and I were both editors at the same high school newspaper, "Serra Friar" at Serra High School. Ten years apart. I like to think I was better.

BECKEL: You went to a girls school?

GUTFELD: How dare you, Bob! Serra High School.

BECKEL: Oh, Serra.

GUTFELD: Anyway --

ERIC BOLLLING, CO-HOST: Very quickly, OK, I get it if it's illegal alien, they don't like alien connotation. But illegal immigrant is as accurate as you can get. I don't know the problem.

BECKEL: Well, immigrant notes that you're immigrating here.

TANTAROS: Illegally. You break the law.

BECKEL: You say somebody came here legally, they would be an immigrant.

PERINO: Watering down the language does not --


GUTFELD: That was a great monologue and move on.

PERINO: Fabulous.

GUTFELD: All right. I want to talk, Time picked their person of the year and I don't think this is much of a surprise. It is the protester. I think I have some kind of SOT -- no, I don't have a SOT.

I got to read it. Do I have to read it? Where is it?

All right. Richard Stengel says it's for capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise for the -- there you go -- for the protester.

Andrea, what do you think of this?

TANTAROS: It's ridiculous. The Greek anarchist who is trying to throw fire bombs and disrupt the city is a little bit different than the guy in Tahrir Square that wants lowered food prices, who's a little bit different than the guy who is pooping on the cop car in Manhattan.

GUTFELD: I only did it once, Andrea. Why do you have to keep bringing it up?

TANTAROS: And you don't wear a hat like that.


Here's the thing -- this is the way I see, Dana, Time magazine as a middle age divorced dad trying to hit on his daughter's girlfriends.

PERINO: They're so old and tired.


PERINO: When you hear a person -- I know that they define this differently, and person of the year is like whoever had made the most impact. I think a person of the year is somebody who did something amazing. And maybe, I like to put a name.

I wish they would have named that protesters, the one who burned himself and killed himself and started the whole thing. Name him. Give somebody a voice.

GUTFELD: I don't like they conflate the Arab protest with like you said --

BOLLING: Think about this. This is Time magazine, guys. In their defense, in 1939, they had Adolf Hitler.

TANTAROS: Yes, and Stalin before. They had Ayatollah Khomeini.

PERINO: Maybe they don't want to name an actual person.

BOLLING: But for me, I'm sorry very quickly, hands down, Steve Jobs the guy who innovate and changed the way we do everything. He would be my first pick -- Bob.

BECKEL: I think they used a great deal of courage and exactly right.

They changed the dialogue.

I'm supposed to name a person? The tea people. And the reason I name the tea people is because they single-handedly put the Republican Party from the Grand Old Party to a party of right wing nuts.

GUTFELD: All right. Very good. Andrea? Or very bad, depending on how you look at it.

TANTAROS: And I just quickly to take back what Eric said. In Time's defense, and I'm not one to defend the mainstream media, they do say even though they should pick someone more noble, that this is somebody who's affected the news from good or for ill.

So, isn't supposed to be a noble pick. I pick Tim Tebow. I think picking someone noble is better. I think it takes a lot of guts to be a Christian outright in this country and battle the mainstream media. And you know what? God bless him.

PERINO: I chose a friend and colleague and someone that I greatly admire and look forward to --

BOLLING: Stop, you shouldn't have. I can't be person of the year.

PERINO: Charles Krauthammer.


PERINO: I think Charles Krauthammer this year has provided clarity of thought to millions of Americans who look forward to every Tuesday night. He's on O'Reilly. He's on Bret Baier's show every week and he has a column on Friday that most people I talk to, a lot of women in particular are sweet on Charles. They say -- that's exactly how I was thinking about it but I couldn't say it as well. I think he's had a big impact.

BECKEL: He's also one of the most brilliant human beings I have run across. His politics are a little bit off, but one of the most articulate guy I've ever run across. He's from Canada originally. His father was a rabbi and he was --

PERINO: He's a psychiatrist.

BECKEL: He's a psychiatrist. He speaks several languages.

GUTFELD: Enough about Charles Krauthammer!


BOLLING: Let's talk about you.

GUTFELD: I pick the SEAL team, the guys that got Bin Laden.

BOLLING: Good call, Greg.

GUTFELD: I know. We don't know their names. That is why --

PERINO: I was going to make fun of you but then I realize we don't know.

GUTFELD: You would have gotten letters from me.

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