FNC Notes Evan Thomas's Fear Hasan 'Will Get the Right Wing Going'

On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, during the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment, host Bill O'Reilly and Fox News Analyst Bernard Goldberg discussed media coverage of the Fort Hood massacre and the political correctness of some who were hesitant about discussing the role Nidal Hasan's extreme Muslim beliefs played in his decision to attack fellow troops. Whilte ABC News was given credit for covering this angle early, a quote by Newsweek's Evan Thomas expressing fear that Hasan's religious beliefs "will get the right wing going" was also discussed.

O'Reilly began the segment by playing the offending clip of Newsweek's Thomas:

I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it just inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case but, with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going. And it just, these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.

Goldberg reacted:

He's the big thinker at Newsweek. And that sound cut that you just played, that's what passes for a big thought amongst the mainstream media these days. I mean, the real danger, Bill, see, the real danger, is those angry bigoted right wingers. You know, not the Muslim fanatics, not even a Muslim fanatic, by the way, who kills 13 of his fellow soldiers and would have killed a lot more if he could get away with it. 

The FNC analyst soon charged that Thomas was "willfully looking the other way" to conclude that Hasan was "just a nut" without implicating his extreme religious views:

And then Evan Thomas says, "But I think he's simply a nut." You know, as a journalist, you have to willfully, willfully look the other way at all the facts that we know about Major Hasan, about his extremism, about his anti-military -- you have to look the other way about all that stuff to come to a conclusion that he's simply a nut. Because that's what Evan Thomas and a lot of other reporters want it to be. That's why they say that.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, November 9, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC: 

BILL O'REILLY: In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, three lively topics beginning with what we mentioned in the "Talking Points Memo," the Muslim Factor on the Fort Hood massacre. Some of the media are worried about the political reaction.

EVAN THOMAS, NEWSWEEK: I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it just inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case but, with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going. And it just, these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.

O'REILLY: "Get the right wing going." Joining us now from Miami Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg, author of the big best seller, "A Slobbering Love Affair." You know, that's the prevailing wisdom, though. Evan Thomas, I know him, you know him. I mean, he's an honest reporter. It's like, "Oh, no, these right-wing guys, they're going to come down."

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Exactly. He's not just the editor at large at Newsweek. He's the big thinker at Newsweek. And that sound cut that you just played, that's what passes for a big thought amongst the mainstream media these days. I mean, the real danger, Bill, see, the real danger, is those angry bigoted right wingers. You know, not the Muslim fanatics, not even a Muslim fanatic, by the way, who kills 13 of his fellow soldiers and would have killed a lot more if he could get away with it.

And then Evan Thomas says, "But I think he's simply a nut." You know, as a journalist, you have to willfully, willfully look the other way at all the facts that we know about Major Hasan, about his extremism, about his anti-military -- you have to look the other way about all that stuff to come to a conclusion that he's simply a nut. Because that's what Evan Thomas and a lot of other reporters want it to be. That's why they say that.

O'REILLY: Well, as we talked with Brian Ross at the top of the show. I mean, that theory is unraveling quickly. Now, we know that they intercepted phone calls from Hasan over to Yemen to an al-Qaeda recruiter, and that came into the system. And, here's what you have, Bernie. You have two things going on. You have the system buying into political correctness, because it didn't obviously remove this Hasan, when they knew of what he was doing.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

O'REILLY: They let him stay there. And then you have the media applauding that action.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

O'REILLY: "Oh, no, no, no, no. You've got to give him a lot of rope," this, that, and the other thing. Now, you're Jewish. If Hasan or anybody else had said, "You know, I hate Jews." As this guy said, you know, he made comments, anti-American comments, all of that. He wouldn't have been sitting there as a major. He wouldn't have been sitting there.

GOLDBERG: I'm not sure.

O'REILLY: I don't think they would have let him if he made anti- Semitic comments.

GOLDBERG: I'm not sure. I think a better analogy would be if a white military officer, a major, were going around saying things about black people, bad things about black -- he'd never get away with that.

O'REILLY: No.

GOLDBERG: If a Christian, a white Christian were saying nasty things about Jews, he'd never get away with that with. But this political correctness thing, that's why, that's why I'm not sure you're right about if Muslims were saying things about Jews. By the way, last week, Bill, I said on this very program -- I said to you that political correctness was killing American journalism. Well, now we find out -- and it's a painful thing to learn -- that it actually had a hand in killing real Americans, at least 13 of them. And as I say, it would have been a lot more. That, with all the things that the authorities knew about Major Hasan, the idea that he remained in the military is beyond me.

O'REILLY: In a position of responsibility with access to weapons. That's what bothers me.

GOLDBERG: Right. And that's why Major Hasan will be made to account for what he did. I think every official, whether it's a CIA official or a military official, who was too politically correct to stand up and say the right thing and do the right thing, who didn't have the guts to do the right thing, and who was too cowardly to do the right thing, they should all be held accountable, too.

O'REILLY: Well, I think Congress will investigate. Last deal on this. We have to give ABC News, which is part of the mainstream media, credit. Because ABC, as we had in the lead story with Brian Ross, they have aggressively broken this story open about all of the ties with the radical Muslim extremists and Hasan. So it isn't everybody.

GOLDBERG: That's right.

O'REILLY: But it is the majority.

GOLDBERG: Well, let's look at Brian Ross, who I've known since his days in Miami, when we were both down here. Brian Ross on the one hand and Evan Thomas on the other. Brian Ross is getting the facts and reporting them. And Evan Thomas is saying, "Oh, you know, I think this is just a nut." You know. Never mind all the reporting that indicates that he's not simply a nut, that his religion played a part in this. Those are the extremes. Brian Ross on the one hand, Evan Thomas on the other.

O'REILLY: Brian Ross doesn't seem to be worried about the right wingers getting involved. He's worried about getting the story out so the American people can actually know what happened. Whereas Thomas, right wingers, we can't have them running wild, Bernie.