O'Reilly and Goldberg Expose 'Really, Really Dumb' TV Network Decisions

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News and former CBS News reporter Bernie Goldberg exposed left-wing media bias on Monday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor when discussing NBC's editing of the Pledge of Allegiance. "I don't know if it was an honest mistake or, more likely, if it was a lefty producer flexing his muscles. I don't know. But I know one thing. It was really, really dumb," said Goldberg.

O'Reilly ascribed the decision to secularism in today's media. "I think that inside NBC there is so much of this secular left-wing craziness that Comcast is --  if you ask the head of Comcast --  Burke I think his name is [Steven Burke] -- do you want me to take out the words "under God, indivisible" from the Pledge of Allegiance, I don't think Mr. Burke would say, 'You know, yank that right out of there.' It's so unbelievable." said O'Reilly.

O'Reilly and Goldberg also took the opportunity to pounce on Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, who said in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that he doesn't see any liberal bias in the mainstream media. "So when Jon Stewart says, 'I don't really see bias in The New York Times or NBC News,' but if he does, he chalks it up merely to carelessness, you know? But when he sees conservative bias in the media, let's say at Fox News, he sees that as ideological," said Goldberg.

They were also highly critical of leftist NBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, who was recently hired by CBS to be their White House correspondent.  She has previously praised President Obama as a "pragmatic centrist," and has also accused Newt Gingrich of racism. "I was surprised because CBS's plan, as you know, is to go back to the hard news, no bias. Let's just give them the facts." said O'Reilly.

Has CBS ever had a "no bias" era? Goldberg declared that new CBS News president Jeff Fager held a "big, big staff meeting" and told everyone that "If you have an agenda, find another place to work." But Goldberg isn't really buying it. He said at CBS, being on the far left doesn't make you stand out. "In that world, Norah O'Donnell is not a liberal, she's a moderate."

As usual, Bernie Goldberg did an exceptional job exposing the long-standing ideological bias of the mainstream press.

  
A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 8:39 pm EDT on June 20, follows.

FOX NEWS CHANNEL
THE O'REILLY FACTOR
06/20/2011
    
8:39 pm EDT   
    
O'REILLY: Oh, that wasn't the full Pledge of Allegiance, was it? NBC left out the words "under God" in the pledge, and "indivisible." Faced with a ton of criticism for that, NBC has apologized but not explained why the words went missing. Joining us now from North Carolina, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. So, what say you?
    
GOLDBERG: Well, I've got to tell you, Bill, this is one I can't figure out. If - if NBC or anybody, for that matter, wanted to intentionally take a stick and poke it in the eye of middle America, this is precisely how you would do it.
    
O'REILLY: I know.
    
GOLDBERG: I mean, I don't know if it was an honest mistake.

O'REILLY: How could it be, Bernie? How could it be?

GOLDBERG: Bill, I'm trying.

O'REILLY: It's a 30-second spot. The Pledge of Allegiance, you know, you can work in the "under God, indivisible." It's not going to break the Open. It's not going to cut into the Budweiser commercials.

GOLDBERG: So you're asking a question, then you're answering it?

O'REILLY: I always do that, Bernie. You know how this works.

GOLDBERG: No kidding. Here's what I'm saying. I don't know if it was an honest mistake or, more likely, if it was a lefty producer flexing his muscles. I don't know. But I know one thing. It was really, really dumb.

O'REILLY: And it's embarrassing. Look, here's what I think is going on. And this is speculation, and I don't like to do speculation. And I could be wrong, and I'll admit it up top. Comcast took over NBC.

GOLDBERG: What did you just say? Did you just say I may be wrong?

O'REILLY: No, I always say that, Bernie. Come on, man. Wise up.

GOLDBERG: Call 911.

O'REILLY: Wise up. All right. Comcast took over NBC about six months ago, all right? They made some changes. They've gotten rid of some very bad, bad people. But, they can't make wholesale changes for morale purposes, personnel purposes. They can't -- Comcast, I believe, is a good operation. But I think that inside NBC there is so much of this secular left-wing craziness that Comcast is - if you ask the head of Comcast - Burke I think his name is - do you want me to take out the words "under God, indivisible" from the Pledge of Allegiance, I don't think Mr. Burke would say, "You know, yank that right out of there." It's so unbelievable.

GOLDBERG: I know. That's why I say -- and I'm just trying to cover all bases here, Bill.

O'REILLY: But it's one loon. One loon.

GOLDBERG: I'm saying it could be an honest mistake. Probably not.

O'REILLY: He'll be covering dog races from now on. You wait and see.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know what? I mean, I hope they find out who did it and why he did it.

O'REILLY: I think they...

GOLDBERG: And if it was intentional, he's got to go.

O'REILLY: OK. Just a quick impression of Chris Wallace's interview with Jon Stewart on Sunday, which I thought was very good.

GOLDBERG: Yes. So did I. You know, I think Jon Stewart is a pretty good media analyst, but I'm not sure he understands the power of the human - human nature. Human nature is that, if you're a liberal, for instance, it's much easier to go after the other side to find stupidity in conservatives, to find shortcomings, to find hypocrisy, and conversely, if you're a conservative, it's a lot easier to find stupidity among liberals. So when Jon Stewart says, "I don't really see bias in The New York Times or NBC News," but if he does, he chalks it up merely to carelessness, you know? But when he sees conservative bias in the media, let's say at FOX News, he sees that as ideological. He sees that as a predetermined business plan to make money off of being biased. So - so when liberals do it, he barely notices it. For instance, in The New York Times or network news. But when conservatives do it, he's quick to attach different motives to it. I think - I think...

O'REILLY: Yes, it's a bigger story.

GOLDBERG: Jon Stewart, who's clearly a bright guy, should be a little more introspective on that point. And just think about what I said, Jon..

O'REILLY: All right. Now, just talking to Brit Hume about CBS hiring Norah O'Donnell to be the White House correspondent. And we said, "Well, you know, this woman has a long track record of liberalism." And here's the latest. Roll the tape on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I went into NBC Wall Street Journal poll, and I checked the cross tabs on the amount of people that find that they're uncomfortable with a Mormon as a candidate. And actually, among Republicans, they're more uncomfortable with the FOX commentator than they are a Mormon.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Who's the FOX commentator?

O'DONNELL: Any FOX commentator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Well, that's B.S. I was going to say a bad word there, but I didn't. Huckabee, Mike Huckabee. Very high in the polls, and he's a FOX commentator. So it's another snarky little, you know, dig that she specializes in. And now she's the woman who's going to be covering the White House for CBS. I was surprised because CBS's plan, as you know, is to go back to the hard news, no bias. Let's just give them the facts.

GOLDBERG: Right. When the new management took over a few months ago, they held a big, big staff meeting. And Jeff Bager, the head of CBS News, said if you have an agenda find another place to work. That's a good thing to say. I've known Jeff Bager for...

O'REILLY: And he's a good guy. Bager's's a good guy.

GOLDBERG: Right. And he cares about this kind of stuff.

O'REILLY: He does.

GOLDBERG: So maybe - so maybe he told her, hey, keep your liberal opinions to yourself when you're at the White House. But Bill, there's a much bigger, much more important point to make. No network would hire as its chief White House correspondent, someone as far to the right as she is to the left. Because if you're even a little to the right, you're going to stick out in the newsroom.
But if you're as far to the left as she is, you don't stick out at all. You fit in. There was an old song, a Funkadelic song with a line in it that said "Fish don't know he's wet." Well, how would a fish know he's wet? He has no frame of reference. Same with liberal journalists. They're surrounded by other liberal journalists. So in that world, Norah O'Donnell is not a liberal, she's a moderate.

O'REILLY: Got it.

GOLDBERG: She's just like everybody else there. That's the problem.

O'REILLY: You accept me deeply with the reference to the Funkadelics. I could just see you with the headphones on.

GOLDBERG: You were in a Funkadelic band back in the 70s.

O'REILLY: Don't tell everybody that. Come on. All right, "Reality Check" on deck. Tonight, a school in New York changes the song "When the Saints Come Marching In." You're not going to believe it. "Check" is next.    

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