O'Reilly, Bernie Goldberg Whack White House for Nixonian Attitude Toward Fox News

Bill O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg took the White House to task on last night's O'Reilly Factor for their treatment of Fox News, and their difficulty with handling criticism. "They are not the first administration to go to war with the news media. But I don't think this administration wants to be compared to Richard Nixon. That's not a good PR move."


Goldberg further criticized the way in which the White House makes enemies out of press outlets. "Somebody needs to tell Barack Obama, if he hasn't figured it out already that he is not the mayor of Chicago and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn't City Hall. When you are in the big leagues, you act it, you don't go to war with the cable news operation." Goldberg also wondered aloud if the White House knows the difference between news and opinion. "What is it about these supposedly sophisticated people who are either unwilling or incapable of distinguishing between news and opinion? Listen, if they don't like the partisans on the opinion side, fine. Stiff them. Don't give them anything. There is no problem with that. But Bret Baier, Chris Wallace? These are serious journalists."

O'Reilly agreed with Goldberg that the White House's vendetta against Fox News is a poor strategy. "That war with the Obama White House was the worst thing they could possibly do because we are on the air 24/7. And if you are going to give us a hard time we're going to spotlight the hard time and you are going to look petty as you just said." Goldberg was also critical of a recently-released email from Jen Psaki, in which she refers to Fox's Bret Baier as a lunatic. "Let me tell you something. There may be some lunatics roaming the halls up where you are, but it isn't Bret Baier. If they think that that shows you how crazy they are." 

A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 8:22 am EDT on Thursday, follows.


FNC
THE O'REILLY FACTOR
07/14/2011

8:22 pm EDT  

BILL O'REILLY: Joining us now from North Carolina, analyzer/purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com: Bernie Goldberg. All right, they are saying it's all in the past. And that's what Mike Clemente, the senior V.P. for hard news here at Fox, says our relations have improved with the White House, and you say?

BERNARD GOLDBERG: Yes. It may be. I say "may" because I think if it suits their purpose down the road to start the war going again they probably will. But I'm willing to accept that we're looking at this through the rear view mirror; that this is history. But still, Bill, the emails that were just released tell us something important. Tells us that these politicians in the White House are willing to look you right in the eye and lie to you. Now, they are not the first politicians who lie. But this was supposed to be different. Barack Obama told us when he was campaigning that this would not be politics as usual if he was elected. Well it is politics as usual or at least it was. The second thing is they are not the first administration to go to war with the news media. But I don't think this administration wants to be compared to Richard Nixon. That's not a good PR move. The third point is that somebody needs to tell Barack Obama, if he hasn't figured it out already that he is not the mayor of Chicago and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn't City Hall. When you are in the big leagues, you act it, you don't go to war with the cable news operation. And the final point is - and this is so hard to understand - what is it about these supposedly sophisticated people who are either unwilling or incapable of distinguishing between news and opinion? Listen, if they don't like the partisans on the opinion side, fine. Stiff them. Don't give them anything. There is no problem with that. But Bret Baier, Chris Wallace? These are serious journalists. On this program every night of the week there is somebody on this side of the issue and somebody on that side. Earlier in this show Krauthammer comes at the issue from the right. The Democratic congressman comes at it from a more leftist position. What is it that these people - what did they think they were going to gain? I'm putting it in the past tense. I'm putting it in the past tense, Bill, hoping it's history but what did they think they were going to gain going to war with Fox News?

O'REILLY: Here. I don't know if Barack Obama himself gave the order to ice FNC. I don't know. You couldn't possibly trace it down. But somebody apparently did; somebody in the White House fairly high up. We don't like these guys. They are unfair and unbalanced and then the lower guys start to do it. That's what always happens. The lower guys pick it up, they want to curry favor with the upper guy -- you know how it is in any bureaucracy. That's what happened. And they lost. They got their butt kicked. I wrote about it in "Pinheads and Patriots". That war with the Obama White House was the worst thing they could possibly do because we are on the air 24/7. And if you are going to give us a hard time we're going to spotlight the hard time and you are going to look petty as you just said. Let's consider one thing. Barack Obama is a man, I think we would both agree, Bernie and I would both agree who doesn't like criticism. He doesn't like it. Would you agree with that?

GOLDBERG: Yes. And most people don't.

8:26 pm

GOLDBERG: Listen, one of the things that came out today, this is great, one of the things that came out was that deputy communications director writes an email about Bret Baier, because he said he did a stupid piece tonight about how we froze Fox out of the pool. We did a stupid piece. They did a stupid piece, but he's a lunatic. Let me tell you something. There may be some lunatics roaming the halls up where you are, but it isn't Bret Baier. If they think that that shows you how crazy they are.