O'Reilly and Kelly Debate Atheist Sign In WA State Capitol Round Two

Two weeks ago, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly debated the Washington state Governor's decision to allow an atheist display in the Capitol building positioned near a nativity scene.

Since then, Gov. Chris Gregoire has allowed other offerings to be placed in the building, but supposedly due to spacial contraints has decided to not permit any more.

With this in mind, O'Reilly invited Kelly back on "The Factor" Monday to engage in an entertaining Round Two of the debate (embedded video and transcript below the fold):

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Factor follow-up" segment tonight, you may remember that last week, the governor of Washington state Christine Gregoire told the world she was compelled to put up this atheist sign in the state capitol, a sign that attacks religion. And in her wisdom, the governor put it right next to the nativity scene.

Well, now the governor says she isn't going to put up any further inappropriate displays but doesn't this violate her initial freedom of speech ruling? With us now, a gal who has been sticking up for Gregoire's legal position, attorney and very misguided FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly.

So why don't you make yourself feel better and just admit I was right and that you tried hard but now Gregoire says I don't really care about freedom of speech anymore.

MEGYN KELLY: I really.

O'REILLY: Nothing else is going to be put up.

KELLY: I have - I've never met a non-lawyer who argues the law so confidently. Albeit.

O'REILLY: Brilliant.

KELLY: So wrongly.

O'REILLY: Oh, come on.

KELLY: No. Listen. Either she has to accept all the displays or she doesn't. She has now put an end to the madness. She has stopped the insanity. So kudos to her for that. If she were to say no to that display, yes to that display, no to that, yes to that, she'd still be in trouble. But it's either yes to all or no to all under the policy as she has set it up.

O'REILLY: But she changed in midstream. She allowed the atheist sign.

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: .to be inappropriately placed and violating the decorum of the state capitol which was clearly stated that she had the option not to put that sign up there because of those two things.

KELLY: No, she didn't.

O'REILLY: And now, in the middle of the controversy because you're getting so much heat, she says, you know, no more freedom of speech. No more crazy sign because the crazy signs are now, how many, 30 of them now?

KELLY: Yes, they're overwhelmed.

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: They don't have the room. It's on his third floor display. Now they've got this one - the latest one is the flying spaghetti monster holiday display. She doesn't have.

O'REILLY: The flying spaghetti monster holiday display. All of these people doing this are mocking her, that's why they're doing it. But you can't change free speech in midstream.

KELLY: You can, Bill.

O'REILLY: How?

KELLY: What I've been saying all along is you can not have viewpoint discrimination. That is what's not allowed. That's why she can't say yes to the nativity.

O'REILLY: Well, the spaghetti people have a viewpoint.

KELLY: But no to the atheists.

She's shutting it all down from this point forward.

O'REILLY: So the press goes?

KELLY: No, what's in there now can remain.

O'REILLY: Why? Why do they, we get to remain.

KELLY: Because she paid.

O'REILLY: .the spaghetti guy.

KELLY: She's saying from this date forward, no more.

O'REILLY: Its arbitrary.

KELLY: We're out of room. The policy.

O'REILLY: Out of room? There's plenty of room.

KELLY: No, her position is the policies run amuck, which I agree he has.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KELLY: .but that doesn't make it.

O'REILLY: (INAUDIBLE).

KELLY: .discriminate things on viewpoint. She's shutting down all the viewpoints from this point forward.

O'REILLY: From this point forward?

KELLY: Yes, right.

O'REILLY: So she -- freedom of speech only goes up to last Friday. And then it evaporates because of the carnival that she instituted.

KELLY: Try to understand. It's a viewpoint discrimination is not OK.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KELLY: You can't say yes to that particular display, but no to that. If she kept the policy open, and display open.

O'REILLY: Here's where you're wrong.

KELLY: .and she said yes to the spaghetti.

O'REILLY: All right.

KELLY: .but no to the crazies out at Westboro Church.

O'REILLY: Here's where you're wrong.

KELLY: That's inappropriate.

O'REILLY: I want everybody to take notes because you're seeing Kelly, here's where you're wrong. Everybody who has applied the festivus from Seinfeld.

KELLY: They haven't gotten approval yet.

O'REILLY: .the crazy crank who wants to put up a sign that says Santa Claus will bring to you hell.

KELLY: Not approved yet.

O'REILLY: The spaghetti thing.

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: .all of them have viewpoints. Some of them are satirical viewpoints.

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: Some of them are hateful viewpoints. OK? It is no different, those viewpoints are no different than what the atheists did. The atheists didn't put up a symbol. If they had put up a symbol of Charles Darwin.

KELLY: That's what I've been arguing.

O'REILLY: Right, so.

KELLY: They're viewpoints. And once she invited viewpoints in the state capitol, they had access, just the way the atheists and the Christians did.

O'REILLY: So you're doing this dance. I said that she could have rejected to youth sign because it violated. The quorum was inappropriate.

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: She could have, legally could have. And let them take them in.

KELLY: You're wrong. You are so wrong on that. You don't get it. You're wrong. That would be the same as rejecting a Jewish menorah.

O'REILLY: No, it wouldn't.

KELLY: Yes, it would. Atheism.

O'REILLY: Inappropriate because of the hateful message?

KELLY: No, because you say so?

O'REILLY: Yes.

KELLY: No.

O'REILLY: Because I say so.

KELLY: You're wrong.

O'REILLY: And the state argues that in front of the court.

KELLY: You are wrong. If you put the power in Governor Gregoire's hands to decide what's appropriate and what's not, you can kiss the nativity scene goodbye in the future as well. This is why we don't allow state governors to decide what's appropriate and what's not.

O'REILLY: There was a ruling. As Lis Wiehl said here last week, that allowed..

KELLY: Lis doesn't know the background of the case.

O'REILLY: That allowed.

KELLY: Lis gave you a one line answer that you liked without the analysis.

O'REILLY: She's not going to be happy when she comes on.

KELLY: I respect Lis.

O'REILLY: OK.

KELLY: .but she hasn't researched this. And she was dead wrong.

O'REILLY: I have. She had wiggle room. But now if the festivus people or the spaghetti people, or the hateful Santa people want to sue her, they will win.

KELLY: No, it's not going to happen, because she's not kicking them because of their viewpoints. She's got other rational reasons for doing it. She's overwhelmed. Let me tell what you should have been done in this case.

O'REILLY: 20 seconds.

KELLY: Her problem is she said everyone, all the crazies come and comment. Once you have done, you can't shut it down based on viewpoint.

O'REILLY: Well do you know why she did that?

KELLY: What she should have said was we're going to accept religious holiday displays. No profanity. No - certain guidelines that you - that wouldn't be viewpoints.

O'REILLY: Atheism isn't a religion.

KELLY: Yes, it is. I'm sorry but the courts have held it is.

O'REILLY: It's not a religion.

KELLY: Sorry, Bill, but it is.

O'REILLY: It's not based on theology.

KELLY: It is a religious point of view. And it's been recognized as such by courts. And it is treated the same as Christianity by the courts. You're wrong.

O'REILLY: Then Festivus should be treated that way.

KELLY: And it would have been by this governor.

O'REILLY: Kelly. You know, all right, there you go. There's Kelly. We'll see you tomorrow night with Wiehl. You know, things are different.

And here are the results of our billoreilly.com poll. We asked you did the governor of Washington make an error in judgment allowing the atheists sign to be placed to the nativity scene? 25,000 of you voted. 88% disagree with Kelly. Just 12% agree with her.

Now THAT's entertainment.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.