Live Thread: MRC's Brent Bozell on 'The O'Reilly Factor'

The MRC's Brent Bozell will be on the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" tonight at 8pm Eastern to discuss the media's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The show repeats at 11pm and 4am Eastern as well. Use this thread to post your comments.

Video of interview (4:22): Real at 100 kbps (3.3 MB), Windows Media at 81 kbps (2.8 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.5 MB).

UPDATE: A full transcript is available below the fold.

BILL O'REILLY: We try very hard to be fair
here on "The Factor," but, of
course, fair play is usually in
the eye of the beholder.
Joining us now from Washington
is the president of the Media Research Center, a
conservative group, Brent Bozell.

All in all, the last couple of
weeks, has the coverage on the
networks and the cable news
operations been fair?

BRENT BOZELL: I think all in all, it has
been to date.
But you know that's not surprising.
At the start of any ground
engagement, the start of any
war when you're focused on hard
news coverage, the coverage
does tend to be fair and
balanced and objective.
It's when you start moving
beyond that, when reporters
start getting restless, when
they are tired of the old
pictures and start analyzing
it, that's when the trouble
begins and I suspect in the
next two or three days, you're
going to see it start to

O'REILLY: Well, that's a good point.
We're struggling now to find
new angles to report the story
You can't be repeating the same
things over and over again.
But I have heard -- I have to say I haven't seen
it because I am so busy doing
what I do--I have heard that CNN and NBC
in particular have been much
more accommodating to the Hezbollah point of view.
Have you seen that?

BOZELL: Well, yeah.
There was a report last week on CNN that was rather
Nic Robertson went in at the
invitation and at the behest
and at the control of Hezbollah, reporting a
propaganda piece from Hezbollah's perspective.
And really didn't tell his
viewers exactly what was going
And then several days later,
when questioned about that
story by Howie Kurtz on the CNN "Reliable Sources"--give CNN
credit for at least following
up--he conceded that he really
didn't know if he was reporting
the truth.
He wasn't allowed to go inside
the buildings.
He wasn't allowed to show

So when he reports from a Hezbollah position that there
are no military weapons to be
shown here, that really doesn't
mean anything.

O'REILLY: OK. I just want to be clear because Robertson is a pretty good
He's got access --

BOZELL: But Bill--

O'REILLY: But I want to set it up.--

BOZELL: But here's my point, Bill. No reporter ought to allow
himself to be led by the nose
by a terrorist organization.

O'REILLY: No, I understand that.
That's how Dan Rather got in
trouble with his prewar
interview with Saddam Hussein.

BOZELL: That's how CNN got in trouble. That's how CNN got in trouble--

O'REILLY: He was in there and he was compromised.
What happens is that you trade
objectivity for access.
If Hezbollah is going to let
you in there, then you have to
almost shade it toward their
point of view because they
won't ever let you in there

BOZELL: Precisely.
That's what CNN did during the
first Gulf War. CNN acknowledged that they did
that afterwards to curry favor
with Saddam Hussein. CNN really did damage to its
It ought to learn that lesson
and be very careful about the

O'REILLY: Now has Fox News been too

BOZELL: I don't think so. Just his afternoon in preparation
for the show, I was watching Fox and CNN, I might add.
And I thought both networks were
going back and forth and back
and forth from both
perspectives very, very well.

O'REILLY: All right. So because I do want to
be fair here.
Up front I'm an analyst, not a
I say that when Hezbollah
attacks without provocation and
has 13,000 missiles, that I
have got to take the side of
the people attacked.
But I don't obviously wouldn't want
them to do anything untoward as
well. Now--

BOZELL: The pictures that everyone
is seeing, the vast majority of
the pictures that everyone is
seeing is of the dead and
wounded in Lebanon. And those pictures are airing on Fox as well.

Last question for you. The New York Times is sitting
this out, absolutely sitting it
out editorial.
And I believe it's because they
don't want to alienate their
liberal Jewish base here in New York City.
Am I wrong?

BOZELL: Well, except I hope they do
sit it up because when they do
write things, you tend to smash
your head against a wall like
the piece the other day
worrying about the asymmetry,
wondering if Israel was being
unfair in the war against

O'REILLY: But a lot of people are
wondering now whether they
should attack Beirut in
civilian style.
That's a legitimate question.

BOZELL: When you're in war, you
try to win.

O'REILLY: OK.Yeah but there are even rules of
engagement in a war.
But I do believe that the New York Times is very worried
about its circulation after the
last, you know, expose about
the terrorist funding. And they can't take another hit.

BOZELL: If they were -- if there
were American secrets at play, the New York Times would have
it as front page stories.

O'REILLY: They can't lose their
base, though.
All right. Mr. Bozell, thanks very much for being here.
We'll wrap things up in a