Despite appearing on ABC's Good Morning America Monday, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather canceled his scheduled interview on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor later in the day.
With this in mind, political commentator Bernie Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly Monday night that Rather is "more comfortable with sitting down with a murderer like Saddam Hussein than sitting down with you" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
BERNIE GOLDBERG: Well, first of all, I don’t blame him for canceling. I was thinking just a few hours ago of canceling myself. Okay, but here’s my educated but I think safe guess: I think Dan would rather be interviewed by an ideological soul mate, whether it’s George Stephanopoulos or Chris Matthews or somebody like that rather than sit down and be grilled by you.
Now, everybody knows how charming and lovable you are Bill, but still I don’t think he’d want to sit down and be grilled by you. So, I don’t think it’s really that complicated. I think it’s basically that.
BILL O’REILLY, HOST: Well, it takes me aback, it takes me, whatever I want to say, I don’t even know. It takes me by surprise because Rather made his reputation being confrontational. Alright, we all remember the Nixon thing. In 60 Minutes, he would run over with a trench coat. And you would think that, look, alright, “I have an opportunity to go up against O’Reilly, biggest cable program in the world, second biggest bookseller next to the Today show. I’m going to move some books. If I kick O’Reilly’s butt, okay, I’ll look like a hero in front of my crew. So, it’s a win-win for me, Dan Rather.” See, that’s the way I look at it. He had a lot to gain here.
GOLDBERG: You would think so. I mean, he took on in what turned out to be a disaster, he took on George Bush the elder on the CBS Evening News. He sat down face to face with Saddam Hussein who could have had him killed before he left the country. But I know it doesn’t sound logical, but I think he’s more comfortable with sitting down with a murderer like Saddam Hussein than he is – I know, you know what I’m going to say – than sitting down with you.
O’REILLY: Well, everybody is, you know?
GOLDBERG: Look, the only reason people cancel, the only reason people cancel is because they have a conflict of scheduling, and that wasn’t it because he could have said, “How about if I do it some other time.
O’REILLY: We would have taped him.
GOLDBERG: He doesn’t want to do it.
O’REILLY: He doesn’t want to do it.