Bill O’Reilly Battles Jorge Ramos over Kate’s Law, Ramos’ Liberal Tilt; ‘You’re Not a Newsman’

In a heated yet entertaining battle of the minds, the Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly faced off on Wednesday night against Fusion/Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for a seven-minute-plus bout over the proposed Kate’s Law, illegal immigration, and Ramos’ decidedly liberal tilt toward advocacy that had O’Reilly telling Ramos that “you’re not a newsman anymore.”

Minutes into their duel in the “No-Spin Zone,” O’Reilly asked Ramos if would back Kate’s Law (named in honor of the late 32-year-old Kate Steinle) that “would say if an aggravated felon, someone convicted of an aggravated felony in the United States is deported and comes back, mandatory five year prison, can get more in a federal penitentiary.”

When Ramos replied that he’s “not here to defend criminals” but would oppose it since O’Reilly wasn’t “approaching the problem in a global way,” O’Reilly demurred his take as “outrageous” and argued that the Spanish-language anchor is “an enabler” of people like Steinle’s killer in illegal alien Francisco Sanchez.

The topic of conversation shifted a few minutes later when the O’Reilly Factor host told Ramos that “you are an anchorman” and because of that:

How you can possibly cover illegal immigration fairly when you’re an activist, when you are a proponent of allowing them amnesty? How can you possibly cover this story? You should excuse yourself from it or recuse yourself from it. Or become like me, a commentator?

Ramos shot back that he’s “just a reporter asking questions” much to the chagrin of O’Reilly, who told him that he’s “an activist.” That claim brought a frustrated Ramos to blast the FNC host as not “the right person to lecture me on advocacy and journalism when you spend most of your program giving opinions without asking questions.”

As Ramos was in mid-thought, O’Reilly fired back that he’s “a commentator [and] that's what I do” while the Noticiero Univision co-anchor and El Punto host is “not a newsman anymore” but instead strayed toward becoming “an advocate now.” Offering nothing new, Ramos reiterated that (while O’Reilly interrupted repeatedly to refute his claims): 

RAMOS: I am simply a reporter asking questions – 

O’REILLY: No, you are not. Come on.

RAMOS: – but sometimes, as a reporter, you have to take a stand when it comes to racism, discrimination –

O’REILLY: You are activist. 

RAMOS: – corruption, public life, dictatorships and human rights, you have to take a position and that's the only thing I’m doing. 

O’REILLY:  Nobody has ever been in a reportorial range like you have been and I’m not criticizing you for your stand. I’m saying you’re in the wrong job. Be a commentator.

O’Reilly began to wrap things up by telling him twice that “that’s your opinion” and “a reporter reports [and] doesn’t give an opinion” while “[a] commentator” does provide their take on matters. In the final moments of their exchange, Ramos emphasized that journalist have a “social responsibility” to stand up to those in power that they see as out of line:

RAMOS: No, we report but we also have to challenge those who are in power. The most important social responsibility of a journalist –

O’REILLY: You can challenge but you don’t – you go way beyond that. 

RAMOS: – is to challenge these who are in power. 

O’REILLY: Jorge, you are doing exactly what I'm doing, man, you just don't have the title.

As the writers of MRC Latino (and contributor Jorge Bonilla in particular) have been highlighting on nearly a routine basis, the liberal views of Ramos and hardened advocacy is far from surprising. Nonetheless, Ramos’ leftish tilt remains unsettling as the anchor maintains a massive hold on the Spanish-language television audience in the United States on a daily basis.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor on September 2 can be found below.

FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor
September 2, 2015
8:41 p.m. Eastern

BILL O’REILLY: Now, we want Kate's Law which would say if an aggravated felon, someone convicted of an aggravated felony in the United States is deported and comes back, mandatory five year prison, can get more in a federal penitentiary. You support that? 

JORGE RAMOS: No because I don't think –

O’REILLY: That's outrageous. That's outrageous. 

RAMOS: – you’re approaching the problem in a global way and this is a problem. I'm not here to be defend criminals. I think all criminals, all criminals, including Kate’s killer –

O’REILLY: You are. You are an enabler. Jorge, you are enabling that guy Sanchez. 

RAMOS: – should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, what you are proposing, Bill, you would be putting in jail a mother or a father who got deported and –

O’REILLY: Oh, stop it. It clearly says –

RAMOS: – may be coming back to see their children and you might be put in jail.

(....)

O’REILLY: Alright, now, you are an anchorman. How you can possibly cover illegal immigration fairly when you’re an activist, when you are a proponent of allowing them amnesty? How can you possibly cover this story? You should excuse yourself from it or recuse yourself from it. Or become like me, a commentator? 

RAMOS: I'm just a reporter –

O’REILLY: You’re not. 

RAMOS: – asking questions. 

O’REILLY: You’re an activist. 

O’REILLY: Mr. O'Reilly, I don't think you are the right person to lecture me on advocacy and journalism when you spend most of your program giving opinions – 

O’REILLY: I'm a commentator that's what I do. 

(....)

O’REILLY: Now, Jorge, become like me a commentator. You’re not a newsman anymore. You’re advocate now. 

RAMOS: I am simply a reporter asking questions – 

O’REILLY: No, you are not. Come on.

RAMOS: – but sometimes, as a reporter, you have to take a stand when it comes to racism, discrimination –

O’REILLY: You are activist. 

RAMOS: – corruption, public life, dictatorships and human rights, you have to take a position and that's the only thing I’m doing. 

O’REILLY:  Nobody has ever been in a reportorial range like you have been and I’m not criticizing you for your stand. I’m saying you’re in the wrong job. Be a commentator.

RAMO: No, I think what Donald Trump is doing is very dangerous. He’s proposing the largest mass deportation in recent history and who’s going to challenge him? And that’s our job as reporters.

O’REILLY: Alright, that's your opinion. Jorge, that’s your opinion.

RAMOS: – and that's our job as reporters. 

O’REILLY: No, a reporter reports, doesn't give an opinion. A commentator gives an opinion. 

RAMOS: No, we report but we also have to challenge those who are in power. The most important social responsibility of a journalist –

O’REILLY: You can challenge but you don’t – you go way beyond that. 

RAMOS: – is to challenge these who are in power. 

O’REILLY: Jorge, you are doing exactly what I'm doing, man, you just don't have the title.

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