Barney Frank and Howard Dean Continue Democrat Assault on Fox News

Thanks to former President Clinton and victories in the recent midterm elections, Democrats are now launching a full out attack on Fox News, the only television news outlet that holds them accountable. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) appeared on Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor to explain his recent attack on Fox News and once again lashed out on Bill O’Reilly when he issued him challenging questions. O’Reilly asked Congressman Frank what his position is on income redistribution.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): "Bill, will you please stop interrupting if you want a serious discussion?"

Bill O’Reilly: "No. I'm not going to interrupt. When you say something dopey, I'm going point it out. What do you think you are, the czar of the interview?"

Frank: "And as I try to answer, you keep interrupting. It's your style when you don't like the answer you think it's going to p--"

It did not end there. The following morning, Fox and Friends reported that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean took a shot at Fox News when speaking at the Liberal Party Convention in Canada.

Steve Doocy: "Hey, Howard Dean is back in the news. He has traveled to Canada, and he's been taking a shot at us, Fox news. Steve Brown live in Montreal. So, Steve, why were we in the cross hairs?"

Steve Brown: "Well, it, it all begins with the Liberal Party Convention up here. The Liberal Party is one of the two of the larger political parties up there. They're holding their convention. And politically speaking, the Liberal Party pulled kind of an unprecedented move and had Howard Dean as their keynote speaker. Now, the Liberal Party of Canada likes to refer to itself as the natural ruling party of Canada. But after over a decade of Liberal Party rule here in our northern neighbor, Canadian voters gave them the hook in January's national elections. Ushered into power was the Canadian Conservative Party led by current prime minister Steven Harper. Since then, the Liberal Party has been in a rebuilding mode, if you will. Now, struck by the recent Democratic successes in the '06 election, Howard Dean was invited to give the Liberals a bit of a pep talk at their convention here in Montreal. Now, Canada is bilingual, English and French, and during his speech he gave us a little 'parlez-vous' shout out."

(Begin video)

Howard Dean: [Speaking French]

[Cheers]

Dean: "Won't Fox News hate this."

[Laughter]

(End video)

Brown: "Now, quite clearly the folks gathered at the Liberal Party Convention enjoyed that little shot at Fox News. And, and far be it from me to disabuse the chairman of a national political party on the heels of a huge election, but I would note this: We weren't in the least little bit offended that you spoke French, Chairman Dean, largely because you are in the middle of the French speaking province of Quebec. Over 5 million people here can only speak French. On top of that, I would add that it really is a pity that CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC weren't here to enjoy your speech as well because they did not think enough of your speech here to send a single person. We sent four. But I digress. Howard Dean did speak to the Liberal Party here in Canada and did get a very well received round of applause. He was interrupted by standing ovation several times. They're looking at his 50-state strategy and trying to apply it here to the 50, 13 provinces, excuse me, and that's basically why they brought him up here. It's an unprecedented move. Got some grief from some Liberals."

Doocy: "Yeah, no kidding."

Brown: "But-"

Doocy: "Alright Steve."

Brian Kilmeade: "Good point."

Doocy: "Excellent. You know what? And if we weren't, if we weren't fair and balanced we wouldn't have brought that to you."

The full transcript from Barney Frank’s interview on The O’Reilly Factor is below.

Bill O’Reilly: "Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the 'Personal Story' segment tonight: Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday is a real troublemaker. You'll remember President Clinton objected to Chris asking about bin Laden a few months ago. Last Sunday Congressman Barney Frank got annoyed as well."

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): "Chris I got to say, you have an odd view of balance. I, I've just been listening and every single question you ask, none of- you said it's to see what the Democrats are going to be like. We were all prepared to talk about a very positive agenda we have in tax fairness, and environmental concerns, and housing. And of course all of your questions have been aimed at trying to find points of controversy, which are not going to be high on our agenda."

O’Reilly: "Alright, Congressman Frank joins us now from Washington. Whe you were lecturing Chris Wallace there. Was the Clinton shootout, was that in your mind at all?"

Frank: "No, not at all. I remember reading about that, but in fact, you know I, I somebody showed me something of what you said on the radio yesterday. You said something about, one of the first questions that was asked. That was, actually I counted, the seventh question that I was responding to. There were a whole round of two questions each and I was simply responding to the show. What I felt frankly, that there was, that there was some misrepresentation. I was very careful in my wording. I said that, I didn't accuse Chris of being unfair. Each individual question taken by itself was a fair question, but I thought it wasn't balanced, just to take a concept on to the air. The, the answer- the reason is this: He had advertised this, both on that show, and on the website, and elsewhere, as 'Democratic chairs will tell you what their agenda is.' Well, when he then asked questions only about frankly, rather peripheral parts of it, people don't always understand that we didn't choose this. And so, what I said was that I, we wemt through them and we answered a whole bunch of questions. But I thought, frankly, it wasn't living up to the billing that people watching that would get a, an inaccurate view of what we in fact intended to, to do with our agenda."

O’Reilly: "OK. I mean, look, as one who's gone through that exact same thing with NPR, they invited me on to talk about one thing, and then they ambushed me and talked about something else, I can understand your point of view. And I don't know wha- and I didn't see the show. I read the transcript. And the transcript says, basically, that Wallace, Chris Wallace, was asking you about controversial things, and also Dingell and also Rangel. And that's what you do on television. I mean-"

Frank: "No, but here's, here's the problem Bill: Here's what it says at the beginning: Quote, from, from Chris, 'now that the Democrats control Congress, what will they do? From taxes to gas prices, we'll talk with three incoming chairman.' And then it said on the website, 'we'll find out what their agenda is.' So the problem is, and you hit it when you talk about NPR, the average viewer isn't in our business, my business your business, when he hears us all talking only about certain subjects, she's going to think 'well, those are the only subjects they wanted to talk to."

O’Reilly: "Alright, well that's fair enough."

Frank: "And I felt it was an inaccurate representation of what people told them they were going to get."

O’Reilly: "OK and I don't have a beef with it. I think Wallace's questions were legitimate, but if you were under the impression that it was going to be more of an agenda setting, what they were going to do-"

Frank: "Well, no. I wasn't under the impression. Excuse me. I wasn't under the impression. I'm quoting from what he said..."

O’Reilly: "OK"

Frank: "...on the show, and what he said. As I said, individually, a mix of those questions and other questions would have been fine. And Chris himself said, 'okay, I'll do better.' And I, that's, of course I expected every controversial questions. But, by the way, they could have been questions challenging our agenda. People don't like, you know, raising the minimum wage, which will be one of the first things we'll be doing out of the box, or doing more on affordable housing. I was certainly prepared to debate the merits of those, but not have them be ignored so that people would think, well, that's not what we're really interested in."

O’Reilly: "OK. Income redistribution, you know what it is, right?"

Frank: "Yes."

O’Reilly: "Alright, now, it's one of my tenants in my book, Culture Warrior, that the SP crew, the secular progressives in the country, and I think you're one of those, really believe-"

Frank: "That's what I. I Thank you. I didn't know what SP was."

O’Reilly: "...really believe- secular progressive- really believe that the government has a responsibility to take money from the affluent and then give it to people in forms of entitlements that to don't have a lot. So this is a very, very big deal in America. This, this goes to tax the rich, it goes to the estate tax. It goes to all of those things, income redistribution. Do you believe in that?"

Frank: "To some extent, the whole country does of course. George Bush supports a tax structure in which people in the upper income get end get taxed much more than the lower income end. That's called progressive taxation."

O’Reilly: "Progressive taxation."

Frank: "But that's not what I've been talking about mostly now. The problem we have at this point is not that the government isn't doing enough to redistribute to the, to the lower end, but that the government in my judgment is doing too much to redistribute it to the higher end."

O’Reilly: "OK, but leave that, leave that aside..."

Frank: "Let me finish me finish this sentence."

O’Reilly: "Whoa, whoa, wait with a minute. I have to get an answer on the record."

Frank: "Excuse me. I'm not leaving it aside."

O’Reilly: "I got to get an answer on the record."

Frank: "I'm not leaving it aside."

O’Reilly: "Look, I asked you, do you believe in income redistribution? Alright, and do you or not?"

Frank: "I told you yes."

O’Reilly: "Yes."

Frank: "Stop being a silly would be district attorney Bill. You want to do that, go to law school. The fact is I told you, yes I do as George Bush does."

O’Reilly: "No, you're not like George Bush. That's ridiculous."

Frank: "Bill, will you please stop interrupting if you want a serious discussion?"

O’Reilly: "No. I'm not going to interrupt. When you say something dopey, I'm going point it out. What do you think you are, the czar of the interview?"

Frank: "I think I am someone who came on the show, no, I came on the show to have a coherent conversation."

O’Reilly: "And I asked you a question and I had to ask it twice to get an answer."

Frank: "And as I try to answer, you keep interrupting. It's your style when you don't like the answer you think it's going to p--"

O’Reilly: "It's your style to make an invalid comparison between you and George Bush. That's bull."

Frank: "I said that, I said that I agree with George Bush that people at the upper end of the income scale should be taxed more than people at the lower end."

O’Reilly: "That's not income redistribution."

Frank: "Yes it is."

O’Reilly: "Income redistribution is..."

Frank: "Oh Bill will you stop (unintelligible)?"

O’Reilly: "...draconian taxation, 60, 70 percent. laying it on them."

Frank: "Oh am I for draconian taxation? No, if I'm for draconian- If the question is, if you're seriously asking me the question, am I for draconian taxation? No, I'm not. I think Draco is dead and should stay dead. What I do believe is that we should have progressive-"

O’Reilly: "What is the top tax rate? What should it be?"

Frank: "Oh I think when Bill Clinton had it at 39 percent, that was a very, we had a very good economy then. But, of course, that's only part of the problem because you are trying to ignore the issue, which is that public policy today are in fact going in a reverse direction. And what we've seen is more and more of the wealth that we've created in this society is staying in the hands of very few people. And I would like to see public policies that distribute the wealth more fairly. I'm not talking about taking from the rich and giving to the working class or the poor, I'm talking about a fairer share of the increased wealth. Because as Alan Greenspan said a couple of years ago, it is all going, recently, to a handful of people, and I'm talking about sharing the increase rather than redistribute it."

O’Reilly: "Ok, so 39 percent you think is a fair top rate?"

Frank: "Yeah, I said that."

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