Bill O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin Take on Oprah Winfrey

As reported by NewsBusters last Friday, famed television talk show host Oprah Winfrey recently had the New York Times’ Frank Rich on her program to hawk his new Bush-bashing book. On Monday’s “O’Reilly Factor,” the host and one of his guests, conservative writer and blogger Michelle Malkin, took Oprah to task for the amount of time Rich was given to spew his vitriol, and for the fact that Oprah rarely has conservatives on to push their books (hat tip to Hot Air). O’Reilly began (video link and full transcript to follow):

Her daytime talk program is a launch pad for books, movies, TV shows, and records. Most who appear on Ms. Winfrey's show benefit from the experience greatly. But an analysis of the programs shows that liberal guests far outnumber conservatives and traditionalists in the arena. We can only find four traditional guests in the past four years. Four. President Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson.

On the other side, there are literally dozens of liberal people who have been given a forum on Oprah's program. Just last week, Bush hater Frank Rich was given an hour to pontificate, one hour. I had no idea Mr. Rich was so popular among daytime viewers. Also on Oprah's show, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Al Gore, Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, Jim McGreevey, on and on and on. You got three weeks? I can keep listing them.

O’Reilly continued, and then brought Malkin into the discussion:

O'REILLY: No, I was shocked about this. Look, I can understand George Clooney and Barbra Streisand and these entertainers. But believe me, take a look at this face (with picture of Rich on the screen). Is this what American women want for an hour? All right? The guy hates Bush. He hates everything he's ever done. He hates me. He hates you. He hates anybody who disagrees with him, and this guy gets an hour. I mean, I'm sitting there going, what is this?

MALKIN: It is quite stunning, and he got an hour under the title -- the title of the show was "Truth in America". There wasn't even a question mark after it. You know, they are masquerading Frank Rich as, like, the arbiter of truth.

Wonderfully, O’Reilly was just getting warmed up:

But here we have a woman who's the most powerful woman in the country. And I think that we should know if she is running a program in an ideological way, because here's the importance of it.

You have Rosie O'Donnell on "The View", far left. Ellen DeGeneres is another very successful woman, far left woman. OK? Ellen DeGeneres doesn't do a lot of politics, but obviously her sympathy's lying there. Every late night is liberal. I wouldn't say far left, but liberal.

So you basically have across the board in the entertainment venue, morning noon and night, one voice saying the same thing to the American public. Now Michelle, I think that's a little troubling.

Malkin agreed:

This isn't just an issue with women's shows. It's not just "Oprah" and "The View" that are dominated by liberals. But you have liberal women's magazines, too.

And you know, the question for us is who represents us? Who is giving voice to us? You know, we like fashion and beauty tips. We like to talk about celebrities, too. And we don't want to have Frank Rich rammed down our throat at 3 in the afternoon.

What follows is a full transcript of this segment, and a video link.

O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, you have to admire Oprah Winfrey. She is the most powerful woman in the country and comes from a very humble background. The woman has succeeded on talent and energy.

Her daytime talk program is a launch pad for books, movies, TV shows, and records. Most who appear on Ms. Winfrey's show benefit from the experience greatly. But an analysis of the programs shows that liberal guests far outnumber conservatives and traditionalists in the arena.

We can only find four traditional guests in the past four years. Four. President Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson.

On the other side, there are literally dozens of liberal people who have been given a forum on Oprah's program. Just last week, Bush hater Frank Rich was given an hour to pontificate, one hour. I had no idea Mr. Rich was so popular among daytime viewers.

Also on Oprah's show, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Al Gore, Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, Jim McGreevey, on and on and on. You got three weeks? I can keep listing them.

In the interest of full disclosure, Oprah has declined to interview me, even though I had four No. 1 best selling books, including the current one, "Culture Warrior".

Once "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids", it really confused me. Here we have the best selling children's non-fiction book in 2005. Oprah, as you know, is interested in protecting kids, so why then was there no interest in talking about "The Factor for Kids"?

Now you call it sour grapes if you want. I know I'm going to get those kind of letters, but facts are facts.

One more thing: Oprah Winfrey has the perfect right to book any guest she wants and on any topic she wants. Her program. Right now, looks like her show is leaning left in a big way, and that is a legitimate story.

Joining us now with analysis, FOX News contributors Kirsten Powers here in New York City, Michelle Malkin in Washington.

What do you think's going on, Michelle?

MICHELLE MALKIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think there's any question that she's been sort of a soft, reflexive liberal. And I think that what's happened is as she's become more and more successful -- and as you say, Bill, there's no question that she is a shrewd businesswoman and a very successful capitalist, that she's lost touch with those roots that you talked about. And she is your typical limousine liberal in the broadcast industry.

And I think that, as you say, she can -- she can invite anyone she wants to, but I think she risks alienating a large portion of the daytime audience. There are millions of stay-at-home moms who watch her show who don't agree that Frank Rich is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

O'REILLY: No, I was shocked about this. Look, I can understand George Clooney and Barbra Streisand and these entertainers. But believe me, take a look at this face. Is this what American women want for an hour? All right? The guy hates Bush. He hates everything he's ever done. He hates me. He hates you. He hates anybody who disagrees with him, and this guy gets an hour. I mean, I'm sitting there going, what is this?

MALKIN: It is quite stunning, and he got an hour under the title -- the title of the show was "Truth in America". There wasn't even a question mark after it. You know, they are masquerading Frank Rich as, like, the arbiter of truth.

O'REILLY: In "Culture Warrior" I call him the chief character assassin, which he is of the S-P movement. So it's interesting. How do you see it, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Free market, baby, is all I've got to say.

O'REILLY: Free market, baby?

POWERS: Yes.

O'REILLY: Am I baby?

POWERS: That's right. The conservatives love the free market. And that's -- this is a free market.

O'REILLY: OK. That's a good point.

POWERS: Oprah is successful. And that's what I was saying. Come up with your own conservative Oprah and start having a conservative show.

O'REILLY: But shouldn't -- in the interest of being fair and balanced, shouldn't she say, "Gee, you know, I do tilt left and I'd rather bring you these kind of guests than, say, John Stossel, best seller author. Hasn't been on the program, can't get on the program. Pat Buchanan has got a best-selling book now, can't get on the program. Laura Ingraham, she wrote about all the movie stars...

MALKIN: Right.

O'REILLY: ... "Shut Up and Sing". Can't get on the program.

Wouldn't it be better for her to just look the audience in the eye say, "Gee, this is where we're taking the show"?

POWERS: It's not a news program, so she doesn't have to do that. I do find it strange that she doesn't want to have differing views on. There are interesting people and...

O'REILLY: Why do you think that is?

POWERS: She's a really smart businesswoman, and I assume she thinks this is what her audience wants.

Now I would say that what you can do is -- I'm going to sort of promo Michelle a little bit here. Michelle is very, very entrepreneurial, and she doesn't like "The View" and so she just started her own little "View" where I play the role of the person that...

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: It's a web -- it's a web thing and it's like -- but the point is, she's just basically saying I don't see what I like and I'm going to start my own thing.

O'REILLY: OK. And that's...

POWERS: And that's the way it should be handled in a free market.

O'REILLY: But here we have a woman who's the most powerful woman in the country. And I think that we should know if she is running a program in an ideological way, because here's the importance of it.

You have Rosie O'Donnell on "The View", far left. Ellen DeGeneres is another very successful woman, far left woman. OK? Ellen DeGeneres doesn't do a lot of politics, but obviously her sympathy's lying there. Every late night is liberal. I wouldn't say far left, but liberal.

So you basically have across the board in the entertainment venue, morning noon and night, one voice saying the same thing to the American public. Now Michelle, I think that's a little troubling.

MALKIN: Well, it is and like Kirsten said, I mean, the answer for conservatives is to start their own businesses and, particularly for conservative women.

This isn't just an issue with women's shows. It's not just "Oprah" and "The View" that are dominated by liberals. But you have liberal women's magazines, too.

And you know, the question for us is who represents us? Who is giving voice to us? You know, we like fashion and beauty tips. We like to talk about celebrities, too. And we don't want to have Frank Rich rammed down our throat at 3 in the afternoon.

O'REILLY: Now what about...

MALKIN: And the thing about it is...

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

MALKIN: I was just going to say that I think, again, that she's been emboldened to come out more openly as a secular progressive. And I think people know what they're getting. I mean, when she's endorsing Barack Obama, the rock star of the Democrat Party, I don't think there is any question about what her political leanings are.

O'REILLY: OK. And there's nothing wrong with that, Kirsten. There's nothing wrong with Oprah Winfrey being a liberal or whoever she wants to vote for. She can tell the folks who she admires or she doesn't admire. I don't tell you who to vote for. But I tell you who are the good and bad guys.

But I don't -- I don't like the fact that in American television right now, it is 90 percent one way, and it's wrong. And I think there's got to be some balance. While FOX News is successful, but I think that Oprah should make an attempt to widen the horizon here.

POWERS: To me, that would be more interesting as a viewer. But you know, I don't watch Oprah's show, so I don't know. I don't know what the people that are watching it are looking for.

O'REILLY: I just gave you the list, Kirsten. Here's the list, OK? We've got...

POWERS: I find it boring. I wasn't interested in that, I wouldn't watch it. That's what I'm saying. I don't find...

O'REILLY: It's 10-1.

POWERS: Yes, but obviously, there's a market for that. That's the point.

O'REILLY: There is a market. But you're...

POWERS: I mean, all of these people are watching...

O'REILLY: ... telling me if I don't go on that show I don't get a good number?

POWERS: I will put out a please right now: please, Oprah, get him on that show.

O'REILLY: No, no, no. You're telling me I don't get a good number on that show?

POWERS: You should be on that show. You have a best-seller.

O'REILLY: I'm doing "The View" on Wednesday. Guaranteed, they're going to get a big number. Rosie and O'Reilly? Come on, how can you not watch?

POWERS: Seriously, you should be on that show. You have best selling books. You have a top-rated show, and it makes perfect sense.

O'REILLY: But it's not about me. Please believe me.

POWERS: Yes, it is.

O'REILLY: It is -- it is not about me. Michelle, I'm giving you the last word here.

MALKIN: Tell the ladies of "The View" that Kirsten and I say hello.

O'REILLY: All right. And I'll bring a little black cat with me.

All right, ladies. Happy Halloween, a little early.

Video available here.

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