On Tuesday’s Factor, Bill O’Reilly took aim at NBC News, and in particular, Josh Mankiewicz‘s commentary on Sunday’s Dateline. Referring to the “nutty war on Christmas thing,” Mankiewicz said the “talking heads” who are “so obsessed with that war” are really just obsessed with “finding ways to attract more attention to themselves.” (He also played David Letterman‘s bit about 60 percent crap.)
O’Reilly retorted: “According to that analysis on NBC News, the war on Christmas is a, quote, ‘laughable lie,’ unquote. Well, I guess they missed the Gallup poll that said 69 percent of Americans opposed dropping the greeting ‘Merry Christmas’ and nearly half the country thinks Christmas is under siege. Why is that laughable?” He asked Bob Kohn, author of the book “Journalistic Fraud.” The full transcript is after the jump…
O’REILLY: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, we stopped our reporting on the war on Christmas about three weeks ago. Yet some of the press are still attacking "The Factor" for its analysis. Why? Why does NBC News, for example, care about what I think about Christmas? I can’t figure it out.
On "Dateline" two days ago, an NBC analyst said this…
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH MANKIEWICZ, NBC NEWS (voice-over): That nutty war on Christmas thing got plenty of traction on the blogs before it ever hit your TV set. Now a lot of bloggers say it’s finally been put to bed.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS’S "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But here’s what I want to know. Why did it fall to David Letterman to make clear what a giant, laughable lie that all was?
MANKIEWICZ (on camera): And here’s my take on that. There’s more than one religion in this country. And most of us understand that. And those talking heads so obsessed with that war on Christmas? What they’re really obsessed with is finding ways to attract more attention to themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t take it seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: So according to that analysis on NBC News, the war on Christmas is a, quote, "laughable lie," unquote. Well, I guess they missed the Gallup poll that said 69 percent of Americans opposed dropping the greeting "Merry Christmas" and nearly half the country thinks Christmas is under siege. Why is that laughable?
With us now Bob Kohn, author of the book, "Journalistic Fraud."
Look, NBC News has been the leader on television in trying to debunk the Christmas thing. And I’m not getting it.
BOB KOHN, AUTHOR, "JOURNALISTIC FRAUD": Well, you know, there’s a small vocal group of people out there who, whether you want to call it a war or not, they’ll complain about anything. And they started with nativity scenes on public property. Then they went on to accusing Kmart and having a problem with Macy’s and having a problem with Sears saying "Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah."
O’REILLY: But it exists. It’s real.
O’REILLY: The ACLU lawsuits are real. The store policies are real. And you get guys on the NBC News saying we made it up.
KOHN: The press has been there; they’re the megaphone, the megaphone for these people with this problem. And the press is — this suits their agenda. I mean, most of the press, most of the mainstream media, is either liberal or Democratic. People who are religious, are religious based, tend to be conservative or Republicans.
OK? So anything that squeezes out the religion from society, whether it’s on public property or Macy’s staying "Happy Hanukkah" or anything like that, suits the agenda of the liberal media.
O’REILLY: So you buy into this liberal media cabal? You’re buying into that.
KOHN: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, what you’ve done here is you found a story that resonated with a majority of the public. You’ve done the polls; you’ve done your research. It completely resonates with the people.
As a matter of fact, the David Letterman episode that you had the other night is a microcosm for what’s going on. You gave some examples during that show that said there’s some political incorrectness out there. The audience applauds. There was a huge amount of applause.
And what did David Letterman do? His reaction was to attack you because he saw his audience resonating with the message that you were doing. So it’s just a microcosm of what the rest of the media is doing.
O’REILLY: Well, I saw that, too. The Letterman audience did shift. But you know, funny, that in the NBC clip, and they did this on "Good Morning America," as well, they cut out my answer.
KOHN: You know, I watched the — that’s how I saw it first. I saw it on CNN. They put all the things where David Letterman got the applause and they eliminated all the things that you…
O’REILLY: CNN did it, too?
KOHN: CNN did it on the — Howard Kurtz’s program.
O’REILLY: "Reliable Sources."
KOHN: The "Reliable Sources" program.
O’REILLY: I’m not surprised that Kurtz and CNN did that. I mean, they don’t want to give me any good publicity. I didn’t see the show. So what you’re saying is that they used all of Letterman’s questions and none of my answers?
KOHN: Well, they used some of your answers. But basically, whenever the audience applauded to the questions that David Letterman posed.
O’REILLY: I see.
KOHN: Anything that the audience applauded to what you said was not part of it.
O’REILLY: They cut that out?
KOHN: They cut that out. And a really interesting thing about the David Letterman interview was when he — you know, he said that, like, you just said, 60 percent of what you say is crap.
KOHN: And then he admitted on the air that he doesn’t watch your show.
KOHN: Well, that’s like me saying the David Letterman show sucks because I read a review written by Jay Leno that says it sucks. You know? I mean, it’s silly.
O’REILLY: All right. I don’t know if I’m buying into the conspiracy totally, but I certainly think there is a mindset in the elite media.
KOHN: It’s not a conspiracy.
KOHN: But there’s a tacit understanding there. They want to squeeze out and crowd out…
O’REILLY: Anybody conservative, anybody religious, let them have it.
O’REILLY: All right, Mr. Kohn. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.
KOHN: Sure thing.
O’REILLY: Next, we’ll wrap things up with "The Most Ridiculous Item" and some of your mail.