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On the October 10 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that billionaire philanthropist George Soros "believes" that "we're Nazis" because of U.S. policies on Iraq and torture. Soros is a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest. O'Reilly was discussing Fox News host Neil Cavuto's October 5 interview with Soros, in which Soros warned that during the course of the "war on terror," "if we torture people, humiliate people, kill people who are innocent," the world "look[s] at us in the same light as we look at terrorists," and "that is, in fact, what has happened, particularly in Iraq." Soros added that "we have actually fed into the rage and resentment that can be exploited by terrorists." Responding to Soros's remarks, O'Reilly declared that Soros believes: "We kill people who are innocent. We're Nazis. That's what we're doing in Iraq. This is what George Soros really believes."
O'Reilly claimed that Soros believes that "we're Nazis" less than one week after comparing Soros to former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, and accusing Soros of being "the single most dangerous individual in the United States of America." Discussing Cavuto's interview with Soros during the October 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly declared that Soros came across as "look[ing] like your grandfather" and complained that "everybody is being deceived by this guy. This guy is really harmful to the nation." Although he stated that "everybody is being deceived" by Soros and then declared, "[H]e's a charlatan, man!" O'Reilly later claimed, "I didn't say he was a phony." Cavuto, who appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss his earlier interview with Soros, "disagree[d]" that anyone "is being deceived by him" or that Soros is "a deceitful fellow." Responding to Cavuto's assertion that Soros is "just a strong advocate of his position," O'Reilly announced:
O'REILLY: [H]e's damaging the country. He is the single most dangerous individual in the United States of America. And his assassins, the people he hires to harm the people with whom he disagrees. And he sits back and he goes, "Oh, I don't know what they're doing." Bull.
Cavuto responded that Soros "has given $5 billion of his money away to a lot of good causes. So there's some good he has done." O'Reilly replied: "Mussolini made the trains run on time."
Additionally, after stating that "I watched the whole interview," O'Reilly falsely claimed that Soros "doesn't like anything Bush does, nothing, across the board." In fact, during his October 5 appearance on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Soros specifically praised President Bush for being "very broad-minded on immigration" and for "sponsor[ing] a good" immigration bill that was later blocked by House Republicans.
Despite his long history of engaging in "personal attacks," O'Reilly frequently claims, "I don't do personal attacks here."
From the October 10 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:
O'REILLY: All right, so according to George Soros, we torture people in Iraq. We humiliate all the Iraqis. We kill people who are innocent. We're Nazis. That's what we're doing in Iraq. This is what George Soros really believes. He believes it. He's not a phony. He believes this, OK? So, he says what we do in Iraq is the same thing -- on a moral equivalency level -- as what Al Qaeda does, what the Taliban did. All right, and he believes it. He goes home every day, and he goes, "You know, America, we're torturing everybody in Iraq. We're shooting down innocent civilians."
From the October 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: I could see him in a Factor hat. Joining us now from New York is Neil Cavuto.
You interviewed this guy for 20 minutes, and he comes off as a very kindly old man. I watched the whole interview. He had not one solution to any problem. He doesn't like anything Bush does, nothing, across the board.
War on terror, he says, is a mistake. He wants an open border. His Open Society Institute funds every far-left cause in the country, including illegal narcotics, and everything else -- euthanasia, unfettered abortion.
And this guy comes on and he looks like your grandfather. And I'm sitting there going, "Everybody is being deceived by this guy. This guy is really harmful to the nation."
CAVUTO: Well, I don't think everyone's being deceived by him, nor is he a deceitful fellow, Bill, so I would disagree with you on that.
When it comes to the war on terror, look, he doesn't like war. He said about the war in Afghanistan that he supported going after the Taliban, that he supported it when it came to Bosnia and Serbia. Those incursions, he supported.
He fears that the United States' influence has waned with this war on terror. Now, you could agree or disagree, but that is something that's been fairly consistent in his past, and he has poured his money into organizations that promote this.
Now, again, agree or disagree, this is where this guy is coming from. He believes that the war on terror, even though I quibbled aggressively on this subject, is not getting the results that it needs.
O'REILLY: But, boy, he's giving money to some of the worst people in the United States of America.
CAVUTO: Well, I know you're talking about MoveOn.org and some of these other sites that have extreme positions, but --
O'REILLY: Awful. Awful.
CAVUTO: There are others, as well. But you know, Bill, to be fair, there are a lot of rich conservatives who fund conservative sites or 527s that advocate a position.
O'REILLY: But you didn't interview them today, did you?
CAVUTO: I'm sorry.
O'REILLY: You didn't interview them today, did you?
CAVUTO: I've had, actually, them on in the past.
O'REILLY: No, I know. But what I'm trying to tell you is --
CAVUTO: No, Bill, my point is --
O'REILLY: -- this guy, he's a charlatan, man. He's trying to put across that he's a -- he's a give-peace-a-chance kind of guy, and he wants radical change in this country. He wants everything changed, Neil, from top to bottom, and I backed that up in Culture Warrior. I mean, I go down the list.
CAVUTO: You know, I tell you, Bill. I read your book, and I've read his book. And I know you don't like him, and I think it's fair to say after this interview he doesn't flip over you. But the fact of the matter -- nor is he getting Factor gear, by the way. But I'll tell you, he's just a strong advocate of his position. And you know, you can agree or disagree with that, but I think it's a bit of a stretch, you know, to say he's a phony and all of this other stuff.
O'REILLY: I didn't say he was a phony.
CAVUTO: He is what he is.
O'REILLY: Yeah, he's damaging the country. He is the single most dangerous individual in the United States of America. And his assassins, the people he hires to harm the people with whom he disagrees. And he sits back and he goes, "Oh, I don't know what they're doing." Bull.
But I'm glad you had him on, Neil, and you were respectful to him.
CAVUTO: Oh, man.
O'REILLY: And we --
CAVUTO: But you've got to -- look, this guy has given $5 billion of his money away to a lot of good causes. So there's some good he has done. You've got to acknowledge -- some good.
O'REILLY: Mussolini -- Mussolini made the trains run on time, Neil.
CAVUTO: Oh, man. Oh, man.
O'REILLY: I've got to go. Thank you
From the October 5 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: You say the war on terror, as we have waged it since 9-11, has done more harm than good.
CAVUTO: That's pretty strong.
SOROS: Well, because, you see, we abhor terrorists, because they kill innocent people for political goals. Now, so, when we chase them down, we really must go out of our way not to do the same thing, because, if we torture people, humiliate people, kill people who are innocent, they look at us in the same light as we look at terrorists.
And that is, in fact, what has happened, particularly in Iraq.
CAVUTO: How would you fight it?
SOROS: We -- we have to catch them. We have to track them down. And -- and, if possible, we have to infiltrate into their organizations, the way the British have done. They have really managed to prevent a terrible incident that could have been worse than 9-11. They were successful in doing that.
So, the -- the -- there's a lot wrong with the war on terror that people don't -- don't understand. I mean, these -- creating innocent victims creates rage and resentment, which feeds into terrorism. So, as -- today, now, our intelligence community has reported to the president that our actions have made the terrorist threat worse.
CAVUTO: But I would turn it around, Mr. Soros, and say, we have not been attacked on U.S. soil in more than five years.
SOROS: Yes. Wonderful. I'm delighted.
CAVUTO: Is that an accident?
SOROS: No. Well, the -- the -- the threat, the terrorist threat, in the world is much greater today than it was five years ago. There are many more people motivated to fight us wherever they find us.
CAVUTO: But you're one of the greatest studiers of -- of history I know. And -- and you remember the '93 attack on the World Trade Center. You remember the USS Cole. You remember Mogadishu. You remember terrorists have hated us long before this president came into office, long before the prior president came into office. A lot of people have hated us. So -- so, are we to say we don't want more people to hate us, so we -- we -- we stand back?
SOROS: No, no, no. There was a small extremist group, relatively small, that had this really awful idea of waging war against us, or attacking us. But now there are many more people who feel that way. And, so, that is what I mean, that it's counterproductive, that we have actually fed into the rage and resentment that can be exploited by terrorists. And that's what the military -- the military intelligence have been telling us now.
CAVUTO: But has he [President Bush] done anything good? We -- we got the Dow at a record. We got the economy doing pretty well, 4.7 percent unemployment.
SOROS: I have no -- I have no beef with the -- with the economic policy. I think I can say something good, actually, about him --
SOROS: -- because he -- he has been very broad-minded on immigration. And he really sponsored a good bill. Unfortunately, the House Republicans --
CAVUTO: Are a little tougher, right.
SOROS: -- refused. They just took the punitive part. They didn't take the constructive part.