O'Reilly denies "go[ing] after" Soros -- doesn't explain prior comment that "[t]hey ought to hang" him
Research ››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE
On the October 12 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest and fellow Fox News host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed he does "not go after" billionaire philanthropist George Soros. In fact, O'Reilly has repeatedly attacked Soros, as Media Matters for America has noted. O'Reilly has declared, among other things, that "[t]hey ought to hang this Soros guy." Most recently, O'Reilly compared Soros to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and alleged that Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest, believes that "we're Nazis" because of U.S. policies on Iraq and torture. During his appearance on Your World, O'Reilly also claimed that "I was tough on [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld when I interviewed him," a characterization with which Cavuto agreed. Yet as Media Matters noted, O'Reilly was anything but "tough on Rumsfeld" -- he has used past interviews with Rumsfeld as an opportunity to attack Democrats and stoke a feud with CBS Late Show host David Letterman.
Also during his appearance on Your World, when O'Reilly claimed that Cavuto's use of the word "dichotomy" indicates that he doesn't know how to "talk to the folks," Cavuto replied: "[D]on' t do the thing like 'you're the folks,' and -- you went to Harvard, so stop the nonsense, please, you're killing me." O'Reilly insisted: "I paid my own way through Harvard." Cavuto also noted that O'Reilly has "always been an angry guy," a charge that O'Reilly denied, claiming it was possible to "be passionate without being angry." O'Reilly added: "If I were angry, I would slap you."
From the October 12 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: You go after a lot of folks in this book. And I always wonder: When you do that, are you afraid of the backlash?
O'REILLY: Am I afraid? What do you think? You've been working with me for 10 years. Am I afraid? They can't do anything more than they've done to me, so I never, ever think about the unintended consequences; I just tell the truth. You had George Soros on here last week, you know, and then we had you on my show to talk about it. Now, you say I go after George Soros. I don't go after him. I tell you what exactly George Soros is doing. All right? And then I back it up with facts. But I don't say George Soros is evil or he's a terrible guy -- what did he call me on your show?
CAVUTO: Well, you know, in your book -- your book, you all but do.
O'REILLY: No, I don't. I basically say --
CAVUTO: So he supports causes --
O'REILLY: Here's his vision --
CAVUTO: He supports causes you hate, right?
O'REILLY: Well, no, he wants a different America. He wants an America that has income redistribution, which means that you tax the affluent way up to your eyebrows and you give the money to other people without any strings attached. He wants legalized narcotics in this country. He wants an open border --
CAVUTO: But you lump him in with Barbra Streisands and George Clooneys.
O'REILLY: No, no, it's a -- Streisand is insignificant. George Soros is huge player --
CAVUTO: She puts on a much better show.
O'REILLY: Than George does.
O'REILLY: Yes. George Soros is a dangerous man if you are a traditionalist. Because George Soros is pumping so much money into the secular progressive cause that those things are actually becoming reality. Think back when you were a little kid --
CAVUTO: All right, but let's get away from Soros for a second. Let's talk about your bigger picture because you argue that we are losing some of the Americana by going after Christmas, by dismissing the things that made our country great. What is your biggest fear? What are we becoming?
O'REILLY: My biggest fear is that we become Holland, all right? That we're the Netherlands, because that's the vision that Soros and the press and the ACLU have. They don't want America to be founded on Judeo-Christian philosophy. They hate that. They feel that we're a flawed nation. The premise of Culture Warrior is traditionalists like me, and I believe you as well, think we are noble country. We make mistakes, but we're a good country. We free people, we provide opportunity for hundreds of millions of people. Look, why are all the illegals coming here? For opportunity. So we think it's good. The S-P's, secular progressives, think the country is flawed. They want huge changes along the lines of what Western Europe has --
CAVUTO: But you recognize the country as flawed in lot in a lot of ways, right?
CAVUTO: You want to help it and make it better, right?
O'REILLY: No. We're a noble country. I don't think the country is flawed. I don't think our Constitution is flawed or our Judeo-Christian heritage is flawed; I don't. We make mistakes. We make mistakes, and we need to correct those mistakes. But the S-P's say we're fundamentally flawed. We have to change our economic system, our social system.
CAVUTO: So they hate themselves, and they hate us.
O'REILLY: No more Christmas -- yeah. No more pledge of allegiance to God. No more Christmas. This is pulling us down because it's too judgmental. Were making judgments about behavior. S-P's don't want judgments.
CAVUTO: But let me ask you this, and I've known you now for better than 10 years. In fact, you would come on my show at CNBC before you were this superstar and, uh, you have always been an angry guy.
O'REILLY: Angry guy -- are we back to that?
CAVUTO: No, no, no, no, no --
O'REILLY: Can't you be passionate without being angry? Can't you --
CAVUTO: I -- I -- don't start dissing me, you know, don't get nasty -- but you are angry, right?
O'REILLY: No, I'm passionate.
CAVUTO: How do you --
O'REILLY: If I were angry, I would slap you.
CAVUTO: Well, you have.
O'REILLY: OK, no --
CAVUTO: But how do you --
O'REILLY: Passionate --
CAVUTO: Something is always ticking you off, right?
O'REILLY: No. Something is always in my eye line that I'm confronting. You haven't even seen me angry. You don't want -- I beat up a cell phone the other day.
CAVUTO: I see you talk to your staff --
O'REILLY: Oh, my staff loves me. We haven't had one change on the staff. You have people in and out of there all the time.
CAVUTO: They are shuddering there, they're sweating, they're sweating --
O'REILLY: Shuddering, my butt.
CAVUTO: They're sweating. Let me ask you this. Ten years into this, would you have predicted, you know, the number-one books, the number-one show, the money, all of that? Would have actually seen all of that was coming?
O'REILLY: No, because I'm not in it for that. I never was in it for that. I was always in it to do good work. What I was a reporter, I wanted to be the best reporter, and I think I was, because I'm a conceited guy. I but I reported at ABC and CBS, and then I did that, and then I did Inside Edition, and we made a success out of that syndicated program, made King World gazillions of dollars. Eh, enough of that, go back to school, learn a little bit more, designed the Factor, brought it here, they took it, and now we're a success here. But I was never in it for money or power. I was in it for the work, doing good work.
CAVUTO: Here's where I see some dichotomies with you.
O'REILLY: Is that -- what does "dichotomy" mean?
CAVUTO: I love --
O'REILLY: What does that word mean?
CAVUTO: Let me ask you this --
O'REILLY: Can't you talk to the folks?
CAVUTO: In your Harvard -- don' t do the thing like "you're the folks," and -- you went to Harvard, so stop the nonsense, please, you're killing me.
O'REILLY: I paid my own way through Harvard.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you about where it seems strange. You're OK with Rumsfeld, you're not OK with Cheney.
O'REILLY: I'm not OK with -- look, I'm not OK with losing, all right? I mean, Iraq is a mess. It's a mess. So let's not -- let's acknowledge --
CAVUTO: But that's just as much Cheney's responsibility, right?
O'REILLY: I don't -- look, I don't care. It doesn't matter to me whose responsibility it is.
CAVUTO: But you like -- you seem to give Rumsfeld a pass, but not Cheney.
O'REILLY: Not really. Not really. I was tough on Rumsfeld when I interviewed him.
CAVUTO: Yes, you were, and to be fair, your interviews are very tough.