Goldberg criticized O'Reilly for "kissypoo interview" with Coulter

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

During the October 18 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributors Bernie Goldberg and Jane Hall criticized host Bill O'Reilly for not challenging right-wing pundit Ann Coulter during her October 15 appearance on his program over comments she had made the previous week on CNBC's The Big Idea. Coulter had said to host Donny Deutsch that "we" Christians "just want Jews to be perfected." Goldberg stated: "[Y]ou got very passionate about the Catholic sacrilege in San Francisco, but when Ann Coulter made her comment about how everybody should be a Christian, including all the Jews, because they should be more perfected, man, I was waiting for you two to French kiss. I mean, it was -- you weren't the old Bill O'Reilly." O'Reilly claimed that he "ignored the controversy" because he "never debate[s] theology with a non-theologian, ever." O'Reilly then stated: "Ann Coulter is a commentator. She says some crazy thing that I think is unjustifiable. But why do I want to debate it with her? She doesn't have any credibility in the area," to which Hall replied: "But Bill, you said everybody should be challenged." O'Reilly responded: "I did challenge her in the interview, Jane. It wasn't a kissypoo interview." Goldberg countered: "Yes, it was."

Later in the segment, O'Reilly stated: "All right. Maybe I should have said it was anti-Semitic. I don't think it was anti-Semitic. I think it was just dumb." Then, responding to Goldberg's claim that he "should have been a little tougher," O'Reilly asserted: "OK. It's a legitimate point, but I want everybody to know -- all right -- that I didn't feel that it was a worthy conversation because she's not a theologian." O'Reilly continued: "It's like somebody says to me, Bernie -- this is important. Somebody says to me, 'If you don't accept Jesus, you're going to hell.' How many times have we heard that? Am I going to have a conversation with that person? No, I'm not." Goldberg retorted: "Then don't have her on."

From the October 18 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, Bernie, you got a question about my interview with Ann Coulter. I want to get to that because we have two minutes left. And give me your question. I'll give you my answer.

GOLDBERG: Bill, I say this as a friend and as a supporter of the show. And I watch it all the time and all that. But you got very passionate about the Catholic sacrilege in San Francisco, but when Ann Coulter made her comment about how everybody should be a Christian, including all the Jews, because they should be more perfected, man, I was waiting for you two to French kiss. I mean, it was -- you weren't the old Bill O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: I ignored the controversy. No, no, no. Look, here's why I did what I did, and then I want you both to comment quickly.

I never debate theology with a non-theologian, ever. Bill Maher says Christians are idiots. I'm an idiot for being a Roman Catholic and going to church. That's what he says. Would I debate him on it? No. Do I care what he says? No.

Ann Coulter is a commentator. She says some crazy thing that I think is unjustifiable. But why do I want to debate it with her? She doesn't have any credibility in the area.

HALL: But Bill, you said everybody should be challenged. I think Bernie's got a good point.

O'REILLY: Well, I did challenge her in the interview, Jane. It wasn't a kissypoo interview. I mean -- but I wanted to --

GOLDBERG: Yes, it was.

O'REILLY: No, it wasn't. I got into --

GOLDBERG: Yes, it was.

O'REILLY: I got into politics with her pretty heavily. Oh, come on, Bernie. I said there -- you're telling -- on your cover that all Democrats are idiots? Come on. You can't possibly think that. Come on.

I didn't want to get into that because I don't give it any credibility, Bernie.

HALL: Yeah, but I think Bernie's got a point. There's certain people -- Ann Coulter is on the Today show. She is loved by the mainstream media. She says anti-Semitic things. She says anti-gay things. And no one seems to ever call her on it.

O'REILLY: All right. Maybe I should have said it was anti-Semitic. I don't think it was anti-Semitic. I think it was just dumb.

GOLDBERG: Bill, I'm not even saying it was anti-Semitic. I'm saying, for a guy who is best known for being the, or one of the toughest interviewers on television, you should've been a little tougher. That's all I'm saying.

O'REILLY: OK. It's a legitimate point, but I want everybody to know -- all right -- that I didn't feel that it was a worthy conversation because she's not a theologian.

It's like somebody says to me, Bernie -- this is important. Somebody says to me, "If you don't accept Jesus, you're going to hell." How many times have we heard that? Am I going to have a conversation with that person? No, I'm not.

GOLDBERG: Then don't have her on.

O'REILLY: Well, I want to talk politics with her. And that's what I did. And I just want to explain. You could be right. But it wasn't that I was, you know, soft-balling it. It just was like, look, I'm not going to talk theology with a non-theologian. It gets us nowhere.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly, Bernard Goldberg
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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