When I took Bill O’Reilly to task for outing a lesbian judge on his show a week before my appearance, I thought I was just another No Spin Zone guest proving Al Franken right. When the story started receiving coverage in papers like the Chicago Tribune, I knew that I was right about one thing: For years I’ve watched The O’Reilly Factor with the hope of taking Bill on in the “No Spin Zone” so I could prove him to be the chronic liar that he is.
As I look back at this transcript and the follow up media, I realize that O’Reilly must be spinning at this!
For those curious to see Bill get caught up in his own lies, here’s the complete transcript (my comments are in red and in [brackets].
THE O’REILLY FACTOR
July 19, 2004 Monday
GUEST: Michael Rogers
O’REILLY: “Personal story” segment tonight, there’s no question some gay activists are angry about opposition to gay marriage. And one of those activists, Michael Rogers, has begun an outing campaign on his Web site. He joins us now from Washington. As I told you in the pre-interview, Mr. Rogers, I don’t really want you to mention anybody’s name…
[Wow, that was fast...O'Reilly manipulated the truth in the opening paragraph. The, so-called 'pre-interview' was nothing more than a 45 second (or less) off air introduction by Mr. O'Reilly. 'Pre-Interview' as used on the show, is supposed to make the viewer believe O'Reilly and I had actually met prior to the show.]
MICHAEL ROGERS, GAY ACTIVIST: Sure.
O’REILLY: …on The Factor. And if you do, we’ll bleep it out, because it’s not fair. And you know, we’re uneasy with this kind of exposition. But what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to intimidate people to vote for gay marriage?
ROGERS: Absolutely not. And we are also as uncomfortable as you are, Mr. O’Reilly. But we feel that it’s necessary to let people know in the government who are gay and lesbian people working against the gay and lesbian community.
O’REILLY: Why? Why would that be an issue in the sense that you can let them know which politicians are, but why would you — it would be like…
ROGERS: Well, these people have high positions in the government. They have taken on very public positions, such as chiefs of staff or executive directors of organizations charged with electing pro FMA senators to the Congress.
So — and the most important part of it is that these people actually are out already. They…
O’REILLY: Yes, but here’s…
ROGERS: They live completely out gay lives. In fact, in most cases, the staffers have told the members that they work for…
O’REILLY: But, this should be….sex…..somebody’s personal sex life should have nothing to do with any kind of a policy, and let me give you an example. We reported on a judge in Boston, OK, who dissented from the…
ROGERS: Correct. But you outed her on your show.
O’REILLY: But we didn’t, because her…
[Note from Mike on this: O'Reilly is lying here - O'Reilly outed MA judge Margaret Sosman on his show, three times counting this incident, A thorough LexisNexis searches make it clear the Mr. O'Reilly did the outing, not one of his guests.]
ROGERS: Well, nowhere in Lexis-Nexis does it talk about her sexual orientation.
O’REILLY: But interestingly enough, our guests — our guests were the ones that mentioned the fact that this was…
[Yup, O'Reilly lied there again]
ROGERS: But these gentlemen appear as cover boys in local gay magazines. They go to gay and lesbian organizations…
O’REILLY: OK, I’m not disputing the fact that they may be gay.
ROGERS: …they are out there as much as any judge
[At this point, I leaned over and grabbed a copy of The O'Reilly Factor transcript from a week prior to my appearance. In it, O'Reilly clearly outs the judge on TV...Again, it is O'Reilly, not one of his guests, who did the outing.]
O’REILLY: But let me just make my point, and then you can rebut. I’m not disputing the fact that they might be gay and that they might have the gay lifestyle. But you can be gay and be against gay marriage. See, that’s the thing.
ROGERS: But they’re not against gay marriage. They are in favor of it, and they’re hiding their sexual orientation, like Roy Cohn did when he worked for Senator Joe McCarthy. They’re hiding their sexual orientation on the job, and they’re turning around and hurting gay and lesbian people by the people that they work for.
O’REILLY: Well, how do you know that? How you you know… Maybe they sincerely believe that…
ROGERS: Does Kirk Fordham (name bleeped out on TV)… believe that gay marriage — and again, he’s completely out. These are people we’re talking about who have come out on their own in the press, so we’re not outing anybody on your show. But does the finance director of Mel Martinez’s (name bleeped out on TV) campaign owe it to his community to not run advertising that says gay marriage is equivalent to totalitarian rule under Cuba?
[Here, in the excitement of the moment, I mention Kirk Fordham, Finance Director for Mel Martinez Senate campaign in Florida. I did mention Kirk's name on the show after I agreed not to out anyone...It was an honest mistake and I apologized to O'Reilly immediately after the taping. He was fine with it. And Kirk, well...he was exposed in a cover story in the Washington Blade and, yup, still works for the homophobe]
O’REILLY: Look, I don’t buy into that. But maybe he believes it.
ROGERS: But that’s what’s happening.
O’REILLY: Well, but look…
ROGERS: And if they live an out gay life, we have the right to tell people that here is people in your community who are doing this.
O’REILLY: But I think that — I don’t think that you have the right to do it. I think it’s a sleazy tactic.
[In typical fasion, O'Reilly tried to shift gears from 'outing' to 'gay marriage.' I was ready and hit him with the base of our argument...the 'harboring enemies' line!]
ROGERS: What other community…
O’REILLY: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa — if you challenge somebody’s take on gay marriage, do it on a political, ethical level rather than a personal level.
ROGERS: What community is expected to harbor its enemies from within when a president is squarely aiming a constitutional amendment at it during an election campaign? It’s not about private lives. They are deciding to use sexual orientation as a weapon in the elections.
It has died in the Senate, yet the House wants to keep it alive, both parties.
O’REILLY: Because there are people, sincere Americans, who wish you no ill, all right,
ROGERS: We disagree with that
O’REILLY: who don’t believe that gay marriage is good for the United States. And some of those people are homosexual.
ROGERS: But the people in Massachusetts want to move forward.
O’REILLY: That’s not true. It’s a 50/50 split there.
ROGERS: So let them decide.
O’REILLY: Absolutely, I’m with you. Let them decide.
ROGERS: So what we’re saying is, simply put, if you’re going to be gay and lesbian and go to work every day for the biggest homophobes in the United States Congress, we’re going to expose that.
O’REILLY: It’s wrong.
ROGERS: Why is it wrong?
O’REILLY: Let me give you another analogy.
ROGERS: You did it to a judge. You did it yourself last week to a judge.
O’REILLY: I didn’t do anything.
[Ooops, Bill lied again here when he denied outing Magaret Sosman.]
ROGERS: Well, on your show it was done.
O’REILLY: Our guests — we have done many reports, and the guests that came on put it into the perspective that — we didn’t do anything. In fact, we have a call in to the judge, she can come on anytime, say anything she wants. If we got it wrong, we’re absolutely willing to have it. It wasn’t about that.
[Yup...He did it again... No guest on O'Reilly outed Sosman. O'Reilly did.]
ROGERS: I’ll say the same to any of these — I’ll say the same to the executive director of these organizations who are working against their own community by day…
O’REILLY: Oh, but your tactic is to make it a personal, and we say keep it political.
ROGERS: Listen, we don’t want it to be personal. They’re the ones who are attacking my family values.
O’REILLY: Don’t tell me you don’t want it to be personal when you’re actually threatening these people.
ROGERS: We want to drop the issue. We want to drop the issue, Mr. O’Reilly.
O’REILLY: No, you want them to surrender their opposition.
ROGERS: No, no, no, we don’t. We want people to realize that if you work for the enemy, you will be called on it.
O’REILLY: But they don’t have to be your enemy. All right…
ROGERS: They are.
O’REILLY: … Mr. Rogers, I appreciate your point of view. The Factor will be right back.