O’Reilly Factor Transcript
July 8, 2010, O'Reilly Interview with CivilityProject.org Co-Founder
Bill O'Reilly - Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor
View a YouTube clip of the interview here.
O'REILLY: Now, things are so intense that the Democratic Congressional Committee is telling people—actually telling people—to get dirt on Republicans pretty much any way they can: ambushing them in the street or tapping into their whatever. Come on.
Joining us now from Washington, Lanny Davis, former counsel to President Clinton.
Now, Lanny, you actually sent out some kind of dopey pledge thing to politicians to sign, promising to be civil in their political discourse? Is that what you did?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: I don't think you mean dopey. I think you mean some people think it's dopey.
O'REILLY: Well, were you—was it attached to you? Did you make it up, this…
DAVIS: Mark DeMoss, who is a Republican conservative, and I, a liberal Democrat.
O'REILLY: So you had a part in this—in this pledge? You actually had a part in it?
DAVIS: Together sent out a letter to every member of Congress and every governor—that's 585 people—asking them to simply agree to a civility pledge, meaning, in politics you can disagree civilly. And we have a Web site at CivilityProject.org. We got back one response…
O'REILLY: One response.
DAVIS: ... from Congressman Frank Wolf.
O'REILLY: One out of 538.
DAVIS: Another—85, including 50 governors. And one governor, David Paterson, sent us a boilerplate letter saying, "I will be happy to consider your request."
O'REILLY: Wait, you're confusing me. So you sent out about 580 of these things. One guy…
O'REILLY: ... some congressman said.
DAVIS: Frank Wolf of Virginia.
O'REILLY: So apparently, I'm not the only one who thought it was dopey.
DAVIS: Frank Wolf of Virginia.
O'REILLY: I'm not the only one who thought it was dopey.
DAVIS: Well, I think that staff probably threw this away and most of the members, I doubt, ever saw it. Tells you a lot that staff finds it boring. And I hope you really don't find it dopey to ask people to be civil in politics.
O'REILLY: No, I don't. But here's the deal.
DAVIS: That is—that is the point.
O'REILLY: OK, but I always put myself in the shoes of who I'm talking about. Now, if I got a thing from Lanny Davis that said, "Please sign a pledge that you'll be civil in my campaign," the reason I would not sign it is because my opponent may be cutting my heart out and throwing dirt at me all day long. And then I have little Lanny's pledge saying I can't fight back.
But that—be that as it may, your intentions are noble, but they're so naive. They're so naive. All you got to do is look at the Internet. All you've got to do is look at what's going on in this country and see how dirty and nasty it is on both sides. And it's never going to change. It's going to get worse, Lanny.
DAVIS: Let me tell you how it changes. Mark DeMoss, a man of the right, and I'm a person of the left, both believe that you can fight back. You can strongly disagree with the nasty tactics of opposition research at the DNC, which I disagree with, or what happened on that camera shot.
But you fight back on the issues. And then you say to your opponent, "Now I want you to sign this civility pledge," and then that becomes an issue in the campaign.
O'REILLY: I guess you could do that.
DAVIS: I'm telling you, Bill, people are responding who are not politicians to this idea.
O'REILLY: But Lanny…
DAVIS: Politicians you have to embarrass into responding.
O'REILLY: If you send this civility thing to me and I sign it, I'm off the air, Lanny. "The Factor" would dissolve, because some people think that I'm not civil.
DAVIS: No, "The Factor" actually lets people like me disagree, and we do it civilly, Bill. And that's why, when you interviewed Senator Clinton during the campaign, it was one of the best interviews I ever saw.
O'REILLY: Thank you.
DAVIS: Because you allowed her to disagree, and you had a respectful discussion.
O'REILLY: But what about Barney Frank when I called him a coward? I mean, and he was a coward on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
DAVIS: You shouldn't have used an adjective. You should have just said, "I disagree with you, Congressman."
O'REILLY: But he was lying to my audience, Lanny. He was lying through his teeth. You know it. Everybody knows it.
DAVIS: I am not encouraging people like you not to use the word "lie" but to simply say, "You made a false statement. I'd like to you correct the record."
O'REILLY: All right.
DAVIS: And that's the way we're going to get better discourse in this country.
O'REILLY: I guess I could have done that. All right. But I'm so immature that I just don't think I could ever live up to your civility thing. But I—I applaud your noble intention, because I do think it's just totally out of control. I'll give you the last word on that.
DAVIS: All right. We both agree, thanks.
O'REILLY: All right. Thanks for coming on. We appreciate it.
When we come right back, vampires running wild in America. No civility there. And some teenagers may be overdoing this vampire thing. Also condoms for kids, an update from Massachusetts. The "Culture Warriors" are next.
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