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Bill Moyers Takes on Fox News Producer Sent by Bill O'Reilly to Media Reform Conference

June 09, 2008

Before the National Conference for Media Reform began, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News attacked it on the air as a gathering of "crazy" people. O’Reilly also sent a producer to confront Moyers in what became an animated confrontation. [includes rush transcript]


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Before the conference began, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News attacked the conference and one of its other participants, Dan Rather, on the air.

    BILL O’REILLY: Dan Rather is going to be in Minneapolis this weekend with the furthest-left people in the face of America. Bernie, you know him. This just reinforces what you’ve said for decades. Dan is out of the closet. You’ve got twenty seconds to say whatever you want.

    BERNIE GOLDBERG: I’ll do it in ten. A lot of people have said he was never in the closet. That was five.

    BILL O’REILLY: Alright, we’re going to show everybody on Monday. And I’ve got to tell you, these people are crazy — crazy! — that he’s hanging with. He’s not hanging with you, Jane, and your little white wine people. He’s hanging with real nuts!

    JANE HALL: No, but Bill — Bill, this is a group about media consolidation. This isn’t really a political —

    BILL O’REILLY: Jane, wait. We’re going to show you how crazy they are.

AMY GOODMAN: Bill O’Reilly sent his producer, Porter Barry, to confront Bill Moyers and Dan Rather. He didn’t catch Dan Rather, but he ambushed Bill Moyers just after his speech.

    PORTER BARRY: Tell you what, here’s a great idea. Next time there’s one of these left-wing conferences, you can stay in New York, you can come on with Bill, and you can help out the environment, because you won’t have to fly all the way to Minneapolis. You guys can chat about all of this stuff. Actually, a few people will see it.

    BILL MOYERS: You don’t have the courage to ask Rupert Murdoch, when are we going to get $20-a-barrel oil —-

    PORTER BARRY: I’m inviting you to come on and talk to Bill about that.

    BILL MOYERS: —- that he said was the purpose of the — no, no, no. When —- you’re evading my question. That’s not going to show up -—

    PORTER BARRY: I’m not — I don’t speak for Rupert Murdoch.

    BILL MOYERS: Yes, you do. Everybody —-

    PORTER BARRY: Of course, I don’t.

    BILL MOYERS: There’s one mindset in the Murdoch empire. And when Rupert Murdoch turned the dogs of war loose in the part of his -—

    PORTER BARRY: Why don’t you come talk to Bill about it?

    BILL MOYERS: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute — to support the Iraq war, Rupert Murdoch said the best thing that will come out of the Iraq war will be gasoline at $20 a barrel. Now, today, when I came here, I looked, and it was $130-something. When is Rupert going to explain why the war didn’t give us $20-a-barrel oil?

    PORTER BARRY: How many times do you want me to invite you to come onto our program and talk about it?

    BILL MOYERS: How many — well, I’m —-

    PORTER BARRY: You’re preaching to the choir here. You’ve got all of your minions.

    BILL MOYERS: You’re the choir?

    PORTER BARRY: No, I’m not the choir.


    PORTER BARRY: No, I’m hear to talk -— you’ve got to have a little balance here.

    BILL MOYERS: By the way, the last —-

    PORTER BARRY: You’ve got to have somebody to challenge you over this.

    BILL MOYERS: The last time you ambushed me, I asked you when was Bill going to come and talk to us about his sex scandal.

    PORTER BARRY: I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s why -— that’s why — I have no idea what you’re talking about. That’s not true. You and I had a nice conversation in Washington, D.C. It was perfectly polite.

    BILL MOYERS: No, no. No, no.

    PORTER BARRY: And you tried to — you tried to —-

    BILL MOYERS: No, no. And I said to one of your colleagues, I want to -—


    BILL MOYERS: When is Bill going to come and talk —-

    PORTER BARRY: You and I had a nice conversation, and we played the whole thing on the air. Don’t -— don’t — don’t spin, Mr. Moyers. Come on. Don’t do that.

    BILL MOYERS: Hey there, how are you, Bob? No, when is Rupert Murdoch going to explain that we’re going to get $20-a-barrel oil from the war he helped to enable?

    PORTER BARRY: Mr. Moyers —-

    BILL MOYERS: When? You represent a media empire that has one mentality, and so don’t tell me you don’t speak for Rupert Murdoch. Everybody at Fox carries out Rupert Murdoch’s instruction.

    PORTER BARRY: Mr. Moyers, I am here to see what you’re doing in and around at this conference -—

    BILL MOYERS: And Rupert Murdoch said that before —-

    PORTER BARRY: And if you’d like to talk to Bill about that, why don’t you come on and talk to him about it?

    BILL MOYERS: —- before – before 4,000 American soldiers died, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, a country wrecked and ruined, and the cost adding up to billions of dollars, Rupert Murdoch said the best thing that will come from this war is oil at $20 a barrel. Now, when are you going to ask him? When? You work for him. You do a news show. Don’t you ever don’t you ever want to do news about Rupert Murdoch? Ask Rupert Murdoch, when are we going to get —

AMY GOODMAN: That was an excerpt of Bill Moyers being confronted by Fox’s —- The O’Reilly Factor’s producer Porter Barry. We’re going to go back to that right now.

    BILL MOYERS: —- news about Rupert Murdoch? Ask Rupert Murdoch, when are we going to get the $20-a-barrel oil that he said would come from the war in Iraq?

    PORTER BARRY: Mr. Moyers, you’ve made that point, like fifteen times. Do you want to come on and talk to Bill about it? Do you want — here is your golden opportunity —-

    BILL MOYERS: When Rupert Murdoch -—

    PORTER BARRY: — to address this issue.

    BILL MOYERS: When Rupert Murdoch —-

    PORTER BARRY: Why don’t you come on and talk to O’Reilly about it?

    BILL MOYERS: When Rupert Murdoch goes on O’Reilly and explains when are we going to get the $20-a-barrel oil that Rupert Murdoch promised.

    PORTER BARRY: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Moyers. This isn’t about Mr. Moyers.

    BILL MOYERS: You don’t know?

    PORTER BARRY: I mean, it’s not about Mr. Murdoch.

    BILL MOYERS: It is. No, no.

    PORTER BARRY: This is about you coming on and talking to O’Reilly.

    BILL MOYERS: No, I said -— I said —-

    PORTER BARRY: You come, you preach to the choir, you send all of -— I mean, you’ve got a whole crowd here —-

    BILL MOYERS: Let me hear you say -—

    PORTER BARRY: You’ve got your 3,000 people who come here. Why don’t you come onto O’Reilly’s show? You can address this issue, and instead of —-

    BILL MOYERS: No, no, no. Bill O’Reilly -—

    PORTER BARRY: — fifteen people here, a couple thousand people in an auditorium, there’ll be an audience.

    BILL MOYERS: Bill O’Reilly should ask Rupert Murdoch on his show why Rupert Murdoch said we’d get $20-a-barrel oil from the war in Iraq.

    PORTER BARRY: I got it. I got it.

    BILL MOYERS: Now, wait a minute — you got it? OK, you call me and tell me what the answer is. You go back and talk —-

    PORTER BARRY: No, no, no. What you -—

    BILL MOYERS: You go back and —-

    PORTER BARRY: Why don’t you come on and talk to Bill about it? It’ll be great.

    BILL MOYERS: You go back -— because I can’t speak to Rupert Murdoch. You can.

    PORTER BARRY: I don’t speak for Rupert Murdoch.

    BILL MOYERS: What are you doing here, then?

    PORTER BARRY: You know, I mean, Come on! I work on The O’Reilly Factor. You know that.

    BILL MOYERS: And you know who he works for, don’t you?

    PORTER BARRY: You work for PBS.

    BILL MOYERS: No, no.

    PORTER BARRY: Do you speak to President Bush?

    BILL MOYERS: No, I don’t work —-

    PORTER BARRY: I mean, I don’t understand your point.

    BILL MOYERS: I don’t work for PBS. Wait a minute, I don’t work for PBS. I’m an independent journalist.

    PORTER BARRY: Right, who works on PBS.

    BILL MOYERS: I produce -—

    PORTER BARRY: Right.

    BILL MOYERS: — but I don’t work for PBS.

    PORTER BARRY: You don’t work for PB— OK.

    BILL MOYERS: Wait a minute. Does Bill O’Reilly work for Rupert Murdoch?

    PORTER BARRY: He works for Fox News.

    BILL MOYERS: But who owns Fox News?

    PORTER BARRY: News Corp.

    BILL MOYERS: And then, who owns News Corp.?

    PORTER BARRY: It’s a publicly —-

    BILL MOYERS: Oh, come on, now. Don’t play games. Who owns it? When do you stop?

    PORTER BARRY: It’s the shareholders, and Rupert Murdoch’s the boss.

    BILL MOYERS: Oh, great. Thank you.

    PORTER BARRY: Listen, I’m not here for News Corp. I understand that.

    BILL MOYERS: Rupert Murdoch is the boss. Rupert Murdoch turned the dogs of war loose in the corridors -—

AMY GOODMAN: Bill Moyers, taking on The O’Reilly Factor.

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