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O'Reilly: Rupert Murdoch Won't Let Me Debate George Clooney

Reported by Marie Therese - December 7, 2005

I thought our readers would get a kick out of this, even though it didn't occur on a FOX-related station, but on MSNBC. During a December 2nd interview on the Abrams Report, actor-director-activist George Clooney revealed that Bill O'Reilly has turned down several invitations to debate. Mr. O'Reilly, it would seem, is actually a coward and will not face Mr. Clooney, using as his excuse "Rupert Murdoch won't let me." That's right! He's blaming his boss, even though he has appeared on the Today Show, The Daily Show, the Tim Russert Show and others. Here's a transcript of the pertinent parts of the interview with Abrams. (A big thank you goes to Steve at www.oreilly-sucks.com for tipping us off to this story!)

ABRAMS:  What is with you and Bill O‘Reilly?  Really seems like Bill O‘Reilly gets under your skin and I see interviews with you...

CLOONEY:  (INAUDIBLE)

ABRAMS:  ... a third of them, Bill O‘Reilly‘s name is brought up. 

CLOONEY:  But I don‘t—you know I don‘t start by bringing up his name, you know usually.  It‘s usually—you know look, I just did a film about broadcast journalism and so everyone brought it up. 

ABRAMS:  But don‘t you sort of by taking him on, and you have in the past, don‘t you...

CLOONEY:  Make him more famous? 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... George Clooney is a pretty famous guy.

CLOONEY:  I never once after gone at him when he said things about me.  That wasn‘t the issue.  I‘ve gone at him when the people that I‘ve asked to stick their neck out, you know that work on a telethon, for instance, who did everything right, are suddenly being vilified by something that isn‘t true.  They‘re made-up facts.  It‘s then my job to defend them since I was the one who brought them in. 

ABRAMS:  Isn‘t that the bait—I mean isn‘t that the bait to get Clooney? 

CLOONEY:  Yes, but I don‘t go on his show.  He kept saying come on my show and debate the 9/11 issue, which of course he made up.  He made it up out of whole cloth.  He still to this day says you know we got it right and the Red Cross changed their ways.  We weren‘t the Red Cross.  We‘re the United Way.  I mean literally he gets the facts wrong. 

ABRAMS:  But he drives you nuts, doesn‘t he? 

CLOONEY:  Well he drives me nuts because it‘s irresponsible.  That‘s irresponsible and it hurt us because people canceled their checks you know during the telethon.  It makes a difference and it hurt us and it hurt the credibility of the United Way and it hurt who I‘m on the board of. 

So yes, those things got under my skin a little bit.  But, in general, you know I said if it‘s only because—why are you doing this?  Matt Lauer asks why are you doing this?  He goes because I want to—you know because I care about the people and he wanted me to debate him. 

And I said if it‘s just about caring about the people I‘ll debate you on any other show but yours, period.  I‘d debate him right here, right now...

ABRAMS:  Well I will let him know that he‘s invited...

CLOONEY:  And we‘ve had that conversation and he said I‘ll debate you on Charlie Rose and then we had a—you know he had a conversation with Charlie a couple of weeks ago and said Rupert Murdoch won‘t let me and I think well that‘s interesting because you can go on any other show and talk about your book or do anything else.

**********

ABRAMS: We called the O‘Reilly show and passed along the offer to have him debate on this program.  You know shocker (INAUDIBLE) going to happen. 

COMMENT

Wonder when Bill will come out from underneath his desk and agree to a face-off with Clooney?

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