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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bill O’Reilly on Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

Bruce Springsteen's latest album Magic has generated a great deal of controversy over some of its anti-war themes. This does seem familiar given what Neil Young went through last year with his Living With War album.

Springsteen recently gave an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes saying "Silence is unpatriotic" and answering critics who say his new anti-war album is unpatriotic.

Now comes FOX News' The O’Reilly Factor with right-wing hate monger Bill O’Reilly on October 8, 2007. Stick with this transcript as Neil and Bruce intersect in a bizarre fashion.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight: rocker Bruce Springsteen also believes the U.S. is torturing people.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MUSICIAN: We've seen things that have happened over the past six years that I did not think anybody ever thought they'd ever see in the United States. When people think of the American identity, they don't think of torture. They don't think of illegal wiretapping. They don't think of voter suppression. They don't think of no habeas corpus, no right to a lawyer, you know.


O'REILLY: Yes, I don't know Mr. Springsteen, but I'd like him to back up his statements at least. So I've offered to donate $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity if Mr. Springsteen enters the no spin zone. We are not expecting a positive response from him.

But joining us now from Austin, Texas is another outspoken entertainer, Kinky Friedman, the author of the brand new book "You Can Lead a Politician to Water, but You Can't Make Him Think." Could you throw in you could lead a politician to water and an entertainer, but you can't make them think?

KINKY FRIEDMAN, MUSICIAN AND AUTHOR: Well, Bill, Bill, Bill, let me — as far as Bruce is concerned, you know, I mean, I've met the guy on one occasion and I think it was in '75 or something. And I was at that time touring with Bob Dylan. And I was flying on 11 different kinds of herbs and spices I guess.

And I refused to shake hands with him for some reason. And I got seven years of bad luck following that. So I'd like to make it up to Bruce.

I have to tell you, Bill, we should distinguish when you talk about celebrities and musicians that write their own words and music and have been, you know, veteran souls for decades that have been speaking to people. I think Bruce is a thoughtful man. And what he has to say is important. And — I mean, not that he's right on target, but he's not a diva. He's not a Justin Timberlake or a Barbra Streisand.

O'REILLY: No, but he is been consistently liberal and has been for decades, which is fine. I don't mind that.

But you know, you know, you put yourself in a position, and I want your opinion on this, of Springsteen using his music and his talent to try to persuade people that his view of the world is right.

And that can be dangerous, Mr. Friedman, as I just said, in the War on Terror. You know, Mr. Springsteen objects to almost every anti-terror measure put in place since 9/11. Almost every single one. Yet, he won't come into a forum like this and answer any questions about it. I think that's irresponsible.

But I also think that Bruce Springsteen and others like him have an effect on how 18 to 35 year-old Americans, that age group primarily...


O'REILLY: ...think about their country and actually vote. Am I wrong?

FRIEDMAN: No, you're not. I mean, but art — I think Bob Dylan said that art should not reflect a culture, it should subvert it. And Bruce, you've got to hand one thing to a guy like that. And I would put Neil Young in there and a whole host of musicians that inspire people, Bill.

And if I make this a Talmudic question, I'd ask you what living politician inspires you? I mean, present company excluded. Tell me...

O'REILLY: Look, you're right about the charisma. And you're right about the talent that these men have. And that's why I'm doing this story, Mr. Friedman.

The power that they have, and a lot of viewers don't understand this. They say why do we care what Bruce Springsteen says? Why do we care what Neil Young says?

And the reason is because these men command, in an age group that votes, a lot of influence. Much more influence than the Speaker of the House, the president of the Senate, or anybody else.

And I say if Bruce Springsteen wants to undermine anti-terror measures, he has a responsibility to come in here and other places and explain it. Not just to do "drive by' stuff.

O'Reilly demonstrates his ignorance of rock fans as voters by saying that Springsteen and Young have more influence than "anybody else". This picture of blind allegiance plays to the worst of caricatures and stereotypes.

We can definitely say that we're not taking our voting cues from rock stars but from what we feel is right in our own heart.

And, actually, Bruce we hope that you don't take O'Reilly up on his offer to appear on his program. It's beneath you and not worth your time.

More on Bruce and Neil.


At 10/11/2007 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Calling someone a “right-wing hate monger” is a very strong statement. It is rhetoric like this that is polarizing our country and making our politicians more partisan each day.

While Mr. O’Reilly is conservative, I have never heard him say anything that comes close to being hateful. He uses logic, and like Neil, he has zero tolerance for bullshit and calls people on it when he hears it. This goes for both conservatives and liberals. I am not asking you to agree with what the man says, god knows I don’t. All I am asking is for you to be a little more careful with the words you use, as this type of language does more harm than good.

Dayton Dave

At 10/11/2007 02:56:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Dayton Dave:
Thanks for the comment. The phrase “right-wing hate monger” for O'Reilly is a somewhat common label for someone who engages in the type of speech cited below.

See Bill O'Reilly - Media Matters:

* Ignoring controversy over previous remarks, O'Reilly now says kidnapping victims "have been through enough" This article has video.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 6:04PM
* O'Reilly: "[I]f I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed ... I would -- but I can't." This article has audio.
Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:04PM
* Wash. Post's Robinson on O'Reilly: "[I]t was, at best, a casually racist remark" This article has video.
Thursday, September 27, 2007 12:12AM
* O'Reilly to African-Americans: "The far left is using you here" This article has audio.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 7:12PM
* O'Reilly: "[B]ecause people of color are being slaughtered and harmed in Darfur, the left is on the bandwagon" This article has audio.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 4:08PM
* Sylvia's family spokesperson reportedly found O'Reilly comments "offensive to the black culture" This article has video.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 1:31PM
# O'Reilly surprised "there was no difference" between Harlem restaurant and other New York restaurants This article has audio.
Friday, September 21, 2007 2:24PM
# Beck said he "enjoy[s] watching" Taser videos; O'Reilly rolled out "Don't Taze me, bro!" bumper stickers This article has video.
Thursday, September 20, 2007 2:10PM
# O'Reilly: Tasered UF student "biggest wimp in the United States of America" This article has video.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:08PM
# O'Reilly: Middle Easterners just want to eat, smoke, "go to the mosques," and "sit around," but U.S. should stay in Iraq another year This article has video.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:49PM
# O'Reilly named "Worst Person" over Media Matters "assassins" remarks This article has video.
Friday, September 7, 2007 2:03PM

At 10/11/2007 03:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10/11/2007 05:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that this was his top story should tell you something.

At 10/11/2007 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Reilly is just trying to capitalize on any scrap of publicity he can find. Springsteen is promoting a record and touring, so O'Reilly tries to jump into the parade.

I'm so sick of these sophist blowhards, starting with Bush. Hmm, except a sophist makes false but clever arguments. W just makes redundant assertions. So he doesn't count. And he isn't really a blowhard. He just sucks.


At 10/11/2007 05:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Bruce. Thanks for speaking the truth!

At 10/11/2007 06:48:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Calling Bruce a coward for not coming on HIS SHOW like Bruce has some kind of responsibility to him or that his show is like the be-all, end-all political forum is just so ludicrous.

At 10/11/2007 07:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a hate monger?? what the hell is wrong with you? How can people be so ignorant? Why don't you check out what some of your probable heroes like Michael Moore or that hate monger Olbermann (you know, the guy who thinks a Nazi salute is funny) have to say?

At 10/11/2007 08:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's innarestin' that some are focusing more on the characterization of O'Reilly rather than the substance of what Bruce says and his influence.

very curious.

At 10/11/2007 09:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the substance of what Bruce says" is pretty sustantial:

"We've seen things that have happened over the past six years that I did not think anybody ever thought they'd ever see in the United States. When people think of the American identity, they don't think of torture. They don't think of illegal wiretapping. They don't think of voter suppression. They don't think of no habeas corpus, no right to a lawyer, you know."


At 10/12/2007 07:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, a left wing looney mentally deficient socialist scumbag shows his belief in freedom of speech when he labels someone with whom he disagrees as a "hate monger". Nice going jerk.

Once again, you've shown that liberalism is truly a mental disorder, to say nothing of the dishonesty and hypocrisy of those who have the courage to label themselves as such. Many are too cowardly to do so.

At 10/12/2007 07:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Springteen and Substance? Please. Your all so foolish. Media Matters is a far left-wing, anti-American org. that is funded by Hillary.

You Libs are so misguided-I mean your lost in the fog of dope and reality. It's just a hippie dream.

At 10/12/2007 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, screeds peppered with name calling and misspellings really say a lot about the basic intelligence of the posters. Nice.


ps- tip of the day- the correct contraction of "you are", as in "you are lost" is "you're", not "your". examples: Its your mistake. You're ignorant.

At 10/12/2007 01:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ignorant to think entertainers don't wield massive influence? Wow. I think your statement is made out of hate as I've been reading your site long enough to know that you aren't stupid.

At 10/12/2007 02:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As that right wing hate machine Ann Coulter might say; Bill O'Reilly is just an unperfected thinking man.

At 10/12/2007 04:00:00 PM, Blogger Mark Kardwell said...

Sprinsteen should go on this creep's show in order to ram a Telecaster up his ass sideways.

At 10/12/2007 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...

What a weird coincidence that the intelligence level of this conversation goes up dramatically if you skip the people who, for whatever reason, refuse to attach their own name, or handle, to what they write! :)

At 10/13/2007 06:54:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

These posts are hurting my brain. Oh god make it stop

At 10/13/2007 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All politicking aside, Kinky Friedman is a man among men. Kinky Friedman for President! (I guess I din't put all politics aside)

At 10/13/2007 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Thrasher -- looks like the site will never get away from the dogma and the rhetoric of dissent.

Can we get back to what's really important?

Where is the set list?????

At 10/15/2007 12:00:00 AM, Blogger heywally said...


Chords scales notes. Melody.

At 12/07/2007 04:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce Springsteen is the most talented entertainer to come along in ages and will live for years to come. If you have never seen his shows with the E streeters then you have not seen rock and roll at its bare bones best. His political thinking is just leftwing socialist failed policies of the past so he needs to just play. He does have a duty to explain himself to someone who will challenge him and that is not CBS NBC ABC CNN New York Times PMSNBC or all the other leftist orginizations including our educational system. When one of his mentors in forming is political views is Noam Chomsky the american hating leftist from MIT then that tells you where Bruce is coming from but does not take away his supreme talent with a guitar and a pen.


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