The O’Reilly Factor’s Bill O’Reilly Interviews Lisa On Sarah Palin

On June 15, 2010, Bill O’Reilly, host of the “O’Reilly Factor,” interviewed Lisa about her Newsweek cover story on Sarah Palin.

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Here’s the transcript (courtesy of

Is Newsweek’s ‘Saint Sarah’ Cover Story Mocking or Praising Palin?

BILL O’REILLY, HOST: In the “Personal Story” segment tonight: The Newsweek magazine cover story this week is entitled “Saint Sarah: What Palin’s Appeal to Conservative Christian Women Says About Feminism and the Future of the Religious Right.” The question is: Is the piece a slam or a compliment?

Here now, the journalist who wrote the story, Lisa Miller. You know, she doesn’t like it very much. Did you hear the comment?

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LISA MILLER, NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE: I heard that she hadn’t quite seen it.

O’REILLY: Yes, I don’t know whether she saw it or not, but she doesn’t like it. You know, I don’t know. And I didn’t think it was a bad article. It’s not a slam. You didn’t write a slam.

MILLER: No. That wasn’t my intention.

O’REILLY: But there are some passages in here that I think are a little dubious. I’m going to read them to you. Your own words. And then you can tell me what you had in mind.


O’REILLY: First of all, feminism, the subject is feminism. “Palin has been antagonizing women on the left of late by describing herself as a feminist, a word she uses to mean the righteous mama bear anger that wells up when one of her children is attacked in the press or her values are brought into question.” Why would she be antagonizing women on the left by using the word feminist? I mean, why?

MILLER: Well, because old school traditional feminists…


MILLER: …think that there is a certain agenda that goes along with feminism.

O’REILLY: But there isn’t.

MILLER: Well, they say there is.

O’REILLY: And you buy that?

MILLER: And she doesn’t comply with that. So she’s calling herself a feminist, but it doesn’t jive with the traditional definition of feminism.

O’REILLY: OK, but no, no, you’re using the word traditional. I’m using the word — they have co-opted, they being a far left, you know, militant feminist. They say that they own the word. I don’t believe that. I think there are a lot of feminists in the conservative ranks. But your magazine and you have been antagonizing women on the left by describing yourself as a feminist. Sarah Palin is — absolutely has the right to describe herself as anything she wants.

MILLER: I completely agree with you actually.

O’REILLY: Well, why didn’t you say that? I mean…

MILLER: Well, because she’s been antagonizing women on the left, and she has been.

O’REILLY: But just by saying that she’s a feminist antagonizes somebody?

MILLER: Right. So I’m just reporting what I see. And so, she’s not antagonizing me.

O’REILLY: OK, that’s good to hear, because I don’t think she’s antagonizing anybody. They just take it that way.

MILLER: I agree that people who want to call themselves feminists can be feminists.

O’REILLY: Yes, I mean, they don’t own the label. They being the far-left Eve Ensler people.

OK, “The women who do follow Palin” — these are the conservative women and I think you’re right there: mostly conservative women do follow her – “the women who follow Palin will fight against Roe” — that’s Roe v. Wade – “and support adoption and prenatal health clinics. But they aren’t generally focused on birth control, sex education, or gender discrimination. They shrug at the agonies of the overeducated moms, who feel forced to choose between work and family. No one had to do that on the farm. And they refute the idea that to succeed in the world, a woman must look and act like a man.”

See, again, you’re coming at it from a — I don’t know any conservative women who shrug at the agonies of overeducated moms who feel forced to choose. I don’t know anybody who does that.

MILLER: I think that there’s a very powerful — that Sarah Palin is actually conveying a very powerful message, which is there’s a lot of kind of whining on the fringes of the left. And she’s saying, look, we don’t have to choose. We can be powerful working women, and be wives, and be mothers, and take our children, you know, put our children first, and make money, and be visible in the world all at the same time. And I think that’s a message that a lot of women, especially conservative Christian women, want to hear.

O’REILLY: Right, right.


O’REILLY: So when you say they shrug at the agonies of the overeducated moms, come on, I mean, there’s never been a time in America that women have had more opportunity to do whatever they want to do.

MILLER: I completely — I absolutely agree with you.

O’REILLY: So how can anyone be shrugging at agonies when the agonies don’t exist?

MILLER: I think there’s a false perception out there that, you know, you either have to…

O’REILLY: Then you shouldn’t — with all due respect, you should have said they shrug at the false agonies. See, look, this is — you’re a good writer. And this is a fair article. I’m not going to read you anymore. This is a fair article.

MILLER: Thank you.

O’REILLY: You’re a good writer.

MILLER: Thank you.

O’REILLY: But you do come at it from that urban doctrinaire left wing, because Sarah Palin is a conservative, she must be really trying to really nail those people.

MILLER: No, with all due respect.

O’REILLY: Her message is unique.

MILLER: With all due respect, I’m trying to explain to people that what Sarah Palin is offering conservative, Bible-believing women is something very, very powerful. And if they don’t understand it and take it seriously, they’re overlooking a very powerful part of this country.

O’REILLY: Why wouldn’t you offer the same advice to independent women and liberal women? Not far left kooks, you’re never going to get them. But why target the conservative women?

MILLER: I’m not targeting…

O’REILLY: Palin’s message resonates in independent and liberal precincts, some of her messages.

MILLER: I completely agree with you, and I think one of the things that’s so appealing about her is that she has this universal female message, and that, you know, the left overlooks it to its own peril.

O’REILLY: All right. Thank you for coming in, Ms. Miller.

MILLER: I’m very, very happy to be here.

O’REILLY: We appreciate it.