During the December 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly questioned the decision by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards to have actor/director Tim Robbins travel with him on the campaign trail, saying," Tim Robbins is such a radical guy. Why would John Edwards use him? I don't get it." He then played an excerpt from Robbins' December 12 speech in Iowa City, Iowa, in which Robbins said, “What if, instead of 24/7 coverage of the most recent pop star's fall from grace, we were to see 24/7 reporting of veterans returning from Iraq?” In response, Fox News contributor Jane Hall said Robbins' “criticism of the media ... is valid,” to which O'Reilly replied: “But Von Ribbentrop in the Nazi hierarchy made valid points, Jane.”
Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop was indicted for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. Ribbentrop was found guilty on all counts and executed. The tribunal found that Ribbentrop had “participated in aggressive plans against Czechoslovakia” ; “played a particularly significant role in the diplomatic activity which led up to the attack on Poland” ; was aware of or helped plan attacks against other countries, “urged the Italians to put into effect a ruthless occupation policy in Yugoslavia and Greece,” and “played an important part in Hitler's 'final solution' of the Jewish question.” The tribunal concluded that Ribbentrop “was in sympathy with all the main tenets of the National Socialist creed.” O'Reilly did not cite any “valid points” made by Ribbentrop.
From the December 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Now, John Edwards, you -- I can't -- you know, this is just unbelievable. Tim Robbins is such a radical guy. Why would John Edwards use him? I don't get it. Let's roll the tape.
ROBBINS [video clip]: What if, instead of 24/7 coverage of the most recent pop star's fall from grace, we were to see 24/7 reporting of veterans returning from Iraq? What they feel about occupying a country and being caught in the crossfire of a civil war.
O'REILLY: What do you think, Jane? I mean, he's so radical, Robbins. And does Edwards think he's going to get cred? I mean, he might get a little bit in Iowa, but, boy, oh boy, you know, outside of that, Robbins is looked upon as an alien by most Americans.
HALL: Well, you know, he's known for his strong antiwar stance, and he was cheered by that audience, but I think he's a mixed bag. I mean, you know, Oprah Winfrey is not a mixed bag.
HALL: You can be all over the spectrum and still come out. And Obama getting her endorsement means something.
I think that Robbins is a mixed bag. I mean, if I were his advisers, I would say, if there's someone that's better known, frankly, and also known to appeal to a wider spectrum than this actor.
O'REILLY: What do you think, Bernie?
BERNARD GOLDBERG (Fox News contributor): As you might imagine, I'm not a fan of Tim Robbins' politics, but he is a bright guy, and I think he made a couple of good points.
As to your specific question about whether it's a good idea for Edwards to have him campaigning for him, you and I, Bill, think that Tim Robbins is playing deep left field, but to antiwar Democrats in Iowa, Tim Robbins is as mainstream as Mom's apple pie. So, I think -- I think in Iowa --
O'REILLY: But he's already got that. He's already got that, Bernie. I mean, Edwards has got the far-left vote. I mean, Hillary doesn't have it, because she's equivocated on the Iraq war. Obama, you know, hasn't really cut himself an image in Iowa; and Edwards has been there, I think, for 17 years in Iowa.
HALL: But, you know --
O'REILLY: So, he's got that already.
HALL: One thing I just wanted to say that they've --
GOLDBERG: But the celebrities can bring --
O'REILLY: Go ahead, Bernie.
HALL: One think that I think -- his criticism of the media, which was also part of what he said, I think is valid. They have decided this is a Hillary-Obama race, and he's having a hard time getting traction.
O'REILLY: But Von Ribbentrop in the Nazi hierarchy made valid points, Jane. It's a matter of image. It's a matter of image, and if Edwards wants to run in the Tim Robbins zone, he's crazy.
GOLDBERG: Hey, Bill, I don't think Edwards, if he ever got the nomination -- which isn't going to happen -- but I don't think he'd want Tim Robbins all over the place in a general election.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but he can't go away.
GOLDBERG: But in a primary election --
O'REILLY: He can't get away from him.
GOLDBERG: -- in a place like Iowa --
O'REILLY: Can't get away from him.