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Bill O'Reilly
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The O'Reilly Factor
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
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Sen. Edward Kennedy dies
"Ted Kennedy was a dominant force in American politics, but also a very controversial one. His legacy breaks down along ideological lines - liberal Americans revere him; conservatives, generally speaking, thought he was misguided and sometimes worse. Unfortunately, there have been some vicious postings on the Internet about Senator Kennedy and they are disgraceful. The Bible states quite clearly that personal judgment should be made by God and God alone. All of us are flawed and none of us has the right to demean a public servant who has just died. What is legitimate is an honest look at Senator Kennedy's record. There's no question that the Chappaquiddick incident haunted the Senator throughout his life. On the other hand, Kennedy was responsible for some excellent legislation. He was, of course, a liberal and proud of it. Talking Points believes the Senator was well intentioned in public policy, but made a singular mistake that liberals often make - he did not apply discipline to his programs. But like him or not, he was a patriot who was well thought of even by some conservatives. I said a prayer today for Senator Kennedy and his family, and it was sincere."

The Factor asked political strategist Dick Morris to delineate the best and worst points of Senator Kennedy's long political career. "I think the best," Morris said, "was the 'No Child Left Behind' legislation because it changed the construct of education to applying standards and discipline that has begun to revolutionize education. He also worked on legislation so when you switch jobs you don't lose your health insurance." Morris then listed what he considers the least effective aspects of Senator Kennedy's legacy. "In 1980 he had a horribly ill-considered race for the presidency - he had no reason for running, no theme. He also voted against the first Gulf War, which was kind of a statement that he would never be for anything that would involve the international rule of law. And the third thing was his opposition to welfare reform, which cut welfare roles in half and cut child poverty."

Geraldo Rivera, who first met Ted Kennedy in 1973, entered the No Spin Zone with some personal recollections of the late Senator. "I loved the guy," Rivera declared. "We shared what was the biggest issue of my life, the institutionalization of the mentally retarded. Teddy helped create the Special Olympics and really was a prime advocate for these people. He was a mentor to me in that regard, helping me to tell the story of people whose story had never been told. Ted Kennedy was a giant who really epitomized the compassionate activist, and he meant a lot to me."
Laura Ingraham on Kennedy
Talk show host and Fox News contributor Lauga Ingraham provided a conservative assessment of Senator Kennedy. "For me as a young Reaganite," Ingraham said, "Ted Kennedy defined what we stood against. When Reagan was for cutting taxes, Kennedy was for higher taxes. When Reagan was for taking a tougher stance with the Soviets, Ted Kennedy was for nuclear disarmament. He stood far to the left of his own party and where the country was moving in the early 1980's." But Ingraham also praised Kennedy's ideological tenacity. "Conservatives can take a lesson from Kennedy. He was not a big compromiser - he fought for left-wing ideas and stood behind liberal values." The Factor added that Ted Kennedy was politically far to the left of his older brothers. "He was a wealthy child of privilege who was born into a fabled family. He took up the mantle and moved the Kennedy legacy to the left. John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were not nearly as liberal."
Leon Panetta outraged by special investigation
CIA boss Leon Panetta was reportedly incensed when he learned of Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate the agency's interrogation tactics. The Factor was joined by ABC News correspondent Brian Ross, who has been investigating the alleged conflict. "People at the CIA say it is not unusual," Ross reported, "to have a profanity-laced screaming match at the White House with certain key officials. Leon Panetta has run into frustrations with people in the White House, and he has positioned himself as a defender of the CIA so that officers at the CIA continue to do their job. We were told by sources that Panetta threatened to quit." The Factor praised the CIA director as an upright and dedicated public servant. "Leon Panetta is a very nice, quite, civilized guy. He's sticking up for his team, he doesn't want a witch hunt, he doesn't want morale to collapse."
Glenn Beck under fire... again
Some left-wing organizations are trying to pressure advertisers to boycott Glenn Beck's FNC program. Beck claimed the campaign against him is partly due to his continued criticism of an Obama advisor named Van Jones. "This guy is our new 'green jobs' czar," Beck said, "and he is a self-proclaimed communist revolutionary. He is one of the founders of a radical group in San Francisco that wants an overthrow of the American system, and he is now in the White House as a special advisor. The White House says he is only focused on one very narrow area, green jobs." Turning to the late Ted Kennedy, Beck complimented the Senator for sticking to his principles. "He stood up and never flinched on what he believed in. Americans need to stand up and, without flinching, be lions. I didn't agree with anything he said, but I admired him for that."
Author of Kennedy book in the No Spin Zone
Finally, The Factor asked Ed Klein, author of a best-selling book about Ted Kennedy, what he discovered bout the Senator. "There was a tremendous similarity," Klein said, "between his current wife Vicki and his mother Rose. They both came from political families, and Vicki was very astute in advising Ted about who he could trust and who he couldn't trust." Klein surmised that Vicki had a positive and life-altering impact on Kennedy. "For many years he lived a fantasy bachelor life, he was even worse than his reputation. Vicki made it very clear that she would come into his life and he would have to stop philandering and cut back on drinking. She played a key role in all aspects of his life, including how he treated his own children. Vicki was a mother symbol to him."
Featured Book: Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died by Edward Klein
Topless women & NBC
Wednesday's Patriots and or Pinheads: The women who went topless to protest laws that differentiate between men and women who bare their chests. And the Pinheads: NBC president Jeff Zucker and his minions at that network. The Factor explained why: "Not only is the NBC network in last place, but their cable operations are a disaster. CNBC is down 23%, MSNBC is down 25%. Last night on MSNBC someone said people who watch Fox News are 'paranoid and racist.' That should tell you everything you need to know about the entire NBC situation. 'Pinheads' doesn't begin to cover it."
Factor Words of the Day
Views from both campaigns
Andrew Kenney, Subic Bay, The Philippines: "Bill, you said the government cannot force citizens to buy things. But it's been done before. The government forces us to buy social security."

Ruthie Pappas, Arvada, CO: "I'm a senior in high school and am confused. Doesn't the government force us to buy car insurance?"

Delores Bush, Charleston, WV: "Bill, you are right. The government cannot force me to go to a doctor. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to mandate health insurance."

Danny Oliver, Panama City, FL: "O'Reilly, you are causing Lis and Megyn to frown because you are so obtuse."
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