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A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted here by 5 pm ET each weeknight.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Bill's Mugs
Marine Jon Hammar to be released from Mexican jail
Laura began with the news that 27-year-old Corporal Jon Hammar, a former Marine who has been locked up in a Mexican prison on a trumped-up charge since August, is being set free. After demanding Hammar's release and pressing the story over the past week, Bill phoned in with his reaction. "This shows the power of the Fox News Channel," Bill said. "A lot of us here thought this story had to be front and center, we all basically said that this could not stand! So I'm very proud of the network and I want everybody to understand that this is what we're in business to do. We are going to look out for individual Americans and when bad things happen, we're going to try to correct them." Cpl. Hammar's mother Olivia joined the conversation and explained how she heard the news. "We got a call late Thursday night from a lawyer who said it was pretty much a done deal on how they were going to rule. We can't even imagine what it will be like to have him home." Bill praised Mrs. Hammar for her fortitude and patience: "Mr. and Mrs. Hammar were very courageous and they helped their own cause immeasurably. I thought the turning point in the case was when you came on The Factor and laid it on the line about our government not really kicking into gear. We're happy we could help and we wish you and your husband and son the merriest Christmas."
More on Cpl. Hammar's release
For more on the release of Jon Hammar, Laura turned to Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. "Fox News and The O'Reilly Factor literally saved his life," the Congresswoman said. "Jon's parents tried to do it the old-fashioned way at first, they hired lawyers and tried to go through different channels. They didn't contact us until just a few weeks ago, and we pounced on it immediately. We kept calling the State Department and asking why they weren't stepping up in this case. It took a lot of congressional pressure and it took a lot of media attention."
Fiscal Cliff Showdown
With automatic spending cuts and tax increases looming, Republicans in the House are in apparent disarray. Laura tried to sort out the confusion with Republican strategists Chris Begala and Dee Dee Benkie. "It doesn't make sense to raise anybody's taxes right now," Begala said, "but elections matter and President Obama won. And we need to also get meaningful spending cuts. Unless we're talking about hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts, this discussion about tax increases is just folly, it is absolutely ridiculous." Benkie suggested that Speaker of the House John Boehner should consider stepping down. "We need to look at new leadership. John Boehner has done a fine job, but we have to have changes, we need new faces and different language. It's gridlock in Washington so we have to change something. John Boehner's leadership is not working, let's look at someone else."
Will the Democrats step up on the fiscal cliff?
For a view of the budget dilemma from the other side of the aisle, Laura welcomed Democrat Dick Harpootlian. "The President is facing a dysfunctional House of Representatives," Harpootlian said, "and he's frustrated by the fact that he's dealing with a guy who can't deliver on any promises. But I think the President is working very hard behind the scenes to try and make something happen." Laura contended that the Democratic-led Senate also deserves plenty of blame: "Why is anyone going home or taking much of a break until this thing is decided and agreed upon? Both sides have dug their heels in. Harry Reid said yesterday that the Senate won't take up anything that isn't being worked on by the House. That is one of the more immature things I have heard in recent days."
NRA speaks out in wake of Newtown, CT massacre
In his first public comment since the Connecticut school slaughter, National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre came out swinging and called for armed guards in all schools. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun," he said at Friday's news conference, "is a good guy with a gun!" Laura analyzed the NRA's position with gun control advocate Josh Horwitz. "It's great that we're having this discussion," Horwitz said, "but I thought the NRA was a little too late in addressing this issue. And talking about school security guards is something that should be done at the local level, this is something the NRA doesn't need to be involved in. We need to talk about how we can get rid of assault weapons on the streets. The last three mass shootings have all had the same type of weapon." Laura reminded Horwitz that so-called assault weapons are rarely used in crimes. "Most murders in the United States are not committed with an 'assault style' weapon. They look scary and do a lot of damage, but in fact most killers do not use assault weapons. And we're a safer country than we've been in decades, violent crime is way down."
Drug legalization and our country's safety
The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization funded in part by left-wing billionaire George Soros, is a leading voice in the call for marijuana legalization. The group's director Ethan Nadelmann entered the No Spin Zone to lay out his position. "The people who voted to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington were not 'pro-pot' votes," he submitted, "but they want police to focus on real crimes. They don't want the criminals making the money, they want to see the tax revenue coming from this stuff. That's why half of all Americans say it's time to legally regulate marijuana." Laura interrogated Nadelmann about heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs. "Some of our members are libertarians," he said, "who think we should legalize everything, but most do not go that far. So my organization says we should reduce the role of the criminal justice system and try to take the business out of the hands of criminals. But we're not saying heroin and cocaine should be treated like alcohol and tobacco."
The Five + Bill = Fireworks
Laura played a portion of Bill's Thursday appearance on FNC's "The Five," during which he got into a heated discussion with Bob Beckel about Cpl. Jon Hammar, who was then still languishing in a Mexican jail. An excerpt:

O'REILLY: "Have we seen Hillary Clinton say anything publicly? Have we seen the President say anything publicly? No!
BECKEL: "So you think saying something publicly is what matters?"
O'REILLY: "Correct, that's leadership."
BECKEL: "That's not leadership."
O'REILLY: "So leadership is not saying anything while an individual rots in prison. That's Bob Beckel's leadership!"

And finally, on a more solemn and far less contentious note, Laura ended Friday's program with a Christmas message: "When we look back on our lives we probably won't spend a lot of time thinking about the 'fiscal cliff' or the 2012 election. But we will remember the moments we shared with our families and our friends during the holidays. Those memories, and the chance to create new ones, make this time of year different from any other. More than 2,000 years ago a child was born in a lowly manger who saved a people and changed the world. May you see miracles, big and small, next week and in the new year."
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