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The O'Reilly Factor
Friday, August 16, 2013
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Laura Ingraham
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Why Duck Dynasty is a Winner
"Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about A&E's reality show 'Duck Dynasty,' which follows a wildly successful family-run company in Louisiana that manufactures duck calls. What explains the success, what's the allure of watching a bunch of long-haired rednecks sitting around teasing each other? There's no nudity, pretty much no foul language, and no celebrity drop-bys. First, the characters are genuinely funny. The Robertson family comes across as unrehearsed, no-nonsense, and warm. But there's another explanation for the mega-hit status - the show's focus on family, country, and faith. Each episode, in fact, ends with a prayer. This their way of life, and in fact family patriarch Phil Robertson was a preacher for decades and openly discusses Jesus in media interviews. How often today do we see families in prayer on entertainment television? As families have disintegrated and as our culture has become hyper-sexualized, I think it's a welcome relief to many TV viewers. Duck Dynasty depicts a colorful, intact, traditional family and they're leading a happy and successful life. What a concept! Wake up, Hollywood. There is a huge audience that is turning off and tuning out the garbage that passes as entertainment today. Sex might sell, but real love - love of family, neighbor, country, and God - that sells too. And in the end, it's a lot more fulfilling."
More on Oprah's Claim of Racism
Laura turned to Oprah Winfrey's implication that racism is a major factor in modern America, a contention supported by professor Mark Sawyer. "The idea that there are some successful black people who do very well," Sawyer said, "doesn't mean that racism doesn't exist and people don't still harbor those views. We see what people say on Twitter and what they say in comments, so we know racism exists. The success of some is in contradiction to our ugly history of racism." But Horace Cooper, who writes for a conservative think tank, dismissed the idea that pervasive racism is a major problem. "The question isn't whether or not racism exists, the question is how relevant that is in affecting the real lives of most Americans, black and white. It's irrelevant! It's not the number one issue, it's not the number two issue, it's not even the number ten issue! Family formation and educational attainment have far more to do with what happens in the lives of every American." Laura called for everyone to be more fair and balanced, saying, "If Oprah Winfrey is going to get into this, I wish she would address other issues like the three black teens who beat up the white kid on a bus."
Chaos Overseas
As Egypt erupts in violence between the military-backed government and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, Laura asked Democratic strategist Dick Harpootlian about President Obama's grand plans for a new and peaceful Middle East. "What's happening in Egypt," he said, "also happened in Libya and Syria and all these countries where we had this 'Arab Spring.' It's not about us, it's about what's going on internally on religious and political levels. It's a very complicated situation and there are no simple solutions. At this point, do we get more involved than we already are? No!" Laura argued that President Obama's foreign policy has been a dismal failure. "We elected Barack Obama because he was going to turn the page, there was 'hope and change,' the world was going to like us more. He came in under a big promise of bolstering America's image around the world, but our approval around the world is going down."
NSA Update
Even though President Obama has insisted there is no domestic spying program, the Washington Post reports that the NSA breaks privacy rules thousands of times each year. Democratic strategist Julian Epstein and Matt Welch of libertarian Reason magazine discussed the revelations. "There are serious problems that need to be addressed," Epstein conceded, "but you have to step back and look at the big picture. Nobody is alleging that the NSA is spying on the personal communications of everyday Americans. This is something that the public still supports and it is interrupting terrorist plots." But Welch portrayed President Obama as a flat-out liar. "Not only is the President looking at you in the eye and lying to you, but two Senators say that what we're seeing in the Washington Post is just the tip of the iceberg. We've allowed national secrecy to run amok in this country and the more Americans realize what's happening, the less popular these programs are becoming."
Chris Christie's Future
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, sounding more and more like a presidential candidate, has been criticizing both President Obama and some of his GOP rivals. Laura analyzed Christie's appeal with radio talk show host Lars Larsen and Republican strategist Tony Sayegh. "We already know what Governor Christie's position is," Larsen declared. "He's a RINO, a 'Republican In Name Only.' He's liberal on just about everything, and while a lot of us applauded the way he took on the unions, I don't like him as a presidential candidate. When was the last time it worked for us to put up a moderate?" Sayegh put forth a totally different assessment. "Governor Christie is a legitimate conservative. Just look at his record - the budget in New Jersey is smaller in real dollars than it was four years ago, which means there were real spending cuts." Laura agreed that Christie's conservative bona fides are sound: "He's pro-life, he was incredibly effective against the unions, and he was the Tea Party favorite in New Jersey."
Obamacare Chaos
The Obama administration has awarded Planned Parenthood more than a half-million dollars to help enlist people in Obamacare. Laura posed this question to Democratic strategist Bernard Whitman: "This comes on the heels of an investigation into how Planned Parenthood spends government money. Given the fact that they're already under investigation for fraudulent billing, why are we giving them money for Obamacare 'navigation?'" Whitman's response: "Planned Parenthood is one of the most trusted providers of health care in this country. 90% of the care they provide is preventative care like wellness exams, pap smears, and mammograms that help save tens of thousands of lives a year. So using Planned Parenthood to ensure that millions of American women get access to health care makes perfect sense." Laura reminded Whitman, "It's a highly controversial organization given that it makes most of its money from the abortion procedure and is under federal investigation."
Immigration Bill
Laura was joined by Grover Norquist, an influential Republican who wants the GOP to help craft an immigration reform bill. "House Republicans have made it very clear that they won't even look at the Senate bill," Norquist explained. "They're doing their own bill and they're going to be focused on border security. Nobody's talking about citizenship for another thirteen years, but we are talking about people going through background checks and getting them to pay taxes. When people come to this country they become Americans and they become productive workers." Laura expressed both her disagreement with Norquist and her distrust of the administration: "Obama can waive these fines, he can waive the taxes, he can waive a lot of these provisions. Why are you going to trust him?"
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