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The O'Reilly Factor
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.
Thursday, May 5, 2005
Bill's Mugs
Marine cleared of wrongdoing
Guests: Col. P. J. Crowley (Ret.) & Neal Puckett, fmr. Marine Corps judge

"You may recall that The Factor went to bat for a young marine captured on tape shooting an Iraqi combatant inside a mosque. I believe that tape demonstrated that the Marine thought he and his squad were in danger, and now an investigation has cleared him, saying this: 'The corporal reasonably believed that (the wounded Iraqi) posed a hostile threat to him and his fellow Marines and justifiably fired in self defense.' The difference between this program and some other media vehicles is that we give the benefit of the doubt to the military. From the git-go, I knew the marine didn't have evil intent, and that he was protecting himself and his squad. The American military has performed tremendously under very difficult circumstances, and the Fallujah Marine is to be respected."

Transcript/Video: FoxNews.com

Two military experts joined The Factor with their opinions on the case. Former Marine Corps judge Neal Puckett agreed that the Marine's actions were justified. "It's easy for us to sit back when we're not in combat and second guess. Everything he did from the very beginning was absolutely legitimate." Retired Air Force Colonel P.J. Crowley said the Marine was guilty of a "misjudgment," but not a crime. "Part of the job of military justice is to make sure you're always drawing boundaries for your soldiers. The Marine's misjudgment occurred within the bounds of self-defense and within the rules of engagement." The Factor reiterated that the Marine did nothing wrong. "These Iraqi combatants were illegally fighting from within a mosque. You have to protect your squad and yourself in a combat situation. This Marine did his duty and he shouldn't have any qualms about it. We are very glad this is over for him and his family."
Charging the runaway bride
Guest: Tony Thomas, WAGA-TV

Georgia law enforcement authorities are still deciding whether or not to charge Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called "runaway bride." Tony Thomas of Atlanta's WAGA-TV reported that Wilbanks has been in seclusion since returning home. "She is undergoing intense counseling, and her lawyers say she's basically imprisoned in her own home. But we hear the wedding is only postponed, not cancelled." Thomas added that many local citizens are demanding some measure of punishment. "The District Attorney and Mayor have been inundated with e-mails from people saying she should pay for the investigation or should serve time in jail." The Factor expressed sympathy for Wilbanks, her fianc�e, and her family. "We're not making fun of this woman. She's troubled and we hope she gets better. And we need the authorities to define what her responsibility is."
Controversy surrounds American Idol
Guests: Rebecca Winters, Time Magazine & William McKeen, University of Florida

ABC's "Prime Time Live" aired a lengthy expose about the Fox program "American Idol." The program alleged that "Idol" judge Paula Abdul carried on an intimate and inappropriate relationship with a former contestant. Journalism professor William McKeen claimed ABC's story was much ado about very little. "It was thirty seconds of news stretched out over a full hour. The lines between news and entertainment aren't just blurred - they're totally absent on network television." But Time Magazine's Rebecca Winters contended that the story was journalistically sound. "I think it's worthy because this is the number one show in America. And if there's a charge that one of the judges crossed the boundaries with a contestant, it really calls into question the legitimacy of the show." The Factor argued that ABC allowed itself to be used by the former contestant who accused Abdul of seducing him. "This was a shakedown, and it's always this way. A guy wants to sell albums, and apparently ABC guaranteed him a certain amount of time in front of the camera to sing his dopey song. The shakedowns in America are now occurring on a daily basis - anybody powerful, anybody famous is going to get attacked."
Americans and France
Guest: Author Richard Chesnoff

Richard Chesnoff has written a book called "The Arrogance of the French," in which he examines the ongoing hostility between France and the United States. "France is not what it used to be," Chesnoff told The Factor. "And is terribly jealous and envious of the United States and will do anything to double-deal us. They dislike our values, dislike our leadership, and are envious of the fact that we are ahead of them." Chesnoff said anti-Americanism is especially rampant at the upper echelons of French society. "You have the media, the government, and the professors telling all of France that America isn't worth anything." The Factor pointed out that while America may be the prime target of French disdain, we have plenty of company. "They don't like the Germans, they don't like the British, they don't like the Spanish, and they don't like us. They don't really like anybody."
Disrespecting the police
Guests: Quanell X, Black Panther Party & Hans Marticuic, Houston Police Officers' Union

Houston police have recently used taser guns on numerous occasions to subdue unruly citizens. Houston police officer Hans Marticuic explained when tasers can be used. "It's not just if someone is disrespectful. It's being verbally aggressive along with using some type of aggressive physical gesture. We don't necessarily have to wait until someone physically attacks us before we can taser them." Quanel X of the New Black Panther Union contended that while the taser has its place, it is being abused in Houston. "They're using those tasers against African-American men and are silencing peoples' rights to freedom of speech. What's happening here in Houston is nothing more than police Gestapo tactics violating the human and civil rights of African-Americans in this city."
Compassion for the bride-to-be?
Guest: Talk show host Mike Gallagher

By a margin of 3-1, most Factor viewers agree that Jennifer Wilbanks should be prosecuted for faking her disappearance. Conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher agrees with the minority, claiming Wilbanks needs understanding, not vengeance. "The woman had the world crashing down around her," Gallagher said. "We can all relate to having a bleak time in our lives. She is a victim of a media firestorm and now she needs some compassion - let's get off her back. She is not a serial killer." The Factor countered that Wilbanks should at least be fined or forced to perform community service. "I don't want to hurt this woman, I don't want her to go to jail. But she has to be held accountable."
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Many of you sent e-mails about Laura Bush's somewhat bawdy jokes about her husband. Some excerpts:

Lorraine Moreau, South Korea: "Bill, some of the First Lady's jokes crossed the line. I'm no prude but I would not say those things."

Peggy Hunter, Harwichport, MA: "Laura Bush was engaging and humorous. She came across as a real person."

Salllie Day Morgerman, Lake St. Louis MO: "It was unbecoming of Laura Bush to stoop so that we will think she's a regular person."

Valerie Dru, Rye NY: "Oh, brother! I am a pastor's wife and thought her speech was hilarious. People need to get a sense of humor."

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