Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
"Sometimes I scare myself, in a good way. I told you Tuesday that the anti-war press would remain silent for one day after the brutal murders of Privates Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, and then start banging the drum again. The usual suspects - the Boston Globe, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the San Francisco Chronicle - are all ready to exit Iraq. But other papers like the Arizona Republic, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Wall Street Journal feel as I do, that the Bush administration must fight these savage terrorists harder. And, of course, I am the topic of discussion because I want a tougher approach in Iraq. Don Wycliff wrote this in the Chicago Tribune: 'If intellectual dishonesty could be said to have a face, I saw it Tuesday evening as I watched Bill O'Reilly's program on Fox News ... We've got to get tougher and more aggressive, he opined ... And the Iraqi government ought to declare martial law in some parts of Iraq ... Bill, that is so-o-o-o Saddam of you ... but if you put the blame where it really belongs, you have to say bad things about some people for whom you have been a cheerleader ... It's OK, Bill. Nobody who cares about the truth takes you seriously, anyway.' We asked Don Wycliff, who teaches media criticism at Notre Dame, to appear this evening. He agreed, but then cancelled one hour before air time. So much for the 'Fighting Irish.' Wycliff is one of the 'Hiding Irish.' If you're going to launch personal attacks, sir, at least have the courage to back them up. Cowardice is not becoming."Fox News Video: FoxNews.comThe Factor
was joined by syndicated columnist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, who defended Don Wycliff and the op-ed. "Follow the logic, Bill. You praised the way Saddam Hussein ran the government and said we ought to have martial law. The fact is you can't have martial law if you have an inadequate police force and an inadequate army, and that's what Don Wycliff is talking about. It's very well known that you have been defending the administration's side in this war." The Factor
ardently disputed the assertions of Wycliff and Page. "I never praised Saddam Hussein, that is a lie and a distortion. I said he ran the government in a totalitarian way and didn't have an insurgency because he ran it that way. If you are going to say the blame for the brutal mutilation and murders lies with the American government, I believe that is grossly irresponsible. Wycliff blames the American government. He's a coward and he can only take cheap shots at me. The difference between me and this guy Wycliff is that I want America to win, and I don't believe there is an equivalency between the United States military and the terrorists."