Thursday, March 22, 2007
On The O'Reilly Factor...
Segment Summaries
All content taken from The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel. Each weeknight by 6 PM EST a preview of that evening's show will be posted and then updated with additional information the following weekday by noon EST.
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
The US attorney witch hunt
Guest: Political analyst Dick Morris

"Once again I am put in the position of having to defend the Bush administration, which is not my job. My mandate is to watch the administration and everybody else who holds power in this country. But the U.S. attorney thing is absurd, a fabricated event designed to hurt the president. All Mr. Bush has to do is to tell Tony Snow to explain the reasons why all eight prosecutors were replaced. But because the Bush administration is reluctant to explain anything, the media is running wild. The ultra-liberal Baltimore Sun writes that President Bush may have 'something awful to hide.' And the topper comes from the Brattleboro Reformer in Vermont, which claims 'this whole affair is too reminiscent of Watergate.' But there's not even a hint of illegality. The only way this dopey story matters is if the Bush administration fired prosecutors who were looking into political corruption, but there's no evidence of that. The Factor's initial investigation shows that at least three of the fired U.S. attorneys were controversial, to say the least. In 24 hours we've come up with plausible explanations for the dismissal of three of the eight. But again, the White House should be doing this, not us. I'm going to send them a bill."

News Link: Baltimore Sun editorial

News Link: Brattleboro Reformer editorial

The Factor was joined by political analyst Dick Morris, who agreed that the Bush administration is bungling this situation. "The Bush people are so into the rights of being president instead of actually getting out there and defending the president substantively. Bush should get out there and prosecute the prosecutors, and convince the American people that he's right to get rid of these guys. This could be a major positive for him."

News Link: Showdown over US attorneys
Impact Segment
Buying into loony 9/11 conspiracies
Guests: Former detective Bo Dietl & author Gerald Posner

Billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, may distribute a "documentary" accusing the federal government of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. Investigative author Gerald Posner told The Factor that wild conspiracy theories are far too common. "Nothing surprises me, what these whackos can come up with. Mark Cuban may be great at making money, but on this issue he says he's agnostic. Guess what, Mark, you don't get to be agnostic on this. Either 19 Muslim fundamentalists who wanted to destroy the west flew those planes, or you're right and it's a conspiracy." Former detective Bo Dietl added his indictment of conspiracy theorists. "When I hear this nonsense, I think what about the victims, the cops and firemen who died that day. I saw the engine of the plane that went right through the building." There are reports that actor Charlie Sheen may narrate the film, which The Factor said would be a big mistake. "Accusing your own country of murdering your own citizens is painful for people. I believe that if Charlie Sheen puts his name and his voice on this, he's through."

News Link: New York Post: Loony conspiracies and celebs
Unresolved Problems Segment
Will Duke lacrosse rape charges be dropped?
Guest: Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly

According to a published report, all charges against the three Duke lacrosse players will soon be dismissed. FNC anchor Megyn Kelly wouldn't vouch for the report, but expressed her own doubts about the prosecution's case. "I would be shocked if the case continues. The victim says she wants the case to be over, and her family says she's expecting it will be dropped. I'm expecting it to get dropped because they don't have the legal bones there to make something in court." The Factor reiterated an earlier prediction. "I'm going to say right here, as I said months ago, that this case is going to be dropped."
Personal Story Segment
Fertility clinic sued for wrong sperm
Guest: Dr. David Magnus, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics

Long Island couple Nancy and Thomas Andrews had a child via in vitro fertilization. But while he's white and she's Hispanic, the child is black - the fertility clinic obviously used the wrong sperm. Bioethicist David Magnus claimed this case is an aberration. "This kind of mix-up is rare, but it does happen. You have to look at what kind of processes are used in any particular clinic. There are an awful lot of good clinics out there, but there are many that are not regulated."

News Link: Sperm swap mix up
Policing the Press Segment
Partisan influence at CBS News?
Guests: Fox News analysts Bernard Goldberg & Jane Hall

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric conducted an interview with Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, but it never aired. Some conservative bloggers charge that new CBS Evening News honcho Rick Kaplan killed the story because Khalilzad said things are improving. But FNC media analysts Jane Hall and Bernie Goldberg both gave CBS the benefit of the doubt. "Is it possible," Goldberg pondered, "that CBS didn't put the ambassador on because he said good things about the war? Yeah, I guess it's possible. But it's far more likely that Rick Kaplan said it's dull, it's boring, and there's nothing new in it." Hall defended CBS News against charges of bias. "If you read the whole transcript of the newscast, they had quotes from President Bush, and they had soldiers saying they're proud to be there. I' don't think it's fair say to say Rick Kaplan is moving the broadcast to the left." The Factor suggested that Kaplan's history as a Democratic partisan will put him under constant scrutiny. "This looks bad when your reputation is as a partisan hack and in your first week you kill an interview set up by the State Department." On another subject, Goldberg urged The Factor to forswear any further coverage of Anna Nicole Smith. "Bill, you're just about the only guy on cable television who won't get hurt in the ratings if you don't cover this at all. People who spend hours on Anna Nicole Smith become as unimportant as she was. I would say to you, Bill, don't do it!"

News Link: Katie Couric drops US Ambassador to Iraq
Back of Book Segment
Spring break: Drinking, drugs and accidents
Guests: Authors Margo Woodacre & daughter Steffany Bane

As thousands of college students are on spring break in Florida, Texas and elsewhere, The Factor showed interviews with some of them boasting about their alcohol consumption. Mother-and-daughter authors Margo Woodacre and Steffany Bane elaborated on the dangers of the spring break tradition. "Students set out just to have fun," Steffany began, "but they're going places where they feel they can let loose, where there are no consequences. They need to realize there are consequences. The only game plan I had was to always be in control of myself and to watch out for my friends." Woodacre urged parents to be as vigilant as possible. "If I saw my daughter flashing her body, I'd be on the phone and try to find her as fast as I could. If I had to get on a plane and fly down there, I'd say we need to talk. And I'd say 'what the heck was going on in your mind when you did that?' I would want her to know that I was not pleased because it's not the way someone should act."

News Link: Spring Break Chaos
Factor Mail
Viewers sound off
Many of you wrote about Wednesday's segment on spring break. Some excerpts:

Ryan Poindexter, Houston, TX: "I was a regular at spring break twenty years ago. What's changed is the overt sexual displays by females."

Connie Pike, Houston, TX: "Disgusting and deplorable. What's the parental ownership in this? Shame on you, O'Reilly, for giving these students coverage and shame on me for watching."

Gavin Maguire, Baltimore, MD: "Last year, I attended spring break on South Padre Island and was hit by an underage driver who was drunk. I was in a coma for a week and sustained brain damage."

Eileen Rose, Chicopee, MA: "Spring break 1972. I was in Bermuda. Fast forward to now, I am still married to the boy I met there."