The O'Reilly Factor
A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted before the show airs each weeknight.
Monday, February 28, 2005
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo
Top Story
Impact Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Unresolved Problems Segment
Personal Story Segment
Back of Book Segment
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Rush Limbaugh vs. Clint Eastwood
"The nation's culture war was on display at the Oscar telecast. Chris Rock's anti-Bush jokes offended a lot of people, as did the shots of Hollywood liberals yukking it up. But the big story was how conservative radio guys like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Medved may have helped Clint Eastwood's movie "Million Dollar Baby" win Best Picture. Once the voters heard that some conservatives were angry about the euthanasia theme, that was it. Hollywood continues to be very upset by the Bush re-election and dissing Eastwood was the last straw, so the votes poured in for him. The Hollywood backlash is a lesson for conservatives--pick your battles. Pounding issues unfairly hurts both sides. Certainly PBS was wrong in allowing a cartoon for preschool kids to contain a "gay is okay" message, and PBS has paid a price for its dumbness. But equally dumb was labeling Sponge Bob a gay guy. Culture warriors on both sides have got to get a grip--you won't be taken seriously if you cry wolf too often. Sponge Bob is no threat; "Million Dollar Baby" is a worthwhile drama that examines human feelings. Both are now part of the culture war, but shouldn't be. Those battles were simply not worth fighting."

Watching out for serial murder
Guest: Neighbor Jason Day & Fox News correspondent Rita Cosby

59-year old Dennis Rader is in custody in Wichita, Kansas, suspected of being the BTK Killer who murdered at least ten people. Rader's neighbor Jason Day told The Factor that Rader exhibited no obvious warning signs. "He was distant and not a nice man. But there was no suspicion that he did anything wrong, and I didn't believe he could be a serial killer." Fox News correspondent Rita Cosby explained that Rader was caught because he couldn't resist taunting the police. "He sent a computer disk to a local television station. The authorities used high technology to determine it came from a church, and they finally zeroed in on Rader, who was the president of the church council. He was considered the absolute and utmost community citizen."
Opening arguments in Jackson trial
Guest: Crime journalist Aphrodite Jones

The Michael Jackson trial has begun with opening arguments by both sides. Crime journalist Aphrodite Jones summarized the proceedings, beginning with the prosecution. "A key point was that Jackson served alcohol to minors and there were vast amounts of pornographic materials in Jackson's bedroom. The prosecution is saying Jackson lured this young boy with pornography and encouraged him in a sexual way." Jones also summed up the opening statement of Jackson's lawyer. "He painted the boy's family as people who have gone after every star in Hollywood looking for a free ride. The mother has gotten thousands of dollars over the years by suing people. She comes off as a gold-digging, celebrity-grubbing, money-hungry woman."
Pressure mounts against Churchill
Guests: Reporter Raj Chohan & Craig Silverman, KHOW

The University of Colorado is deciding what to do about radical professor Ward Churchill, who praised the 9/11 hijackers. Last week Churchill is said to have shoved reporter Raj Chohan when Chohan confronted Churchill with evidence about the validity of his paintings. "We had strong evidence of copyright infringement," Chohan said, "which spoke to the issue of integrity. We took it to Churchill but he obviously wasn't too happy to see us." Meanwhile, radio reporter Craig Silverman said new evidence indicating Churchill?s support of terrorist acts. "We have some powerful tape from 2003, when Churchill was talking about the 9/11 attacks. He asked why it took Arabs to do what Americans should have done a long time ago. Pretty shocking stuff." Silverman said the university's chancellor may recommend action against Churchill next week.
Bush back from Europe
Guests: Avi Cover, Human Rights First & David Rivkin, U.N. Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

President Bush's European tour received mostly positive reviews, but will it change how America is perceived overseas? As The Factor has reported, anti-American sentiment is often fueled by organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has condemned US treatment of suspected terrorists. "The ICRC has not been neutral," claimed United Nations official David Rivkin, "and has not applied the rules of war as they exist. The Red Cross has been harshly critical of this administration, but has failed to condemn the behavior of North Korea, Vietnam, or Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War." Avi Cover of Human Rights First defended the ICRC as an honest broker. "The International Committee of the Red Cross is a neutral party. It has been supported by the United States historically, and it's not appropriate for us to cut and run because we decide we don't like the message. We shouldn't blame the messenger."
Herbert's case against the Bush administration
Guests: Mike Baker, Veritus Global & Michael Isikoff, Newsweek

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has accused the Bush administration of condoning torture, citing the case of Maher Arar who claims to have been deported by the US government to Syria, where he was tortured. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff said the accusations are plausible. "We know Arar spent a considerable period of time in a Syrian prison, and we do know Syrians use horrible torture techniques. The US government hasn't charged him, which raises a question whether our government got it wrong in this case." Former CIA official Mike Baker countered that Arar may in fact be a member of al Qaeda. "There was information on the record that linked Mr. Arar to a terrorist organization." The Factor argued that the Times' Herbert has rushed to judgment. "Herbert has convicted the Bush administration, and I don't think you can convict the administration based on what we know now."
Clint Eastwood
Guest: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood was a big winner at the Academy Awards, walking away with an Oscar as Best Director for "Million Dollar Baby." The Factor replayed a portion of last week's exclusive interview with the actor and director in which Eastwood passionately defended his movie against critics who have called it a pro-euthanasia propaganda film. "This is a father-daughter love story. It isn't a message for anything. But in the old days we had knee-jerk liberals, and now we have knee-jerk conservatives who try to politicize everything."