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.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The Factor Rundown
Guest Host
Juan Williams fills in tonight.
Top Story
Impact Segment
Unresolved Problems Segment
Impact Segment II
Fridays with Geraldo Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Back of Book Segment
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Obama attempts to woo back voters
Juan began Friday's program with President Obama's effort to help Democratic candidates and recapture some of his 2008 campaign magic. Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace analyzed the President's performance. "He's trying to energize the Democratic base," Wallace said, "which is minorities, young people, labor unions and women. Not as many people vote in mid-term elections, so it's all about getting more of your base to vote than the other side. Interestingly, the White House has put out a report that talks about all the economic benefits to women since Obama was elected." Juan contended that President Obama has been aiming his speeches at women: "He's talking endlessly about his daughters and there's a clear emphasis on women voters. Something is in the air and I think the President knows it, which is why he's speaking to female voters. Women play an important role in terms of independent swing voters and I think he's losing touch with these female voters."
Juan on being fired from NPR
Juan used the Impact Segment to address the biggest story of the week, his dismissal by National Public Radio: "After ten years of being a loyal employee, NPR fired me for expressing the fear I now feel after 9/11 when I see people in Muslim garb getting on an airplane. My comments about my feelings supposedly crossed some line. But let me tell you what you can say on National Public Radio without losing your job. Nina Totenberg wished that Senator Jesse Helms and his grandchildren would get AIDS and she's still working there. A so-called 'humorist' on NPR said the world would be a better place if 4-million Christians evaporated. Hilarious! And calling millions of members of the tea party movement a sexual pejorative - 'teabaggers' - won't get you in hot water either. So it seems some opinions are more equal than others at NPR. I used to think the left-wing was the home of tolerance, open-mindedness, and respect for all viewpoints, but now I've learned the truth the hard way. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, you and your far-left mob fired me! Wasn't that enough for you? You had to try to assassinate my character, too? That tells you all you need to know about her."

Juan welcomed former Clinton aide Lanny Davis, who expressed his grave disappointment with NPR's decision. "I love National Public Radio," Davis began, "and I am a liberal Democrat on every issue you can think of. But you expressed an emotion about what you feel when you see someone who is a Muslim on an airplane. And when Bill suggested extrapolating that to all Muslims, you said, 'No, Bill, it's not all Muslims.' What you said wasn't even slightly bigoted. I don't know what Ms. Schiller is talking about other than taking what you said out of context." Juan lamented the groupthink that infects NPR and other left-leaning organizations: "The minute you vary from liberal orthodoxy you are fair game for any smear or personal attack. It looks like you have an issue here where people are not allowed to state their point of view."
Muslim response to Juan's statements
Immediately after Juan made his comments on Monday evening's Factor, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and some other Muslim groups demanded that NPR take action. One notable exception was the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, whose founder Zuhdi Jasser entered the No Spin Zone. "You are collateral damage," Jasser told Juan, "in a war of ideas. Groups like CAIR are engaged in diversionary tactics and are avoiding the real problems we have. They talk about 'Islamophobia' and bigotry, but they don't want to talk about reform. Most of us Muslims don't have our heads in the sand like CAIR, and I can't understand how the left and NPR tolerate groups like CAIR." Juan complained that CAIR and other groups feel like they've won a major victory: "These folks are having a party tonight because they say they got rid of Juan Williams and NPR danced to their tune."
Can Bill Clinton shore things up for Dems?
Bill Clinton has been stumping for Democratic candidates, warning of the perils that would result from a Republican takeover of Congress. Juan spoke about President Clinton's efforts with Fox News analysts Steve Hayes and Leslie Marshall. "They should have had him pounding the pavement months ago," Marshall said. "Democrats need to have more backbone and talk about what they voted for with pride, and Bill Clinton has a great economic history." Hayes tried to pour cold water on the idea that Clinton is riding to the rescue. "This is a campaign that's being fought over issues, and it's based on the performance of President Obama over twenty months in office. The record isn't good and going back to someone who hasn't been in office in ten years won't change the equation. Bill Clinton is not going to hurt the Democrats, but he's not going to sway the electorate. It's immaterial."
Geraldo on the front lines in Afghanistan
Geraldo Rivera provided an update from Afghanistan, where he has been embedded with front-line troops and their commanders. "We are up here in the hills," Rivera reported, "where U.S. troops are taking the fight to the enemy. In the old days before the surge, the enemy had safe havens up here, but no longer. General Petraeus is very measured and very diplomatic, but I have to say that I really see the momentum shifting from the bad guys to our side." Rivera added that the expected withdrawal date of July, 2011 is not etched in stone. "I suspect that is a date when they will assess the situation, but certainly not begin any meaningful withdrawal."
Should NPR lose its federal funding?
Taxpayers fork over more than $400 million annually for public television and radio, and some Congressional Republicans are now calling for the money spigot to be turned off. Juan spoke with one of them, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. "NPR just got $1.8 million from George Soros," Coburn said, "so they don't need any money from us. Is there not enough choice in the media today, both in radio and television, that the federal government should continue to spend a half-billion dollars a year on government-subsidized media? Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government is supposed to be funding public television or radio? I'll be offering an amendment to de-fund it."
Factor Flashback: Bill and Terry Gross
Juan concluded Friday's program by looking back to 2003, when Bill went on NPR to be interviewed by Terry Gross. Gross brought up a series of negative quotes, and Bill finally ended the interview with this declaration: "We've now spent 50 minutes of me defending defamation against me in every possible way, while you gave Al Franken a complete pass on his defamatory book. And if you think that's fair, Terry, then you need to get in another business ... this is basically an unfair interview, designed to try to trap me into saying something that Harper's can use. You know it and you should be ashamed of yourself. And that is the end of this interview."
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