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, August 29, 2011
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Personal Story Segment
Unresolved Problems Segment
Weekdays with Bernie Segment
Back of Book Segment
Factor Mail
Pinheads and Patriots
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The aftermath of Hurricane Irene
"Hurricane Irene has killed at least 37 Americans and caused billions of dollars of damage. The good news - the authorities seemed to be pretty well organized and chaos was kept to a minimum. On Long Island where I live, the center of the hurricane was about eight miles to the west of my home. I did not even lose electricity, but then a strange thing happened - about four hours after the storm the electricity went out, and eight hours after that the cable went out. Why did the infrastructure collapse after the fact? The Long Island Power Authority charges the highest public utility rates in the country and right now about a half-million of their customers are without power. There is a big problem with infrastructure in general, and if the USA is ever hit by a major natural disaster or a nuclear incident, this country will be in big trouble. Our electrical services are antiquated and easily knocked out. So my advice to you is this: Buy a generator if you can afford to and stock up on non-perishables you will need if you do not have electricity. All in all, Irene was a bad storm, but it did bring out good in many Americans."

The Factor asked four Fox News correspondents for their first-hand impressions of Irene. "The surge of the wind and the force of the ocean are what impressed me," Laura Ingle reported from Long Island. "The waves were all whitecaps as far as the eye could see coming right at us." Molly Line checked in from the Massachusetts coast. "As the night went on it just got stronger and stronger - power was going out and trees were coming down. And there were tons of onlookers despite authorities begging people to stay home." Mike Tobin related his experience in the New York City borough of Queens. "The remarkable thing was all the destruction we learned about after the violent portion of the storm had passed. The storm surge came in and a lot of water started rolling across the boulevard, there was so much flooding." Finally, Rick Leventhal reported from the Jersey shore. "I have never seen Atlantic City as empty - the Boardwalk was completely deserted and at times we were the only ones out there. It was a very eerie feeling on what would have been a busy weekend."
Did global climate change contribute to Irene?
To the surprise of no one, some environmentalists could not wait to blame Hurricane Irene on global warming. The Factor invited meteorologist Joe Bastardi to analyze that assertion. "There were great hurricanes in 1954, 1955, 1938, and 1933," Bastardi said, "so either they are not telling you what happened before or they do not know what happened before. In 1954 there were three major hurricanes up the Eastern seaboard and a major heat wave in Texas. When the Pacific cools and the Atlantic is warm, this is what happens." Bastardi also responded to accusations that he and other meteorologists over-hyped Irene. "This will probably be the sixth-costliest storm on record and it killed 25 people! This was a big, strong Atlantic hurricane. The left wants to blame global warming, while the right wants to de-hype storms."
Gov. Rick Perry leads the GOP pack
Texas Governor Rick Perry has surged to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and his other GOP rivals. The Factor examined the Perry phenomenon with raconteur and former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. "There is a lot of good in Rick Perry," Friedman said. "He is a nuts-and-bolts guy with the economy, and you have to give him credit for doing pretty well with the Texas economy. And Obama has done for the economy what panty hose did for foreplay!" Democratic strategist Bob Mann expressed some serious doubts about the Texas governor. "It is hard to tell what Rick Perry really is - is he a conservative or not? There is a $27 billion budget deficit that was accumulated on his watch and unemployment has doubled." The Factor reminded Mann that, "under Perry Texas has one of the best job creation records during the recession."
Left-wing media takes aim at religious politicians
New York Times editor Bill Keller has written a column ridiculing certain Christian tenets and demanding that candidates be interrogated about their faith. Fox News analysts Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams reacted to the column. "Keller has every right," Williams said, "to ask questions about how much politicians believe the Bible should govern our country. But why did he have to equate aliens with the body of Christ? I guess that is his idea of being hip." Ham accused Keller of outright bigotry. "If you read this column to me and told me it was a parody of a New York Times editor talking about Christianity, I would have believed you. He sounds like he would wear a hazmat suit to a church picnic, and the irony is that he feels the same way about mainstream Christianity as he accuses the right of feeling about Islam." The Factor contended that most liberal journalists are dismissive of Christian believers: "Mr. Keller has a point when he says politicians need to be questioned about their theology. But it seems to me, and I know this is shocking, that the editor of the New York Times was a bit condescending."
Did the media overhype Hurricane Irene?
The Factor asked FNC media analyst Bernie Goldberg to opine on the Bill Keller column mentioned in the previous segment. "On his point that journalists need to ask candidates questions about their religious beliefs," Goldberg said, "I totally agree. But I wish Bill Keller and the New York Times had been as concerned about religion during the last campaign when it came to Barack Obama, who sat in a church with a hateful minister for twenty years." Goldberg turned to accusations that media outlets overstated the potential danger of Hurricane Irene. "I can not help but thinking that this hurricane got so much attention was because it was heading for where elite journalists live. I guarantee you that if a bigger hurricane were heading for Biloxi, Mississippi, it would not get the same attention. There is a kind of journalist narcissism that New York-based journalists are guilty of." The Factor put forth another rationale for the attention devoted to Irene: "Hurricane Katrina has changed everything - ever since that storm hit, every storm is hysterical. Plus, it is the end of August and nothing else is going on."
Reality Check: Cheney book slams Powell
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is objecting to what he calls "cheap shots" by Dick Cheney in his new book. The Factor's Check: "We invited both Powell and Cheney to appear on The Factor. They have turned us down in the past but we hope they will reconsider." Former VP Al Gore is comparing climate change skeptics to racists. The Factor's Check: "The stretch Mr. Gore made to equate those two subjects qualifies him for double-jointed status." Finally, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick denied any culpability for the illegal alien who killed a man while driving drunk. The Factor's Check: "Your administration allowed this man to dodge the feds even after he was arrested for assaulting a police officer. This was an out-of-control criminal that you allowed to stay in your state."
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Sandra Dyberg, Vacaville, CA: "Bill, wow! You actually gave Christine O'Donnell a fair interview. Last time you were snarky. Maybe you can extend that fairness the next time you interview Sarah Palin."

Jack Strevell, Naperville, IL: "Christine O'Donnell is only interested in selling her book. It was crazy that she avoided the Factor during her campaign."

Trae Broussard, New Orleans, LA: "I rode through Hurricane Katrina. Irene was a whisper compared to that. Stop your whining, New York."
A horse named 'The Factor'
Monday's equine Patriot: The thoroughbred racehorse named "The Factor," who won another race in California over the weekend.