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, February 17, 2012
Will Santorum's birth control stance hurt him?
"This has not been a good week for Senator Rick Santorum and it's not really his fault - he simply told the truth but did so in a way that will hurt him. One of Santorum's big donors is a man named Foster Friess, a conservative millionaire investor. Incredibly, Mr. Friess went on MSNBC to talk about contraception, where he joked that 'back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraception, the gals put it between their knees.' Senator Santorum says Mr. Friess doesn't have any power in his campaign, but that's not going to stop MSNBC and other left-wing media from hammering him. Everybody knows the majority of the American media wants to reelect Barack Obama, so why are Republican candidates and their supporters giving the opposition machine guns? Talking about the private behavior of Americans is a no-win situation, so Rick Santorum should have never said that birth control has led to a 'dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases.' The majority of American voters have no interest in politicians talking about private stuff and Mr. Santorum's private view is never going to be accurately represented. If Rick Santorum does secure the Republican nomination, he will be portrayed as a Puritan witch hunter, a fanatical religious guy, a member of the Inquisition. That's how the liberal media will tag Santorum, and to uninformed voters it could do him damage."

The Factor elicited reactions from radio talk show hosts Janine Turner and Leslie Marshall. "I agree with you," Turner said, "that this is a very difficult situation for Santorum. I think he's a principled conservative and a compassionate man, but it's getting lost in the translation. I bristle when I hear this kind of thing because it alienates a lot of people and I like him." Marshall contended that Santorum's candor is costing him support. "If you're running for President it's very transparent and he has to say what he believes. But the perception is that he's trying to push his lifestyle and religion on everyone else. That's how he's coming off, especially to female voters." The Factor reiterated that Santorum has set himself up for media mockery: "He is speaking from the heart and many people in his constituency believe the way he does, but he's not going to get a fair shot."
Pulling back the curtain on Media Matters' funding
The far-left website Media Matters rakes in millions of dollars from radical organizations and individuals. The Factor explored the propriety of Media Matters tax-exempt status with Democratic strategist Lanny Davis. "If they're not allowed to be ideological," Davis said, "then they ought to be deprived of their tax-exempt status. But the law has to be applied equally - Brent Bozell's Media Research Center has a point of view and criticizes liberal media and Democrats, but I never heard you say we should deprive Brent of his tax exemption. You have to be even-handed." When Davis admitted to being a friend of Media Matters' boss David Brock, The Factor laid it on the line: "When you tell me you are a friend of David Brock, a vicious character assassin, that lowers my respect for you. No one could be a friend of this man, who is in business solely to injure people with whom he disagrees."
Jon Stewart: It seems like Obama 'doesn't like us all that much'
During an appearance on David Letterman's show, Jon Stewart said this about President Obama: "I get the sense that he doesn't really like us all that much, he's kind of had his fill. He's the only president I've ever seen who beings every press conference with a heavy sigh." That inspired The Factor to put forth this exposition: "Stewart believes President Obama is intellectually above the fray. There is no question President Obama is a brilliant man, but being intelligent and effective are two very different things. I believe the President does not understand macroeconomics, he does not realize the danger he is putting the nation in jeopary by running up trillions of dollars in debt. I am well aware that some of you believe the President is spending on purpose in order to reinvent the economic system in a socialistic way. But the evidence points to the fact that Mr. Obama simply does not believe the massive debt is going to come back to bite him. Harry Truman was not a brilliant man, but he was very effective because he had common sense. Same thing with Ronald Reagan. So while President Obama may be Woodrow Wilson's intellectual equal, his economic policies are simply not working."
Americans caught up in Mexican drug violence
The State Department has issued a traveler's advisory for Americans going to Mexico, a consequence of the incredible level of violence. The Factor asked Geraldo Rivera whether Mexico is a safe place for tourists. "The resort areas are perfectly safe once you get there," Rivera said. "Mexico is a bloody mess, but the vast majority of the dead are gangsters killing gangsters. If you're not involved in the drug trade, the danger comes mainly from taking risks like driving between cities. The Mexicans bend over backwards to make sure tourists are safe." Drug violence aside, The Factor laid out other reasons for avoiding Mexico: "I don't like the police corruption and the culture has changed, it's now a menacing place."
Why are gas prices so high?
A gallon of gas, now more than $3.50, has never been so expensive in the winter. The Factor asked Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs to explain why. "Jet fuel and diesel and gasoline," Dobbs said, "would normally be in abundance right now, but it's being shipped overseas. We're exporting fuel and what is left is going up in price because there is sufficient demand. This is also true in home heating oil - there's a 10% decrease in demand because of the warm winter, but these fuels are being exported overseas. We are now part of a world market and we are competing with demand in China, Europe and Latin America."
Dumbest Things: Army forcing male troops to wear fake pregnancy bellies in bizarre training exercise
Greg Gutfeld and Arthel Neville wrapped up Friday's show with the week's most ridiculous people and events. Gutfeld went with Rosie O'Donnell, who admitted she is afraid of "little people." "For little people everywhere," the height-challenged Gutfeld said, "this is the story of the year. You wouldn't know because you're a tall angry man and you look down on people like me because it's easy to look down on people like me." Neville blasted the Army program that has some trainees wearing fake breasts and bellies. "This is a pregnancy simulator," she said. "They're trying to understand what it's like to be pregnant because they're learning to teach pregnant soldiers fitness classes." The Factor picked singer Tony Bennett, who responded to Whitney Houston's death by calling for the legalization of drugs.
Viewers speak out
Factor Words of the Day
Elisa desGroselliers, Phoenix, AZ: "Prevention is the solution to the nation's drug problem. So the media should speak out against drug use. That's not demonizing Whitney Houston, John Belushi, etc. It is highlighting dangerous behavior."

Carol Shephard, St. Louis, MO: "I grew up with an alcoholic mother and her disease killed the family. I believe Ms. Houston's daughter will experience the same thing."

Leonard Bustos, Palm Desert, CA: "Deaths from alcohol and drugs about two million every year. Marijuana? Zero."
Honoring Whitney Houston
Friday's Patriot: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is honoring Whitney Houston's talent by ordering flags to fly at half staff on Saturday.
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