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.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Factor Rundown
Guest Host
Factor goes West Coast! Bill does the show from Los Angeles this entire week...
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Watters' World Segment
Miller Time Segment
Back of Book Segment
Factor Mail
Pinheads and Patriots
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Gas industry defends itself
Guest: Charles Drevna

"We began covering the skyrocketing oil prices last Friday with Lou Dobbs. He was candid, saying that because of the mild winter there's plenty of oil and gas in the USA, but prices are much higher because the oil companies are shipping their products overseas. Measured in dollars, oil products are now America's largest export, worth $88 billion a year to the oil companies. With working Americans getting hammered by stagnant wages and huge unemployment, this is yet another punishing situation for the folks. If the Obama administration wanted to, it could ask Congress to raise export taxes on the oil companies to encourage them to sell their products here. The feds could exert some control if they wanted to, but they don't. Why? Well, Republicans generally don't want to inhibit the oil industry and Democrats generally want high gas prices so folks switch to other modes of transportation and embrace alternative energy. This is part of the 'global warming' deal, but who gets hurt by all the politics? You do! The cartels overseas and the oil companies here set the prices based on what they can get anywhere in the world, so we can expect prices to continue to go higher until the oil companies believe they are going to be held accountable. Then they'll back off, just a bit."

For an opposing view, The Factor welcomed oil industry spokesman Charles Drevna. "We have an ample supply of fuel here in the United States," Drevna admitted, "but this is a global economy and the price is set in the global market - 84% of the price at the pump is dictated by the cost of crude and taxes. That is the no spin - we don't set the price for gasoline any more than the farmer sets the price for a bushel of corn." Drevna also responded to Lou Dobbs' assertion that oil companies are exporting too much of their refined products overseas. "Yes, we are exporting jet fuel and diesel, which is a good thing for the economy. But there is no shortage of fuel in the United States." Nevertheless, The Factor reiterated that big oil, in its quest for profit, is harming average folks: "In 2011 American families paid $840 more for gasoline than in the previous year, which resulted in $92 billion less money going into our faltering economy. The oil cartels and the oil companies are contributing to the bad economy."
Political effect of high gas prices
Guest: Dick Morris

Political strategist Dick Morris predicted how President Obama will address high gasoline prices. "He'll say the United States is producing a record amount of oil," Morris predicted, "but that's because of the offshore permits that Bush issued and the fracking that he has no control over." Morris also theorized that the geopolitics of oil could determine the next president. "It's possible that the 2012 election will be played out over the next few months with oil price increases, a possible Israeli attack on Iran, the American response, and the closing of the Straits of Hormuz. It's always possible that a president rises to the occasion and shows himself to be a strong leader, in which case Obama could actually win reelection over this. But most likely he'll be pilloried for high gas prices, then when the Israeli thing erupts he'll probably be weak and get blamed for failure of diplomacy."
Will Santorum's religion hurt him in the general election?
Guests: Fr. Edward Beck & Pastor Robert Jeffress

Rick Santorum's conservative religious views have earned him the scorn of the mainstream media, but how will they play with religious Americans? The Factor posed that question to Pastor Robert Jeffress and Father Edward Beck. "It's going to hurt him," Beck said," because most people are more in the middle. He will need to carry women and Catholics and his stances may be problematic with both - he's to the right of most Catholics." Jefress argued that Rick Santorum's traditional faith is actually an asset. "I don't agree with him on every issue, but I admire a candidate who is willing to stand on principle instead of being driven by pragmatism and polls. In 2008, 30-million evangelical Christians sat home and didn't vote because they weren't energized by John McCain. A man like Santorum inspires people who may not agree with him on every issue. He is in the mainstream of what millions of Christians believe, he's not some nut job out there on the fringe." The Factor predicted that progressives and secularists will "define Rick Santorum as a crazy holy-roller and Elmer Gantry kind of guy."
Watters hits Venice Beach
Guest: Jesse Watters

Factor producer Jesse Watters took a stroll on Venice Beach, the legendary bastion of counter-culture, and asked a few folks who will get their vote. The responses were predictably mixed, although some pinheads had never even heard of Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Watters, his pupils suspiciously dilated, summed up his outing. "There are medical marijuana shops lining the streets," he reported, "and there is pot smoke wafting through the air. I had the munchies when I got back to the bureau."
Miller sounds off on gas prices and Whitney Houston
Guest: Dennis Miller

The Factor invited Dennis Miller to lay blame for the high price of gasoline. "Out of all the things we spend on," Miller began, "moving a two-ton object 30 miles for four bucks is not the worst deal we get. That being said, if I had to blame anybody I would obviously blame the environmentalists. Look at North Dakota and Canada and Alaska - all you have to do is tap in." Miller also questioned New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's decision to fly flags at half mast as a tribute to Whitney Houston. "I don't have an ax to grind with Whitney Houston, but I like people who don't get much notice in life to get the half-mast thing. Like a fireman or a cop or a soldier who is really anonymous for most of their lives. Drugs ruined Whitney Houston, but then she dies and gets almost a state funeral." Finally, Miller opined on the decision by Sean Stone, son of director Oliver Stone, to become a Muslim. "Mazel Tov on the conversion," Miller quipped, "and when you hit your knees now, kid, ask whomever you're talking with to let your old man make a good film. He's on a real bad streak."
Did You See That: Santorum's Satan warning
Guest: Juliet Huddy

Fox News correspondent Juliet Huddy addressed the controversy over Rick Santorum's 2008 speech in which he warned that Satan "has his sights" set on America. "Rick Santorum says it's absurd that he's being criticized for that," Huddy reported. "He says he's a person of faith who believes in good and evil. He made that speech at a Catholic university and he was speaking in the terms you would address that type of audience with. A lot of people like Rick Santorum because he does speak his mind."
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Joe Schramel, Sartel, MN: "Hey, Bill, Stossel owes you $1,000. My son works at one of the four gas stations in town. He confirms they all set their price at the same amount."

Greg Givens, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa: "As an assistant professor of economics, I can tell you that the market for consumer gasoline is perfectly competitive. There is not a lack of competition."

Jim Corbett, Charlottesville, VA: "Oil companies lease rights to drill for oil in the USA, therefore the government can regulate what happens to that oil."
President Obama
Wednesday's Patriot or Pinhead: President Obama, who once again broke out in song during a blues performance at the White House.