Monday, December 30, 2013

Laura Ingraham
On The O'Reilly Factor...
Segment Summaries
All content taken from The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel. Each weeknight by 6 PM EST a preview of that evening's show will be posted and then updated with additional information the following weekday by noon EST.
Top Story
Controversial Benghazi report
Laura began with the New York Times report about last year's terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. Times reporter David Kirkpatrick insists that the attack was not linked to Al Qaeda and was at least partly inspired by an anti-Muslim video. Laura discussed the Times story with Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, head of the House Intelligence Committee. "This was shocking to me," Rogers declared. "To say there was no Al Qaeda planning and to say there was not at least a degree of pre-planning is mystifying to me. Our committee reviewed 4,000 cables leading up to the event and it was clear that a threat of Al Qaeda was involved. I am shocked that a major newspaper would have the same talking points that the administration had the day after the events." Laura was also perplexed by the Times report, saying, "I'm not following the New York Times' reporting on this, and it seems out of synch with what even the Times has reported."
Factor Follow Up Segment
Presidential Preview
While Hillary Clinton remains the heavy favorite to be the Democratic nominee in 2016, prominent Democrat Bill Richardson was on TV Sunday touting Secretary of State John Kerry. Laura asked FNC's Mary Katharine Ham and Democratic strategist Richard Goodstein to opine on a possible Kerry challenge. "This makes no sense to me," Goodstein said. "John Kerry was the first Democrat since 1988 not to win a plurality of the vote and Democrats certainly remember that. We all know how Democrats think about George W. Bush and the fact that Kerry lost to him in 2004 is not a strength for him." Ham also dismissed the possibility of John Kerry defeating Hillary Clinton for the nomination. "We should always stipulate that Hillary Clinton was 'inevitable' in 2008 and lots of things can happen. But I don't think John Kerry is one of the things that will happen." Laura contended that Kerry has actually been a more effective statesman than Clinton: "His record as Secretary of State has been far superior to Hillary's, he's actually tried to play clean-up for her mistakes."
Talking Points Memo & Impact Segment
The GOP and Obamacare
"For two days in a row the Washington Post has run front-page stories highlighting the new 'positive' news about Obamacare. Signups have reached 1.1 million, screams one headline. I expect we're going to see more of these types of pieces as Democrats and the White House circle the wagons and attack the GOP on the Affordable Care Act. This is why the GOP is taking a huge risk by counting on Obamacare as its only issue in 2014. Remember, a number of Republicans justified their support of that lame Ryan-Murray budget deal by arguing that it will help them focus on Obamacare in 2014. But it's not that simple. It's not that Obamacare will work, but in the run-up to the midterms many in the media will do everything in their power to make people think it's working. So conservative candidates should be prepared to make other points, such as how they've held the line on spending, how they stopped the Democrats from rolling back Second Amendment rights, how they stopped immigration amnesty from undercutting middle class wages. Republicans should tout what they've actually accomplished, even while in the minority in Congress. Spending has declined over the past few years because Republicans have blocked the Democrats from spending money that we don't have on programs that don't work. The GOP must point out that Republicans have served a critical role by preventing liberals from doing even more damage to the middle class."

For another view of Obamacare, Laura welcomed Richard Benjamin of the left-leaning Demos think tank. "Like the majority of Americans," Benjamin said, "I just want this law to work. People are tired of shenanigans in Washington, they're happy that more people are getting enrolled, and the site seems to be working better. Although the law has its problems, more people will be covered and the kinks will be worked out." But Joseph Antos of the conservative American Enterprise Institute focused on Obamacare's flaws. "Somebody who has a serious medical condition should not change their doctor, and the reality is that the exchange plans have very limited networks. A lot of people are going to be shocked when they find out that they can't continue to go to the hospitals and doctors that have been taking care of them for years."
Unresolved Problems Segment
Under Attack from the Left
Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz assessed the recent A&E-Duck Dynasty dustup, particularly an MSNBC analyst's claim that "Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty are part of a white supremacist culture." "Politicians and pundits on both sides have been piling on and exploiting this issue," Kurtz said, "but that was seriously over the top! Phil Robertson's language was a little inflammatory toward gays, but I wouldn't have suspended him. A&E got on its high moral horse and described themselves as champions of the gay and lesbian community. But as soon as the backlash heated up, the suspension was cut to zero days. This was a classic case of corporate spinelessness." Laura suggested that gay activist groups like GLAAD have been badly damaged: "A lot of traditional Americans see a lot of what happens in the culture as offensive to them, but I don't see them asking people to be fired. I think GLAAD now looks like the bullies, a lot of people see that organization as bullying people they disagree with."
Personal Story Segment
Will the Olympics be Safe?
After two deadly suicide bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd, there is growing concern about security at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. Laura pursued the story with international security analyst Michael Waller. "We really feel these attacks here in Boston," Waller said, "because the terrorists who did the Boston Marathon bombing were from that part of Russia. It's going to be quite a concern for the athletes and the spectators who go to the Olympics. Russia is still a police state and Putin presides over a massive secret police system, but they have not been able to get a handle on their terrorist problem, especially coming from the southern part of Russia near Chechnya. Right now it's an Islamist ideological fight." Laura worried out that the Olympics are a logical target for terror groups looking to make a violent statement: "Russia is promising the tightest security in the history of the Olympic Games, but if people want to do damage they'll probably be able to."
Back of Book Segment
Revealing Announcement
ABC's Good Morning America host Robin Roberts has announced that she is gay. Laura asked ratio talk show hosts Eboni Williams and Michael Graham to weigh the significance of Roberts' revelation. "I haven't been this shocked since Clay Aiken came out," Graham joked. "What's interesting is that so many people in public life are openly gay that this is not a big deal. The notion that they'll lose a single viewer over this is nonsense!" Williams applauded Roberts for helping ease the way for other gay Americans. "A lot of people look up to Robin Roberts, so this is a good thing for many people who still have to deal with limitations on their lifestyles. This is a huge step in normalizing lifestyles and hopefully broadening acceptance." Laura concluded that most Americans really don't care all that much about Roberts' sexual preference, or that of anyone else: "A lot of people are over the whole sexuality thing. They're unemployed, the cost of living is going up, yet the media obsesses about a person's sexuality. To some people it's just too much."

Laura concluded Monday's show with some excerpts from Bill's moving - and occasionally humorous - introduction of jazz legend Herbie Hancock at the Kennedy Center Honors. "Herbie Hancock is a remarkable American and a remarkable artist," Bill told the audience. "He's always serene, he's always modest and so polite. And, believe me, I need that kind of role model. Look at him now, sitting up there with the President of the United States, the First Lady, and all those brilliant artists, and he's the only one not nervous about what I'm going to say. Herbie is a true gentleman, his fame and his skill reflect the values that have made this country great - hard work, creativity, and respect for yourself and others. It's that embracing of what is good in mankind that infuses Herbie Hancock's music and makes him a national icon."