Monday, February 17, 2014
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.
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Are Americans Ignorant?
Guests: Juan Williams & Mary Katharine Ham
"On Election Day last November I said that America is a changing nation, which is why President Obama had a fairly easy time winning reelection. The dishonest liberal media took that as a lament, that I was whining about the election results. That was a lie, I was simply giving you the facts. A recent study asked 1,000 Americans to take the same test that is given to foreigners who want to become American citizens. 29% could not name the vice president, 43% were unable to define the Bill of Rights, and 40% did not know that America fought Germany and Japan in World War II. That's a disaster! It's quite clear that the public school system is a main culprit; it is no longer teaching history, geography, or civics in an effective way. Also, the Internet has created a generation of self-absorbed, addicted, distracted, and ignorant people. The result is that a very few shrewd people are wielding enormous power and many Americans are voting for what they can get, not what is best for this nation. We are a nation in decline because American citizens are not paying attention and do not seem to be interested in the welfare of this country. Most of you watching are not in the 'ignorant' category, but if you add up all the Americans who read newspapers and watch TV news, it is a minority. Finally, with the Internet now dominating American life, the situation will most likely get worse."

The Factor asked Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams to evaluate the Talking Points Memo. "I couldn't agree more," Williams said, "and when you said people on the Internet are ignorant and self-absorbed, I said, 'Thank God for O'Reilly.' It's outrageous and there's a real consequence - if people don't know what's in the Constitution, how do you stand up for your rights?" But Ham disputed the notion that the Internet is a negative factor in modern life. "The Internet is a gift, it's one of the greatest gifts to mankind. You can find any kind of information at any time, it's all out there for you." In response, The Factor compared the Internet to a dangerous narcotic: "You are very wrong and you are also reflecting your generation. When they came out with morphine, it was a great thing that allowed people to survive."
Watters' World Segment
Presidential History
Guest: Jesse Watters
Continuing on the theme of American ignorance, Jesse Watters commemorated President's Day by hitting the streets and asking some people about past presidents. Many of them were totally flummoxed by quotes such as "The buck stops here," "There's nothing to fear but fear itself," and "Ask not what your country can do for you." Watters reported the results of his informal and unscientific survey. "I talked to about a dozen people and I'd give them an overall C-. Everybody knows the JFK quote, but other than that it was very difficult."
Impact Segment
A New GOP?
Guest: Karl Rove
Republican Senator Rand Paul is calling for "a new Republican Party" that is totally transformed. The Factor ran that idea past Republican strategist Karl Rove. "Paul wants to have a stronger influence of libertarian principles inside the Republican Party," Rove observed. "Senator Paul believes that the party's principles can have acceptability in every community and every corner of America, and he's challenging Republicans to reach out to young people, to Latinos, to African Americans, to Asians, and to get outside of our comfort zone. I admire him for doing that. He's running for president in 2016 and every candidate will face a challenge of how to describe a party that they should lead." The Factor reiterated that Rand Paul is seeking a monumental shift. "The libertarian concept, especially in foreign policy, has never been embraced by the Republican Party. He is asking for a profound change in the GOP."
Personal Story Segment
Shocking Craigslist Murders
Guest: Francis Scarcella
19-year-old Pennsylvania woman Miranda Barbour claims she has killed more than 20 people, beginning when she was just 13. The Factor explored the case with reporter Francis Scarcella, who interviewed Barbour in prison. "I walked in there for this interview and she started telling me these things," Scarcella said. "She was meek, mild, and calm, and I was shell-shocked. Do I believe she killed that many people? It's hard to believe. But do I believe that there is something else out there? Yes I do. She said she began getting involved in Satanism when she was 13 years old. The police are taking everything she said very seriously."
Impact Segment
The Media's Effect on Us
Guests: Karen Charrington & Howard Kurtz
A study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concludes that MSNBC host Al Sharpton became personally involved in the Trayvon Martin story and that TV news often distorted the facts of the case. The Factor scrutinized the MIT study with FNC media analyst Howard Kurtz and defense attorney Karen Charrington. "Cable news feeds on these polarizing and racially charged crimes," Kurtz lamented, "and both the left and the right played an inflammatory role. Al Sharpton openly crusaded on behalf of the Martin family and yet was allowed to push their cause on his MSNBC show." Charrington defended Sharpton's role in the controversy. "Al Sharpton is an activist, this is what he does, so no one should be surprised by his passion about a topic such as this. MSNBC gave him this platform because they know this is his forte, he brings out these issues to the public." But The Factor admonished Sharpton's corporate bosses: "Al Sharpton, with Comcast behind him, convicted an American on television. It disturbed me that a very large corporation with a lot of power would allow one of its employees to convict somebody."
Back of Book Segment
Distorting Russia?
Guest: Dr. Charles Krauthammer
A writer for the far-left Nation magazine accuses the American media of promoting "distorting" images of Russia and Vladimir Putin. Charles Krauthammer entered the No Spin Zone with his take on the story. "You correctly identify the Nation as a far-left magazine," Dr. K said, "and it has been apologizing for Russia for decades, back to the Soviet days. But at least in the Soviet days, even though the defense of the Soviets was despicable, it was understandable if you were a lefty. After all, the Soviet Union was the great hope for socialism and communism. But here you have Putin, who doesn't represent anything except a thuggish authoritarian state that oppresses its own people and throws people in jail wantonly." The Factor was also perplexed by the Nation's stance: "Putin is persecuting gay people, putting the press in jail, and terrorizing dissenters. Why would a liberal want to defend that?"
Factor Mail
Viewers sound off
Brent Weeks, Cabot, AR: "Bob Costas is a big left winger and murdered his credibility by praising Putin. And when you defend him, O'Reilly, your credibility goes out the window. Factor that."

Helen Sanders, Chevy Chase, MD: "Costas has been a target of the far right ever since he spoke out against guns after that murder-suicide in Kansas City. Incredibly the right is now labeling him as a far left crusader."

Charlotte Zaugg, Caldwell, ID: "In the discussion of marijuana, alcohol is always included. But few mention the cost of legal alcohol: addiction, destruction of families, and drunk driving deaths. And now we want to legalize marijuana? Are we slow learners or what?"
Tip Of The Day
Hidden Treasure
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