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, August 24, 2005
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo
Top Story
Impact Segment
Personal Story Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Unresolved Problems Segment
Back of Book Segment
Factor Mail
Book Mentions
Get the book free when you become a Premium Member. Join up today!
Are you an extremist?
"The loony left is furious that we have outed Cindy Sheehan as a radical. The loopy right is mad because I said Jesus might not be down with Pat Robertson putting out a contract on Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. There is no shortage of extremists, but there's a problem with labeling someone an extremist - they may be rational in most areas, but off the wall in a few. An extremist is someone who rejects facts and holds on to opinions no matter what. So, are you an extremist? Talking Points has devised a short list of indicators: If you think Michael Moore reports accurately, you're an extremist. If you agree with Reverends Falwell and Robertson that gays and abortionists caused God to allow 9/11, you're an extremist. If you feel foreign terrorists have Constitutional rights, and convicted child sex offenders should not serve long prison terms, say hello to the extremist label. If you agree that Allah is okay with slaughtering civilians, you're extreme. If you agree with everything President Bush has done, you're an extremist. And if you think everything he's done has been wrong, put a big 'E' on your forehead. And finally, if you applaud when Barbra Streisand talks geopolitics or when a right-wing talk show host urges a nuclear strike on Iran, welcome to the wonderful world of extremism."

Fox News Video:

Hugo Chavez & Pat Robertson
Guest: Douglas MacKinnion, former press secretary for Bob Dole

Former GOP Presidential hopeful Pat Robertson openly called for US intelligence agents to assassinate Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. But just who is Chavez, and why does he inspire such venom? Douglas MacKinnon, former press secretary for Senator Bob Dole, accused him of aiding and abetting terror "Hugo Chavez is an extreme threat to our nation and our hemisphere. He's exporting terrorism throughout South and Central America. He is using oil revenue to fund violent groups, to prop up his regime, and to go after the United States." On the other side, former Venezuela spokesperson Deborah James portrayed Chavez as an heroic populist. "President Chavez has been twice democratically elected, and has some of the highest popularity ratings in Latin America. Venezuela has absolute freedom of press and human rights. There is not one shred of evidence that they fund terrorists."

New Hampshire Union-Leader attacks
Guest: Joe McQuaid, publisher, New Hampshire Union-Leader

During a segment on Jessica's Law, The Factor criticized New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the Union Leader, for not aggressively promoting a law that would mandate lengthy minimum sentences for child molesters. On Wednesday the paper fired back with a vicious editorial. Some excerpts:

Our position is that the attorney general should study it before anyone decides that this specific law is the one New Hampshire should adopt. O'Reilly took that position and twisted it into something wholly unrecognizable, as a baboon would demolish a lump of Play-Doh ? O'Reilly's simplistic attempt to portray us as against tough punishments for sex offenders just because we want to see everything that is in the bill is childish and contemptible. But then, one could say the same of Bill O'Reilly himself.
Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid joined The Factor to elaborate on his paper's position. "Is another law really the answer rather than enforcing the laws on the books? You called me and my paper cowards because we didn't come on your show when it pleased you. We don't care about you, Mr. O'Reilly - we care about the state. New Hampshire will do it New Hampshire's way." The Factor argued that "New Hampshire's way" has thus far been perilous to kids. "Your state has no mandatory minimum sentences for child rapists, and you are okay with that? You haven't editorialized one time to protect the children of New Hampshire. I have nothing against you or your newspaper. All I want you to do is protect the kids."
Obesity in America: Is it a right?
Guest: Dan Mindus, Center for Consumer Freedom

According to a new report, a quarter of all US adults are technically "obese," and their corresponding health problems are costing America billions. But Dan Mindus of the Center for Consumer Freedom expressed deep skepticism about the data. "This is one of a long line of studies that exaggerate the problem. According to this, Arnold Schwarzenegger is obese. Some groups think we're too stupid to handle our own food choices, but you shouldn't regulate what people can eat." The Factor agreed, but added that taxpayers shouldn't foot the medical bills for people whose health problems are self-inflicted. "There has to be some way that if you grossly abuse your health, that I don't have to pay for it. We have to have a category of illness that is self-induced - that would include addiction, drug abuse, obesity, and things like that."

Life after "Intelligent Design"
Guest: Dr. Richard Sternberg, editor, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington

The theory of "intelligent design," which posits that the universe must have been created according to a plan, has become increasingly controversial. Biologist Richard Sternberg, who edited a scientific journal, published an article defending the theory. Dr. Sternberg told The Factor what happened next. "A number of outside groups demanded my ouster. Apparently there is an unstated rule that you don't accept a manuscript that counters Darwinism and I had committed the terrible sin of allowing this to be published. It's an attempt to suppress dissent, and it's politically and religiously motivated." The Factor asserted that some scientists are eager to quash unpopular opinions. "This is a concerted effort in a fascist way to punish anyone who might want to inject a 'higher power' into any scientific discussion."

Determining Pres. Bush's legacy
Guests: Presidential historian Doug Brinkley & Genevieve Wood, Center for a Just Society

How will President George W. Bush be judged by history? Conservative activist Genevieve Wood predicted he will be deemed an effective leader. "There's no doubt it's been a tough month, but when people look at this Presidency you can't just look at the past month. You have to look at all five years, and he's done a lot of good things." Historian Doug Brinkley argued that the President's legacy will depend on one issue. "He has bet his administration on Iraq. That may be a mistake, because he has done a lot of good things, but if Iraq fails his Presidency will be considered a failure." The Factor concurred that President Bush has had successes, but has been ineffective in three specific areas. "You've got chaotic situations on the border and in Iraq, and you have skyrocketing gas prices. Americans are saying he's failing in those areas."

Latest developments in Holloway case
Guest: Jossy Mansur, journalist

On Tuesday's program Aruba journalist Jossy Mansur revealed that three young women may testify that they were drugged and raped by Joran Van Der Sloot, the prime suspect in the Natalee Holloway case. Mansur returned to elaborate on his explosive assertion. "The three women are Arubans - one is 17 and two are 18. The younger one was questioned by the police and gave a statement." Mansur added that while his newspaper knows the names of all three women, Aruba police only know the identity of the 17-year old. It was an assertion The Factor found astounding. "You're telling me that the best investigators on the island don't know what you have found out? A crackerjack homicide team would know what you have found out, and I'm disappointed that the police do not know."

Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Many of your e mails focused on the segment with radio talk show host Michael Graham, who was fired for calling Islam a "terrorist organization." Some excerpts:

Sgt. James Riggall, Scranton, PA: "How can somebody like Cindy Sheehan say hateful things about America and is glorified, but Graham does the same about Islam and gets fired?"

Homer Ballad, Colonial Heights, VA: "I think it is interesting that Graham gets fired while Ward Churchill still has a job."

Mary Thurmand, Duncan, OK: "Bill, when can we expect the ACLU to come to the aid of Michael Graham?"

Mike O'Neill, Falls Church, VA: "Graham needs to be fired. He is an extremist."

Hasan, Karachi, Pakistan: "Pat Robertson wants to kill Hugo Chavez. Does that make all Christians terrorists?"

Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the Heroic Feats of the U.S. Army Rangers
by Douglas Brinkley