Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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
Tracking down high fuel prices
"Tuesday's Factor included an extensive discussion about the pricing of gasoline and the huge profits American oil companies are making. One thing struck me - after all the experts we've talked to, all the research we've done, we still can't find out who sets the price of a gallon of gasoline. Somebody tells your local gas station owner exactly what to charge, but the five major oil companies manage to fog up the situation so much that confusion reigns. Eight governors have now asked President Bush to investigate alleged price gouging. They base their assertions on a study done by economist Don Nichols, who says for gasoline to cost $3 a gallon, the barrel price that OPEC charges would have to be $95. Since OPEC is presently charging $58, Professor Nichols concludes the US oil companies have some explaining to do. All Americans should cut back energy consumption and not buy gas on Sundays. Let's send a message to these energy people who operate in the shadows. The government owes us some oversight, but we owe it to ourselves to use less oil. Let's do it."

Fox News Video:

Top Story
Update on Hurricane Rita
Guests: Meteorologist Rich Reichmuth & Cmdr. Tom Strong, NOAA

Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth joined The Factor with the latest on Hurricane Rita. "The strength is eerily similar to Katrina at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to see this get stronger, maybe up to 175 or 185 miles an hour winds." A unique perspective was provided by Commander Tom Strong, who actually flew his plane through Hurricane Rita Tuesday. "I learn to respect every storm I go through, and this was no exception. We flew through the storm as it went from a tropical storm to a Category 2 hurricane over the course of four or five hours." The Factor summarized Rita's status as of Wednesday night. "It looks like it's going to hit Friday night or Saturday morning, and it looks like the central coast of Texas. We want it to go down, away from the population centers of Galveston and Houston."

Impact Segment
Relocating... again?
Guests: Evacuees Anita Goldberg & Mervin Murphy

Some people have been hit with a double whammy - losing everything in New Orleans, and now being forced to evacuate from Texas. The Factor spoke with 62-year old Mervin Murphy, who was first taken from New Orleans to Houston, then relocated to Arkansas, and is now about to be transferred still again. Murphy expressed absolutely no bitterness about his recent fate. "My spirits are real good, it could have been worse. The only thing I can do is move forward. Some people say the Lord did this - but the Lord doesn't tear things down, the Devil does. The Factor commended Murphy for his pluck and spirit. "It seems like these hurricanes are tracking you. This is just bad luck for you and bad luck for the country."

Personal Story Segment
The world according to Donald Trump
Guest: Donald Trump

Donald Trump, last seen singing on the Emmy Awards dressed in farmer's overalls, joined The Factor to discuss more serious topics. Trump said the best way to rebuild New Orleans is by hiring private developers. "They have to give developers tax incentives, because the government isn't going to do it. But the government is going to have to do something about the levees or you're just wasting a lot of time and effort. You had a great city, and perhaps it's going to be great again, but it's going to take time." The Factor suggested that zealous government watchdogs will be needed to guard against fraud and waste. "The corruption in the construction business is rampant. I think you have to have the FBI in there to watch people, because if they're going to get federal money we have to have oversight."

Trump also agreed with The Factor's contention that oil companies are price gouging. "It's beyond the oil companies - it's OPEC and Saudi Arabia. It is so out of control right now, and our government isn't doing anything about it. You have to get a hardened business person to go to Saudi Arabia and read them the riot act. We are letting them get away with murder."

Fox News Video: Part 1 - Part 2

Factor Follow Up Segment
A verbal brawl: O'Reilly vs. Donahue

NOTE: The following segments were not seen by some viewers due to Fox News coverage of the emergency landing of Jet Blue Flight 292. The Factor Follow Up Segment with Phil Donahue will be shown on tonight's Factor, and is not to be missed.

Guest: Phil Donahue

Former talk show host Phil Donahue has rallied behind anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, who has called Iraqi terrorists "freedom fighters" and the US action in Afghanistan a "failure." Despite her radical views, Donahue portrayed Sheehan as a woman under siege. "The effort to marginalize this woman is under way. Cindy Sheehan is one tough mother, and nothing you say or do is going to slow her down. She is going to be at the center of one of the largest rallies since the Vietnam War this weekend in Washington." Donahue accused Bill O'Reilly of supporting a war to which he would not send his own children, setting off a heated confrontation.

O'Reilly: "You don't know what the hell you're talking about! My nephew just enlisted in the Army. He's a patriot, so don't denigrate his service or I'll boot you right off the set. Don't tell me I wouldn't send my kid."
Donahue: "You are part of a loud group of people who want to prove they're tough and send other people's kids to war to make the case."
O'Reilly: "You are clueless, and so is Ms. Sheehan. She says the insurgents have a right to kill Americans, and you're shaking her hand?"
Donahue: "How many more men and women are you going to send to have their arms and legs blown off so that you can be tough?"
O'Reilly: "You buy into left wing propaganda and you're a mouthpiece for it."
Back of Book Segment
African-Americans and New Orleans flooding
Guest: Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan suggested levees in New Orleans were intentionally blown up in order to flood black parts of the city. According to columnist Eugene Robinson, other blacks also believe they were victims of a conspiracy. "I heard this from evacuees in New Orleans when I was down there. It tells you something about divisions in New Orleans that this theory would spring to people's minds. I would describe this idea as wrong, but not crazy." The Factor disputed the notion that these theories are anything but insane. "If people believe this they are delusional paranoids because this is off the charts. Guys like you have to come out and say this is rampant paranoia that doesn't do anybody any good."

Factor Mail
Viewers sound off
Many of you sent e mails about the major US oil companies and allegations of price gouging. Some excerpts:

Thomas Flynn, Henderson, NV: "Bill, I am glad you are taking on the oil companies. The proof of their gouging is right in their profit statements."

Lewis Timothy, Salt Lake City, UT: "Out here in Utah, most of our oil comes out of the ground locally. So why did they double the price from a year ago?"

John Willingham, Longview, TX: "Mr. O'Reilly, after listening to you bloviate, it occurred to me you might have socialist tendencies."

Rick Smeltz, Lewistown, PA: "O'Reilly, I am taking your advice and selling my gas guzzling truck, cutting my energy use by 20%, and not buying gas on Sundays."