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.
Tuesday, September 27, 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
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Where has all the leadership gone?
Guest: Jack Welsh, former General Electric CEO

"President Bush built a first-term legacy on leadership, and that was reflected in his re-election. But now the leadership is in question. Former FEMA head Michael Brown has basically defended his agency's dismal performance in the days after Katrina. And now we have a ballooning gas price situation that is hurting millions of Americans. So we asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to come on the program, but he declined. Mr. Bodman did speak to Neil Cavuto and said the oil companies 'have performed well.' Mr. Bodman is on the side of the oil companies and standing on the sidelines while prices rise. Is that leadership? Leadership is taking control of difficult situations and driving them to successful conclusions. We need tough and effective leaders. Michael Brown? Samuel Bodman? You make the call."

Fox News Video:

For another take on leadership, The Factor was joined by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Welch blamed the weak federal response to Katrina on organizational changes. "Katrina has magnified everything. FEMA was buried as part of Homeland Security, which was thinking about terrorists, not about wind and rain. And when you put an orphan in an organization, you wind up with a mess." The Factor argued that what matters is not an organizational flow chart, but leadership. "After Katrina, Americans were looking for someone to take control of the situation. Nobody took control of it locally or nationally. The only thing I can figure out is that President Bush is shell-shocked by Iraq. He felt he had a victory in Iraq, and then there's been two-and-a-half years of chaos. I think he's shell-shocked over that."

Churches and hurricane relief
Guest: Rev. Barry Lynn, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

The federal government wants to reimburse some religious organizations for their role in hurricane relief. Reverend Barry Lynn explained why his and other self-proclaimed "civil liberties" groups object to the reimbursement plan. "FEMA did a dismal job at disaster relief, and now they're trying to do an equally dismal job of trying to defend the religious right in all these affected areas. You can not throw money from the taxpayers' pocket into the collection plate." The Factor accused Lynn of overt hostility to religion. "You're objecting, and the other 'civil liberties' groups are objecting, and it's morally wrong, it's wrong in every way. These people did good work, and deserve to be reimbursed. This is another attack on religion."

Folsom Street Fair controversy
Guest: Journalist Fred Kuhr

Each September, as part of "Leather Pride Week," thousands of San Franciscans march in the Folsom Street Fair, which features outrageous costumes, nudity, and sexually explicit conduct. Journalist Fred Kuhr described the fair as a colorful part of the homosexual community. "An event like this is probably not helpful in terms of passing gay rights legislation, but it's not hurtful. This is for people out of the mainstream, it markets itself as an 'alternative' event, and the gay people who go to it are a sliver of the gay population in general. So I don't see it as that much of a harm." The Factor contended that events like the Folsom Street Fair damage the so-called gay agenda. "These kinds of demonstrations, even though they raise money for charity, do harm to the gay community. When people around the country see this, they don't like it. And they start to stereotype homosexuals, and that hurts gay people everywhere."

Air America on edge of collapse?
Guests: Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin & radio analyst Brian Maloney

Air America, the left-wing radio network heavily promoted by the New York Times and other newspapers, appears to be in dire financial straits, and has even resorted to asking its listeners for contributions. Radio analyst Brian Maloney claimed Air America may be on its last legs. "As things stand now, they could be down to their last couple of months. Part of the financial trouble with Air America is the result of bigwigs like George Soros not contributing what Air America would like. The interest level from the elitists on the left is lower." Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin blamed the network's content. "You have any number of these Air America hosts saying outrageous things that even rational liberals feel are beyond the pale. You had Randi Rhodes advocating the assassination of President Bush and cheering the looters in New Orleans. It is almost comical that they're putting on these panhandling pleas." The Factor pointed out that Air America's problems have barely been covered by the media outlets that once promoted the network so vigorously. "It doesn't look like they're going to survive. And the media are not going to cover the demise. You'll only hear it on Fox News."

Rangel in the No "Bull" Zone
Guest: Congressman Charles Rangel

Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel recently compared President Bush to notorious racist police chief "Bull" Connor. Rangel joined The Factor to defend his inflammatory remarks. "When you saw what happened in Katrina, if you were poor in this country, those were the people who couldn't get out of town. And it was our nation, under President Bush, that failed those people just because they were poor. If you really want to focus on the poverty in this country, I think this administration has been the 'Bull' Connors. You're not going to tell anyone that this administration has been friendly to the poor." The Factor forcefully criticized Rangel for comparing President Bush to a committed racist. "Surely that was a cheap shot, and I think it demeaned you to compare the president to this terrible man. The personal attack is not based on anything but your opinion. The poverty rate halfway through the Bush years is a full percentage point less than halfway through the Clinton years. The country is spending an enormous amount of money to try to help people out of poverty, yet you're saying he's 'Bull' Connor. It doesn't add up, sir! Record spending on poverty and entitlements is the fact. What more do you want? Do you want a socialist society? Do you want Bush to go to people's homes and tutor them? Some people choose not to compete in a capitalist society. That's the truth."

Ward Churchill controversy update
Guest: Prof. Bill Bradford, College of William and Mary

Indiana University professor Bill Bradford refused to sign a petition in support of radical anti-American professor Ward Churchill, after which he was denied tenure. Bradford, himself an Army veteran and an Apache Indian, told The Factor he was punished for not signing. "Professor Florence Roisman brought me a petition and asked me to sign it. When I wouldn't sign she asked, 'What kind of Indian are you?' She engineered a vote on the faculty to fire me and deny tenure. The presumption was that I, as an Indian, had an ethnic role to play. That because I'm an Indian I'm supposed to perform the way the left wants me to perform rather than think for myself. That's the epitome of racism, Bill."

Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Many of you sent e mails about the oil situation and accusations of price gouging. Some excerpts:

Tim Wainscott, San Dimas, CA: "O'Reilly, thanks for taking it to the oil companies and looking out for the folks. Isn't that supposed to be what our political leaders do?"

Carl McLaren, Haines City, FL: "Really, Bill, your lack of understanding of economics is appalling. If a company like ExxonMobil lowered prices by 20%, the board of directors and CEO would be in trouble."

Paul Badaracco, Bronxville, NY: "Bill, keep your socialist paws off my SUV."

Others wrote about last weekend's anti-war protest in Washington.

Debra King, Fort Worth, TX: "I am the mother of a soldier. I don't agree with Cindy Sheehan but have not tried to be judgmental of a grieving mother. But the picture of her smiling as she was arrested made me boil. She is an attention addict who is feeding propaganda to those who would kill my son."

Lisa James, Portland, OR: "Bill, what's with the personal attack on Jessica Lange? Your sarcastic comment about her being a 'political scientist' was way off base."