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, February 22, 2006
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Factor Investigation Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Personal Story Segment
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Arab port story: Out of control!
Guests: Congressman Peter King (R-NY) & Peter Beinart, The New Republic

"In one corner, you have the unlikely alliance of the conservative New York Post, the liberal New York Times, the conservative Peter King, and the liberal Hillary Clinton - all opposed to allowing a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates to work at six American ports. In the opposing corner you have me, the conservative Wall Street Journal, the liberal Washington Post, and Jimmy Carter. Confused yet? This port story in complicated, but the bottom line is this: If America spits in the eye of the UAE, which is a huge help in the war on terror right now, we'll lose the help of all the rest of the Arab world. So the USA is caught between a mosque and a hard place. The Bush administration knows it has to honor the contract, but it should provide ultra-strict oversight at ports. This is a very tough issue and many people are demagoguing it. But if you are looking out for the USA, and we are, you can not throw out one of our most important allies in the war on terror."

Fox News Video: FoxNews.com

New York Congressman Peter King, a leading conservative opponent of the UAE port contract, explained his opposition. "This is not against Arabs. It involves a specific country that had an Al Qaeda influence within it, and was one of only three countries in the world that recognized the Taliban. The port of Dubai itself was a stopping-off point for materials going to North Korea and Libya. There's danger in allowing this to happen before a full investigation." The Factor advised Congressman King to reconsider. "The United Arab Emirates did support the Taliban in 1996, and there is no excuse for that. But according to the State Department today, the Emirates is cooperating in hunting down Al Qaeda and has tightened up its banking laws to prevent Al Qaeda money from washing through. You're demonizing an ally that is one of our most important in the world."

From the opposite side of the political spectrum, journalist Peter Beinart detailed why he and other liberals oppose the contract. "This is about competence. After Hurricane Katrina, Democrats don't trust the Bush administration to do a thorough investigation." The Factor challenged Beinart to back up the following, which he wrote in The New Republic: "Trying to get information about Iraq ? by listening to Bill O'Reilly is like trying to get information about the Soviet Union in the 1950's by listening to Joe McCarthy." Beinert defended his statement, saying "most of the time you discuss the war on terror as a partisan issue of liberals versus conservatives. I don't think you provide enough information for Americans to make good analyses as to whether we should get out of Iraq or stay." The Factor was incensed by Beinart's indictment. "Your statement is ridiculous, because our reporting on Iraq has been very tough. The picture that we've given on the war on terror is absolutely accurate, and for you to put that in your magazine is a bunch of crap."

How is Air America Radio surviving?
Guest: Blogger Brian Maloney (radioequalizer.blogspot.com) & campaign finance expert Cleta Mitchell

The Factor and blogger Brian Maloney have been investigating the finances of Air America, the ratings-challenged radio network. According to one source, a group called "Democracy Alliance" - funded in part by billionaires George Soros and Peter Lewis - will inject $8 million to keep Air America alive through election day. Campaign finance expert Cleta Mitchell suggested that money could be considered an illegal campaign contribution. "Don't you love the fact that liberals want campaign finance laws and then their rich donors try to find ways to circumvent them. They are turning Air America into what ought to be a regulated political committee." The Factor pointed out that Air America host Al Franken, who has hinted he may run for the US Senate, is being paid more than $2 million, and the network is being propped up by ideologues. "What you have here is a radio network that is failing financially. This far left outfit comes in and is saying it will pay the bills. The goal is to get across a propaganda point of view under the guise of competing in the marketplace. We're going to ask the FCC to look into Air America."

Highland, CA boycotts San Francisco
Guest: City Councilman Larry McCallun

The city of Highland, California has adopted a resolution that prohibits spending any city money in San Francisco. Highland councilman Larry McCallon said the action was triggered by San Francisco's consistent hostility toward the military. "The rest of the country thinks California is a bunch of kooks and nuts because of what goes on in San Francisco. We wanted to let them know that San Francisco does not speak for the majority of people in California." The Factor predicted that other Americans may try to punish the city economically. "The San Francisco city government has been hijacked by radicals, and I do believe tourism may be affected. Some folks are going to be teed off by their anti-military posture."

Former Mayor Willie Brown speaks
Guest: Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, 960 AM

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown entered the No Spin Zone and spoke out on various issues, including the economic boycott enacted by city leaders in Highland. "San Francisco is a city with lots of people and lots of views. The people who live here shouldn't be treated any differently than the people who live in the little city of Highland. San Francisco is one of the most unusual political cities in the country, and it is still one of the most beautiful and wonderful cities for anyone to visit." The Factor didn't doubt the city's beauty, but did question the sanity of its current leadership. "You are living in a city that is way, way out there on the left and most Americans are not. You have to admit there is a lot of craziness there." Former Mayor Brown also predicted that California voters will overwhelmingly pass a Jessica's Law initiative mandating harsh minimum sentences for child molesters.

Joran Van Der Sloot talks
Guest: Greta Van Susteren

A newly released video shows Joran Van Der Sloot and Natalee Holloway sitting at a blackjack table in Aruba on the night of her disappearance. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren downplayed the relevance of the footage. "To see them together at the same time is fascinating, but I wouldn't say it's important to the investigation. It is nothing we haven't already known." Van Susteren also commented on Van Der Sloot's on-camera interview with ABC. "Prosecutors and police will watch the interview to see if there are any inconsistencies in his story. Aruba authorities says they are still going forward with a criminal prosecution."

Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Many of your e-mails dealt with the United Arab Emirates firm that will administer some US ports. Some excerpts:

Al Trautman, Lydia, LA: "Bill, I'm glad for your comments on the UAE port takeover. I never realized how anti-American you are. Thanks for showing your true colors."

Travis Bishop, Grant, AL: "Bill, in the beginning, the port situation reeked of stupidity. However, after listening to your in-depth comments, I changed my mind. I depend on The Factor for the truth.

John Farmer, Dubai, UAE: "I am working over here and the UAE is one of the most critical allies we have in the war on terror. Thanks for giving them a fair shake, Mr. O'Reilly."

Robert Osbourne, Jerusalem, Israel: "There is no foreign government on earth that would permit the USA to take control of their ports of entry. This issue is not Arab, it is security."

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