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, March 8, 2005
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo
Top Story
Unresolved Problems Segment
Personal Story Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
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The will to win the War on Terror
"As Talking Points has pointed out, the anti-Bush forces in America pretty much object to everything Mr. Bush is doing to defeat terrorism. They're against coercive interrogation, the Patriot Act, profiling in airports, and on and on. But the anti-Bush people have no strategy to fight terror, they're simply critics. The hard truth is that many Americans lack the will to defeat Islamic fascists. Every misstep and mistake America makes in this brutal war is highlighted and blown up into front page news. No country can win a war this way. During World War II America and Britain killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. The strategy was to break the enemy's will to fight. Can you imagine that strategy today? There's no difference but scale between Al Qaeda and the Nazi killers. Once again, if Al Qaeda is able to obtain a nuclear weapon, it will use it. Keep that in mind the next time you read a New York Times story about the rights of captured terrorists. President Bush may well succeed in liberalizing the Middle East and creating some democratic process there. And fairness dictates that we Americans give his strategy a chance to work. Oversight is needed and criminal behavior must be punished, but this constant undermining of the terror war is wrong and terribly misguided."

Danger from the Christian right?
Guest: Author Rob Boston

Author Rob Boston has written a book that is extremely critical of the "religious right." "We're on the slippery slope to what I would call theocracy light," Boston told The Factor. "I've followed the religious right, and many of them would like to ban abortion. Many would like to ban certain forms of birth control, and would like to roll back the rights that gays and lesbians have achieved. These are views that, if enacted, would put our country under the grip of religious fundamentalism." The Factor told Boston that he and others like him are the ones who are being intolerant. "You demonize people with whom you disagree, and try to make them out to be this dangerous element. I resent the fact that you and others are trying to scare Americans and warn that we're going to become a fascist theocracy here, and that's not the case."
Another professor under fire
Guest: Prof. Phil Mitchell, Colorado University

As if Ward Churchill isn't enough, there's another controversy at the University of Colorado. History Professor Phil Mitchell, who has won awards for excellence, may be fired after twenty-one years at the school. He is a conservative and an evangelical Christian, which he feels have placed his job in jeopardy. "Three weeks ago I was informed that I would be terminated," Mitchell claimed. "I was told that I am too overtly Christian in the classroom." Mitchell, who doesn't have tenure, said many professors who are overtly hostile to religion. "There are people on the left who feel certain types of views are a threat to the educational process, and they tend to stifle those views. One of my colleagues once said that if he had his way he would put all fundamentalists in concentration camps."
The actress & the P.C. police
Guest: Margaret Barusch, Harvard Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, was recently honored by a student group at Harvard University. Smith said this in her acceptance speech: "Women, you can have it all--a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career." That statement was reportedly deemed offensive by Harvard's "Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance," which criticized Smith for focusing on "heteronormative" relationships and ignoring homosexuals. However, BGLTSA co-chair Margaret Barusch told The Factor her group's objections have been blown out of proportion by the media. "A few people were upset, they just felt left out. But the portrayal that the entire gay community agreed on this issue is just not true."
Dan Rather's legacy
Guest: Van Gordon Sauter, former President of CBS News; Fox News contributors Bill Lynch & Liz Trotta

With Dan Rather retiring from the CBS News anchor desk this week, what is the future of the once-powerful network news operations? Van Gordon Sauter, former President of CBS News, called Rather's exit one more step on the road to irrelevance. "We're saying goodbye to a person who served us well for many years, but he and his newscast have lost significance. The departure of Rather is another signpost in the steep decline of the meaning for the evening newscasts, which once set the agenda for the nation. By the time the evening newscasts come on, people know what the news is."

Fox News contributor Liz Trotta and veteran reporter Bill Lynch, both of whom worked with Rather at CBS, joined the discussion, which shifted to whether there is left-wing bias at CBS News. "I don't think there's any question there is a left wing bias," Trotta said. "And there has been a feminization of news--where every women's problem, real or imagined, is trotted out on all three networks. Why? Because that's part of the leftist ideology--be nice to feminists every night." Sauter added that a leftward tilt has become ever more apparent. "Over the last decade, there has been a change in content. You began to watch that broadcast and say wow, this is really left of center. And the ratings dropped." But Lynch disagreed with his former colleagues, saying CBS simply caters to its rapidly aging audience. "I never detected a powerful left-leaning bias at CBS. The ideological bias, if any, was tilting toward health coverage and things that appeal to the aging demographics who buy Geritol."
Update on the Lefkow case
Guests: Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center

Federal Judge Joan Lefkow, whose mother and husband were shot to death last week, remains under protection in Chicago. Suspicion has been centered on a neo-Nazi fringe group founded by Matthew Hale, who is in prison and expressed a grudge against the judge for her role in putting him there. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center explained more about Hale and his organization. "This is a guy who in his 30's was living in his daddy's house. That was the world headquarters of the World Church of the Creator. But people from the group have been involved in murders, bank robberies, bombings, and aggravated assaults. This group managed to pull together some very scary street thugs." Potok said the FBI is investigating members of Hale's group, but expressed doubt that Hale was involved in the murders. "I personally think it's highly unlikely that Matt Hale could have personally orchestrated this from jail."
Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
Close Encounters with the Religious Right: Journeys into the Twilight Zone of Religion and Politics
by Rob Boston

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