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.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
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Debating Phil Donahue
"There are two rules for guests on The Factor - no slander and no personal accusations without facts to back them up. Guests who violate those rules are scolded by me and will not be invited back. Phil Donahue has appeared a few times, and although he's inclined to filibuster I thought the segments worthwhile to show the far left point of view. I've advised Mr. Donahue a few times not to use personal attacks, but on Wednesday he ignored that advice. In the world of the far left, it is now acceptable to accuse the president and vice-president of sending young Americans to be killed and maimed so their friends at Halliburton can make money. And anyone who supports the Iraq strategy is also guilty of sending kids to die, and is a coward to boot. That kind of rhetorical nonsense is disrespectful and cheap. Dissent is to be respected, but questioning the character of someone with whom you disagree is not. I'm glad I had the shootout with Donahue, but enough is enough with these vicious tactics being used in the Iraq debate. The No Spin Zone is a place where responsible voices are welcome. But irresponsible fanatics can seek exposure elsewhere."

Fox News Video:

Hurricane Rita closes on Texas
Guest: Meteorologist Bernie Rayno & Paul Burka, Texas Monthly

With Hurricane Rita moving ominously toward Texas, meteorologist Bernie Rayno provided an update. "This is going to be one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the north Texas coast. Galveston will be changed forever, and a lot of refineries and oil platforms are there. We could be looking at millions and millions in damage." Texas journalist Paul Burka praised local authorities for their preparedness, but reported that much of Galveston has grown vulnerable. "The old city is covered by a sea wall, but we've had a huge land boom on the western end of the island in the last ten years. There are million-dollar homes and huge condos, and those homes have no sea wall or dune protection." The Factor also commended government officials for being vigilant. "The only good news is that Texas authorities are very well prepared, and everybody's battening down. Let's just pray that this lowers in intensity as it nears the coast."

Background checks on evacuees?
Guest: Fox News chief judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano

While performing background checks on refugees from Hurricane Katrina, Rhode Island authorities discovered that many had extensive criminal records. The ACLU has objected to the background checks on privacy grounds, but Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed Rhode Island is within its rights. "The ACLU is wrong if the government wants to know who is going to be in a government shelter on government property. But the government does not have the right to say we're not going to let you in our state because of your criminal record." On a different topic, Judge Napolitano contended that the federal government should not fund reconstruction in New Orleans. "The federal government is not authorized under the Constitution to rebuild private property. Nowhere is the Congress authorized to take Bill O'Reilly's tax dollars and give it to a private person." The Factor joked about Judge Napolitano's unpredictability. "Sometimes you're a left wing loon and sometimes you're fascist dog. That's why we like you, because we never know which Napolitano is going to appear."

JetBlue flight 292 lands safely
Guest: Passenger Stacey Wexler

A life-and-death drama played out on live television Wednesday evening, when JetBlue flight 292 was forced to make an emergency landing in Los Angeles. Passenger Stacey Wechsler spoke about her own reaction as the plane prepared to touch down. "I had my grandpa's Navy ring in one hand, and a St. Christopher's medal in the other hand. I was in a crash position and I must have promised God everything. And when we touched down, it was like being at a football game - everyone was cheering and clapping. The pilot was amazing."

Farm Aid corruption?
Guest: Greg Simoncini, The Alford Group

According to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, the charitable organization Farm Aid donated barely a quarter of its income to American farmers last year. Singer Neil Young called the report "sick journalism," but charity expert Greg Simoncini agreed with the Tribune's assessment. "The public thinks Farm Aid collects money and gives it to farmers in need. But they're really an advocacy and education organization for family farms. If you have a focus that is different than the one you are publicizing, you are not being transparent, or as truthful as you should be with your donors." Pressed to give Farm Aid a grade, Simoncini said he would "probably give them an F." The Factor concurred that Farm Aid's self-description is misleading. "Their pitch has always been that if a family farm is in trouble they will help them. And what you're saying is that Farm Aid is a lobbying group. I don't know what the truth is about Farm Aid, but it did look like the Chicago Tribune had its statistics right."

Revisiting Phil Donahue
Because of the unfolding JetBlue drama, Wednesday's Phil Donahue - Bill O'Reilly confrontation was pre-empted in some parts of the country. The Factor re-aired the debate, which grew especially heated when Donahue accused O'Reilly of hypocrisy regarding the war in Iraq. Some excerpts:
Donahue: "You wouldn't send your children to this war, Bill."
O'Reilly: "My nephew just enlisted in the Army. You don't know what the hell you're talking about. He's a patriot, so don't denigrate his service or I'll boot you right off the set. That boy made a decision to serve his country. Don't tell me I wouldn't send my kid."
Donahue: "Your nephew is not your kid. 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 have no clue about how to fight a war on terror. 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 and point at people in a cowardly way?"
O'Reilly: "You buy into left wing propaganda and you're a mouthpiece for it."
Donahue: "This war is not fair to the American troops. This war is unconstitutional."
O'Reilly: "The Iraq war is not something I embrace. It could be a tactical error, and we have not waged it the way I hoped we would wage it. But we are in a war on terror, and our cause is noble ... I respect your dissent, but I think you're way off in your analysis of the war on terror."
Fox News Video:
Salman Rushdie
Guest: Salman Rushdie

Author Salman Rushdie, once sentenced to death by Islamic extremists for alleged blasphemy, related the larger war on terror to his own experience with radicals. "We did manage to face them down, and they did back away. They understood that if they ever wanted to get on terms with the rest of the world, they will have to stop trying to kill its citizens. So yes, if you hold your ground you can win." Rushdie claimed the war against extremism will be won by Muslims themselves. "The long term solution has to be from within the Muslim world. And the interesting thing about Islamic radicalism is that the countries where it has become the most powerful are also the countries where it is the most hated." The Factor pointed out that the mullahs of Iran, who wanted Rushdie dead, remain extremely dangerous. "The Iranians haven't moderated their views toward you or anyone else. They still want to kill the infidels, they're still harboring Al Qaeda. This is going to be a long, long slog."

Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Many of your sent e mails focused on Wednesday night's O'Reilly-Donahue duel. Some excerpts:

John Beaulieu, Lewiston, ME: "O'Reilly, thank you for having Phil Donahue on. I am still in disbelief as to how blinded these left-wing fanatics are."

Dan Williams, Mendham, NJ: "O'Reilly, you've never looked less cool and so utterly foolish and disheveled. Donahue pummeled you."

Sue Scherdel, Rocky Point, NY: "I am so glad we have Phil Donahue to speak out for all of us against the Iraq war. We don't belong there."

Ron Schaffer, Savannah, GA: "Debating Donahue is like debating a 'Chatty Cathy' doll. Wind him up and the same inane prattle comes tumbling out."

Mitche Rapoport, Wilton, CT: "Bill, the righteous anger you displayed toward Donahue was unprecedented and well-deserved. You spoke for many of us."

Jerome Cohen, Boynton Beach, FL: "O'Reilly, you'll never learn. Unless you're prepared to engage in the left's bloody knife fights, you can't ever have a civilized discourse with them."

Mary Stylianopolous, Australia: "O'Reilly, enroll in an anger management class. You were appalling."

Tina Romano, Italy: "Bravo to Phil Donahue! He's right on the money with statistics and facts, as opposed to you, O'Reilly."

Private Chris Christian, Germany: "Bill, you should have told Donahue to shut up! We soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan feel a real sense of accomplishment. We are doing good things."

Valerie Grotto, England: "When did Donahue turn into Michael Moore?"

Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
Shalimar the Clown
by Salman Rushdie

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