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The O'Reilly Factor
Monday, January 2, 2006
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Bill's Mugs
Bush more aggressive on critics
"Some media are no longer just scrutinizing the Bush administration; they are now actively trying to undermine it. The New York Times may be suspect number one, with four rabid anti-Bush columnists, including hateful character assassin Frank Rich. The Times has staked out a very tough position for itself - its own 'public editor' wrote that the paper's reporting of the NSA eavesdropping situation is questionable. Far more dangerous to the Times is the new Justice Department investigation into who leaked the NSA story. If the Valerie Plame guidelines are followed, Times reporters and editors may have to give up sources or go to prison. Talking Points understands the NSA story is exceedingly difficult and it deals with your right to know versus national security. But there is no doubt that the Times has been unfair in its coverage of the Bush White House, and the paper also routinely uses personal attacks to hurt people with whom it disagrees. If that does not stop, Bill Keller and Frank Rich, to name the two main culprits, will not have a happy new year. As they say in the auction world, 'fair warning.' For 2006, robust debate is in; personal attacks are out."
Republican look at Bush bashing
Guests: Kelly Anne Conway & Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin

For more insight into Bush-hatred in the media, The Factor was first joined by two supporters of the president. Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin ranked the New York Times as the nation's number one Bush-basher. "I don't think there's any question the 'grey lady' is the queen of the Bush haters," Malkin declared. "The contempt for Bush and conservatives seeps from the news pages to the opinion page to the arts section. The NSA story is just the latest in a pattern of articles that have undermined the war on terror." Malkin ranked Newsweek # 2 in the Bush-bashing hit parade, and CBS News as most anti-Bush among electronic media. Taking her turn at the plate, Republican pollster Kelly Anne Conway singled out Vanity Fair magazine and CNN. "CNN tends to elevate Bush's enemies like Cindy Sheehan and give her legitimacy. The week before Christmas, when everybody's polls showed Bush having increases in approval ratings, CNN said he still isn't as popular as the First Lady."

Democratic response to Bush bashing
Guests: Fox News analyst Juan Williams & Mary Anne Marsh

Two Democratic observers provided a different take on the alleged "hate Bush" bias in the media. Democratic consultant Mary Anne Marsh defended the overall tone of most reporting. "When you look at the coverage of George Bush, it's no different than when he first ran for president in 2000. It really focuses on three areas - incompetence, a lack of honesty and ideology." Fox News analyst Juan Williams added that the mainstream media is simply doing its job. "What people want is fair and balanced reporting. We're not talking about an attack dog press, we're talking about having a watchdog press. But it sounds to me like you'd like a lapdog press." Specifically naming Bill Keller and Frank Rich of the New York Times, The Factor again pledged to fight and expose those who engage in personal attacks. "I just can't allow this stuff to go unchecked. I'm the only person on television who's holding these guys accountable, because everyone fears them."

Black bias in St. Louis police?
Guest: Sgt. Kevin Ahlbrand, St. Louis Police Officers Association

The local chapter of the ACLU, which alleges that St. Louis police are racially biased, has been handing out video cameras so citizens can capture incidents of brutality on tape. The ACLU's Redditt Hudson explained why the police should be monitored. "There is a history of abuses of police authority. Nine times out of ten you have the police reviewing themselves and deciding whether or not they did anything wrong." Police spokesman Kevin Ahlbrand denied any suggestion of racial bias. "There is a system in place that handles citizen complaints, and it works just fine. Our position is that there are some officer safety issues with the cameras - an officer conducting a vehicle stop may be distracted by someone he notices is videotaping."

Osama bin Ladin still at large
Guest: Author Gary Berntsen

Former CIA agent Gary Bernsten, who was instrumental in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, claimed the Al Qaeda leader is probably alive. "I believe he is along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The tribes there have a code that if someone seeks refuge, they have to give it to them. We must assume he is alive until we have 100 percent confirmation that he is dead or captured." The Factor suggested that President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is obstructing the hunt for bin Laden. "Musharraf is afraid to go in there in force because that would ignite Islamic fundamentalists and lead to his overthrow."

Bush defends warrantless spying
Guests: Andy Fois, fmr. Clinton Asst. Atty. General & Kris Koback, fmr. counsel to Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft

While President Bush defends eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, the Justice Department is investigating who leaked information about the program to the New York Times. Kris Kobach, formerly of the Bush administration, said the investigation is warranted. "This is appropriate because you have a very serious federal crime committed. This is a big national security leak and it deserves to be investigated." Former Clinton administration official Andrew Fois agreed. "There is potentially a serious crime and a danger to national security. When the president goes out and says this has damaged national security, somebody has to do something about it." The Factor added that this could evolve into a media circus. "If they apply the same standards to the New York Times that they did to the Valerie Plame investigation, you could see the editor, the publisher, and two reporters go to jail. That would be huge - it would dominate this program and every other news vehicle in the country."

Dick Clark back for New Year's Eve
Guest: Dr. Olajide Williams, Harlem Hospital

Even as he is recovering from a stroke, Dick Clark made a brief television appearance New Year's Eve. Dr. Olajide Williams commended the 76-year old Clark for going on the air despite his garbled speech. "What he did was extremely courageous. It was a great inspiration for the 6-million stroke survivors who have gone through recovery, and he did a great service to stroke awareness." Dr. Williams explained that 80% of strokes are preventable, and that information is the key. The Factor also praised Clark for stepping up. "Dick Clark certainly brought attention to his condition and put strokes in the headlines. I'd like to see him do it again next year so we can measure his progress."

Factor Words of the Day
Viewers sound off
Your first emails of the new year dealt with various topics and segments. Some excerpts:

David Rich, Port St. John, FL: "Cindy Sheehan's downfall came when she criticized Hillary Clinton. The media dropped her faster than a positive story on Iraq."

Bud Vanderbilt, Redondo Beach, CA: "Whenever the media operates in concert, as it did in the war against Christmas, it attempts to make news rather than report it."

Roy Johnson, Ortonville, MI: "Mr. O'Reilly, you are a pawn for the Republican machine."

Becky Bryant, Cumming, GA: "Bill, you are too liberal."

Chase Wright, Florence, AL: "Bill, you're not a conservative or a liberal. You simply tell it like it is. You should be Time Magazine's Person of the Year."

Chuck Jones, Fallbrook, CA: "Bill, thanks for a good year. I think you accomplished a lot for the folks. Happy New Year."

Books Mentioned


Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander
by Gary Berntsen

Read more...
 
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