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, January 17, 2008
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Personal Story Segment
Weekdays with Bernie & Jane Segment
Back of Book Segment
Pinheads and Patriots
Factor Mail
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Dishonesty in politics and the media
"Let's look at our pal John Edwards who's running for president. Edwards contends that there are two Americas - one for the rich, and the other for everybody else. He says that everybody else is getting hosed; the fix is in and the economy is rigged. Talking Points doesn't believe that. Of course, the rich do have advantages - but i am living proof that you can start with very little and prosper economically if you work hard and keep it honest. To hype up his class warfare, Edwards brings constantly mentions homeless veterans. Certainly, there are homeless veterans - but it's not because of the economy. It's mostly because of addiction and mental illness - something politicians can do little about. But if Edwards admits the truth, it takes away the class warfare issue, which is the only issue he has. Edwards is a charlatan - a man either too uninformed or too dishonest to be elected to anything. I am tired of hearing this nonsense from Edwards and other callow politicians. We deal with facts here on The Factor - not fiction. John Edwards owes us an apology."

For more on the topic of John Edwards' constant "veterans under bridges" references, The Factor welcomed Cheryl Beversdorf, the CEO of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and Joseph Califano, the president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Califano started by explaining that "about 90 percent of the homeless in this country have drug problems or alcohol problems or both. And most of those people also have mental health problems of one kind of another." The Factor agreed that the government was not doing enough to help homeless addicted veterans. But that wasn't the main issue: "This is being demagogued by a guy who's trying to put up a phony scenario that it's poverty driving the people who are in trouble out on the street. It isn't poverty. It is - as Mr. Califano defined - abuse of substance and mental health problems." Beversdorf, meanwhile, wanted to clarify what "homeless" meant: "I keep hearing about the fact that they're on the street. A homeless veteran may not necessarily be on the street. A homeless veteran could be in a community-based organization, which is the kinds of organizations that we represent, that provide support of services and housing for these individuals. Or they could be living with relatives." The Factor ended the segment by summarizing the case: "I hope you understand my anger. It's an anger that if you want to solve the problem for the veterans, let's be honest about it. Let's not demagogue it like Edwards is doing."
Veterans, murder and the New York Times
The New York Times ran an article on Sunday that alleged that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been committing murders in high numbers - but the numbers don't seem to add up. Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has written about the controversy for the New York Post. Peters was angry at the Times: "It was really disgraceful. And the bottom line on this story was anti-militarism. Hatred of our military by the American left has become a pathology. And the real message was that if a vet's your neighbor, you'd better be afraid. Don't hire a vet, he or she will be violent. And for God sakes, don't let your child join the military because the military will give you back a psychotic." The Factor agreed that the Times had an agenda, but didn't think it was necessarily anti-militarism: "Here's how I see it. I think The New York Times hates the Bush administration in an irrational way. I think they feel that the way to damage the Bush administration is to tell the world that Bush is responsible for all the social ills that can be traced back to anybody who has been in the Iraq theater... I don't think it's hating the military. I think it's hating Bush."
Marine wanted for murder
The manhunt continues for a Marine whom police suspect of killing a pregnant woman - a fellow Marine - after the woman accused him of rape. Former Army National Guard prosecutor Gwen Lindsay-Jackson came in to update The Factor on the situation. The Factor wanted to know if the Marines acted strongly enough on the original rape allegations. "They started to conduct an investigation," Lindsay-Jackson said. "The first thing they do is they went to her and they offered her a victim advocacy program. They investigated the case. And it sounds like they moved on it. They even conducted an Article 32 hearing, which is like a grand jury, to determine whether or not there's enough to go ahead and charge this fellow. It sounds like they were taking it seriously." The Factor was concerned that the alleged killer would be able to escape: "The guy is suspected to be in Mexico because he is a Mexican national. They won't extradite on a death penalty beef. And the state of North Carolina has jurisdiction and it's a death penalty state... if they pick him up, he won't be sent back here."
Revealing Tom Cruise biography raises eyebrows
Author Andrew Morton just released a controversial new unauthorized biography of the actor and Scientology devotee Tom Cruise. Morton entered the No Spin Zone to defend his work. The Factor asked Morton what the problem with Tom Cruise's religion was. "It was kind of a semi criminal cult in the early 70's," Morton said. "I mean, when Tom Cruise joined it, it was facing oblivion. So in many respects, he has hauled it from obscurity." The Factor pointed out that Morton wasn't publishing his book in Britain, due to that country's strict libel laws. "I would like to see America adopt some of Britain's laws, because here you can say anything about a celebrity if a person is famous, and if it's not true, it doesn't matter. You can just smear and slime and defame all day long. That's wrong. So I think there's got to be a middle ground."
Featured Book: Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography by Andrew Morton
Politics, the Times and Tom Cruise
For a weekly look at and critique of the media, The Factor brought in Fox News analysts Jane Hall and Bernie Goldberg. Bernie wanted nothing to do with the Tom Cruise situation, but could see why it was gaining so much attention: "It is impossible for me to care less about Tom Cruise or any part of his life. But you still think that we live in the United States of America - no matter how many times I try to tell you it's not sinking in - we live in the United States of Entertainment. And in the United States of Entertainment Tom Cruise is a big player." Jane disagreed with Bernie's dismissal of the topic, and thought that investigating the actor's life had some merit: "I think if you want to find out that Tom Cruise is giving millions - which he has - to Scientology, that's valid to do journalistically. I mean, this is a religion, a cult, that's big in L.A., big with celebrities. I think it's worth going after." The Factor didn't like Morton's approach: "The undertone of the book is that there's something sinister about Scientology and about Tom Cruise's embracing of that cult - and it is a cult, in my opinion. But I don't see the sinister stuff."
The Dhue Point: Are we being fair?
Factor "omsbud-gal" Laurie Dhue stopped by to present The Factor with viewer questions and concerns. One of the viewers wanted to know why The Factor would not make an endorsement for president. The Factor explained that he had never made an endorsement of a candidate: "What I say to folks is they're smart enough to know who they want to vote for. They don't need me to tell them." Dhue agreed, and noted that The Factor had a large amount of power. "The thing is you have a lot of sway. You have changed public policy. I mean, look at Jessica's Law; 42 states have adopted some form of it. You hold a lot of sway with people. If you can change public policy, you can probably change people's minds. And that can be a dangerous road to go down."
Who's helping, and who's hurting?
Thursday's Pinheads: After singer Chris Martin lashed out at paparazzi waiting outside the hospital of his ailing wife Gwyneth Paltrow, The Factor declared that all people who stalk celebrities for a living are Pinheads. And the Patriot: Recently deceased Richard Knerr, who founded Wham-O, the company that invented the hula hoop and the frisbee.
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Karen Dilbeck, Carrollton, Texas
"O'Reilly, thank you for telling the truth about Obama and other issues. The lies about him are widely circulated on the net."

Bob Pone, Santa Ana, California
"Watching the Factor is an emotional rollar coaster. Where else can you get entertainment and the news? Bill, you and Miller had me laughing so hard my wife got nervous."

Ted Covington, Lakeland, Florida
"Bill, don't be a jobbernowl."

Carlos Nunez, New York City
"Bill, you're right. If there is another terror attack, Guiliani would surge. And if aliens attack - Kuchnich would be a lock."
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