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 31, 2008
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Factor Investigation Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Weekdays with Bernie & Jane Segment
Back of Book Segment
Pinheads and Patriots
Factor Mail
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John McCain and conservative angst
"Right wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are angry that Senator John McCain has become the front-runner for the Republican nomination. They believe he is simply unacceptable. The McCain campaign understands that angst, but feels it can make up for lost conservative votes with independents and Hispanic Americans. The irony here is that the American Conservative Union gives McCain a lifetime grade of 83%. By contrast, Hillary Clinton gets 9%, and Barack Obama is the nation's most liberal senator, according to the National Journal. So if he wins, Senator McCain will be facing a person who is far more liberal than he is. With Rudy Giuliani now supporting McCain, and Governor Huckabee draining support from Governor Romney, there's a chance the senator could wrap up the nomination by next Wednesday morning. In the end, the Republican Party will rally around their nominee, but some conservatives will sit things out. As is their right, no pun intended."

For more insight into right-wing objections to McCain, The Factor interrogated two leading conservatives, beginning with former Republican Senator Rick Santorum. "You never knew issue-to-issue," Santorum complained, "where John McCain was going to be. It's that lack of any core set of principles that make conservatives disconcerted." But radio host Monica Crowley defended McCain's record and electability. "I'm one of the few conservative talk show hosts who actually likes John McCain. He's bad on illegal immigration, bad on campaign finance reform, but John McCain has had a long conservative record of backing tax cuts and being a deficit hawk. And he has been consistently pro-life." The Factor reminded everyone that McCain is a tough terror warrior. "He was one of the few who stood very firm on Iraq, and that was a conservative cause. For him to take a stand on Iraq tells me he was not a waffler. But there's real hatred on the right of McCain, and I think it's driven by immigration."

News Link: Ann Coulter rips McCain

News Link: Did McCain bash Alito?
Latest poll results for Super Tuesday states
The Factor welcomed Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics, who analyzed the latest polls in advance of Super Tuesday. "The real key for John McCain," Bevan asserted, "is that Rudy Giuliani's dropping out opens up the northeast to him, where there are 201 delegates at stake. McCain has the inside track." Turning to the Democrats, Bevan suggested that Barack Obama's momentum continues. "We're just getting a glimpse of the first post-South Carolina polls and things look pretty good for Obama. He's leading in polls in Georgia and Alabama, and he's close in California. Combined with the $32 million he raised in January, the Obama folks have to feel good about where they are." The Factor predicted the Obama-Clinton duel will continue past next week. "I think that by Wednesday you won't have a Democratic nominee, but you could have a Republican nominee.

News Link: Real Clear Politics polling data
What happened to the border fence?
It's been 15 months since President Bush authorized construction of the southern border fence, but progress has been extremely slow. Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff entered the No Spin Zone and defended his agency's performance. "The process of building a fence requires that you acquire the land, grade it, survey it, then you have to drop in the pilings and the fences. We're in court in Texas because there are a lot of land owners who won't even get us access to the land on the border. But by the end of this year we will have 670 miles of barriers, which is a pretty fair chunk of territory." The Factor praised Chertoff for answering tough questions, and urged him to speed up the process. "It seems that the federal government should at least put up temporary barriers, something that makes it more difficult to access this country."
Growing schism between left & far-left?
Some leftists have been viciously attacking Bill Clinton, while a host on Air America actually accused Republicans of hating women and blacks, adding "they hate everybody." Professor and author Jeffrey McCall bemoaned the lack of civil discourse. "This kind of discussion is really not productive, it's polarizing. But the good news is that the ratings numbers for most of these kinds of programs are not very good. I would like to think the nation's citizenry has turned its back on this kind of communication." The Factor described the perils of the brave new media world. "There are haters on both sides, and when you combine this with the Internet it starts to take on a life of its own. You can attack and try to destroy your opposition, and there's almost a gleefulness about it."
Still no answers in death of Heath Ledger
FNC media analysts Bernie Goldberg and Jane Hall began with the revelation that a CBS program called "The Insider" purchased video of Heath Ledger talking about his drug use, then decided against airing the tape. "This is an important point," Goldberg declared. "This wasn't going to run on some dingy place on the Internet. This was going to run on a show owned by CBS. Sleaze starts at the top, and the sleaze merchants aren't just the paparazzi - they're also guys who wear Armani suits and make tens of millions of dollars." Turning to politics, The Factor asked whether Barack Obama has been receiving adoring coverage by the mainstream media. "Journalists are excited about him," Hall responded. "They like the idea that he's inheriting a mythic mantle that Ted Kennedy attempted to pass to him. The excitement is real, and journalists are not automatons." But Goldberg accused many reporters of allowing affection to cloud their news judgment. "The problem is with reporters who have fallen in love with this guy. They're calling him the 'son of Camelot,' and this is hero-worship masquerading as journalism. They would never treat a conservative the same way."

News Link: Stars pressure tabloid show to kill Heath Ledger drug video
The Dhue Point
Ombudsperson Laurie Dhue relayed comments from viewers, one of whom urged Bill to return to the David Letterman program. The Factor's response: "I don't mind jousting with Dave, but there comes a point when the debate becomes useless because he's not going to cede any point, ever. He's trying to get liberal cred when I go on." Another viewer asked why Bill continues to pick fights with Hollywood celebrities. The Factor: "There's no way to convince them, but I think I have to confront them some times on some issues." Anyone with questions or complaints can write to
Who's helping, and who's hurting?
Wednesday's Patriot: The Liberty Mutual insurance company, a Factor sponsor, whose TV advertisements encourage kindness and generosity. And the Pinhead : The heckler who interrupted Bill Clinton to insist that 9/11 was an "inside job." Nominate a Pinhead or a Patriot by sending an email to

News Link: Video: Bill Clinton heckled during speech
Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
A sampling of your recent e-mails:

Dave Lawrence, Cincinnati, OH: "I love Dennis Miller but when he shifts his support to McCain because of national security, I want to remind him that a porous border hurts that."

Matt Bell, Columbiana, OH: "Bill, you said on the Radio Factor that the right will abandon McCain over immigration. I disagree. If he's nominated, all Republicans will vote for him."

Phyllis Sikora, Massilon, OH: "Bill, Obama did not snub Hillary. That was staged by the Clinton machine."

Dr. Kay Stewart, San Francisco, CA: " Hillary's playing the victim again! Give me a break."
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