Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Well, those folks at CNN are pretty crafty.  They read my book The O'Reilly Factor, in which I said I had a crush on Connie Chung, so they go out and hire her away from ABC and will put her up against The Factor.

We'll analyze that move a bit later on in the broadcast.

The Talking Points memo this evening concerns the treatment of captured terrorists in Cuba.  As an American, I'm offended that some dopey European newspapers are criticizing the way the Al Qaeda prisoners are being treated at Guantanamo Bay.  Number one, those Europeans have no idea who these people are and what they've done, because that information's being kept secret.

Number two, these are not prisoners of war, they're criminals.  If they're in chains, it's because they're violent.  If they are made to kneel down, it's because of security concerns.

Once again, people who kill or condone the killing of civilians in a sneak attack aren't soldiers, they are criminals, with no Geneva Convention rights.  And what's up with the Red Cross?  As the ABC News commentator Paul Harvey pointed out today on the radio, took the Red Cross months before it got some of the donated money to the 9/11 families, but just days before it began criticizing America's treatment of the Muslim criminals.  What's wrong with the Red Cross these days?  Has that agency been hijacked by ideological nitwits?

I think America has been too soft on the captured terrorists.  They're getting much better treatment than the Taliban provided them.  We need information from these people.  We need intense interrogations.  This isn't some touchy-feely encounter group going on here, these prisoners support the destruction of America and the vicious killing of civilians.  I would give them the bare minimum.

And those foreigners who criticize us?  Well, they got a hell of a nerve.  The United States is carrying the load in the war on terrorism around the world with some help from our allies.  But we are doing the heavy lifting and heavy spending.  Those pinheads who sympathize with the captured terrorists really have another agenda, in my opinion.  They simply hate America.

Talking Points has said this before.  Behind most overseas sniping at this country lies a mean streak of jealousy.

And this terrorism business is mean.  Thousands of lives are at stake, foreign terrorists do not deserve due process or constitutional rights.  They should not be brutalized, but they should not be getting cozy either.  The USA needs to send a message that terrorists will pay a huge price for their actions.

Most Americans I know agree with me on this, but overseas, I don't expect much.  The USA is simply too rich and powerful to engender much sympathy around the world.  So we should ignore the critics and do what's best for America.  We need protection from terrorists, and we need those who trespass against us to pay a major price.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day," 

There's a new Harris poll out that asked Americans to name their favorite TV personalities.  Number one was Drew Carey.  Number two, Regis Philbin.  Three, Oprah.  Four, David Letterman.  Five, Ray Romano.  Six, Jay Leno.  Seven, Bill O'Reilly.

Wait a minute!  Hold it.  What?  Can you believe this?  There's got to be a mistake.  I actually beat out Kelsey Grammar, Katie Couric and Rosie O'Donnell.  They rank eight, nine, and 10.  I demand a recount.  No way I should be on that list.  It's ridiculous.  Where's Buffy?  Come on.

 — You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com