To watch "the memo" click here .
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Well, thousands of letters came pouring in about our segment on Dr. Phil and Oprah last night. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
Letters were pretty much evenly divided, with maybe a slight tilt against me and in favor of Dr. Phil, a psychologist who's making a fortune by discussing marital problems on TV.
My thesis is that he may be doing some damage to the sad sack couples who come on the Winfrey program. My primary concern is for the children of these people. Those kids are going to be humiliated when Mom and Dad discuss their most intimate problems in front of millions.
Now, we got the usual anti-O'Reilly letters, I'm jealous of Dr. Phil, I'm worse than he is, Oprah's a saint, how could you say anything bad about her show? Those are always entertaining.
We also got this letter from Rachel Feinberg, who lives in San Clemente, California. "Mr. O'Reilly, Dr. Phil's staff contacted my sister after she had written him a letter. They sent a crew to interview her family. And during the segment, I became very angry. Dr. Phil actually asked my little nephew how did he feel about all the animals killed in the World Trade Center? The little boy had no idea, and the look on his face was heartbreaking. I felt the only reason Dr. Phil did this was for shock value."
Well, the problem with guys like Phil McGraw is that they have to deliver drama any way they can, and they are using the personal lives of Americans to provide that. And even though these Americans willingly go on these talk shows, their children have no say about it. Again, if Mom and Dad are talking about their sex lives on Oprah, little Mary and Jimmy are going to hear about that at school and in the neighborhood. They are going to be stigmatized.
What say you, Dr. Phil and Oprah?
All of us on television have to deliver ratings in order to keep our jobs. But we also have to think about what kind of damage we are doing to those who are negatively influenced by what we say. Consenting adults are one thing, innocent kids are quite something else.
The more I see of this TV psycho babble, the more it makes me queasy. Once again, we asked Phil McGraw to appear on this program and address the situation, but tough-talking Phil said no.
Now, you can say I'm trying to get him because of that, or I'm whining or whatever. But I don't care. The guy reaches millions of people, is making millions of dollars. But there's a moral dilemma here that needs to be addressed, and it will not be addressed on the programs Dr. Phil appears on.
But it will be dealt with on The Factor.
And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
One note before the ridiculous item, there are a few hundred copies of Those Who Trespass hardcover, leftover. Just talking about it with Mr. Gibson. They're on the Web site. We will be re-releasing the paperback edition, but I don't know when.
Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." TV Guide has chosen your humble correspondent, that's me, as one of their "MVPs," along with Rather, Jennings and Brokaw— How did those guys get in there?! And a number of other TV types. Really appreciate it, although some will see that as ridiculous. That edition of TV Guide goes on sale on Monday.
— 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: firstname.lastname@example.org