To watch "the memo" click here .

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

More than 12,000 letters have come in about the Rosie O'Donnell interview last night.  That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

Most Americans who watched the conversation liked what they heard.  Many say they have a new respect for Miss O'Donnell and her cause of getting as many children adopted as possible, even if the parents are gay.

The minority view holds that since the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, there should be no gay adoption.  But whatever your opinion, you have to admit that Miss O'Donnell is brave to come on The Factor.  As she explained, her paid advisers lobbied heavily against her appearance, fearing she would falter under the questioning.

They adopted the Al Gore approach, avoid any confrontational interview situation, play it safe.

But that doesn't work in America any more.  Since the advent of cable news, people want newsmakers to defend their positions under heavy questioning.  A few people like Hillary Clinton get away with avoiding the press.  Mrs. Clinton is so famous that she can hide out and still be successful.

But not so Jesse Jackson, for example.  His power and influence is greatly diminished because he will not explain his very questionable finances, thinking Americans know something is very wrong with Jackson's nonprofit organizations, and he can't avoid judgment by staying silent.

We are living in a new media world, and Rosie O'Donnell is smart enough to understand that.  She knows that in order to get the ban on gay adoption overturned in Florida, she has to make her case in a forum that does not pander to her.  She has to change minds.

And she did that last night.  I believe the state of Florida will allow gay adoption.  It's only a matter of time.

Talking Points hopes the O'Donnell interview will send a message to the powerful people in America.  You can't hide behind your handlers any more.  If you want respect, you have to step up and answer the questions.  Americans admire honesty and courage above all.

Already Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, Joseph Lieberman, potential presidential candidates in 2004, have made stops on The Factor.  These guys know they'll get their say and potentially could change some minds.

We encourage people like John Ashcroft, Charles Schumer, and George Clooney to do the same thing.  We have questions for you guys, and you'll be treated fairly.

People ask me who I'd like to interview the most.  Well, the pope is number one, especially now.  Hillary number two, Jackson number three.

And hey, you never know, who thought Rosie O'Donnell would show up?  But she did, and it paid off big for everybody.

And that's the memo.


 

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Another example of just how overexposed your humble correspondent is.  This coming Thursday evening at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific Time, the Fox Network, the one that brings you The Simpsons, will broadcast the second O'Reilly Factor Special entitled The Corruption of the American Child.

If you thought the Rosie O'Donnell interview was compelling, check this out.  It is one of the most controversial news specials you will ever see.  Thursday at 9:00 ET/PT on Fox, you can decide if it's ridiculous.

— 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