To watch "the memo" click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Well, there's a big shoot out going on at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. We are going to have the latest details as they come in, in just a few moments. There's a fire in the church.
There was also a firestorm around the country after our lead story last night, and that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. Thousands of you wrote to either criticize me or the five high school students who took pictures of a girl student after she stripped naked in a private home.
The guys then showed the pictures to other teenagers. All the students were suspended from their high school outside of Cleveland, but now the parents of four students are suing the school district. The mail ran two ways. First that I am unrealistic and a prude to criticize the boys for doing what they did. And second that both the boys and their parents are derelict in the morals department and should accept their punishment without any lawsuits.
Not much was said about the girl who is really at the heart of this story. I told the teenager we interviewed last night that it was wrong to show the pictures of that girl around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: You knew this was wrong. You knew you were exploiting this woman for whatever — this girl — I mean come on, you knew it was wrong. Why did you do it?
BRANDON SIPES: Well, I — to be honest with you, I don't know any guy that would have walked away. O'REILLY: You don't know anybody who would have been a gentleman in this matter? You don't know one person who would have said, hey, this is wrong, something wrong with this girl, she's taking her clothes off in front of five guys? You don't know anybody who would not have done that?
SIPES: I don't even think the school officials would have walked away.
O'REILLY: Well I know you don't — I'm talking about you. Come on, a gentleman would have obviously taken her aside and said, look, this is ridiculous. And a gentleman would not have shown those pictures. (END VIDEO CLIP)
All right, well, Brandon didn't seem to get it and many other folks don't as well, so let's break it down. It's obvious that any teenage girl who would strip and allow herself to be photographed by her peers has emotional problems. By doing that, her reputation is destroyed in the community. So how can any person justify taking advantage of an emotionally disturbed minor? Those guys were callous and even though it is a "boys will be boys" scenario, the truth must be put forth.
Using a person who has mental, physical, or emotional trouble is flat out wrong. That's ethics 101. Suing the school because they suspended the wrong doers sends a terrible message to the boys who did that. The girl is another matter. She needs counseling and fast. But the boys were simply cruel and selfish. Watching the activity is one thing, but exploiting it by showing the pictures around is way beyond the pail. Any sensible person would know that.
The entire situation points to a tremendous problem we have in America. We simply will not teach young people the lessons of proper behavior. Many Americans who saw that story last night said, hey, what's the big deal? So an emotionally disturbed girl is further damaged. So what? Nobody forced her to do it. That is so wrong it hurts. All of us have an obligation to look out for the weakest among us, but day after day we see that obligation diminished and ignored even by the cardinals of the Catholic Church.
The boys who took advantage of that girl were rightly suspended, and their suing parents should be ashamed. Barbaric behavior cannot be justified, and parents have to get in the game. You the only ones that can impose a sense of morality on your kids. It's the nation's shame that so many parents are unwilling to do that. And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
One week from today on May 8, the Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly —that's me — makes its debut from coast to coast. More than 200 stations will be carrying us, including WWOR in New York and KAVC in Los Angeles. And they tell me it's the biggest rollout in talk radio history, which could be ridiculous.
We posted a list of the stations that will be carrying the Radio Factor on our web site. The address is on the screen right now. If we are not being carried in your town, be sure to raise a ruckus. That's always fun and in the best tradition of The Factor. The Radio Factor, one week from today.
— 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