Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Well, it is Factor-mania in some parts of the USA as the radio show and the TV program are making some people very nervous.
That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
Last night the NBC Nightly News ran a short feature on the Radio Factor, and kind of predictably, they made it out to be another right-wing show designed to compete with Rush Limbaugh.
Here's the gist of that report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NIGHTLY NEWS, NBC)
TOM BROKAW, NBC ANCHOR: When it comes to talk radio in America, Rush Limbaugh is Elvis without the sideburns, the king of his domain, opinionated, conservative, entertaining, and very rich. That's the same territory that Bill O'Reilly has staked out on television, but now he's taking on Rush on radio.
And as NBC's Lisa Myers reports tonight, today was round one.
LISA MYERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: O'Reilly joins a long list of talk radio hosts whose views range from conservative to more conservative. Why aren't there more moderate or liberal voices? Well, experts say conservatives are more entertaining because their message fits the medium.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, I've heard this stuff so often that I'm numb to it, but I did take issue with Lisa Myers's thesis that the right dominates the radio waves. What about our pals over at National Public Radio? They have 680 affiliates across the country, and at any given moment, you can hear a pro-Palestinian report, a pro-choice report, and environmentalists put in a favorable light, and on and on.
And that's good, I enjoy hearing that stuff. But apparently Miss Myers can't hear it, because she never mentioned NPR in her story. Come on! If you want a liberal slant, it is there on the radio 24 hours a day.
As you know, NPR will not put me on the air, and some say I should stop whining about it. But that kind of exclusionary bias is important. NPR won't put terrorism expert Steve Emerson on either. And many, many others are ignored as well.
Has anyone ever heard a pro-life person on NPR? If you have, let me know immediately.
So why would NBC run a story that omits a crucial part of the radio world, NPR? Talking Points, for once, doesn't know. It might be because the story is easier to ram home if the right-wingers-are-taking-over-the-world angle is all you have.
But again, this is pure speculation on my part.
Lisa Myers would not agree to be interviewed, and that steams me, because all reporters should stand by their work. In the grand scheme of things, NBC's report was no big deal. They didn't hammer Rush Limbaugh and they didn't hammer me. They just made us out to be ideologues and little else. By doing that to anyone, you kind of marginalize what they have to say.
And it's ironic, because conservative Web Meister Matt Drudge is hammering me for purely personal reasons. So much for the right-wing conspiracy.
In the end, you, the viewer and listener, will decide who gets a voice on the air. That is, except for NPR, which doesn't live by ratings. They get their money from the folks, some of it not voluntarily. Tax money.
If NPR had to compete in the real world, it couldn't, and that says a lot about the American public. They want fair and balanced, and they know where to find it.
And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"
To watch the "Most Ridiculous" segment click here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Welcome to The Factor. The subject of tonight's Talking point is the Middle East crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many drug abusers are just innocent young adults, who have lived terrible lives. Don't lock them up just because of where they came from.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People intoxicated by drugs commit approximately 70 percent of all child abuse and 70 percent of all street crimes. Is that innocent? I give you the last word. The spin stops here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Whoa. Well, we trust Brian got a good grade on the project. And if he didn't, it would be ridiculous.
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