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

Be careful who you associate with.  That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.  In my new book Who's Looking Out for You, which I'll tell you about tomorrow, I describe how knowing what kind of people you are hanging around with is a key to life.

If you choose destructive people, you'll get hurt.  If you choose generous people, you will benefit.  It's pretty simple.  What isn't simple is figuring out the good from the bad.  But in some cases, it's obvious.  This weekend, [Democratic] Presidential Candidate Howard Dean (search) held a fund-raiser here in New York City.  The entertainment was provided by a man who is, well, let's let his words speak for themselves. 

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AL FRANKEN, COMEDIAN:  ...of how big an [bleep] Brit Hume is.  And how shameless, how [bleep] shameless these people are.  These people are so [bleep] shameless.  They are shameless.

And I don't just say this because the FOX [News] people sued me. 

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O'REILLY:  Now I don't know Howard Dean, but I do know more about him after witnessing that disgraceful display and the attack on [FOX News anchor] Brit Hume.  Can you imagine any other presidential contender, any other one, feeling comfortable with that kind of presentation?  I mean, aren't our leaders supposed to have some dignity?

Dr. Dean should be ashamed of himself, simply for allowing an emotionally disturbed person to vent that kind of hatred under Dean's banner.  And by the way, DNC [Democratic National Committee] chief Terry McAuliffe is also guilty as well.

Defamation and smear tactics are not part of mainstream America.  They are the work of extremists, people who hate people with whom they disagree.  Fair-minded Americans respect honest differences in the political arena.  Most of the Democratic candidates are honorable.  But increasingly, the Democratic party is being hijacked by far left elements, who routinely embrace vile, undemocratic tactics.

Maybe Howard Dean simply made a mistake.  Maybe he isn't a person who approves of what we just showed you.  But maybe again he is. 

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."  As we mentioned last week, we are going to tell you when other media outlets give us a fair shake, and that happened last night on Dateline NBC.  Stone Phillips (search) interviewed me about my new book, Who's Looking Out for You?

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STONE PHILLIPS, NBC DATELINE (voice-over):  Choose your friends wisely and know your enemies.  O'Reilly writes, "It is amazing to me that many of us just cannot tell the good people from the bad people these days."

(on camera):  So how do you do it?  How do you tell the good people from the bad people.

O'REILLY:  Well, instinctively, I have that in me.  I've always had that gene that I knew phonies and charlatans right off the bat.

PHILLIPS:  And for those of us who don't have a gene?

O'REILLY:  You have to work at it.  Just like you would work at building up your body, you have to build up your perception ability.

PHILLIPS:  So what's your advice?  Good people, bad people, how do you know?

O'REILLY:  All right.  There's no a hundred percent sure way, but always watch how that person deals with people other than you.  That's number one.  Because chances are, when you're dealing with a person, they're going to tell you what you want to hear.  That's the way Americans operate.

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O'REILLY:  All right.  So, once again, we'd like to thank Dateline for doing a fair piece.  To not thank them would be ridiculous.

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