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

The hate industry and the Bush administration, that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.  After much study, I've come to the conclusion that this story about the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson (search) being outed as a CIA employee is of minor importance, unless someone in the White House is the leaker.

Mr. Bush doing the right thing by cooperating with the Justice Department (search) investigation.  If they find a person, he or she should go to jail.

But there's now question in my mind that whoever exposed the ambassador's wife did so to get revenge, because Wilson wrote an article embarrassing Bush over the Africa uranium Iraq situation.

So once again, trying to hurt somebody for political reasons has backfired.  Writing in The New York Times today, columnist David Brooks says that debating issues has been replaced by hating those with whom we disagree politically.

There's no question that the far left despises President Bush, just as the far right loathed Bill Clinton.

Brooks writes about the anti-Bush warriors.  "The quintessential new warrior scans the Web for confirmation of the President's villainy.  He avoids facts that might complicate his hatred.  He doesn't weigh the sins of his friends against the sins of his enemies.  But about the President he will believe anything...the core threat to democracy is not in the White House, it's the haters themselves."

Bingo, good for Brooks.  And it's ironic that the column appeared in The New York Times which has adopted some of the haters and promoted their vitriol with glee.  I'm talking about the attacks on Mel Gibson (search), Arnold Schwarzenegger (search), and myself in recent weeks

Make no mistake about it.  The haters have power right now in America.   Perhaps out of desperation, some of our cable news competitors have allowed the worst possible defamation to go unchallenged.  Simply hard to believe that character assassins were given so much air time on CNN and MSNBC.  And by  the way, their ratings went nowhere with the smear tactics.

An exception was our direct competitor, Paula Zahn, who did conduct an honest interview.  In the end, the haters always lose.  Whoever tried to hurt Ambassador Wilson by leaking his wife's CIA connection, which is illegal, is now being hunted and has brought embarrassment to the Bush administration.

Passionate debate and respect for opposing points of view are what this country is all about.  Smear campaigns and hatred are unacceptable.  And those who traffic in this sort of thing are doomed to failure.

And if you don't believe me, here is proof.  My book, Who's Looking Out for You? will debut at number one on The New York Times list a week from Sunday.  Once again, Americans have rallied.  The defamers are on the run. 

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

I really don't want to pick on Madonna (search).  You know, it's not really fair.  But if this next story is accurate, and all indications are it is, it's definitely worthy of the ridiculous item.  Apparently, Ms. Madonna kept a bunch of kids waiting for four hours yesterday before she handed them a signed book.  Each child got 14 seconds with the woman.  Now, in my opinion, that's 14 seconds wasted, but I guess the kids like her.  However, waiting four hours for anyone is beyond ridiculous. 

True story.  I mean, we checked it out on our own.  It was in all the papers.  Too bad.  She's like that.

--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