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

The culture and political wars rage on throughout the USA.  That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

And I thought I had it bad when some smear merchant attacked me for misidentifying a journalism award.  What I went through last summer is an ice cream stand compared to the assaults on Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger.

Nobody knows how Californians are going to read the Schwarzenegger attacks.  Either they will say allegations of boorish behavior against him are enough to disqualify him for the governorship, or they will punish The L.A.Times and other media partisans for the relentless campaign to destroy the actor.

Again, nobody knows how this is going to turn out next Tuesday, but a local poll in San Diego says 10 percent of those surveys will switch their vote away from Schwarzenegger, but 12 percent say they'll switch to him because they're so mad about the tactics.

Now I can't defend Schwarzenegger, as I have no idea what he did or didn't do.  I can say I cringe when I hear some woman claim a man verbally offended her 25 years ago.

There isn't a man on this earth who hasn't done something inappropriate in his life.  Not one.

Also it was obvious from the get go that The L.A.Times wanted to keep Gray Davis in power.  Do you think The Times has sent squads of reporters  rooting around the past lives of the governor or Cruz Bustamante?  Selective reporting is what this is.

However, as "talking points" said yesterday, California voters should not dismiss the boorish behavior situation simply because The L.A.Times is unfair and partisan.  The character of all who seek power in America must be evaluated.

Now on the Limbaugh front, the only thing new is that the commentator  will not discuss the drug situation yet.  Coming up if a few minutes, we'll analyze  whether or not that's a smart decision, but here's a very interesting aside.

One of the nation's chief character assassinations taking huge delight in Mr. Limbaugh's situation, enjoying the man's pain.  This comes as no surprise.  Any clear thinking person knows the caliber of this guy.

But you should remember the people who have given that guy  respectability.  And here's a personal memo to CNN.  You guys have been acting  as the smear merchant's personal publicist.  We all know it over here, and it makes you, CNN, look awful.  A person or a network or a political party can be defined by association.  Hello, Howard Dean.

Finally, we have now reached a low point in America, a point where partisans in the media and politics are running wild with no restraints.  Is the kind of country we want?  The only way to fight that is to speak out against it and walk away from the defamers and haters, no matter which side they are on. 

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

No "Most Ridiculous Item" on Friday, October 3.

--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