Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
A disgraceful display in California, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Michael Jackson (search) pleaded not guilty today to charges of child molestation. He was 20 minutes late for his arraignment. The judge scolded him, as he should have.
But outside the courtroom, a couple hundred people were demonstrating on behalf of Jackson. Can you believe it? These folks have no idea what Jackson did because they weren't there, yet they have the gall to encourage a man who could be a child molester. This is insane... These people need to wise up...desperately.
Jackson is innocent until proven guilty, so if a bunch of people surrounded the courthouse claiming they knew he did it, I'd say the same thing. You weren't there. You don't know. Go home. You're embarrassing yourself.
But consider this: Jackson did admit to sleeping with children. Jackson is a very strange man, to say the least. Jackson acts in an infantile manner more than occasionally. And you're going to publicly support this guy? You're going to encourage a possible pedophile? That's irresponsible and speaks volumes about the character of the demonstrators.
All Americans should remain on the sidelines and watch the process. Again, unless you were in the room with Jackson and the child, you don't know what happened.
The bigger picture here is that we are becoming a society where emotions rule. If you like somebody, he or she is automatically granted immunity from critical thinking. I mean, if you like Jackson, it's fine to hope he's innocent, but declaring him such is moronic and insulting.
America is increasingly becoming a country where any kind of conduct can be excused. Already we're hearing about Jackson's bad childhood, about his father's wrath. If Jackson is convicted, the abuse excuse will be trotted out. Bet on it.
"Talking Points" believes all Americans are entitled to make judgments about behavior, and that such judgments are important in fostering a disciplined society, but judgments should always be made on facts, not hit songs and dance steps.
The people supporting Jackson outside that California courthouse are severely misguided and should be called on it. This nonsense has got to stop.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Over the weekend, we'd like you to go to billoreilly.combilloreilly.com and predict the winner of Monday's Iowa Caucus (search). Not who you want to win, who you think will win. Right now, the voting is very, very close.
We'll give you the results on Tuesday right after the real caucus to see if you can pick it.
Also on billoreilly.com -- I didn't know if this [online poll] would work, but it is -- Valentine's Day coming up fast. And we offer you an opportunity to send the object of your affections a message inside my book "Who's Looking Out for You?" Then I'll sign underneath the message, unless it's written like a "Penthouse" letter. So keep it clean. Look out for your partner.
By the way, another Valentine's gift should be sent in conjunction with "Who's Looking Out for You?" just to be on the safe side. To not do so would be ridiculous. I don't want to get yelled at by the ladies.
--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: firstname.lastname@example.org