Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Grading President Bush, that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
The elite media panned him, but I give Mr. Bush a solid B, boy for his press conference exam last night. The fact the president is so determined to see his vision through, no matter what the political cost, is refreshing. Like him or not, the president is not a weasel. He doesn't waiver. He sees Iraq as a key battlefield in the global war on terror. And he's making his stand there.
He may fail, but at least we the people have a clear field on which to evaluate the president. If Iraq stabilizes, and a free society takes root, Mr. Bush will be proven right. If not, he goes down swinging.
I also like the fact that the president doesn't give a hoot what the pinheads running the media think, including me. He's a true believer and is willing to take what comes. Again, refreshing.
The problems come when the president fails to get specific about his vision. His management style does not lend itself to detailed analysis. He's a big picture guy. And his lack of detail rankles some Americans.
One of the presser highlights, for me, was when he mentioned that the Almighty wanted the people to be free. Boy, couldn't you just see the elite media tremble over that one? I think CNN went black for a few seconds.
The president knows evoking the deity will anger the secular media. He doesn't care. "Talking Points" applaud it.
Of course, the elites will continue to give Mr. Bush the "Mel Gibson treatment," assigning him a front row seat in the narrow-minded-thinker Hall of Fame. But at this point, Mr. Bush has almost everything riding on Iraq, where the American military continues to perform brilliantly. That [is something] the president can count on.
What he can't count on is the Iraqi people themselves. Nobody knows if they'll stand up for freedom. So far, they have not.
"The Wall Street Journal" (search) editorialized today and said this. "The spin in recent days that no Iraqis are willing to fight for their own cause is simply false." Well, of course some Iraqis are helping the coalition, but the vast majority are sitting and watching. [That's] Understandable. But that will not help President Bush win the battle for Iraq or re-election.
I like the clarity Mr. Bush brings to the war on terror and dislike his lack of detail. So like most Americans, I'm rooting for success in Iraq for the good of the country. But the president must be held responsible for the outcome. And I think he knows he will be. All fair minded people should now realize the president's intentions are noble and sincere. But as [Oakland Raiders owner] Al Davis puts it, "to succeed, you just got to win, baby."
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
A tale of two students in Madison, Wisconsin. Audrey Seiler (search), a student at the university there has been charged with two misdemeanors for faking her own kidnapping. Good. She is ridiculous.
But in Birmingham, Alabama, Adam Wilkins is setting a great example. He is a scholar who has been named to "Who's Who Among High School Students in the USA." (search) And he's discerning kind of guy, this Adam. When asked by the "Birmingham News" (search) who in the country he would most like to have dinner with, he chose me.
Hey, Adam, the meal is on me, next time I get down there. Ridiculous? Not here.
--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