The press and John Kerry, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
As you know, “The Factor” has been trying to secure an interview with the senator since July. And we've been getting the runaround, even though Kerry told "TV Guide" he wants to do “The Factor”.
So what's going on? Well, first of all, we don't know who's calling the shots inside the campaign. There are many people involved, but no one that is the el supremo as far as we know. Some of the senator's closest advisers have told him this is a venue he should do, but somebody's preventing it, maybe even the senator himself. We just don't know.
Each day the Kerry campaign does internal polling, which tells them where they should campaign and what areas they have to concentrate on. But there's no question that the Kerry campaign is staying away from the national press, especially TV.
Since Labor Day, the senator has appeared on exactly two TV news programs nationally, one on CNN, the other "Good Morning America." That's it. Kerry's playing the media game exceedingly cautiously.
To be fair, so is President Bush, but the president did come in here and answered the questions while Kerry has not. This isn't personal. This is simply keeping you posted. All Americans need as much information as possible to make informed decisions. You can learn from the debates, but forget about the political ads. They're propaganda. John Kerry is making a mistake by avoiding the national TV news, because some polls now show him losing ground.
For example, a new Gallup poll released today has Bush up by eight points. Others like Rasmussen still have the contest in a dead heat.
"Talking Points" believes that unless Senator Kerry begins to define himself to the voters, he will lose. Americans know who President Bush is, for better or for worse. But most of us don't know if John Kerry shares our values.
If the '92 election was the economy, stupid, the '04 election is about what these men stand for, who they are, rather what they say they'll do.
TV is the most powerful tool in the world. When a person wants to persuade someone, the camera gives you a window that all the printed paper in the world cannot give you.
John Kerry has two weeks to show America just who he is. If he continues to avoid TV interviews, he will lose the election.
And that's the "Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
We here at “The Factor” promised you the best election coverage, and, with two weeks to go, we hope we have kept our word.
Now we are keeping up our billoreilly.com poll question: So far, has “The Factor” favored one of the presidential candidates over the other. Close to 150,000 of you have voted so far. Wow. Fifty-seven percent say no favoritism. Thirty-three percent say we are favoring President Bush. That's up a bit. And 10 percent say we are favoring Senator Kerry. That's down a bit.
Ridiculous? Not at all. It's a solid poll, and, as I said, we'll keep it up there until Election Day. And we'd like you to e-mail us if you feel our election coverage can be improved in any way because we're proud of it. We think we're giving you the straight story here. But if you think we're skewing it, we want to know.
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org