Unfair attacks on Arnold Schwarzenegger (search). That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Frustrated by the number of illegal aliens pouring into California, the governor has called on the feds to secure the southern border and praised the Minutemen (search) for bringing attention to the issue. That caused the head of the Mexican American Political Association, (search) Nativo Lopez, to call the governor's remarks, quote, "nothing short of base racism," unquote.
Now we asked Mr. Lopez to appear this evening on "The Factor." He declined. That tells you a lot about him. He can denigrate someone in the worst possible way and then hide. Very nice.
The race card, of course, is a staple of American politics. It was used against black Americans for almost 100 years after the civil war. In some parts of the country, whites who wanted to help blacks get equal rights they constitutionally deserved were ostracized and even threatened, branded traitors to the white race. Now the race card is often played the other way. When some minorities don't like a policy, they cry racism. That's what's happening with Schwarzenegger, and it is despicable.
That kind of extremism is sometimes aided by the media. Yesterday the Los Angeles Times (search) demonized Schwarzenegger, editorializing, quote, "he has found a new group to rail against... enemy numero uno is now illegal immigrants. As someone born and raised in the shadow of the Third Reich, he should also know better than to be fanning this anti-foreigner frenzy."
What anti-foreigner frenzy? All Schwarzenegger wants is for federal law to be enforced, because illegal immigration is costing California $10 billion a year, and the state is nearly bankrupt. But not as bankrupt as the L.A. Times which continues to drop in circulation, even as it attacks people with whom it disagrees in the most base ways.
Schwarzenegger is looking out for his constituents. Every sane Californian knows that the state is in huge trouble fiscally and that the illegal alien situation is out of control. The governor is one of the few politicians in the country with the guts to address the issue honestly. He deserves respect.
"Talking Points" believes most Americans remain apathetic about the borders. Almost 350,000 of you have signed a petition asking the government to secure the borders. That's a lot of folks, but not nearly enough. 500,000 Americans voted for a magazine's most beautiful people contest. It tells you something.
By the way, info on that petition can be found on billoreilly.com. But at this point, as I said, the effort is simply not enough. Summing up what's happening to Arnold Schwarzenegger sends a clear message to other people in power. Demand border security and you will be branded anti- Hispanic, and few of our leaders will stand up to that kind of heat.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." The editor of the New York Times (search), Bill Keller, mentioned me, your humble correspondent, while speaking to a college group in California.
Said Keller, quote, "O'Reilly denounced the Times at least 60 times on 'The O'Reilly Factor' last year. I think if Bill O'Reilly didn't have the New York Times, he might be selling Ginsu Knives on late-night TV."
Is it Ginsu or Jinsu? I never could figure that out.
Two points. I must be slipping, because I thought I criticized the Times far more than 60 times last year. I've got to up that. And Mr. Keller, who would buy those Ginsu knives? You would, sir, to throw at me. It could be ridiculous.
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