Leave Laura Bush alone. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Nearly a week after the first lady delivered some funny lines at a press dinner in Washington, the political militants still can't get over it. The letter section of "The New York Times" is the bulletin board for the Kool-Aid left, and I can't believe what some of these people are saying about the Laura Bush deal.
Because I don't want to hurt anyone, I'm withholding the last names. A man named James from Berkeley, California — perfect— wrote, "Laura Bush made a roomful of self-important media oligarchs twitter at her scripted jokes, but not even her soft porn act can reverse her husband's growing policy failures." Soft porn act? Linking the jokes to policy? It's unbelievable.
Jane, who lives downstate in Carmel Valley, California wrote, "Laura Bush may think she's only being funny, but some of us think she is being a hypocrite, and even further exposing the true agenda of the Bush administration, which is to do harm and, apparently, enjoy it."
Now Jane's obviously a fun gal, but how over the top is that letter? Come on. How about the extreme right? They're no better.
Jim, who lives in Delaware writes, "Laura Bush's speech disparaging her husband before the international community demands an apology to God."
Wow. With all due respect, Jim, don't you think God has better things to do than critique a few harmless jokes? Perhaps the deity is offended by the word "Chippendales", but I kind of doubt it.
Ellie from Ohio picks up the theme. "I no longer think of Laura as a lady of good faith and taste. No Christian woman could compromise her values that way."
It's just amazing. What this brouhaha proves once again is that extremism is irrational, but plenty of people are caught up in the trap. All Laura Bush did was provide a few laughs in a gentle, well-meaning way. And the ideologues go nuts.
"Talking Points" has no idea just how many Americans are inhabiting the land of the extreme. It is impossible to tell. We do have a new billoreilly.com poll question, which asks do you approve of the first lady's comedy routine? Yes or no? And we'll give you the results on Monday. —Lots of people voting in that.
But whatever the results are, extremism is obviously alive and well in the USA. We just hope it isn't growing.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
In Columbus, Georgia, 17-year-old high school junior Kevin Francois was talking on a cell phone at lunch, which is against the rules at Spencer High School (search). The teacher told Kevin to get off the phone, but Kevin didn't, because the call came from his mother, Sergeant Monique Bates (search), who's serving in Iraq.
Kevin said he told the teacher his mom was on the line, but the school insists he didn't. And now they've suspended him for the rest of the year, saying he was defiant.
Now OK, maybe he was, but surely something can be worked out here. Suspending the boy for the rest of the school year is ridiculous.
We'll try to broker the situation and let you know next week what happens.
You know, he probably flew off the handle, but his mom is over in Iraq. He doesn't have a father. Got to give the kid a break!
I—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
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.