Ironically, the "Talking Points Memo" this evening is about debating anti-war guy Phil Donahue (search). Because of that plane situation in L.A. last night, we had to go to our news desk and did not run my debate with Phil Donahue on the early edition of "The Factor." It did run on the second showing at 11:00pm. So we'll run it again this evening because although confrontational, it is also instructive.
There are two rules for guests here on "The Factor." No slander and no personal accusations without facts to back them up. If the guest violates those rules, they are scolded by me and will not be invited back. And only a few have violated the rules.
Now let me give you some examples of slander. Actor Danny Glover (search) called President Bush a racist. That's slander. How about irresponsible allegations? Well, here's a letter from Carol I got today. She lives in Cleveland.
Well, that's the kind of dopey stuff we try to keep off "The Factor." Sometimes we fail.
I debated Phil Donahue on "Good Morning America" shortly after 9/11, when he said the U.S. was wrong for invading Afghanistan and removing the Taliban. (search) Diane Sawyer did a nice job of moderating. We both made our points.
Subsequently, Mr. Donahue has appeared here a couple times. And although he's inclined to filibuster, I thought the segment's worthwhile to show the far left's point of view.
Now I've advised Mr. Donahue on a number of occasions not to use personal attacks. Yesterday, he ignored that advice and you'll see the results shortly.
In the world of the far left, it is now acceptable to accuse a president and vice president and sending young Americans to Iraq to be killed and maimed, so their friends at Halliburton (search) can make money. And anyone who supports the Iraq strategy is also guilty of sending kids to die and is a coward to boot.
Now that kind of rhetorical nonsense is disrespectful and cheap. Dissent is to be respected. Questioning a person's character with whom you disagree is not to be respected.
I'm glad I had to share that with Donahue. And you can decide the merits of the discussion coming up. But enough is enough with these vicious tactics being used in the Iraq debate. The no-spin zone is a place where responsible voices are welcomed and heard, but irresponsible fanatics can seek exposure elsewhere. And that's “The Memo.”
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
A rare public appearance alert. I'll be speaking at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, the big arena where the Blazers play, on Friday, October 7.
So all you folks out there in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, lock the doors. Snow and O'Reilly are coming out there, taking no prisoners.
Ridiculous? I'm sure some people think so. The latte people. See you at the Rose Garden, October 8.
—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