The culture war heats up. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Although some left-wing journalists will deny it, there is a very intense culture war in progress throughout the USA. That is what the Christmas, Pledge of Allegiance, Ten Commandments controversies were all about. The battlefield also contains issues like gay marriage, euthanasia, unfettered abortion, legalized narcotics, and on and on.

On the one side are traditional Americans, often conservative, who believe the country was well founded, and big changes are not needed in our culture. On the other side are secular progressives, often very liberal, who believe the USA is a flawed country, and a drastic overhaul is needed.

Today, in The New York Times, a group called the Campaign to Defend the Constitution attacked three traditional leaders, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, and Reverend Louis Sheldon. The print ad is accompanied by a TV spot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CAMPAIGN TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AD)

NARRATOR: Ralph Reed, Louis Sheldon, James Dobson, millions of Americans gave them their trust and their money, and they turned that into political power and glory. Now they have been exposed, caught supporting gambling interests and casinos. That's right. They are knee-deep in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Will decent people ever trust them again? Don't bet on it.

We are DefCon, defending the Constitution from people like them. Join us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Wow.

The question is, who is behind the ads, and are they true?

In the small-print New York Times' ad, the Tides Center's name. This is a San Francisco-based group that has ties to George Soros and other far-left financiers. The Fenton Group is also involved with the ads. This is a D.C.-based communications operation that has represented people like Cindy Sheehan and the radical group MoveOn.

So, while the Campaign to Defend the Constitution sounds good, it's really the same old far-left suspects doing what they usually do, attacking their opposition in the culture war.

Now, what about the charges that Dobson, Reed and Sheldon knee-deep in the Abramoff scandal? Well, "The Factor" has confirmed that Ralph Reed did do work for Jack Abramoff and was well paid. There's no doubt about that.

Reverend Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition may have received a $25,000 donation from the eLottery company, which Abramoff represented. Today, the group could not supply us any information on that subject, which is not good.

But we can find no evidence that James Dobson or his group directly received money from Jack Abramoff. An e-mail from the indicted lobbyist suggests that Ralph Reed might have donated money to Dr. Dobson. So, at this point, the ad is only partially true, with the possibility that Dobson and perhaps Sheldon were smeared.

Now, "The Factor" will continue to investigate. And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The father of the left-wing Denver high school teacher currently suspended is lashing out against the FOX News Channel.

John Bennish of Beverly Hills is defending his son, Jay, and is quoted in the Detroit News as saying FOX News and its coverage of the story reminds him of McCarthyism. Not quite sure what that means, since we've invited Jay Bennish to explain his side of the story and he declined.

So now we're inviting John Bennish. We are ready to hear what you have to say, sir. It sounds fair and balanced to me.

—You can catch 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: oreilly@foxnews.com

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