Pop culture and politics, that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Who cares about the Dixie Chicks? Ruth Wilson who lives in Virginia Beach e-mailed me and so did many other "Factor" viewers and listeners.
And the answer is the left-wing ladies do reach some younger Americans. And the media eagerly embraces what they and other committed lefty entertainers have to say. You won't be hearing too much about Ted Nugent's opinions. Now there's a growing problem in America with the younger people being completely uninformed. Public education is generally not emphasizing history, geography or civics preferring to indoctrinate American students into a world of tolerance, diversity and secular values. Plus every survey says the same thing: Many Americans ages 18 to 24 have no idea what's going on.
For example, a National Geographic survey says 63 percent of that age group can't locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East, even though the USA has been fighting there for more than three years.
That may be because 80 percent of younger Americans don't even own a world map. Ninety percent of the young'uns don't know where Afghanistan is. Ninety percent. And here's the best. Twenty-five percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 could not identify Dick Cheney as vice president.
Now, many of these young Americans vote and they are influenced by celebrities and the press that fawns over them. In some young precincts it is hip to be dumb, cool to be uninformed. In fact, you're a geek if you know a lot about current events.
Thus we have millions of Americans who get their news from Jon Stewart and their point of view from bomb-throwing entertainers. This isn't new. When I was a sophomore at Marist College, drugs on campus were rare. As a junior, I went abroad and studied in London. Then when I came back to Marist as a senior, drugs were all over the place along with pictures of pop stars who ingested them, people like Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin, both of whom died young.
Drugs had become acceptable because the pop media endorsed them. So popular culture does matter, it does have influence. Even on life-death issues such as the War on Terror and how to wage it.
Our republic demands citizens pay attention in order for the best people to be elected. Is that happening today when 64 percent of young Americans can name the "American Idol" winners but just 10 percent know who the speaker of the House is?
We may be heading for big trouble in this country. In fact, we might already be there. And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
You think politics are bad here? Well, things are really tense in the Czech Republic. The presidential advisor, Miroslav Macek, attacked a political opponent over some kind of personal matter. Whoa, look at him go.
Apparently, the men were commenting on their respective wives. Never a good thing. Anyway, everybody in Prague is having a good laugh over this. The ridiculous of it all. The ridiculousness of it all.
—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 and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org