Published October 06, 2006
CBS News allows a conservative point of view and all hell breaks loose. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".
As part of its new evening news format with Katie Couric, CBS now has a "free speech" segment where folks deliver commentary. But when the comments come from the right, the reaction's fascinating.
Brian Rohrbough's 15-year-old son Daniel was killed in the Columbine massacre. Ever since, Mr. Rohrbough has been thinking about just why his son and 11 other children were murdered without reason. After seeing the same thing happened at the Amish school a few days ago, Brian Rohrbough said this on CBS News:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN ROHRBOUGH, FATHER: I am saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week's school murders. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting.
Since that day, I tried to answer the question why did this happen? This country is in a moral free fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing Him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value.
We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you, the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion.
Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. And we are seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.
Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools, our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And now the reaction. Ms. Couric posted this on her blog: "We knew when we decided to put on this segment that a lot of people would disagree with it. We also knew some might even find it repugnant."
Repugnant? Why would any fair-minded person find Mr. Rohrbough's opinion repugnant? You can disagree with the man, but using a word like "repugnant" marginalizes his legitimate opinion. Millions of Americans see it the way Mr. Rohrbough does.
Now I don't believe Ms. Couric meant to demean the man, but her words reflect the elitist attitude common in network news and in the general media. Using the word "repugnant" might restore Ms. Couric's cocktail party credibility, but it is an unfortunate choice of words.
Others were far worse than Katie Couric. Mr. Rohrbough has been attacked on the left-wing blogs and even on the CBS News Web site.
But why? Isn't he entitled to his view? The truth is that conservative and traditional POVs (points of view) are rarely heard on network newscasts and are usually met with eye rolls by the PC anchors. That's a shame, but that's the essence of the culture war.
I do applaud CBS News for giving Mr. Rohrbough a platform, but everyone can see how uncomfortable it has made the network. That should not be the case.
And that's the Memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
This week FOX News is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which is officially on Saturday, October 7. "The Factor" will have a special program for you on Monday when we'll be broadcasting from Chicago. Don't miss that.
Now there have been a number of newspaper articles about FNC because of the anniversary. So far most of them have been fair, but the left wing newspapers can't resist taking their shots.
There's one in the Hartford Courant today. There's no question there is deep resentment by some towards FNC because of our success and that, of course, is ridiculous.
As is this bear. He's drunk. This bear is drunk. He was spotted near Lyons, Colorado, hammered on fermented apples. This bear needs rehab. Intervention. Can't be having stoned bears running around. What would Yogi say? He would say it's ridiculous. Get that bear into rehab.
—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