The mail poured in overnight about Ms. Smith. Some of the letters criticizing me for not being sympathetic enough. Others wondering why "The Factor" covered the story at all.
Now I understand both the criticism and the questions, so let's address the issues. Anna Nicole Smith was a confused woman desperately seeking attention, but there comes a time in every person's life when you make a choice. You either use the abilities God has given to you help other people, or you decide to devote your life to selfish pursuits.
Now one of the pursuits is intoxication. -- No question it's selfish. And no good can come of it. America and many other countries are far too permissive when it comes to substance abuse. How many lives have been ruined, how many children brutalized and neglected by people choosing to intoxicate themselves, putting themselves and others at risk. The answer to that question is untold millions.
Police say only prescription drugs were found in Ms. Smith's room, but there is no question she was drug involved as her mother told "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she had too many drugs, just like Danny. And I tried to warn her about drugs and the people that she hung around. And she didn't listen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
As I said last night, I was not surprised when the wire announced the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Here's one of the last things Ms. Smith said in public:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Everyone in my life has stabbed me in my back, or said something bad about me, or sued me, or blackmailed me for money. Or... I'm just — my whole life, its just been rough for me. It's on-going. My life is ongoing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now the question is why should we care? Many of us have rough lives, but we soldier on, do the best we can to be good citizens.
The Anna Nicole Smith story is only important in the context of a warning, but we've had many warnings. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Belushi, Janis Joplin, on and on.
However, kids have to be told over and over that irresponsible behavior has a price. Many times a huge price. The Smith story is a stark reminder of that.
Alcohol and drug abuse is a curse that society's far too casual about. It isn't hip. It isn't a disease you can't avoid. And it isn't anyone else's fault. Once you choose to enter that world, you forfeit your dignity and bad things will happen to you.
What directly led to Anna Nicole Smith's death is still a mystery but it is certainly true that Ms. Smith lost control of her life and it killed her. Tell your children.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
This coming Sunday [February 11] marks the 18th consecutive week my book, "Culture Warrior", has been on the New York Times' bestseller list. — And you know they hate that over there!
Anyway, thanks to everyone who has supported the book. And remember, if you buy "Culture Warrior" on billoreilly.com, we'll send a copy in your name to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far more than 12,000 books have been shipped out.
Now "Culture Warrior" explains the world of secular progressives. And nowhere is the S-P philosophy more common than in Holland. Beginning March 4, the Fit World Gym in the town of Heteren will allow customers to work out naked.
Now, that could be hazardous, especially when weight lifting or even jogging, for some people. But owner Patrick de Man says there will be plenty of spotters. I bet.
And he also says there will be plenty of towels covering the equipment, which, in this case is definitely not ridiculous. So book your flight to Amsterdam for that...
—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: email@example.com
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.