Last night thousands of media dined with the president in Washington, DC. The annual Radio and TV Correspondents gathering. Mr. Bush was a good sport, delivering a pithy monologue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A year ago my approval rating was in the 30s. My nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn. And my vice president had shot someone.
Ah, those were the good old days.
I have to admit we really blew the way we let those attorneys go. You know you've botched it when people sympathize with lawyers.
No matter how tough it gets however I have no intention of becoming a lame duck president. Unless of course Cheney accidentally shoots me in the leg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
It was obvious to me watching the president he would have rather been elsewhere. And I don't blame him. While Mr. Bush has made major mistakes and is paying for them big time, the overall press hostility towards him is grossly unfair.
Last night Fox News was situated near the NBC News table. And while those people were deferential to the president they and others have been hostile and condescending to the Bush administration ever since the Iraq War began to go south.
Now Bush never responds to stuff like that. And sometimes I think he should get a little angry like me. I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists. I can't stand the politically correct crowd, the lemmings who court cocktail party invitations in the elite Manhattan salons, snidely smearing Bush at every opportunity.
But the president seems to shrug off these personal attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ON OCTOBER 2006)
O'REILLY: You are getting pounded day after day. Pounded, pounded, pounded. How do you process that?
BUSH: I believe in what I'm doing. If I didn't believe in what I was doing I guess the pounding would end up affecting me. But when you believe in your soul, in the very fiber of your system that taking on these extremists and radicals in the Middle East is necessary to have peace in the long run for our children, then you move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now every American, including media people, should evaluate the president and form conclusions. That is our duty as citizens. But this hate stuff, this rooting for the administration to fail in Iraq and other areas is un-American, unbecoming and unacceptable. Like him or not President Bush is the elected leader of this country. He deserves a fair hearing.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
More drama surrounding Knut, the baby polar bear.
When we last left Knut, he was romping around a zoo in Berlin, Germany, basking in his adorability. There he is. Millions around the world love Knut for being, well, cute. Apparently, that didn't sit very well with Yan Yan, the panda bear.
The tabloid newspaper "Belid" (ph) claims that Yan Yan toppled over and died because he was jealous of all the attention Knut was getting. I didn't know autopsies could pinpoint that kind of thing, but hey, I haven't been to Germany in a long time.
Anyway, poor Yan Yan is now gone, but Knut is still here. I believe a good part of this may be ridiculous.
—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