An audience of 10 million watched my chat with Sen. Clinton over two nights on both our 8 and 11 p.m. broadcast. In addition, tens of millions more, like Sgt. Shane Puffer serving in Iraq, saw the interview on the Net or heard it on the radio.
The print press will never acknowledge that because it speaks to the power of the FOX News Channel, but the ratings are in and the interview was a smash.
Among the folks, the consensus seems to be that on the vital issues of the day — oil, Iran, Afghanistan, sanctuary cities — we now know exactly where Sen. Clinton stands. So I believe I did my job.
On the dissension front, however, some Clinton haters hated the interview because I didn't humiliate Hillary, did not insult her, or go back to the '90s to play gotcha. Also, folks like Pastor Don Johnston in Iowa wanted a bit more culture war stuff. Understandable, but I had 35 minutes with the senator and felt I had to define the major issues of the campaign.
On the nutty left, only elements at NBC News were critical. So now we know we did a good job.
By the way, for the month of April, live in prime time, MSNBC was the 30th rated cable network. I think the zombie channel beat it. FOX News was tied for sixth with ESPN in the ratings.
On Thursday, "The Factor" will talk with John McCain, and the interview will be just as intense as the Clinton deal. Also, this morning Steve Doocy asked Barack Obama this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": Hey, senator, before you go, I'm sure you saw Hillary Clinton last week on The Bill O'Reilly Factor. Are you going to be going on the show?
BARACK OBAMA: You know, we're looking forward to it. We're going to see if we can fit it in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, hopefully the senator will fit us in, considering that millions of people all over the world would like to see that interview.
Finally, "Talking Points" is very pleased that the MoveOn fanatics are angry about all this. These people have threatened candidates who talk to FOX News, and that is despicable.
You remember I criticized all the Democratic candidates for showing up to the Daily Kos convention. Ironically, that vicious far-left Web site has maligned Hillary Clinton in the worst possible way ever since she was nice enough to speak to them.
Now I was tempted to remind the senator of that, but again I decided against it. Last week was not gotcha time; it was issue time.
Once again, Sen. McCain coming up Thursday.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
One of our favorite films of last year, "Bella," will be released on DVD on Tuesday. It is a fine family picture, received great reviews and won a big prize at the Toronto Film Festival. So the people behind "Bella" are patriots.
On the pinhead front, Sen. Obama must be exhausted, and it showed this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA: Well, I think what it is, Tim, is...
Well, Tim, I think...
Well, Tim, first of all...
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: I just want to say, I know you've had a very long week, and so have I. You're saying "Tim." It's Matt Lauer. But believe me, I completely understand.
OBAMA: I'm sorry.
LAUER: We've both had a long week, Senator.
OBAMA: I apologize.
LAUER: It's not a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Mr. Lauer handled that perfectly, and Sen. Obama should be cut some slack. But the mistake was a bit pinheaded.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads and Patriots" 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