Wednesday night, FOX News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron broke the story of some McCain campaign people trashing Sarah Palin. Among the anonymous accusations were that the governor had trouble with history and geography, and that she got testy on a few occasions.
I told Carl I thought some of the stuff was trivial, and I never respect people who bad-mouth others while refusing to give their names.
Now some "Factor" viewers did not like the report. Lesly Brown in Knoxville, Tennessee, reflects that view: "Many of us are not interested in hearing Governor Palin ridiculed. I was so disappointed to hear the report on 'The Factor.' Shame on you for airing that."
Nobody likes to hear bad things about people they like, so Ms. Brown's letter is understandable. But this is a news program, and McCain people dumping on the vice-presidential candidate is big news. Everyone should understand that.
Thursday there were Palin reports everywhere. If "The Factor" were to ignore news like that, we could not portray ourselves as a news-based opinion program. We would be an entertainment show, just selecting subjects that our viewers wanted to hear.
Obviously, that's not what the FOX News Channel is all about. That's what NBC News does — cherry-picks reports to promote their ideological agenda.
I am skeptical of the McCain people because dealing with them during the campaign was chaotic to say the least. The Obama people crushed them as far as organization was concerned.
I have offered Sarah Palin 30 minutes on "The Factor" on Monday evening to say whatever she wants to say. I hope the governor will accept that offer. We will be fair to her.
Consistently during the campaign I have defended Mrs. Palin against unfair attacks. I even did that on David Letterman. But it is not my job to suppress the news. The attacks on Palin are real, and they are coming from inside the McCain operation.
Again, "The Factor" is an honest broadcast, and that is why we have dominated in the ratings for eight straight years. Even though NBC News opened an Obama for president headquarters on their cable operation, we still crush them every night, even during the Democratic Convention.
But once any news operation decides to suppress stories for ideological reasons, it is done. I hope Ms. Brown understands that because we value her opinion.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Very quietly, the star of "CSI: NY," Gary Sinise, continues to do very good things. He is working with OperationIraqiChildren.org to provide toys and clothing to kids in Iraq and Afghanistan through the U.S. armed forces.
That kind of outreach, of course, helps America's image abroad, so please check out the charity. And if you see Gary Sinise, tell him he's a patriot.
On the pinhead front, say it ain't so, Barney the dog. President Bush's Scottish terrier apparently bit a reporter Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here, Barney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not happy today. Barney is not happy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You all right? What's wrong with Barney today?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Barney's victim was Jon Decker who works for Reuters TV. Decker is OK. He just lost three fingers. No, just kidding.
When asked for comment, Barney snarled and said Dick Cheney made him do it. I just made that up, so I might be the pinhead this evening.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & 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