Tough year, no question. And once again, I'm sorry I did not warn you about the economic chaos. It caught me by surprise, and I got hammered in the market, too. But I did learn that I have to watch the financial stuff much more intently, so I will.
I also learned that sometimes you have to take action. Talk just doesn't cut it. You may remember that last January we went up to cover an Obama rally in New Hampshire and one of his guys tried to stop us:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: You're blocking the shot. No, you're not, you're doing it on purpose. Don't block the shot. Don't block the shot! Got it? Don't block the shot. No, you're not, you're blocking the shot. Get over there. Get him out of there. We have a right to be here to shoot the shot. Son of a (EXPLETIVE). Hey, senator! Yes, that's really low class, pal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
That situation caused some controversy, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. No one is going to stop us from reporting and analyzing the news. No one.
A footnote: The man who tried to block our shot is Marvin Nicholson, and a few months after that he offered to shake hands, and I did.
Another lesson learned this year is never count a determined person out. I predicted Romney, not McCain, would win the nomination. I also predicted Hillary, not Obama, would win. I was wrong because I underestimated the determination of McCain and Obama. Never giving in and never giving up can make you a winner.
Also in 2008 I learned that there is no reasoning with the American media anymore. In the 12+ years I've been doing this program, I've seen the media devolve into an industry far more concerned with pushing ideology than delivering information to the folks.
Obviously, the bulk of the media in this country is liberal, and many of them are zealots. So if you are not liberal, watch out. You'll be slimed, attacked and vilified. Even at the network level there are no rules or standards anymore.
Now, I have seen this coming for a long time, but this year with Obama-mania and the vicious attacks on Sarah Palin, critical mass was reached. Just for a second, compare the treatment the media is giving Caroline Kennedy to what Sarah Palin received. Come on.
Finally, I learned this year that "Factor" viewers and listeners are an elite unit. We have been able to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity because you have supported BillOReilly.com. We've helped poor children, wounded warriors and their families, provided food and medical care for the destitute in Haiti, Africa and Mexico, funded programs for the homeless and provided mentors to fatherless kids. You guys made that possible, and we have shown that a television news program can make a difference to real people.
Again, I've known all along that "The Factor" audience was special, but this year the proof was beyond any reasonable doubt.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Two of the very few stars who entertained American troops overseas this holiday season are Kellie Pickler and Kid Rock. The Kid and Kellie are definitely patriots. I wish there were more of them.
On the pinhead front, another "you make the call" situation. Comedian Will Ferrell will soon appear on Broadway as President Bush.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN: So I'm leaving the White House to go tear Dallas a new party hole. But don't worry. The Tiger Woods guy's taking over. After, Farack Zima gets sworn in, I'm a free man. So I figured, hell, let's do a farewell night at the Court Theater in New York City, the town that's always loved me, according to the polls Dick Cheney showed me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Pinhead? Your decision.
— 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