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Insulting Presidents

Over the past 13 years of doing "The Factor," I have attended a few of these presidential press dinners, and I always think: What is the point of these things?

It's great for the media. We get to strut around and look like big-shots, hobnobbing with the swells, eating and drinking for free. But just about every year, inappropriate things happen, largely driven by the hired help.

Whether you like them or not, presidents are entitled to respect. Loyal Americans understand the office of the presidency is far bigger than the person actually in the Oval Office. So understanding that, it is hard to believe that this controversial dinner stuff actually happens time and time again.

Here's Don Imus on President Clinton:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: And we all heard the president in his obvious excitement holler, "Go, baby." I remember commenting at the time, "I bet that's not the first time he's said that." Remember the Astroturf in the pickup?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Remember, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were sitting just a few feet away.

As were Mr. and Mrs. Bush when Stephen Colbert popped off:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

That brings us to Wanda Sykes and the Obamas. As we said Monday night, throughout most of her monologue, Ms. Sykes was funny. But then she got mean:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WANDA SYKES, COMEDIAN: Rush Limbaugh, "I hope the country fails." I hope his kidneys fail. How about that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Unfortunately, President Obama kept a smile on his face throughout Ms. Sykes' exposition. I couldn't see Michelle Obama, but there is no doubt that Wanda Sykes put them both in a bad place.

So again, why is this happening?

I think it's because presidents like to come off as good sports and want to have a regular guy rapport with the press on occasion. But we are living in a time of hyper-partisan hatred where rules of conduct have broken down, where being notorious is a money-making industry. Any exploitation or attack on the presidency can bring instant worldwide attention.

The president of the United States might take that into account the next time an invitation flows in.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Speaking in front of some elementary school students in Syracuse, New York, Vice President Biden said this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How many of you kids want to go to college? Well, guess what? Barack Obama and Joe Biden are going to make sure that every single one of you who qualify are going to get to go to college, even if you don't have the money in your family to go. We're going to make sure you get there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Now you have to make the call on this. Obviously, it's a good thing for as many kids as possible to go to college, but if the government is going to pay for everybody to do that we will go bankrupt. This is a continuing problem with the Obama administration. America cannot afford to be a nanny state. Again, you make the call on whether the vice president is being a pinhead or a patriot here.

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: oreilly@foxnews.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. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly