For the last few weeks, there hasn't been a lot of news in America. The health care debate goes on forever, Afghanistan is not going well, the economy is still stuck in the mud, but those stories have been around for months.
So when the White House attacked Fox News, the media woke up. Something new, something controversial. Everybody had an opinion. But some of the opinions are downright irresponsible.
Enter TIME magazine columnist Joe Klein, who can be astute. Not this time. Klein writes:
"Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue."
But even though he has plenty of space, Klein fails to illustrate his point. He provides no examples of what he says is untrue.
So I, being a fair guy, gave Klein a chance to come on "The Factor" Monday evening to provide backup, to make his case specifically rather than irresponsibly. A TIME publicist told us Mr. Klein is unavailable. Sure.
The truth is Mr. Klein is scared. As a truth-seeker myself, I'd like to know exactly how, as Klein puts it, Fox News spreads seditious lies to its demographic sliver of an audience. That's rich. "The Factor" reaches more people in one hour than TIME does in a week. Talk about slivers.
Now, what's the point of this, other than to hold Joe Klein accountable? Excellent question.
I think the continuing hysteria surrounding Fox News illuminates our increasing influence in America. This is now the network of record, and the left does not like it.
But not all liberals are like Joe Klein. Some see the absurdity of the White House attacking FNC:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN RUDIN, NPR POLITICAL EDITOR: It's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixon-esque. You think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media, and certainly Vice President Agnew's constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then there was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course a lot of good liberals said, "Oh, that's ridiculous. That's an infringement on the freedom of press." And now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Soon after he said that, Ken Rudin apologized for comparing Mr. Obama to Mr. Nixon in the enemies list deal. But his basic point is valid. Any attack on Fox News — no matter how unfair — is celebrated by the left because FNC has the ear of the country.
Finally, I think it's time for the Fox News controversy to fade. I hope it does. I like working here and I am amazed that we are so powerful. But I want the nation to see us as a force for good, as giving voice to all kinds of opinion, which we do.
So I am ready to go trick or treating with Rahm Emanuel. What a scare that would be.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Raising money for a charity that helps kids, actress Charlize Theron offered to kiss a person who ponied up big bucks. That person turned out to be a lady who donated a whopping $140,000 to the charity OneXOne. So for puckering up and helping the kids, Ms. Theron is a patriot in my opinion, but you may have a different point of view.
On the pinhead front, welcome back, Octomom. In her desperate quest for publicity, Nadya Suleman dressed up as a pregnant nun in a pre-Halloween deal. Ms. Suleman is a pinhead in so many ways it is impossible to recount them. She now enters the pinhead hall of fame.
— 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