The senator is making the rounds of friendly venues like CNN, trying to convince America that he has the right stuff to be president. As political consultant Ed Rollins said on "The Radio Factor" today, that is the smart thing to do.— Get your message out in safe territory. Bernie and Jane will analyze these pro-Obama zones coming up.
But if Senator Obama is going to stay away from "The Factor" and other venues where specific questioning takes place then we need to know that. This morning, I had a good conversation with Bill Burton, Obama's communications guy, and asked that the senator give "The Factor" the same courtesy that he gives other programs. I think that's a reasonable request.
Now, how many of you believe that I have treated Barack Obama fairly so far? Raise your hands. That's what I thought. Most of you. There is no doubt that so far, I have given the senator the benefit of the doubt. And there have been those. But we will not play "patty cake" with Obama or any other presidential candidate. And those who do that should be ashamed. Now even though Obama is cherry-picking his press exposure, he is still at risk. He said this on a Philadelphia radio station:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, if she sees somebody on the street that she does not know, there is a reaction that has been bred into our experiences that don't go away. And that sometimes comes out in the wrong way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So, are you offended by that? Some are because he used the words "typical white person." I do not believe Obama meant anything by it. He was trying to make a point. In conversation you can't say everything perfectly. Ironically, Obama used recollections of his grandmother the same way I did months before:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL OREILLY, "The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly", Westwood One, September 19, 2007: My grandmother on my mother's side, however, was prejudiced against blacks and I used to tell her, grandma, you do not know any black people. Have you ever spoken to a black person in your entire life? The answer was, no. She was afraid. She would watch the TV news, she would see all the perp walks, a lot of black faces and she was afraid of them.
And I said listen, grandma, I play on a football team and these black guys protect me. You know, without them, I would have five injuries, I've got two broken arms. I mean they're blocking for me, grandma. You do not want to say anything bad about them. We like them. They're good guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
As you may remember, that conversation was taken completely out of context by the vile Media Matters outfit and some called me a racist. [It's] true! And just last night Chris Matthews misquoted that conversation because Matthews is too lazy to find out what was actually said. NBC News strikes again. So I have sympathy for Senator Obama in this race deal.
But millions of Americans disagree with me and doubts about Obama are growing. This is a tough deal for him. He can only overcome it if he speaks to all the folks, not just to his crew. Now I made that point to Mr. Burton today, and I hope the senator hears.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
As you may know actress Marlee Matlin lost her hearing as a toddler. But that has not stopped Ms. Matlin from doing pretty much everything she wants to do, including dance competitions on national television.
For dealing with a very tough situation in a very positive way. Marlee Matlin is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, Maxim magazine has insulted actress Sarah Jessica Parker, mocking her physical appearance and calling her, "the unsexiest woman alive."
While the magazine is entitled to its opinion, makingfun of somebody's face or body is stupid. The editors at Maxim are pinheads.
Just a reminder that Parade magazine has a fun print version of "The Great American Culture Quiz" this coming Sunday, Easter. And it's online at Parade.com right now. They're also giving away signed "Culture Warriors." So you might want to check out.
And please check out the "Don't Be a Pinhead" shirts for men and women on BillOReilly.com. Your purchase will send a lot of poor kids to camp this summer.