By Bill O'Reilly
With President Obama calling the Benghazi controversy a sideshow yesterday, it's instructive to look at public opinion on the issue right now. According to the new Pew Research poll 56 percent of Americans not really following the Benghazi story -- something "Talking Points put forth last week; 44 percent are interested; 37 percent believe the Obama administration has been honest about Benghazi; 40 percent say they have been dishonest; 23 percent don't know.
This week two more stories broke that cast doubt about whether the Obama administration is running the country honestly. The IRS has admitted it targeted some conservative groups for scrutiny. And the Justice Department secretly looked at the phone records of some reporters who work for the Associated Press.
Today Attorney General Holder said that decision was made by Deputy Attorney General James Kohl who is working with the FBI to find out who is leaking classified information about anti-terror operations to reporters.
Now, this morning, I went on "Fox & Friends" and "Good Morning America" to promote my new book "Keep it Pithy." I found two very different situations. On GMA my pal George Stephanopoulos is not convinced Benghazi is a big deal. I dissented.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Starting with Ambassador Rice, who told her to say it? You explain it, Mr. President.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hasn't he done it, isn't that exactly what he did yesterday?
O'REILLY: No he hasn't done it, George, unless you were on vacation. He hasn't done it, all right? He needs to do it. Who did it? Do you know who told Rice to do it?
STEPHANOPOULOS: We know where the talking points came from.
O'REILLY: Do you know who told Rice to go out and mislead everybody?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think she was told to go out and mislead everybody. She was given talking points.
O'REILLY: By whom.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The White House has said time and time again we're prepared by the CIA with editing from the State Department --
O'REILLY: Who gave her and handed her these talking points that turned out to be bogus? Who? We need to know the name.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: When we find that out, the name, the Benghazi story will begin to crystallize but we don't know.
On the other side, Ms. Laura Ingraham already convinced the AP story is big. I say not yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: The AP thing isn't a scandal that was a...
STEVE DOOCY: But AP feels it is.
O'REILLY: Well who cares what they feel?
INGRAHAM: The AP thing is --
O'REILLY: They haven't had an accurate article on their reports. No it's not, it's absolutely not. The Justice Department went through legal terms to get the phone records. They didn't --
DOOCY: Well we don't know for sure what they did exactly.
O'REILLY: Ok so that's not a scandal.
INGRAHAM: I'm not willing -- let me just jump in here.
O'REILLY: Oh wait, Laura.
INGRAHAM: The idea -- the idea that we're giving the administration the benefit of the doubt.
O'REILLY: I'm not giving anybody the benefit of anything. I am saying fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, the reason President Obama can get away with saying all of his troubles are caused by political attacks is that some on the right go way beyond established facts, in fact they are giving him cover. The heavy odds are that the President did not directly order the IRS to pound conservative groups. If he did that, that's an impeachable offense but evidence must come forth.
And we the press need to investigate it and we will. I will. Same thing with the AP. If there was an abuse of power, facts must back that up.
Benghazi is different. There are facts and they point to misleading the American public for political gain. There is no getting around Rice's testimony or the shoddy security in Libya. That story Benghazi, that's huge.
Down the road, the IRS and the AP stories might become nightmares for President Obama, but again that has not yet been established.
And that's "The Memo."