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Bill O'Reilly: Politics and the Olympics

By Bill O'Reilly

There's always been politics at the Olympic Games. In 1936 for example they were held in Berlin, Germany presided over by one Adolph Hitler. It was in those games where American track star Jesse Owens humiliated the third Reich.

This year the games in Russia now a bit of controversy. NBC sports anchor Bob Costas lit the fuse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB COSTAS, NBC NEWS SPORTS ANCHOR: At the center of every question is the country's President Vladimir Putin. He was the central force behind bringing these games here. And just in the past year Putin brokered a deal to allow Syria to avoid a U.S. military strike by giving up its chemical weapons and help bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear intentions. And he has repeatedly showcased his confidence to take on the West, particularly the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: What Mr. Costas stated is true, but the context is weak. Vladimir Putin is a villain, a former KGB thug. He's the prime supporter of the Syrian murderer Assad. Sure he tried to stop any military action against Assad. He's his buddy. But it was not obviously for humanitarian reasons. Again, in Iran Putin protects the crazy mullahs who are causing trouble all over the place.

So if you are going to profile a guy like Putin, you really have to bring a lot of perspective and NBC Sports simply did not. Thus the predictable happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Everybody is up in arms because Costas got out there and he started praising Putin. Why is everybody surprised that NBC News would laud praise over a Soviet KGB leader when they are his prisoner for two weeks as the televising network? And besides that, there is not that much ideological difference anyway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Conservative Michelle Malkin tweeted quote, "Putin sycophant Bob Costas wins gold medal for authoritarian a-kissing" unquote.

Now it's surely true that NBC does not want to tee off Putin they need Russian cooperation on all fronts. But I know Costas. He's not some crazy left wing guy who would celebrate a man like Putin. He was simply reading a script designed to be innocuous. But these days nothing is innocuous. Everything is political. Therefore Bob Costas finds himself once again on the defensive.

"Talking Points" always likes to analyze events from the shoes of the people in them. I would not -- would not have read the script that Costas read. However, I don't believe that Costas and NBC Sports meant any harm at all. So for me, it's a wash.

And that's "The Memo."

O'Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O'Reilly, airs on Weekdays at 8PM ET on Fox News Channel.

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