African-Americans and Trent Lott

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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.

African-Americans and Trent Lott. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo .

First off, I'm tired of this story. At this point, the good people of Mississippi and the Republican senators have to deal with Lott. I don't, thank God.

But there is a very interesting situation developing about apologies and forgiveness. At last count, Lott had apologized, oh, about 77 times in varying degrees, and "Talking Points" is sure he's sorry. But for what, we don't know.

However, there is no question that Senator Lott will now go out of his way to prove he's not a bigot, and that means that minority Americans may benefit if he stays in power. On January 6, Republicans in the Senate will decide Lott's fate, but the court of public opinion is another matter.

The truth is that some African-Americans simply will not tolerate any questionable actions or statements. So if you make a mistake on a racial matter, no matter how you atone, forgiveness will not be forthcoming. I think that's a mistake.

Based on available evidence, Trent Lott is a man who panders to his constituency. Years ago he voted against helping blacks because that helped him gain power in Mississippi.

The question now is, does Trent Lott dislike blacks, and does he want to hurt them? Since we can't read his mind, there's no definitive answer on that. But in my opinion, Lott has always looked out for Lott. Everybody else comes in a distant second. I don't think he's a malicious man.

So I take a practical point of view. Lott now owes black Americans big, and he will have to deliver payback. That, of course, will anger some conservatives. But Lott can't survive as a power in the Senate if he doesn't go out of his way to help blacks.

That being said, it's up to you, the individual American, to form an opinion about Mr. Lott. And it's up to the people of Mississippi to either throw him out or retain him. But at this point it is overkill to continue smashing the man. He said it, he apologized for it, and now the system will deal with him.

If I were Black, I'd be hoping he'd stick around.

And that's The Memo .

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day..."

Those zany guys at Fox's MAD TV are at it again, lampooning The Factor last Saturday night. Take a look:

Watch the video!


MICHAEL MCDONALD, ACTOR: Now I know a lot of you are probably trying to figure out who this woman is. If you guessed a clown, you're right.

Let's face it. Most actresses and actors are well-meaning but stupid people who have never been told their ideas are bad. They've gotten where they are because they're good looking, unlike me who is good looking but also a genius.

And now here to provide a different point of view is actress and activist Janeane Garafalo.

I suppose I should start by giving you an apology.


MCDONALD: Well, because I just said that all actresses just got where they were because they're good looking, and that's, clearly, not the case with you.

Now you got your start in comedy...

CALIENDO: Yes, I do non-traditional stand-up with a satirical edge.

MCDONALD: Yes, right. I've seen your act. It's kind of like comedy without any jokes or anything funny being said.

Now how did you get started in the business? Did you just kind of look at yourself in the mirror one day and realize it's going to have to be comedy.

CALIENDO: No. Now I came here to talk about U.S. military policy on Iraq.

MCDONALD: OK. Great. Let's get to it because, later on, we're going to have Donald Rumsfeld in here who's going to tell you how to do a setup and a joke. Go ahead, please. Read the statement from your dopey little group.

CALIENDO: We feel that military action in Iraq will allow terrorists to fan the flames.

MCDONALD: OK. I'm going to stop you right there.

Speaking of flames, a lot of people in Hollywood are gay, and I bet a lot of people that run into you figure you're a lesbian.

CALIENDO: Not really.

MCDONALD: As always, we'll let our audience decide.

CALIENDO: I didn't even get a chance to talk yet.

MCDONALD: As always on this program, we'd like to give you the last word.


MCDONALD: And we're out of time. Thank you very much, Janeane Garafalo, for entering the no-spin zone. We respect you. You're a good man.


[Bill O'Reilly] Oh, man. Brutal. Janeane Garafalo is a pretty girl. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, MAD TV!

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