Feeding the lion, that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
It was interesting to read the mail, analyzing my interview with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (search) last night. As usual, the letters came down along ideological lines.
Many committed Republicans thought the chat was just great. The hard left didn't like it at all. The interview is posted on our Web site. And if you watch it, you will learn why the Bush administration has gone public with the new terror alerts and how Dr. Rice used two very important subjects, the porous Mexican border and Iran.
Because this was a breaking news interview, I allowed the National Security adviser a bit more room than usual. As an American, I wanted to hear what she believes Al Qaeda is up to. Because I have no information to counter her statements about the terror threat, Dr. Rice had the floor.
However, her opinions of the border and Iran were respectfully challenged the same way we challenged DNC Chief Terry McAuliffe's (search) opinions last week in Boston. I put forth my point of view, he put forward his, you decide which is stronger.
But that kind of presentation is not enough for the red meat crowd, who want to feed the lion. Some conservatives wanted me to demean Mr. McAuliffe. Some liberals wanted me to rock Dr. Rice.
The sad fact is that a growing number of Americans can't tolerate different opinions and want their beliefs reinforced every day of their lives. There's big money in doing this. There's fame and fortune for those who will throw red meat to the lions.
But that's a waste of your time. No candidate is perfect. No policy is flawless. Judgment should be made on the best available information, not rank propaganda.
Now coming up this evening, you'll see an interview with Laura Bush. Did I treat the first lady the same way I treated Michael Moore, of course not.
Do I converse with my mother the same way I do with my male friends, of course not. Different situations demand different approaches. This is called being appropriate.
But in every interview we do here, you get an honest appraisal of the subject. That's why The Factor continues to dominate the competition. However, we do not feed the lion. We do not pander or distort to satisfy ideology. We lay it on the line in a variety of ways but always so that
you get the picture.
That's why The Factor is fun and unpredictable. We keep the lion in the cage. And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Many strange things happened at the Democratic Convention last week in Boston. I kept running into famous people. You already know about the Michael Moore deal. And shortly after that, P. Diddy asked me for an interview, questioning why I didn't like hip-hop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: I think you have me wrong here. I don't mind hip-hop. What I don't want is the glorification of bad behavior. I want all Americans to have an equal opportunity to succeed. And the only way you succeed is if you're honest, if you're law abiding and respectful. So I don't want kids to be misled by people who are saying, "Don't be that." But I like hip-hop.
SEAN "P. DIDDY" COMBS: Do you feel that hip-hop can have a positive effect?
O'REILLY: Absolutely. If the recordings and the lyrics, all right, demonstrate to the people, particularly young people, that they have a chance, that they can succeed in a positive way, then hip-hop is a very worthy art form. And you were great on Broadway, by the way.
COMBS: Thank you very much.
O'REILLY: All right.
COMBS: Well, god bless you. Thank you for talking to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I think he really likes me. In return for my words of wisdom, Sean Combs agreed to do The Factor, and we are looking forward to that. It won't be ridiculous at all.
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org