Fear and Loathing Over Photos

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

Lots of action this evening, including Peter Jennings on what his future might be.

But first the Talking Points Memo.  Fear and loathing over pictures of President Bush.

The Democrats are shocked and appalled that the Republican Party is selling three pictures of the president for $150.  The most controversial picture shows Mr. Bush talking on Air Force One shortly after the attack on 9/11.

Here's what the Democratic players are saying.  Al Gore: "A photo that seeks to capitalize on one of the most tragic moments in our nation's history is worth only one word -- disgraceful."  DNC chief Terry McAuliffe: "For the congressional Republicans to sell a historical photograph of President Bush talking to Vice President Cheney on September 11 is nothing short of grotesque."  Senator Tom Daschle: "Clearly there would be a very serious ethical violation were White House photographers or any government property involved in this affair."

Wow.  Let's break it down.

First of all, call me crazy, but I see nothing wrong in selling these pictures.  I wouldn't buy them, and I concede that political fund-raising in general is tacky, but a picture of President Bush doing his job on 9/11 is a valid portrait of the man and not offensive to me.

Again, I just may be an insensitive guy, but I am sensitive enough to know when hypocrisy appears.  For eight long years, Bill Clinton and Al Gore presided over the most intense fund-raising administration in American history.  Mr. Gore, you may remember, accepted illegal donations at a Buddhist temple in California.  If we had had an honest attorney general instead of Janet Reno, Mr. Gore might be on parole right now.  That is not an exaggeration.

And the top fund-raising adviser to the Clinton-Gore team was Terry McAuliffe, who watched as illegal campaign money from Chinese military officers flowed to the DNC, and as bagmen like Johnny Chung carried sacks of money right into the Oval Office.  That's not an exaggeration.

And then there's Tom Daschle, who is shocked, shocked, I tell you, that a photographer on the government payroll is being used by the Republicans to raise money.  But Mr. Daschle was mute, mute, I tell you, when scores of people wrote big checks to the Democrats after staying in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House.

So tell me, Senator Daschle, were not chambermaids involved in making those donors feel comfortable?  Were not chefs on the government payroll cooking up some government-funded meals for Barbra Streisand and her pals?

Give me a break.  This is unbelievable hypocrisy.

Talking Points can understand if some Americans think the Bush picture on Air Force One is over the line.  Again, it doesn't bother me, but I respect dissent on that.  But I can't respect hypocrisy, and I challenge Al Gore, Terry McAuliffe, and Tom Daschle to come on The Factor and tell me where I'm wrong.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time for the "Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day." 

Bike racing is a major sport around the country.  And we don't think of danger when it comes to riding bicycles.  Watch this.  Frenchman Eric Barone was racing down the side of a volcano in Nicaragua, when he lost control.  And here's how it played out.  [Videotape] Go, Eric.  Here we go.  Ow, ow.  Barone went to the hospital with shoulder and hand injuries.  [End videotape] He is OK, but it may be ridiculous to ride a bike down a volcano, unless of course lava is chasing you!

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com