Let the Backtracking Begin...

Let the backtracking begin: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

As the evidence mounts that there will be strict oversight on the Arab company working in some U.S. ports, the political backtracking and "CYA", "cover your —" has begun.

The New York Times now says even though it might not be smart to throw the Emirates out, as The Times wanted to do a few days ago, the whole controversy is President Bush's fault because he has over-hyped the War on Terror. Call me crazy, but I thought Al Qaeda had just a little bit to do with the hype.

Anyway, The Times now realizes its editorial position is racial profiling, and you can't insult an Arab ally without cause. And Hillary Clinton realizes the same thing. Here's her latest.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y.: It's very troubling that we find ourselves in this position. And I, for one, hope that there are answers, but at the very least I hope the 45-day investigation is carried out as required under the statute.


Well, "Talking Points" respectfully disagrees with Mrs. Clinton. We should vet the Arab company for 90 days or however long it takes to know everything about it.

The point here is that there was much more to this port story than you were led to believe when you first heard about it. And now those who demagogued and distorted the story look foolish.

This is a hallmark in the War on Terror coverage in general; distortions often rule the day, cool analysis is rare.

One more example. Today, the ACLU says it has evidence that FBI agents in Guantanamo were concerned U.S. military interrogators were abusing detainees there. Wow! The ACLU's outraged that strobe lights and gay porn allegedly were used to break some terror suspects.

Strobe lights, how could they?

Bottom line: There's usually much more to important stories than you're being fed by the ideologues, the newspapers and talk radio. Unfortunately, in America today, Kool-Aid drinkers on both sides will deceive you.

We will not.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

You know, I admire Walter Cronkite. The man's nearly 90 years old and he's still kicking. But there is no question that the former newscaster is a far left guy. Since his retirement from CBS News, he has embraced all kinds of progressive causes.

Here's the latest. Mr. Cronkite is now trying to raise money for the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug legalization outfit that's partially funded by our pal, George Soros. Cronkite actually signed a fundraising [letter] that said in part, "We have locked up literally millions of people of color who have caused little or no harm to others."

The people Cronkite is talking about are street drug dealers who sell heroin, crack and meth, among other dangerous drugs. Apparently Walter Cronkite doesn't feel this is harmful. That view, with all due respect, is insane.

Memo to Walter: Hard drug dealers hurt and sometimes kill people, Sir. It is ridiculous you do not understand that.

Mr. Cronkite is welcome to debate me on the issue any time.

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

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