Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Martha Stewart, guilty, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." As we predicted, Ms. Stewart will pay a price for her attempts to pull off a stock trade that she had to know was wrong. People who didn't have the information, the rich and powerful Stewart had, bought her shares, getting screwed as Imclone fell apart the next day.
The government knew this was a shady transaction and it knew Ms. Stewart lied about it and tried to cover up her dealings with Merrill Lynch by tampering with evidence. So Martha Stewart may be on her way to a federal penitentiary. She'll be sentenced in June.
Now many Americans sympathize with Martha, justifying her bad behavior by pointing to worse behavior by the likes of Enron and other corrupt corporations. As "Talking Points" has pointed out over and over again, you don't excuse a crime because somebody else commits a bigger crime.
The Justice Department wanted to send a message and it did. The rich and powerful will not be allowed to abuse the financial system. In order for the stock market to work, Americans have to have confidence in it. And people like Martha Stewart can't get special treatment.
I like that message. For too long, the rich and powerful in America have gained wealth and power from cozy relationship and inside deals. The current head of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe, turned $100,000 into $18 million by getting in and out of the Global Crossing company at the right time. Did it hurt that McAuliffe played golf with Global Crossing's CEO Gary Winnick along with President Clinton? And when Global Crossing went bankrupt, did any of us get a heads-up on it?
There is no place for this kind of stuff in America. Former President Ford got fabulously wealthy using his business contacts after office. And Hillary Clinton scored big on a commodities deal that is still unexplained. Martha Stewart thought she was above the law and too powerful to be called on it. She was wrong. "Talking Points" is glad.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Fox News Channel Anchorwoman Laurie Dhue often does news breaks here on "The Factor" to the delight of many guys out there. But what you might not know is that Ms. Dhue is kind of a tomboy, running around doing guy stuff, like driving a NASCAR in California at speeds of up to 160 miles per hour. Wow.
Now it is true that the helmet messed up Laurie's hair, which was an issue, but you have to suffer for art. You can see Dhue's ride and her do this Sunday night at 11:00 on "Fox Magazine," which is not at all ridiculous.
Before we get to the mail, here's the final result of our billoreilly.com poll question. Will you continue to do business with Anheuser-Busch now that it has hired gangsta rapper Ludacris? More than 50,000 of you voted. Eighty-seven percent are boycotting Anheuser. Just 13 percent will continue to drink Bud.
--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