"Spinning" Abraham Lincoln

To watch "the memo" click here .

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

Spinning Abraham Lincoln is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

I am really, really getting steamed about all this revisionist history going on.  The trashing of heroes to further political agendas in contemporary America is despicable.

In Brooklyn, we have some militants removing pictures of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson for the town hall and extolling the virtues of people like Malcolm X.

Last night on The Factor, we reported on an ABC News poll that showed African-Americans believe Bill Clinton was a better president than Abraham Lincoln.

With all due respect, that's like comparing caviar to Velveeta.

The journalist DeWayne Wickham put forth that Mr. Lincoln was not all that opposed to slavery and pointed to a letter Lincoln wrote to the abolitionist author Horace Greeley in 1862.  Greeley was demanding that Lincoln immediately free all the slaves.  Lincoln replied that he first had to reunite the country.

There's the passage Mr. Wickham criticized Lincoln for writing.  "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.  If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.  If I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it."

Mr. Wickham believes it proves Lincoln was not the Great Emancipator.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  Dr. Danya Lewis, who lives in Durham, North Carolina, writes, "The meaning to Lincoln's letter to Greeley was completely lost by Mr. Wickham.  Lincoln always detested slavery.  He simply believed that saving the Union was most essential before freedom could be brought to everyone."

In 1854, years before he became president and the Civil War began, Lincoln said in a speech, "If the Negro is a man, why, then, my ancient faith teaches me that all men are created equal, and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another."

During the Civil War, Lincoln made scores of statements against slavery, including this one.  "I am naturally antislavery.  If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.  I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel."

Once again, Abraham Lincoln was willing to compromise his core beliefs to keep the United States intact, but his ultimate goal was for all people on American soil to have freedom.  Of course, he signed the Thirteenth Amendment freeing the slaves before he died.

Once again, Talking Points is saddened and angered by the vicious spin that has entered our national discourse.  Lincoln was assassinated by an advocate of slavery.  He risked his life time and time again for justice and succeeded in reunifying America.

To portray him as unfeeling racist is morally wrong.  And that is flat-out the truth.

It's also the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Yesterday, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an article about your humble correspondent, which contained this sentence.  "O'Reilly takes particular glee in e-mails as venomous as he is — and promoting his Web site and show merchandise."

Now we're used to this venomous stuff in the print press, but the Web site and merchandise mentioned is interesting.  As far as I can tell, every news organization in the USA promotes its Web site, including the "Star Tribune."  As for the merchandise, every day The New York Times runs advertisements, asking readers if they would like to buy photographs from The Times archives.  And they're not cheap.

Every day they do this, yet nothing is ever said.  Factor viewers asked us to create merchandise.  So we did.  And a large part of the proceeds go to charity.  Yet we are chastised by some in the print media.  It's ridiculous.  Just thought you'd like to know.

 — 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