The Culture War Heats Up

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Over the Labor Day weekend a New York Times reviewer named Janet Maslin attacked me in print -- what else is new -- but Maslin's gleeful libel demonstrates the viciousness that has enveloped The Times.

That newspaper is leading the charge to turn America into a secular nation and return political power to the left wing of the Democratic Party (search). But The Times is a troubled institution. The Jayson Blair scandal badly damaged the paper and, as The Factor demonstrated, The Times' inaccurately reported the battlefield situation in the opening days of the Iraq War. The paper's hard news coverage was shaded to bolster its editorial position that the war was wrong.

I knew that once I took on The New York Times the paper's character assassins would take dead aim on me. That is why few journalists will ever criticize The Times -- they know the paper will come after them in a very personal way. Therefore there is no check on the power of The New York Times -- it prints what it wants with impunity.

The latest garbage courtesy of Ms. Maslin is a recycling of the bogus charges that impugn my integrity. Writes Maslin, "Mr. Frankin makes a bulls-eye out of Mr. O'Reilly… he shows how Mr. O'Reilly's erroneous claim that he won a Peabody Award evolved into even bigger fibs once it was challenged."

Maslin must know by now that I never said I won a Peabody Award. Transcripts prove that and the defamatory charge has been refuted time and time again. I simply defended my previous program, Inside Edition, by saying it won a Peabody. But I made a mistake. The program actually won a Polk Award. I corrected the record on March 2, 2001 and March 8, 2001 -- two and a half years ago. Yet Maslin spreads the lie once again as well as hooting that I am a registered Republican -- something terrible to her -- when the truth is that I changed my voting registration to Independent years ago.

She also recycles the incredibly asinine assertion that I did not grow up where I said I grew up. My mother has lived in a Levitt house on Long Island for more than 50 years. The Arts and Entertainment Biography program actually photographed the house and gave a brief history of the Levittown area. Yet this is not enough for Maslin.

This is journalistic terrorism designed to punish people who hold opposing points of view. I am not going to deal with these attacks again on this program but I will tell you that I am not alone. The New York Times actually called Mel Gibson a "Jew-baiter" for daring to film a movie based on the passion of Jesus. The Times knows that the courts will allow this kind of libel because in this country famous people deserve no protection, but defamatory descriptions are disgraceful and so is The Times for using them time and time again.

Now I know that many of you could not care less about The New York Times. But here's what you don't know. The network TV news takes much of its point-of-view from the pages of The Times. And your local newspaper may very well reprint that paper's articles. The New York Times is extremely powerful in shaping public opinion and God help those who go up against it.

But that kind of power must be challenged when it becomes abusive. The Fox News Channel is one of the few media outlets that currently watches what that paper does and that is why The Times attacks us so frequently.

This is a high stakes power game that influences political decision making in America. The New York Times is pushing its far left, secular agenda hard and will use any and all methods to hurt and diminish those who stand in its way. The culture war in America is getting bloodier. It will be interesting to see who will ultimately prevail.

And that's the Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

In Wheeling, West Virginia, a woman has pleaded guilty to attacking a male stripper. Fifty-two-year-old Jacqueline McMahon has to pay $2,500 to the stripper because she punched him out.

Apparently, Ms. McMahon was disappointed in the stripper's performance at her daughter's bachelorette party. Failing to measure up is always ridiculous, but, in this case, it was criminal.

The lesson is you don't always get what you pay for. Particularly with guys.

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