The Fallout from the Inaugural Address

The fallout from the inaugural address: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Well, once again, I am an oracle. Not bragging, mind you, just reporting. Last night Dick Morris and I had this exchange:


O'REILLY: Your opinion is this is a tremendous speech, a great speech. It's not going to be reported that way.

DICK MORRIS: No, because the elite media quiver when they don't understand the importance of freedom as a tool.

O'REILLY: But they're going to say...

MORRIS: All right. A political...

O'REILLY: ...Words are fine, but the United States can't go into all these places and impose liberty.


Now I open up The Washington Post" this morning and the editorial jumps into my lap. "When opposition to tyranny has been at odds with security or economic policy -- in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, in Russian, in China -- the Bush administration of the past four years consistently chose to ignore or excuse oppression."

Like it was possible to do anything else. If the USA had disengaged from Russia, or China, or Pakistan, "The Washington Post" would have screamed from the top of the Washington monument.

The newspaper scrutinized Bush's call for liberty by holding him to an impossible standard.

In Pakistan, for example, the choice is between Musharraf or Bin Laden. That's it. So what is the point of this screed from "The Post"?

Well, the point is to beat President Bush down. And I knew it was going to happen and I told Morris. Of course, "The L.A. Times" and "The Boston Globe" followed suit. But "The New York Times" was neutral, cautious in its appraisal of the president's speech.

On the other side, conservative Peggy Noonan (search) wrote -- who wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan I should say -- didn't like Bush's speech for a different reason. "It left me with a bad feeling...the president's speech seemed rather heavenish. It was a God-drenched speech."

Well, "Talking Points" counted four spiritual references in the 20-minute address and a "God bless America" at the end. That's "God-drenched"? Tell it to George Washington, who cited God all over the place. So did Abraham Lincoln.

But we are living in a new progressive age. And Ms. Noonan is uneasy.

Now I wanted to chat with her about this but she wanted no part of that discussion. Bless you anyway, Peggy.

On the whole, Dick Morris thought the speech was brilliant. I thought it was effective in laying out the president's philosophy. And I like the tone, but I didn't hear any "ask not" moments.

The best thing about the speech was that it was vintage Bush. His supporters loved it. His detractors are stewing in their beer.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

If you think the sports steroids scandal is bad here, listen to this dispatch from Argentina.

As you may know, soccer is crazy all over the world, and the World Cup is (search) the pinnacle of that sport. In 1990, Argentina beat Brazil 1-0, causing a massive celebration among Argentines.

But now the coach of the Argentinean team will not deny a longstanding rumor that his side put tranquilizers in the water of the Brazilian team. Remember, the Brazilian team didn't score.

But allegedly felt very good about it, which may or may not be ridiculous, depending on what exactly was in that water. Wow.

I—You can watch 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: