A Great Day for the Witch Hunters

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

A great day for the witch hunters.  That is the subject of this evening's "talking points" memo.  Whether you like Rush Limbaugh (search), Arnold Schwarzenegger (search), or not, watch closely how their situations are handled by those of us in the media.  Evaluate who is reporting the stories fairly and who's taking joy in the punishing headlines.  That will tell you a lot about the news people involved.

Schwarzenegger first.  He's now admitting that he behaved  inappropriately with some women.  Apparently he groped them.  The actor says  he's sorry and disowns such behavior.

Of course, it's entirely up to you whether to believe that.  And if you live in California, you certainly should consider the situation before voting next Tuesday. There's little more to say about it, other than Schwarzenegger should have owned up to it earlier because he knew what was coming down.

Rush Limbaugh is being hammered on two fronts.  He has resigned under pressure from ESPN (search).  And the usual suspects are branding him a racist for  saying he thinks Quarterback Donovan McNabb (search) gets lenient press treatment  because he's black.

What ESPN should have done was to hire someone to debate Limbaugh about that assertion.  I think it's fallacious.  And let the audience decide what the commentator's intentions were after the debate.

Again, nobody can read anybody's mind.  To throw the racist label around  is witch hunting,  period.  I don't think Limbaugh should have lost his job over this.  Again, I do think he should have been roundly challenged.

Now far more serious, far more serious, are allegations that Limbaugh  bought narcotics illegally.  They come from a maid who was most likely paid by The National Enquirer.

However, Fox News has independently confirmed that Florida authorities are looking into the situation and have gathered some evidence against Limbaugh.  This is real bad news for him, but he's innocent until proven guilty.

As Talking Points has been saying, America is now a country where character assassination is to be expected if you're a politician or media big shot.  Some of those opposing you are going to try to destroy you.  Take it from me.

Right now, there's a person running around the USA offering people I know $25,000 if they'll pin some kind of scandal on me.  Isn't that nice?  And if  somebody does take the money and does that, expect to see media people gleefully spread the slander around.

Now if you have a chance this weekend, watch the Tim Russert (search) program on CNBC.  I spent an hour explaining to Tim in great detail just what's going on  vis-a-vis the smear merchants.

In the end, both Schwarzenegger and Limbaugh will serve at the will of the  people.  You'll make up your mind about both men.  But no matter what you decide, watch closely about how things are handled.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

We asked on billoreilly.com, "What is the best TV news operation in America, not counting FOX News?" And the poll numbers are in.  Look at this:  MSNBC gets 53 percent, NBC News 16, CNN 14, ABC 10 percent, CBS just 7 percent.

I'm surprised at that MSNBC number, because their ratings are not very good.  But if you can't watch us, I guess you watch them -- billoreilly.com poll.  About 15,000 of you voted.

And the new question is, "Will Rush Limbaugh's career be hurt because of the current situation? -- Yes or no?"  Interesting question, billoreilly.com.  It's anything but ridiculous.