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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
The Harris verdict debate in a moment.
But first, a Talking Points Memo and update on the Ludacris/Pepsi negotiation.
As you may know, the Pepsi Corporation is caught in a war between Americans who feel that hiring thug rapper Ludacris was morally wrong. And those who believe Pepsi made a mistake. When under pressure, it fired Ludacris as a pitch man.
Rap mogul Russell Simmons threatened to boycott Pepsi unless it granted the -- quote --"hip-hop community" some concessions, like millions of dollars in donations to the Ludacris Foundation. That has a sound of extortion to it, so we're watching the situation closely.
Today Mr. Simmons held a press conference and said this: "We were given a signed agreement from the president of Pepsi-Cola, Dawn Hudson, and it announces a partnership between the Pepsi-Cola company and the Ludacris Foundation ... it's at least a million dollars for three years."
Pepsi, however, sees it differently from Mr. Simmons. Late today spokesperson Larry Jabbonsky sent us this statement, "A six-member steering committee will administer the fund and the Ludacris Foundation will have a representative on the committee... No checks have been written yet, but the steering committee will decide unanimously which local charities will be involved, and all checks will go directly from Pepsi to those charities."
Well, Talking Points doesn't like the methods used by Russell Simmons. But because the money will most likely help people, we are holding fire for the time being.
We understand Pepsi is in a tight position, but dealing with this Ludacris guy in the first place was an enormous mistake. This man sells mind poison and then tries to take the edge off by giving some of his ill-gotten gains to charity. We've all seen this before.
Mr. Simmons does less publicized charitable work, for which he needs to be applauded, but his game is to make the vile garbage that Ludacris creates mainstream. If Simmons can normalize this guy, then it is clear sailing for the rest of the gangsta rap industry.
In the end, this is a battle of control over what children will be exposed to. If corporate America embraces Eminem and Ludacris, without any backlash from you, then all standards of entertainment have collapsed.
The rap industry would have you believe it's a racial deal. That's dishonest nonsense. This is about money. The more mind poisoning these people move, the more profits are in the bank.
In the beginning, last summer, I told you that I would not buy Pepsi products if they employed Ludacris. I still stand by that. I see the charity shakedown for what it is, but I can live with it.
However, any company that rewards the likes of Ludacris in a commercial way will not get my business. For now, I'll buy Pepsi, but I'm watching them.
Finally, Pepsi may at this point believe the hip-hop community has some power in the marketplace. The truth is, they have little power compared to you, mainstream America.
So if you want to let Pepsi know how you feel, punch up billoreilly.com on your commuter. We have a direct link to Pepsi. Take the challenge, make a stand on billoreilly.com. Let them know how you feel.
And that's The Memo .
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
As you may know, Canada is perhaps the most politically correct country on the face of the earth. You want proof? Here it is.
A school board up there has banned the word "gun" from all spelling tests after the parents of a first grader complained the word disturbed their child.
If the trend continues, that poor little kid will probably be illiterate, which may be ridiculous.