Andy Rooney and Howard Stern

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

Andy Rooney (search) and Howard Stern (search), those guys are the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."  As you may know, Mr. Rooney made some personal comments about Mel Gibson I found unfair.  And I would like to talk to Mr. Rooney about them.  But the CBS commentator doesn't want to explain himself and he told radio guy Don Imus (search) why.


ANDY ROONEY, "60 MINUTES":  You know, O'Reilly swore at me because I won't go on his show and make a fool of myself.  He said I'll go on "Larry King,"  but he won't go on with me.  I mean, he's the worst interviewer there is, and -- but I don't want to go on there and get killed.  But what was your question?


O'REILLY:  All right.  Now if I'm the worst interviewer there is, a bright guy like Mr. Rooney could make me look foolish.  But we all know that's not what's going on here.  What's actually happening is that a group of very powerful media people, including Mr. Rooney, are trying to destroy Mel Gibson because they don't like this movie

In today's "New York Times," for example, there's an article that says Gibson may have trouble finding work in Hollywood, a thinly-veiled threat to others who might do what Gibson did.  And Rooney himself continues to blast Gibson in the movie.


DON IMUS, RADIO SHOW HOST:  Have you seen this Mel Gibson movie?

ROONEY:  No, I haven't.  I don't plan to see it.

IMUS:  Do you...

ROONEY:  I mean, I don't want to pay $9 just for a few laughs.


O'REILLY:  Laughs?  What does that is mean?  What's funny about the execution of Jesus?  Again, if you're in a position of power, you smear someone or say something that might demean millions of Christians, you have an  obligation to clarify your remarks in a debate situation.  These cheap drive-by by Rooney comments are brutally unfair and deserve scrutiny, as does the continuing campaign to injury Mel Gibson, being run by secular media people.

Now Howard Stern is also under scrutiny.  His program has been yanked from six Clear Channel (search) radio stations because of sexual content.  As you know, Congress is conducting hearings on media indecency and companies such as Clear Channel could get hurt big time.  You can thank Janet Jackson (search) for all fuss.

As for Mr. Stern, he has always run a sex show.  It's what he does.  For adults, there's no problem.  For children, big problem because the cavalier attitude and explicit tone of the sex conversation is definitely for what they call mature audiences.

If Janet Jackson didn't happen, however, Howard Stern would not be feeling the heat.  But many Americans and their elected officials have had it with libertine entertainment.  And the backlash is in play full force.  And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

I visited the ABC program "The View" (search) to promote my novel, "Those Who Trespass," (search) this morning.  As usual, things got wild when Mel Gibson's movie came up.


O'REILLY:  He has a right to put this movie on the screen without being branded an anti-Semite and all of this stuff.  Now why are they doing that?  Why are they doing it?  -- They're doing it because there's a war in this country between traditionalists and secularists.

You see this on the gay marriage thing.  And the secularists do not want Jesus being injected into any policy debate.  They don't want it in the public arena, and they're going to send a message, as they sent today in "The New York Times."

Gibson will never work again, they're not going to hire him, that if you do this kind of a thing, a film, you're going to be punished for it, and I think that's un-American.  I think that's...

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW":  I disagree with that completely.  I don't agree with that.


O'REILLY:  All right.  Joy Behar (search) and I kissed and made up a few minutes after that.  Always enjoy talking with the ladies.  It's never ridiculous.