So now the politicians are finger-pointing. All of them warned about the financial chaos, but nothing was done. It's not their fault.
Listen to Senator Hillary Clinton:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON: I said this is coming. We've got a big problem. We've got to figure out what to do about these mortgages. We have to reign in the banks. We need new regulation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, Senator Clinton is telling the truth, but there's a small problem. She made her strongest mortgage remarks to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Were you in the crowd?
And that's the key to all this: widely seen public statements, politicians directly telling us there is danger. Did you see any of that on the economy? I didn't.
Now the White House says President Bush called for mortgage reform many times over the years, and he did. But like Senator Clinton and every other politician, not loud enough. The president didn't use his bully pulpit to warn the folks their investments were at risk. He didn't name names like Merrill Lynch and AIG. He should have.
Likewise, Barney Frank, who heads the House banking committee, yes, he introduced tougher oversight in the bill, but it died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Did Frank scream about that? Did he come on "The Factor?" No, he didn't go anywhere.
Very, very few Americans were aware their investments were in danger. That's the bottom line here. The feds knew. They knew, but they didn't tell us. So now we the people have to save ourselves and we will.
Once again, the American worker will make fine products which will be sold all over the world and we'll get out of this mess eventually. Once again, the folks will prove they are the backbone of the country and that many politicians have no backbone.
We live in an age of instant communication. If one leader had called me and said, hey, O'Reilly, I want to warn the folks about the economy, that person would have been on "The Factor" in a heartbeat. But no one called.
Finally, I know many of you are worried, but fear's not going to help you. There's nothing we can do but tough this out and demand our government crack down on corrupt business people. No failed CEO should receive any kind of bonus payment. That should be made illegal.
Also, speculators have to be controlled. They can bring down honest businesses and artificially drive up vital commodities like oil.
We'll get through this, but there's no question America needs leaders who will level with the folks, who will tell them directly when danger is approaching. No more cozy deals. No more government-sanctioned greed and corruption. America has worked too hard to see their finances manipulated while the feds fiddle.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Tuesday my new book, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," hits the stores and Web sites. Yay! And in support of that, I went on "Good Morning America" and chatted with Robin Roberts. Was I a pinhead or a patriot? You make the call.
Click here to watch Bill's appearance on "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity." It's very personal. You've written books in the past, but this lets us into why you are who you are.
O'REILLY: Yes, it's kind of like going into Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory, had that monster actually rised from the slab.
And by the way, that book cover with me on it, here's what I get: "What happened?" I don't want to hear that anymore, ladies and gentlemen. I'm 9, all right. Now I'm 80. That's nature. I don't want to hear it. "What happened?"
So I decided to write the book and tell you what happened in my house in Levittown, in my school, St. Bridget's, in college, in my career in television that shaped my philosophy, that made me "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity."
ROBERTS: And who told you that? That was a third grade teacher?
O'REILLY: My third grade teacher traumatized me. If I could sue the nun, I would. But nuns have no money. I can't sue. I'm 9. "You bold fresh piece of humanity." And she took a ruler and whacked me. That's why I'm the way I am.
ROBERTS: So that's who we should go after?
O'REILLY: Yes. It's her fault. And it's my parents' fault, too. It's everybody's fault but mine.
ROBERTS: But you talk about...
O'REILLY: Elect me president.
ROBERTS: Bill O'Reilly, you should have your own show. That's right, you do have...
O'REILLY: I do have my own show, Robin. She's always asleep. She doesn't watch nighttime television.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
All right. By the way, if you order a copy of "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" on BillOReilly.com, Random House will send a corresponding copy to our troops overseas. And thousands of books are on their way over there. We thank everybody who's participated in that fine program.