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

Shooting yourself in the head, not the foot, that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."  A few days ago, we saw [Democratic Presidential Candidate] Howard Dean blow himself up.  And last night, another "Maalox moment," this time between Peter Jennings (search) and [Democratic Presidential Candidate] Wesley Clark (search) during the debate.


PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS:  The other day you had a rally here.  And one of the men who stood up to endorse you was the controversial filmmaker Michael Moore.  You said you were delighted with him.  At one point, Mr. Moore said in front of you that President bush, he's saying he'd like to see a debate between you, the general, and President Bush, who he called a deserter.  Now that's a reckless charge not supported by the facts.  And I was curious to know why you didn't contradict him and whether or not you think it was -- would have been a better example of ethical behavior to have done so?

WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, I think Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.  I don't know whether this is supported by the facts or not.  I've never looked at it.  I've seen this charge bandied about a lot.  But to me, it wasn't material.

This election is going to be about the future, Peter, and what we have to do is pull this country together.  And I'm delighted to have the support of a man like Michael Moore.

JENNINGS:  Do you still feel comfortable with the fact that someone  should be standing up in your presence and calling the president of the United States a deserter?

CLARK:  To be honest with you, I did not look at the facts, Peter.  I -- you know, that's Michael Moore's opinion.  He's entitled to say that.  I've seen -- he's not the only person who's said that.  I have not followed up on those facts.  And frankly, it's not relevant to me and why I'm in this campaign.


Excellent questioning by Jennings.  So let me get this straight.  General Clark is happy that Michael Moore (search) is on his team and feels he doesn't have the responsibility to check out Moore's defamatory charges.  Do we have this right, general?

"Talking Points" has been saying over and over that political people who align themselves with radicals and smear merchants will never succeed.  Michael Moore goes all over the world bashing the USA.  He mocks our government,  slanders politicians with whom he disagrees, and generally behaves in an offensive manner to many Americans.

Those who hate America love Michael Moore. That's all you need to know.  So if I'm President Bush, I run Clark's soundbite on Moore all day long. It was a tremendous gaffe for the general, as poll numbers are going down. His own team admits it.

Once again, "Talking Points" believes Americans are entitled to any political opinion they wish to hold, but to denigrate their country, use slanderous tactics, and provide the haters of America with ammunition is simply disgraceful. "Stuart Smalley," Michael Moore and others like them should be ashamed, and so should General Clark for buying into this terrible trend.  Once again, Peter Jennings, congratulations.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Didn't take long for the capitalistic toy industry to capitalize on [Democratic Presidential Candidate] Howard Dean's image.

Here's the "Mean Dean" action figure, which can be used in a variety of ways, including scaring crows away from the corn. The figure plays in audio of Dean's speech after coming in third in Iowa, and I'm sure we'd all like to hear that over and over again.

Priced at 40 bucks, the whole thing might be ridiculous.