The Left Strikes Back...

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

The left strikes back.  That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

Before the Democratic debate last night, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (search) said this.


HOWARD DEAN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This is where this is really going to be run.  It's not going to be won in the debate hall.  It isn't.  It's  going to be  won here.  It's not going to be won on whatever Fox TV says about this debate.  It's going to be won here.  It's -- they're right here.  You can talk to them directly if you want.  The reporter here is a very nice guy.  His name is Cameron.  We like him.  Where is he any way?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Fair and balanced.

DEAN:  Cameron is fair and balanced.  O'Reilly isn't.


O'REILLY:  Oh.  Well, like the "Ghostbusters," I'm ready to believe Dr. Dean.  If I have been unfair, I want to know exactly how.

The problem is that unlike all the other major Democratic candidates, Dean will not talk with us.  If Lieberman, Edwards, Gephardt, Kerry and Sharpton  have no trouble with the No Spin Zone, why does Dean?

Now to be fair, because I try to be, I did rough the governor up over his stance on Iraq.  I thought he was wrong, but that's public policy.  You debate.  You don't run.

Governor Dean is welcome on this program any time to put forth his point of view.  Fair, governor?

Now for one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen in journalism.  The ultra-liberal Los Angeles Times printed a column today by rabid left-winger Michael Kinsley (search) entitled "Whether It Happened or Not, It's Still Disgusting."  The column rips [Republican candidate for California governor] Arnold Schwarzenegger for his sex talk in a magazine 25 years ago.    Other newspapers ran the column as well with less inflammatory headlines.

Kinsley writes, "Some sexual habits reflect an attitude toward other people, especially women, that is worth knowing about in the voting booth.  It's also worth knowing if a politician is a liar and a hypocrite..."

Now this is the same Kinsley who passionately defended President Clinton during the Lewinsky episode, the same guy.  Back then, Kinsley wrote this in Time magazine.

"The most significant political story of 1998 is not that the President had oral sex with a 22-year old White House intern.  The most significant political story of the year is that most citizens don't seem to think it's significant that the President had sex with a 22-year old intern.  Yes, Yes, he lied about it.  Under oath, blah, blah, blah..."

Can you believe this?  This guy diminishes the Clinton episode, but smears Schwarzenegger, who was single at the time he dished about sex?

In the interest of full disclosure, you may remember Kinsley spread misinformation about me, so I have no use for him, but this situation is revolting.  Did The L.A. Times (search) not know that Kinsley was a Clinton cheerleader during the sex scandal?  Why on earth would that newspaper allow this guy to blast Schwarzenegger in the same context?

Now I write a syndicated column.  My company creators would never let me do something like that.  Even if you love Clinton and  Kinsley and don't like Arnold, you have to see the rank intellectual dishonesty in this.  At least, I hope you do.

I mean, just how partisan is journalism going to get in this country?

And that's The Memo.

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