The Two Stories That Will Dominate 2005...

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. And a very happy New Year to you. I hope you all have good health and much prosperity in 2005.

And this New Year is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Although the tsunami is now dominating the news, the two big stories in 2005 will continue to be the wars—the one in Iraq and the culture war back here.

All loyal Americans should be hoping that Iraq will stabilize and that democracy will take root there. Even if you don't support the war, the goal of a free Iraq is noble. And Americans are the good guys in Iraq. And there's no other honest way to see it. The situation could go either way. Unfortunately, pray the good guys win.

Now back home, the culture war is getting nastier by the day. The progressive secular movement is furious President Bush won re-election and is lashing out against those perceived to be supporters of the president and Mr. Bush himself. This whole tsunami deal has been politicized. We'll deal with that in a moment.

And again, it comes back to the culture war. Unfortunately, I, your humble correspondent, am target number one in the media for the progressives. For example, we took on the Christmas controversy and won big, further infuriating them.

I got a kick out of liberal columnist Anna Quindlen (search) writing in Newsweek, saying the anti-Christmas jihad was the fault of oppressive Christianity in the USA. Exactly what oppression that is, Ms. Quindlen didn't say. I analyze her remarks in my new column posted on

I was also amused at the full-page newspaper ads blaring after-Christmas sales. So let me get this straight.—Federated Department stores didn't want to use the term "Merry Christmas" before the holiday, but has no problem screaming after-Christmas sale after the holiday. Do I have that right?

Absurdities like that erode secular power, but the blow back will not stop. Just today, "The Boston Globe" took two quotations from me completely out of context. And that aggressively secular newspaper will do that all day long.

The strategy is to marginalize “The Factor” and the FOX News Channel, make us seem like right-wing crazies. That's what you will see all throughout 2005.

Will it work? Will the progressive movement damage us? Nobody really knows. They have big money behind them. Many major newspapers support them. Many entertainers do their bidding. And they have vicious Web sites. What they don't have is you, the folks. And only you will decide the winner of this very intense culture war.

And that's the first "Memo" of 2005.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As you know, we have from time to time made fun of some celebrities who do ridiculous things, but, tonight, I want to praise one. Actress Sandra Bullock (search) has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to be used to help the victims of the tsunami.

This is the second time the actress has given the Red Cross a million. The first was for 9/11 relief efforts. So, to start the new year on a ridiculous item, I have entered a no-sniping zone. We have nothing but good things to say about Ms. Bullock. She deserves that.