John Stossel Comes To Rand Paul’s Defense, Compares Lunch Counters To Women’s Gyms

No one in the mainstream media has been as vociferous a defender of Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul than self-proclaimed “Voice of All Libertarians,” Fox News’ John Stossel. Last night, Stossel did his regular feature on The O’Reilly Factor to debate Bill O’Reilly on Paul’s well-known views on the Civil Rights Act, and he drew a strange comparison: either you support the rights of private business owners to discriminate, or you’re against women’s health clubs.

O’Reilly tried to challenge Stossel on his own turf, suggesting that part of libertarianism is giving everyone the right to the pursuit of happiness, even in sandwich form. In other words, by denying someone the right to purchase something at a private institution– say, lunch counters– the owner is infringing on that person’s liberty, therefore the government should intervene. “I want the government to basically give– or try to give– everybody the same amount of freedom,” O’Reilly noted.

Stossel’s reply seemed to take it a step further than Paul was willing to go, but still fell within the confines of the main theoretical libertarian argument: “We want the individual free to behave as he sees fit, and government is a clumsy instrument, and if you invite government into all parts of life to make it fair, we libertarians think that’s an awful idea.”

O’Reilly responds by noting that segregation in private establishments is “not equality, and that’s where the federal government has to come in and try to handle it.” So Stossel switched gears and gave O’Reilly some very strict hypotheticals himself– either you support segregation everywhere, or you support it nowhere. This sounds fair, right? Except what Stossel means is that banning segregation at lunch counters also requires banning women’s only gyms and health clubs, because it’s either all or nothing when it comes to individual freedoms. Or something.

Video of the discussion below:

Bill O’Reilly & Col. Ralph Peters Ask: “Is The NYT Hurting The Nation?”

The moral value of journalism always gets a little tricky when it involves uncovering military secrets. When it involves Fox News calling out the New York Times, it mixes in a bit of cultural backlash, as well. Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly had military analyst Col. Ralph Peters on the program to evaluate the damage that a recent NYT story uncovering new covert operations in the Middle East had done to America, and what the Times‘ motive could be for publishing it.

The story, making the front page of yesterday’s Times, alleges that the US military is set to expand secret military operations in the Middle East for intelligence and security purposes. They allege the order was signed by General George Petraeus. This article greatly disturbed Peters, who saw the revealing information as a help to the enemies the covert operations were intended to help. As he put it, “They tipped our secret operations, our black operations approach, to the Iranians, to the Syrians, to the terrorists. It made it much harder, much more dangerous for our agents, for our special operators,” he continued, to collect information.

Asked what good could come out of publishing that sort of information, Peters answered that the New York Times “doesn’t like the military very much,” that they “celebrated” the Abu-Ghraib prison scandal, and that there seemed to be some sort of nefarious intention in revealing the military orders.

It’s worth noting the Times has a long history of uncovering and publishing sensitive intelligence stories and rarely do so without alerting the government and relevant parties beforehand. As a result they also have a history of holding stories if there is a convincing argument to be made that publishing it would put lives in danger.

Related: NYT Holds Taliban Story At White House’s Request: ‘Not A Hard Call’

Video of the segment from last night’s Factor below:

Ann Coulter Calls GOP Leaders’ Midterm Predictions ‘Delusional,’ ‘Completely Insane’

Ann Coulter is really invested in raining on the Republicans’ November victory parade. Coulter went on Fox and Friends to expand upon her latest insightful/faux-offensive hybrid column to say, well, everything she should have said in that piece and nothing that she shouldn’t have. Except this time, she not only scolded Republican leaders Newt Gingrich and John Boehner for touting a landslide victory before it happens, she called them “delusional” and “completely insane,” adding that she was “nowhere near as optimistic” as they are about November.

American politics have evolved such that, when not trying too hard to be crazy, Ann Coulter actually shines as the voice of reason among right-wing pundits and Republican elected officials alike. She noted that, while Republicans are being loud about their upcoming, as-yet-undetermined victories, the Democrats are quietly working to prevent those victories from happening. It’s not something the Democrats haven’t done before:

I’ve noticed the Democrats aren’t saying that, which is exactly what they did in 1998, so, all of these—that was in the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scandal—all of these Republicans were going ‘it’s going to be a blowout, it’s going to be a blowout.’ Theres no way it could’ve been a blowout because just four years earlier Republicans had taken about forty districts where people in their entire lifetimes had never, ever voted, their grandparents hadn’t voted Republican, so of course we were going to lose some seats. But when you watched TV, you thought this was going to be a huge blowout.

The only time Coulter slipped into her general Coulterness in this interview was an off-handed, seemingly necessary Hitler reference, but it was quickly overshadowed by her substantive claims. Bill O’Reilly has managed to redefine himself as the sober, paternal voice of the conservative movement– it’s hard to listen to this Ann Coulter, compare her to early 2000s Ann Coulter, and not imagine she’s trying to do the same.

The Fox and Friends segment below:

Anthony Weiner Vs. Bill O’Reilly Showdown Could Be Opening Bout To Weiner Vs. Beck

After a week of Rand Paul and Richard Blumenthal, it’s refreshing to see a politician as polished and well-prepared as Rep. Anthony Weiner was tonight when he went one-on-one with the most-watched cable news host, Bill O’Reilly.

With O’Reilly only spending brief moments firmly in Glenn Beck’s corner, the Goldline discussion O’Reilly gave Weiner “props” for agreeing to made for fantastic television.

O’Reilly came out with his main argument: “Why are you bothering with Beck?”

While Weiner didn’t answer directly, he said Goldline was the “biggest” of these gold companies, and that his independent report did look at others. “Glenn Beck has a responsibility to the people who watch his show to say, ‘you know what, there are smart ways and dumb ways to buy gold, and I’m advocating, this is a bad way,” said Weiner.

“That’s not true, he doesn’t have that responsibility,” fired back O’Reilly, who said Weiner’s attack “smacks of a witch-hunt.”

In the end, O’Reilly promised a Factor follow-up follow-up, as Beck would be back on Thursday. Weiner wanted to keep it going too. “We should have some hot dogs and some Beck’s beers and have some fun,” he said. O’Reilly just may hold him to that:

O’Reilly: Would you do it, though, one-on-one?
Weiner: I would be glad to.
O’Reilly: Alright we’ll set that up next week.
Weiner: O’Reilly can do anything.

Will we see Beck vs. Weiner, mano-a-mano? Maybe will keep the scorecard. This also shows something else – why Bill O’Reilly is in a league of his own on cable news. Can a conversation (and it wasn’t a shout-fest, it was definitely a conversation) like the one below happen on any other program? The closest would be the Rachel Maddow/Rand Paul showdown, but that was a) a shock and b) not being watched by upwards of three million people.

Here’s the interview:

» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter

O’Reilly Tells Beck He ‘Gives Weiner Props’ For Coming On His Show Tonight

Rep. Anthony Weiner, lately the inspiration for Glenn Beck launching after he took Beck to task for his connections to Goldline, will be appearing on Bill O’Reilly tonight to discuss the controversy. I have to imagine this was exactly Weiner’s intent when he launched into a diatribe against Beck — why else go after a top-rated cable host if not for attention. Too bad he didn’t think of this prior to dropping out against Bloomberg in the last mayoral race.

Bill O’Reilly talked to Beck about tonight’s guest on Beck’s radio show today, telling him that he “gives props to Weiner for coming on. He’s a stand-up guy, he comes on he knows he’s walking into an interesting situation.” Beck appeared, um, slightly less willing to offer similar props. “Speaking of Peters, Weiner will be on O’Reilly tonight.” Ba dump. Should be an interesting interview. Clip from Beck’s radio show today, below.

Bill O’Reilly: Let’s Solve Oil Spill Crisis By ‘Stuffing Members Of NBC News In That Hole’ (Update)

Bill O’Reilly called in to Fox & Friends this morning to talk about several political stories, from the Sarah Palin to Pres. Barack Obama’s graduation speech to West Point cadets.

But it was his (joking) take on how to solve the oil spill that got the most attention from the F&F co-hosts. He’d like to stuff the competition in the hole.

It started with O’Reilly explaining how, while BP isn’t doing much to solve the crisis, it’s not like anyone else has any better ideas. “I haven’t heard one expert say, ‘oh I could fix that,’” he said. “Not one. I don’t think anybody knows what to do.”

O’Reilly’s choice? “I thought that they, basically, in the very beginning, should stuff every member of NBC News in that hole,” he said, while co-host Gretchen Carlson let out an “oh my gosh.”

Brian Kilmeade joined the fun. “They did want a junk shot,” he said.

Is the joke worthy of a “Worst Person” appearance? Maybe a Tworst?

> Update: Chuck Todd responds via Twitter: “that guy is a one-trick pony I guess; sad”. It’s on!

Either way, enjoy the…creative solution:

» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter

Glenn Beck, ‘A Cannibal,’ Eats A ‘Weiner’ On The O’Reilly Factor

Early last week, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner accused Glenn Beck of fraud in combination with one of his most popular sponsors, Goldline. Those who guessed Weiner would become a chalkboard regular were wrong; Beck reverted to his morning zoo radio roots and dedicated a website to the Congressman… and hot dogs. And yesterday, on his regular visit to The O’Reilly Factor, he even brought a wiener along to consume on the air, to advertise his #1 Google-searched site,

Bill O’Reilly called him a “cannibal” for eating a Weiner homophone on TV, but Beck called it pure coincidence, and responded to an accusation of being immature by pointing out that, regarding Rep. Weiner’s accusations against him and Goldline, “a lot of Weiners do that. Did you know that, technically, he’s the only Weiner in Congress?”

Beck finally settled down and got semi-serious, noting that Goldline is a company he trusts and that Weiner does not exactly have a clean economic slate, either: “Here’s a guy, who one of his main people used to work for Media Matters– which is great– but also, here’s a guy who’s trying to tell an A+ Better Business Bureau-rated company how to do business when he has been nailed twice for financial improprieties.”

O’Reilly took on a paternal concern over Beck when he read that Weiner had been to the White House to chat with the President, worrying that there was an concentrated effort against him. “That’s not a joke, Beck,” he scolded, “Then I have to get in and defend you!”

Video of the segment below: