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O'Reilly Avoids Katrina Questions In Chertoff Interview

Reported by Deborah - December 15, 2005

Bill O'Reilly was in D.C. tonight for the White House Holiday Party for the press giving him a chance to interview Michael Chertoff for the first time on The Factor. Considering that this face to face access to Michael Chertoff is so rare why didn't O'Reilly spend time talking about Katrina? 12/15/05

O'Reilly focused on border issues claiming that 1 million illegal immigrants enter each year and the problem has reached "critical mass". Chertoff replied that the problem was " 20 years in the making" pointing to the early 90's either to get a Clinton refrence on the record or because he can't subtract.

O'Reilly suggested that the National Guard be used to secure the borders. Chertoff was against it claiming that it would be too difficult to train them for the job. O'Reilly tried to stir some controversy stating the President of Mexico was outraged that there was talk of a wall despite the fact that the Mexican economy is fueled by dollars sent by the illegal immigrants working here.

Chertoff obviously had his speech planned talking about a "21st Century Fence" that incorporated various high tech surveillance tools. He droned on with that for awhile giving viewers the well controlled persona of the ideal leader of Homeland Security.

Comment: Assuming that O'Reilly was trying to be sensitive and not ask Chertoff about the ugly scar on his soul and reputation from the initial Katrina response, there are certainly enough recent developments to discuss.

Since it was announced today that 1.5 billion will be requested to rebuild the N.O. levees without assurances that the system would protect against a category 5 storm, O'Reilly might have asked Chertoff about that.

Or maybe he could have asked Chertoff to discuss his meeting with Governor Blanco on Tuesday on the same day that Democrats spoke out about the sluggish Federal response in the Gulf region.

At the very least, O'Reilly could have asked Chertoff about the 100,000 pages that Blanco submitted this month to the investigating panel which may subpoena Bush aides. Seems that the White House will not release Andrew Card's e mails from the very very bad week in the White House.

I guess O'Reilly didn't want to ask anything that might offend his party hosts at the White House.

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