Barney Frank Gets A Spanking

….of conservatives have yearned to do. On the O'Reilly Factor last night, host Bill O'Reilly gave Rep. Barney Frank a very public spanking for "presiding over the largest financial failure of our time."

With his characteristic bulldog style, times ten, O'Reilly quoted Frank's July, 2008 statement that, despite a few problems, Fannie-Mae had a 'solid' future.' O'Reilly got increasingly agitated as he outlined how thousands of Americans took Frank at his word, only to lose big as Fannie Mae tanked shortly thereafter.

Barney Frank, consummate politician that he is, handled himself quite well, casting himself as having fought for greater regulation and reform of Fannie Mae. Rep. Frank was genuinely perplexed that Americans weren't judging him on his good intentions instead of the disastrous results of his actions, or lack of actions.

Frank held his own, using the proven tactic of attacking the messenger instead of responding to the actual issue. With a straight face, he accused Bill O'Reilly of not listening. "I didn't say Fannie Mae was a good investment," Frank stated. With that, O'Reilly went nuclear.

"Oh, stop the BS. Stop the crap," O'Reilly yelled, emphasizing his irritation with huge finger jabs. 'You're a coward." Living up to the moniker 'No Spin Zone,' O'Reilly went further, stating, "At least Christopher Cox was man enough to admit failure. Come on, be a man. Come on, you coward. You blame everyone else. You're a coward!"

Frank again tried to switch the issue to O'Reilly's lack of manners. On this point, he was somewhat correct. The confrontation indeed turned into a shout-fest, with both sides maneuvering for control of the issue. Bill O'Reilly won. Barney Frank lost.

Though this debate didn't conform to the civilized rules of debate by virtue of finger pointing, shouting and accusations, it nevertheless was long overdue. The point O'Reilly managed to convey was the utter lack of accountability assigned to the very people who were supposed to be in charge of financial oversight. Namely, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd – the very politicians who now jockey for face time after having appointed themselves the experts in charge of solving this vexing problem. After being directly responsible for causing it.

Hypocrisy is nothing new in politics, but with millions of Americans now paying the price for Barney Frank's decisions, his very public spanking was long overdue. Kudos to Bill O'Reilly and shame on Barney Frank for not 'being a man.'

Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for

She lives in South Carolina.

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