Dick Morris told my colleague Bill O’Reilly that when he was in the White House he would regularly send me talking points. This is in response to the revelation by Scott McClellan that the White House sent talking points to conservative hosts. If the Clinton White House attempted to send me talking points, I never received them. Dick’s time there was before the wide-spread use of email, and I never had a fax machine that worked regularly or that didn’t pile up useless sales pitches that I always ignored. If someone was sending me talking points, I never saw them.
And, frankly, I have nothing against talking points as long as they’re used with discretion. When a politician or a political party is under attack, it is customary for that entitity to send out rebuttals, and sometimes there is valuable, sourced information in those epistles which are useful in putting forth a good and factual argument. The phrase “talking points” has come into ill repute because it suggests that some mindless talker is reading off propaganda from some person or group with a false agenda. That is not always the case.
Furthermore, almost every host, left and right, uses them in one form or another, if not directly from the party involved, it could be via a website, or by word-of-mouth. The key is to use them wisely and make sure the sourcing is accurate.