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Bill O'Reilly Demands Prosecutor Arrest People Who Haven't Broken The Law And Wants Jeb Bush To Intervene To Make It Happen

Reported by Ellen - April 17, 2005

On last Thursday's (4/14/05), O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly launched yet another attack on an out of state District Attorney. So far, he has gone after DA's in Atlanta, Georgia and Florida. O'Reilly is in New York and seems to have no special understanding or knowledge of their legal systems. But that doesn't stop him from demanding that they ignore the law, do what he tells them and threatening extrajudicial action if they don't.

In the Talking Points segment that begins every O'Reilly show, O'Reilly complained that "It seems like every week another child brutally abused in Florida." Similarly, every week it seems that O'Reilly has a new attack on a District Attorney. See, for example, the following posts by Marie Therese and myself which represent only some of the many instances of this kind of behavior by O'Reilly:

March 6, 2005
March 15, 2005
April 1, 2005
April 8, 2005

In Thursday's Talking Points, O'Reilly was discussing the case of missing Sarah Lunde (since found dead). O'Reilly opined, without offering any facts to support his opinion, that suspect David Onstott served less than six years in prison for a "violent sexual assault on a woman," "not nearly enough time if you ask me." The exact nature of Onstott's crime for which he was convicted remains unclear. Apparently, O'Reilly's say-so that the man deserved worse is all we need to know.

Next, O'Reilly turned back to the case of convicted sex offender John Couey who has been charged with the murder of another missing Florida child, Jessica Lunsford. (Comment: Make that another missing white girl, the only kind that seems to get FOX News attention despite the fact that, according to a 2002 US Department of Justice study, minorities and boys have a higher risk of abduction.)

The previous week, O'Reilly demanded that Florida prosecute three people who allegedly lied to police by saying they did not know Couey's whereabouts which, had the police known sooner, MIGHT have prevented Lunsford's murder. Last Thursday, O'Reilly read a quote from an AP story in which Florida State Attorney Brad King said, "While we may believe what they did was wrong, legally it's not a crime. To charge somebody just to make the public feel better, I'm not going to do that."

His voice heavy with sarcasm and disbelief, O'Reilly made the astounding statement that King should arrest the three anyway - regardless of the law. O'Reilly said, "Can you believe this guy? There's no question these three obstructed justice and perhaps worse. You charge them to send a message. If they get off, they get off. Brad King is off-the-chart misguided and Americans have to do something." O'Reilly then urged his viewers to go to his website to find out how "to appeal personally" to Governor Jeb Bush to intervene.

Next, O'Reilly hosted a panel discussion on this "top story." He interrupted his panelists' attempts to address the problem of child abuse and protective services in Florida as a whole in order to continue his crusade against the three people he wants arrested.

First, guest Andrea Moore, Executive Director of Florida's Children First, said that Florida state agencies benefitting child welfare need more money, that children are not a high enough priority in the legislature. O'Reilly responded: "Leadership in both houses is absolutely lacking and I'll tell you why, Ms. Moore. If I'm the governor, I go down to Citrus County and I stand there and I say I'm gonna do everything humanly possible to get these three people charged in Jessica Lunsford's murder."

Later, law professor Charles Rose, identified as a retired judge army advocate (hardly a liberal type), said that the system "should grab that guy after he does his time - to do a good job, and #1, making sure that he's rehabilitated because if he's not..."

BOR, an instant expert in the field, cut him off by saying, "I'm not gonna convict a guy on television but he doesn't look like he's rehabilitated to me."

At the end, O'Reilly gave Rose the "last word." He said to Professor Rose, "You know you could find a way to prosecute these three. You know you could, sir."

Rose answered that "Finding a way to prosecute is not necessarily finding a way to convict. Bad facts make bad law."

O'Reilly interrupted again. "I don't care. No one cares. They wanna make a statement. These people have to suffer somewhat. You don't walk out. You just don't."

Comment: I find it appalling and frightening that a network news host - on prime time, no less - would repeatedly call for the arrest of people who have not violated a criminal statute. If you are as outraged as I am, here are a few actions you can take:

Email Governor Jeb Bush and ask him to tell O'Reilly to just shut up and butt out of Florida politics jeb.bush@myflorida.com

Email Bill O'Reilly and tell him we want an America where prosecutors respect the law so just shut up about arresting people who have not violated it. oreilly@foxnews.com and billoreilly.com

Email or call FOX News and tell them that it's unethical, immoral, inappropriate and un-American for one of their hosts to interfere with a state's legal system and call for the arrest of people who have not committed a crime. comments@foxnews.com
or call 1-888-369-4762

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