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Iowa D. A. Takes Exception to Lies He Claims Were Told by FOX Legal Analyst

Reported by Marie Therese - May 24, 2005

On Monday May 10th, Bill O'Reilly interviewed FOX News Legal Analyst Lis Wiehl (who also frequently co-hosts the Radio Factor) about one of his favorite targets - a local D. A., this time Iowa State Attorney Bill Davis. As usual O'Reilly savaged Mr. Davis because he had refused to prosecute expectant mother, Rebecca Mann, with child endangerment, when she was arrested for prostitution and public intoxication. Iowa law does not recognize the fetus as a human being, so Mr. Davis had no other option. However, Wiehl and O'Reilly went on and on about how wishy-washy Davis was, excoriating him for not having the spine to charge Ms. Mann with child abuse in defiance of the law.

Now, Bill Davis has answered these charges through his local paper. He claims that Ms. Wiehl lied. In the excerpt below a FOX News representative claims that Ms. Wiehl was only a "guest" on FOX and that Mr. Davis should not be angry with FOX News for things a "guest" said. However, it is well known that FOX News pays its analysts and contributors and, as documented in Outfoxed, have been known to refuse to call back contributors and analysts who do not tow the FOX party line.

From QuadCities Online, May 15, 2005:

Scott County prosecutor miffed by Fox `lies'

Bill Davis is riled about The O'Reilly Factor.

The veteran Scott County prosecutor said a guest on Bill O'Reilly's show on the Fox News Channel disregarded the facts from an interview with him Tuesday.

"I was stunned. I wasn't misquoted. They actually lied about what I said," Mr. Davis said Friday.

Lis Wiehl, a Fox News legal analyst, interviewed Mr. Davis over the phone about Rebecca Mann, who was arrested May 8 in Davenport and charged with public intoxication and prostitution.

******

On the show that aired Tuesday, Mr. O'Reilly said Ms. Mann "walks out the door with no charges."

That, Mr. Davis said, was a lie.

"They portrayed it as if I was confused, the country bumpkin, and that I dropped all of the charges, which is untrue," Mr. Davis said.

Ms. Mann still faces charges of prostitution and public intoxication, court records show.

***********

Ms. Wiehl said Mr. Davis should have tried to take Ms. Mann off the street until her baby was born. Ms. Mann bonded out of the Scott County Jail hours before the show aired.

Mr. Davis also was critical of the show's portrayal of his role in the case.

Ms. Wiehl said Mr. Davis "threw his arms up" because Iowa doesn't have a law protecting fetuses. She later said "any regular person, not a prosecutor, would say I'm going to have to look out for this fetus."

"It's a low-level beef to him (Davis), right?" Mr. O'Reilly asked Ms. Wiehl.

"Yes, but it shouldn't be," she responded.

Ms. Wiehl continued her attack on Mr. Davis by saying with the facts of the case, Mr. Davis could have done more.

"A prosecutor can always find a way. There is some charge. There's some avenue to go with," Ms. Wiehl said.

But Mr. Davis said he has done all he could according to the letter of the law. The facts of the case only warranted the prostitution and public intoxication charge. As for keeping her in jail, Mr. Davis has no say in it.

"What really upsets me is that we are a nation of laws, but they don't want that," he said. "There is no criminal charge for endangering the well-being of an unborn child."

Since being discussed on The O'Reilly Factor, Mr. Davis has been inundated with e-mails and phone calls from all over the country who are disgusted with his treatment of the case. A few have apologized after Mr. Davis told them the show was full of errors.

"I'm just flabbergasted that people take his (O'Reilly's) word as scripture," Mr. Davis said.

Dana Klinghoffer, spokesperson for Fox News, said Mr. Davis shouldn't be angry with Mr. O'Reilly because Ms. Wiehl was only a guest on the show. ... [End excerpt.]

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