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O'Reilly declares new witch hunt on another judge: John A. Connor in Ohio has "gotta go."

Reported by Chrish - March 14, 2006

The O'Reilly Factor should just come clean (ha!) and change its name to the O'Reilly Target du Jour. Today 3/13/06 it was pronounced that Judge John A. Connor had made a horrible error in sentencing, and O'Reilly is exhorting the faithful to join his war on judges and call for Connor's firing.

Between all the bogus "wars" and the attacks on the judiciary and academia, one judge and one professor at a time, Americans have no time left to pay attention to the Bush administration's incompetence and corruption.

First off we had FOX producer Jesse Waters "confronting" the Judge in a parking lot, apparently after a St. Patrick's Day parade, asking him why he only gave Selva probation when he could have been sentenced up to ten years? Waters was saying something, "the code says..." and the judge overtalked, accusing Waters of misquoting the code. Connor told the producer "Like everything in this case, you guys have misrepresented it. You haven't said the truth about anything, so I'm not talking to you because you do not report it accurately."

After that video clip was played, O'Reilly was joined by John Kasich, former US Rep (OH-R) and host of FOX's Heartland, and Cathy Harper Lee of the Justice League of Ohio. As far as I can ascertain, the Justice League is a cartoon cabal.
O'Reilly said that Connor was reluctant to jail Selva because "he has a disease, like I have", and O'Reilly introduces that Connor apparently has "a problem with alcohol."

Indeed, agrees Lee, fleshing out the judge's past with figures (8 DUIs, 3 convictions, according to her). She says they have received a number of calls from AA members who are offended by the comparison. Lee is herself offended by Connor's attitude that jail would do nothing but exact revenge, and opines that he is no longer fit to serve justice and has no concern for punishment or protecting the community. O'Reilly asks her about the judge's declaration that FOX has not reported accurately, and Lee replies that she has followed the case closely and FOX has not made ANY mistakes.

Kasich, addressed by O'Reilly as "Congressman" and called "a bigshot" in the county where Connor sits, says the DUIs are hard to believe, yet the judge has been re-elected 2-3 times. (Which is it?) The folks in Ohio are angry but not yet at the level of boiling seen in Vermont, but that's because they are not aware of it. Those who are aware are mortified, and the sentence is beyond disgraceful.

O'Reilly interrupts, saying this is worse than Vermont, the judge is arrogant, and his troubled past is brought up again. According to O'Reilly (a search of Google , MADD.org, and MADDOhio.org found no information) Connor went easy on a repeat drunk driver (Jose San Paolo, sp.?) and the offender, breaking the terms of his probation, killed two people in a drunk driving crash. So this Judge has on his conscience two people killed and two young boys raped, and this guy (Selva) is sitting in his house. John, you gotta get him outta there!

Since the Judge is not running for re-election until 2010, Kasich outlines procedures available: impeachment, a petition drive which would lead to a trilal, or it could be referred to the Supreme Court - by whom is not stated. Programming note: As he speaks, the banner beneath him reads "Heartland" airs Saturdays at 8PM. FOX is never bashful about cross-promoting and cross-guesting their "talent".

O'Reilly, clearly wanting Kasich to stop talking, says the folks have got to do it. Kasich is going on that Cathy has started it, and with O'Reilly pushing it, people are going to pay attention.... O'Reilly keeps repeating "he's got to go" as Kasich says it's going to be a "warning to judges", that they can't give out this kind of sentence.

Lee says they will be researching each option and will go for the one likely to give quickest results. O'Reilly, saying they need 15% of voters signatures, says "You'll get that." (Comment: It's Ohio - the only state more predictable is (cough) Florida.) He's going to have another guest Wednesday, a woman who appeared before Connor, and who presumably has a horror story to tell to further stack the case against him.

Kasich says that the more people who hear about this, the more outrage they can build, the easier it will be to remove him. O'Reilly agrees, saying they're going to "do this" on The Radio Factor tomorrow and spread the word: "This guy Connor has got to go."

Comment: I am not commenting on the charges, the plea, the sentencing, or whether he should be removed: I don't have enough information. The prosecutor in the case, Ron Welch, was not happy with the sentence but also was not happy with the way the case was presented during his appearance on The Factor last week as reported in the Zaneville Times Recorder. Welch:

"He really didn't allow me to explain what was happening at the time, nor did he allow me to tell what factors played into the plea bargain," Welch said Thursday. "He started by wanting to know if I thought the judge is a villain."

O'Reilly again accused Welch of not asking for any jail time during his broadcast on Wednesday evening and read letters to him, most of which supported his own views.

"I never told him I didn't ask for prison time," Welch said. "I fully expected him to receive jail time and was extremely upset when he didn't. As a prosecutor, I relied on the judge's discretion to make sure the man paid for his crimes. With the number of years Selva had confessed to abusing young people it was expected he would receive jail time."

Welch took exception to the fact that O'Reilly did not allow him to tell what factors weighed into offering the plea.

"You have certain factors with each and every case," Welch said. "Sometimes there are limits on what we can discuss as far as specifics, but he just never gave me a chance to address that or disclose any of the details. He just sees one side."

Regardless, Welch feels O'Reilly should get all his facts straight before putting someone on his program and "grilling" them.

"He never allowed me the opportunity to explain what I needed to," Welch said. "That's not fair and that's not balanced."

My comment addresses the fact that O'Reilly presents his show as the "no-spin zone" and touts himself as a journalist when in reality he is an advocate who is anything but objective. There's nothing wrong with that in itself - it's the hypocrisy and false representation that need to be constantly documented. This show had three people piling on a judge without anyone to defend or explain his side. Of course viewers/listeners will say, what's to defend? That's my point: we don't have the other side, whether it will clear everything up or it's totally lame - we don't have the other side.

Not fair, not balanced, not journalism.

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