"Judge O'Reilly" agrees to join movement to shut down MySpace.com
Reported by Chrish - July 14, 2006 -
On The Factor last night 7/13/06, Bill O'Reilly revisited the Pamela Rogers case, which is of course an excuse to air again the lewd video she made of herself for her student, an underage boy with whom she had sex multiple times. Rogers has violated her probation and is in custody. Himself an accused sex offender, O'Reilly pretends to be a judge and sits in judgment of her inappropriate behavior.
Drew Findling, a criminal defense attorney, played the role of judge first in O'Reilly's weird fantasy piece. Findling said that, as judge, he would acknowledge that the terms of probation in the original sentencing were inadequate. In a word, she's whacko. She needs counseling and treatment because she is sick. (Rogers is 28, blond and beautiful. The target of her "affection" was 13 years old at the time of the "relationship".) It was unreasonable to think she could just get probation and not succumb to the Internet, where all the whackos are. She's been scared straight, but she needs constant monitoring so that her behavior conforms to what society expects of her. He would not put her back in jail.
(Oh, look, they're showing the lewd video again.)
Naaaaah, that's not right. Here comes the judge - Brass B. O'Reilly, who says "society is much better served by having me as a judge than you, counselor." He's going to put her in jail for one year (the original term, which she served, was six months - too light in O'Reilly's judgment.) Then she gets five years probation, with counseling, whatever. His goal is first and foremost to punish her, first to protect the now 14-year-old (whose parents say the kid is devastated) and secondly to send a message to all the other whackos out there who might be contemplating a similar tryst. Being disturbd in our society is not a get out of jail free card, he says while shaking an admonishing finger at his guest.
Given the last word, Findling says amiably that if O'Reilly did give her that sentence, he'd negotiate for six months. O'Reilly says, not amiably, if the defense attorney did that, he'd give her two years. Findling laughs, but O'Reilly says "that's the kind of guy I am - so you'd stand there and say 'thank you, judge, I appreciate it' and we'd go out to lunch. 'Cause if you gave me any jazz, i'd give her two."
Findling, trying again to get the last word, says he doesn't think jail is going to do her any good and O'Reilly says simply that he doesn't care - he wants to protect the kid, and he wants to send a message to other whackos.
Findling says that we need to shut down the MySpace.coms of the w orld, because they're unleashing the whackos, and O'Reilly says he's with him there. O'Reilly says, you get that goin' and I'm right there with you, and Findling (apparently not going to start any such thig) says he'll join the movement with Bill.
Comment: The following segment was a judge bashapalooza, with O'Reilly revisitng 4 or 5 child sexual molestation cases and their unsatisfactory sentences. His role-playing in this segment was exactly what we'd expect from O'Reilly. He really seems to think that he is better qualified to judge and sentence crimes he's only just read about in the paper - this shows his deep contempt for the rule of law and his arrested sense of schoolyard justice. He operates in a chronic state of outrage and chooses easy targets, which distracts viewers from the real issues of the day that effect each of us (shrinking civil liberties, election fixing, the environmental crisis, medical and education costs skyrocketing....).
It's no surprise that he adheres to the "strict father" model of punishment and total authoritarianism, and scoffs at the nurturing model that tries to heal the problem rather than just punish. Knowing now as we do that his viewers' average age is 71, it makes his shtick more understandable. HIs audience grew up in a much more father-centered era, when dads ruled (sometimes with an iron fist) and kids and women feared and obeyed. O'Reilly appears to be repeating that pattern. It makes him a perfect spokesperson for this administration, who not only wants fear and obedience, but also silence and loyalty.
His willingness to publicly diss Rupert Murdoch's MySpace.com, the crown jewel in the News Corp on-line empire, is interesting. The cynic in me wouldn't be surprised to see, in the long-run, a tightening of access and demand for more personal information, all in the cause of protecting the children. Another brick in the TIA wall.