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Same old shtick in TPM; Bill O'Reilly wants to divert your outrage away from Bush administration

Reported by Chrish - May 15, 2007 -

Talking Points Memo on the O'Reilly Factor was again used to attack an individual, this time a Vermont state representative, Bill Rippert (D) who has wronged O'Reilly by not passing Jessica's Law mandating 25 years prison time for child molesters. Now of course nobody condones this heinous crime, but some people feel that mandatory sentencing, especially with such a long term, is best not legislated, leaving judges discretion.

O'Reilly opposes giving judges flexibility because several that he has highlighted have given sentences too light for O'Reilly's punitive nature. Some of the sentences he's called attention to do seem at first glance to be inappropriately short, but not being a judge and not knowing the details and extenuating circumstances of each individual case, the judge's decision should be respected by the general public.

Tonight we saw footage of O'Reilly's head harrasser, Jesse Watters, tracking down the legislator as he ate breakfast in a cafeteria. Lippert fought the 25 year minimum and instead got a law passed that mandates 5 yars for child sexual abuse, and the judge can make the sentence longer. He also sponsored a bill that will protect transgendered people from discrimination. For some reason, O'Reilly (and by extension, Watters) is conflating the two. Watters demanded to know why Lippert passed the Gender ID bill but killed Jessica's law, declaring his priorities "strange" and "out of whack."

O'Reilly labelled everyone in power in Vermont: Senator Sanders is a Socialist, he said; Senator Leahy is a liberal; the governor Jim Douglas, "although a Republican, is a very weak leader." (No bias there.) Vermont, which used to be traditional, now has a "problem."

The top story segment was a piece with New Hampshire Union-Leader publisher Joe McQuaid. It was a pile-on Vermont, bemoaning liberals and secualr progressives and blaming "out of state money" funneled in from New Yorkers with second homes in VT for all their solial "ills." O'Reilly looked flummoxed as he asked, how did this happen? (He means How did liberals carve out a little niche for themselves where I can't call the shots?)

It continued in this vein, O'Reilly apparently not understanding the formerly conservative value of "states' rights" and begging McQuaid to explain the disparity between the states - they are right next to each other, yet they have different representation and different laws! How dare they. McQuaid inadvertantly acknowledged that his newspaper, admittedly conservative, had an effect on the people of New Hampshire, making them more conservative than their neighbors. This is what is really frosting O'Reilly, that aside from a few conservative talk radio shows Vermont is liberal with a liberal media. to him, that's aproblem that frustrates and needs to be corrected - but he's not partisan, or biased. Not much.

McQuaid remarked that Watters treatment at the statehouse cafeteria (where he interrupted Lippert's lunch with his camera crew) was not "fair and balanced." O'Reilly agreed and said the newspaper coverage would curl your hair. (Read some of it here. They are no FOB.)

Two conservatives whining over some liberals not falling in line, demonizing them for not caring "enough" about children . Jessica's Law is the litmus test for O'Reilly and anyone who doesn't get on the bandwagon is demonized.

This is similar to his "illegal immigration" thread, where any media that doesn't highlight an illegal immigrant criminal's residential status is lambasted for "hiding" it and being part of the "open borders" conspiracy. If you're not mimicking O'Reilly and playing "follow the leader" with his agenda, he'll call you out. Fortunately only a small fraction of the population is listening, and many grow weary of it.

Another of O'Reilly's stalking victims, Joanne Ostrow, got it exactly right: "After pointing out how expensive it was to parachute a team into Denver just to disrupt her trip to the grocery store, she asks, "Aren't there more important things they should be covering?""