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Bill O'Reilly Implicated In Massachusetts Libel Suit

Reported by Deborah - June 7, 2007 -

Keith Olbermann reported tonight that Bill O'Reilly was directly implicated in a libel suit started in 2002 against The Boston Herald and the decision finding the newspaper liable was upheld in May 2007 by the Supreme Judicial Court. Judge Ernest Murphy sued the newspaper for a statement falsely attributed to him by Dave Wedge who reported in 2002 that Murphy said, about a 14 year old rape victim, " Just get over it." Bill O'Reilly had Wedge on The Factor and turned it into one of his grotesque crusades resulting in an international reaction of hate mail and death threats. Does this sound familiar?

Olbermann wanted to know why O'Reilly wasn't held responsible by the Court. Judge Murphy's lawyer, Howard Cooper, said video clips from O'Reilly' shows during the period when he was crusading against Murphy were used as evidence in the court . He explained that the original article by Wedge was a regional controversy but O'Reilly crusaded for two weeks about Murphy making it an international issue. Cooper said the Judge in the May 2007 ruling found O'Reilly not guilty of libel because he republished the false statement which in itself created a situation of harm for Murphy. It was decided that Wedge and The Boston Herald were legally responsible for the problem.

Cooper said O'Reilly has never apologized or retracted his statements about Murphy. Ed Ryan, Massachusetts Bar, has tried several times unsuccessfully to contact BOR asking him to apologize or issue a retraction. Ryan has offered to come on the show for the process but there has been no response from Bill-O.

Cooper offered this simple truth about Bill O'Reilly's behavior. "These campaigns have real consequences for real people" Unfortunately, these campaigns have had no consequences for Bill O'Reilly . Maybe more people will take a stand like Judge Ernest Murphy.