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O'Reilly Bad-Mouths "Lenient" Judges While Showcasing Tainted Lawyer

Reported by Marie Therese - October 12, 2005

Last night Bill O'Reilly interviewed yet another strong-minded, well-spoken guest he couldn't control and - as in the Phil Donohue interview - resorted to loud blustering and self-righteous indignation to cover for the fact that his guest was making valid points. Ed Ryan, Chairman of the Massachusetts Committee on Judicial Independence, passionately defended Massachusetts Judge Margot Botsford and every other judge in the United States because in the past weeks, O'Reilly targeted two more judges as part of his ongoing jihad against an independent judiciary. His unfortunate victims are the afore-mentioned Judge Botsford and Minnesota Judge Thomas Schroeder.

This was vintage O'Reilly complete with shouting, interrupting, finger jabbing and mantra-like repetition of talking points. As some of our readers have suggested, interviews like this may be staged so O'Reilly can play the part of the tough-minded defender of true values in the face of the liberal onslaught. Possibly. But somewhere hidden under all the layers lurks O'Reilly's abusive father. My woman's intuition - and a lifetime spent dealing with the aftermath of a drunken Irish father - tells me that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

O'Reilly goes off on these judicial witch hunts quite a lot. Frequently the targeted judge or prosecutor is a Democrat from some area of the country that Republicans are trying to make inroads. It is clearly part of a larger right-wing campaign to strike fear into the hearts of the judiciary throughout the land. O'Reilly always shows photographs of these judges, while depicting them in the most overblown and vicious manner.

For example, on last night's show, there were four segments on the "out of control" judiciary: The Talking Points Memo criticizing the ACLU, a segment with a lawyer suing a Minnestoa Judge and prosecutor, the inderview with Ed Ryan and a rebuttal interview with FOX News Analyst Wendy Murphy, a lawyer who spends most of her time tearing down the law, lawyers and judges.

In a segment with Russell van Camp, a Washington State lawyer representing the estate of the Groene family of Idaho, O'Reilly blamed Minnesota Judge Thomas Schroeder for the deaths of the Groene family. Van Camp's clients are suing both Judge Schroeder and the Becker County prosecutor, claiming that these officials failed in their duty to protect the Groene family from rapist-murderer (and all-around horrid human being) Joseph Duncan.

Judge Schroeder claims that he was not informed that Duncan was a Class III sexual offender and therefore followed standard procedure and released him on $15,000 bail. Duncan promptly fled the jurisdiction and subsequently murdered the Groene family, then abducted and raped the surviving daughter, Shasta.

After giving lawyer Van Camp a full four-minute seqment, O'Reilly summed up his feelings about Judge Schroeder: "But, look, you know, you've got this judge and there's really nothing you can do the judge. He's the villain here. He let him out. He didn't have to let him out. He let him out. And the deaths of all those people and the rape of the little eight-year-old girl is on him, but ya' can't touch him. There's nothin' you can do to him."

However, it appears that - once again - O'Reilly's much-vaunted research team missed the following notice about Russell Van Camp of Spokane, Washington. It would seem that Mr. Van Camp has a somewhat checkered past:

A prominent Spokane attorney who was facing disbarment now is looking at a six-month suspension from the practice of law.

Attorney Russell Van Camp said Friday he won't challenge the six-month suspension recommended by the Disciplinary Board of the Washington State Bar Association.

The case is now before the Washington State Supreme Court, which will make the final decision in the next few months.

The 55-year-old attorney said he believes the legal fight he's faced for the past eight years is because of his high-profile involvement in the pro-life movement.

And O'Reilly is worried about the honor, integrity and credibility of the judiciary?

He should look in the mirror more often.

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