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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Falafel man strikes again

You wish you were me Bill. You know
you do. When I hit on women, I
wake up with them. Not get my ass sued.

O'Reilly, editor spar over sex-offender case

By Jim DeBrosse

Dayton Daily News

DAYTON | Managers of the Dayton Daily News have received more than 900 e-mails from fans of Fox News talk show host Bill O'Reilly after Reilly's Web site and television program slammed the paper for an editorial that he says makes it "the most friendly (newspaper) to child rapists" in America.

"We never defended Judge Connor's decision to sentence a child molester to a year of house arrest and five years' probation," Bruce said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "What we said is that if the judge deserves to be removed from office, then due process should be followed – the same sort of due process that Bill O'Reilly relied upon when he was sued (for sexual harassment) and, ultimately, settled out of court."

O'Reilly was sued in 2004 by his former producer.

When the suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, O'Reilly called the lawsuit and the media lashing he took for it "a brutal ordeal" and thanked his listeners for having "given me the benefit of a doubt when some in the media did not."

Bruce wondered why O'Reilly won't give Connor the same benefit of a doubt.

O'Reilly, through a producer, said, "Personal attacks launched on me disqualify the Dayton Daily News from any serious debate. We believe that Jeff Bruce is not an honest individual."

Statement from O'Reilly's Web site:

"What newspaper in the United States of America is most friendly to child rapists? Could it be the Dayton Daily News which has supported Judge John Connor's sentence of probation for a man who raped a 5 year old boy and a 12 year old boy over a 3 year period.

"Not only that... but the Dayton Daily News attacked the Governor of Ohio, the Attorney General of Ohio and Bill O'Reilly for reporting the story and actually asking for the removal of Judge Connor. The vicious personal attacks launched by the Dayton Daily News were strange when contrasted to the lack of condemnation for the judge.

"So, can one conclude therefore that the Dayton Daily News is a newspaper that has sympathy for child rapists and the judges who will not incarcerate them?"

Statement from Jeff Bruce:

"They say only two things happen when you wrestle a pig: You get muddy and the pig enjoys it. So it's tempting to just let this pass, but, really, what O'Reilly has said on his Web site is so outrageous and such a distortion that I can't.

"No crime is more heinous than child molestation, so it is understandable that people would be inflamed by the notion that a pederast evaded the punishment he is due. But when Mr. O'Reilly asks the question on his Web site, "What newspaper in the United States of America is most friendly to child rapists," he's egging his readers on without giving them all the facts.

"As readers of the Dayton Daily News know, this newspaper is not soft of child molesters. Just the opposite.

"Here's what's really happening: Mr. O'Reilly is upset with the newspaper because in an editorial we referred to his own recent legal history in which he was accused of sexual harassment. His producer threatened that unless we published an apology they would resort to their 'bully pulpit.' That's what they've done. This isn't about being 'soft' on child molesters. It's about Bill O'Reilly getting even.

"We never defended Judge Connor's decision to sentence a child molester to a year of house arrest and five years' probation. What we said is that if the judge deserves to be removed from office then due process should be followed – the same sort of due process that Bill O'Reilly relied upon when he was sued and, ultimately, settled out of court.

"The editorial also noted that the prosecutor in the case, while disappointed with the judge's sentence, was afraid his evidence was so weak that he might have lost the case entirely if it had gone to trial. He agreed to settle the case.

"In America we have a system of checks and balances that includes the independence of the judiciary. There are rules in place to remove bad judges. Our editorial simply said we should follow those rules, not allow ourselves to rush to judgment because of a television commentator's opinions.

"That's not an endorsement of Judge Connor or his decision. The fact that a child molester got off so lightly is disgusting. If I would fault our editorial for anything it is that we could have said that and said it firmly.

"But that's not why O'Reilly asked his readers to write the newspaper. His producer, in a conversation with me, acknowledged the logic of our editorial's argument. But they felt dragging O'Reilly's own legal problems into the article was gratuitous. While I expected O'Reilly to take a shot at us, I was shocked that he would suggest that this newspaper 'has sympathy for child rapists.' That is a deliberate distortion of what we said and what we stand for, and nothing could be further from the truth.

"So you know, on the same page that we published our editorial, we also printed a package of opposing views, including those from O'Reilly himself. We made every effort to be fair and balanced in our presentation of this issue. It is a pity that sense of fairness was not reciprocated."
And O'Reilly thought that he could get away with this and put it in the memory hole.


posted by Steve @ 12:06:00 AM

12:06:00 AM

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