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The O'Reilly Factor
Monday, March 21, 2005
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Life and Death Politics
Guests: Republican Congressman Tom Feeney and Democrat Congressman Gary Ackerman

"From the very beginning of this sad story, we have said that medical doctors should be the determining factor in what happens to Terri Schiavo. But now it's turned into a political circus, and many Americans have chosen sides along ideological lines. Some pro-life forces have made Terri's ordeal into a litmus test on compassion and life-affirming values. Some pro-choice people have demanded that the federal government stay out, and want a single state judge to decide life or death. Talking Points believes both sides are wrong. The key piece of evidence is provided by Florida doctors who examined Terri Schiavo and explained her condition to the court: "At this point much of her cerebral cortex is simply gone - unless an act of God, a true miracle, were to recreate her brain, Teresa will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state." Enter Congress, which has passed a law affirming the family's right to federal protection. Predictably, the left-wing press is aghast. The Los Angeles Times blamed the whole thing on those "radical right-wingers." But a funny thing happened - every one of the liberal Senators failed to show up to block the law. All of them sat it out in a stunning display of partisan silence. In the end, the medical evidence is just too overwhelming to justify keeping her on life support at taxpayer expense. But I'm glad Congress stepped up and voted to give her and her family every benefit of the doubt. All life is worthy, and that should be a defining message for America."

Two Congressmen with widely divergent opinions on the Terri Schiavo controversy joined The Factor. Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York refused to vote on the emergency measure that moved the Schiavo case into the federal courts. "I didn't want to participate in that circus. I thought it was unconscionable for Congress to insert itself into this debate. We are particularly unqualified to make that decision and to intrude into the lives of this family. Republicans are pushing this issue because they think it's a political advantage." On the other side of the aisle, Florida Republican Tom Feeney voted for the bill. "All we are asking for is what every convicted felon, including the most heinous murderers on death row, have ? a right to appeal to a federal court. This is not Congress deciding on whether she lives or dies. But we believe Ms. Schiavo has the right to have a federal judge review the facts and decide if she has received due process."

Protection of Children in Florida
Guest: Former Sex Crimes Prosecutor Greg Hagopian

Florida has been the scene of some horrific crimes against children ? most recently 9-year old Jessica Lunsford was murdered by John Couey, a man with a prior record of sex convictions, but not classified as a sexual predator in that state. Former sex crimes prosecutor Greg Hagopian defended Florida procedures. "In Florida we have some very tough laws for sexual predators. The problem is that it depends on the degree of the offense. The offense he was convicted of in 1991 was only considered a second degree felony." The Factor argued that Florida authorities are endangering children's lives. "How many more dead girls are we going to have before Florida wises up? This state does not do enough to protect children, period. There's no way on earth a creep like this should be living in that town and no one knows about his prior criminal history. It's insane."
The Blake Case
Guest: Eric Dubin, Attorney for Bonny Lee Bakley's children

Actor Robert Blake was found not guilty of killing his wife Bonny Lee Bakely, but he still faces a civil suit filed by her family. Eric Dubin, the attorney for Bakley's four children, told The Factor he will achieve what the state of California could not. "I think I can win. I'm going to put Blake on the stand and prove he's a murderer. He's got no alibi. I have no doubt in my mind he pulled the trigger. He had gunshot residue all over him. I'm telling you - I'm going to take this guy down in July."
C-Span Controversy
Guest: Deborah Lipstadt, author of "History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving"

Author Deborah Lipstadt has written a book about her legal battle with holocaust denier David Irving, who sued Lipstadt for libel. C-SPAN invited her to talk about the book, but the network insisted that Irving also be interviewed. "C-SPAN is a very important venue for authors and they asked me to be on and I was delighted," Lipstadt told The Factor. "Then I learned they were also going to put Irving on after me, creating a debate which I have avoided on principle. He says there was no Holocaust ? he says some Jews may have died, but just a few. It's the most convoluted political correctness ? they wanted to put him on for balance." Lipstadt refused to appear under those circumstances, and The Factor applauded her decision. "You were smart not to go on with him. You'll sell more books here."
Terri Schiavo
Guest: Newt Gingrich, Fox News Political Analyst and author of "Winning the Future"

The battle over Terri Schiavo has forced politicians to make difficult choices. Fox News analyst Newt Gingrich explained why very few in Congress voted against the bill that is intended to keep her alive. "The longer the dialogue was going on, the more sympathetic people were for Terri Schiavo and her parents. It's a tough thing to be the person who stands up and says I want to ensure that this human being dies. I'm frankly amazed at the judge in Florida who has gone out of his way to maximize the likelihood that Terri Schiavo will die. I think that's pretty gruesome. The bias ought to be in favor of life."
Killer Teens
Guest: Tim Green, host of "A Current Affair"

The Supreme Court has ruled that executing convicted killers who committed their crimes before turning 18 constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." Young criminals can commit brutal murders, and the Fox program "A Current Affair" has investigated some of the worst cases. "There was one group of kids near Las Vegas," reported the show's host Tim Green. "They modeled themselves after gangsters from movies and murdered one of their own in the desert. They dug the grave days before, and what they did with the dead body was despicable." Green contended violent video games and rap music might play a role in teen brutality. "There is a desensitization of young people who don't have guidance from coaches and parents and teachers in their lives."
Books Mentioned


History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving
by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Read more...
 


Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America
by Newt Gingrich

Read more...
 
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