Wednesday, March 16, 2005
On The O'Reilly Factor...
Segment Summaries
All content taken from The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel. Each weeknight by 6 PM EST a preview of that evening's show will be posted and then updated with additional information the following weekday by noon EST.
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Scott Peterson gets death sentence
Guest: Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren

"The jury decided Scott Peterson did not deserve to live after they convicted him of killing his wife and unborn son. This was a pure vengeance play, and you can understand it. Even though I don't believe in the death penalty, if it is the law it should be considered, that's how our system works. Peterson is 32 years old. He faces decades of appeal in California, which rarely executes anyone. A better penalty, in my opinion, would be a lifetime of hard labor. He should suffer every day as Laci's family will suffer. Giving Peterson a sedative and a needle is the easy way out for him. Talking Points wants to punish killers and rapists in a way that would discourage those crimes. Decades of hard labor would do that. But it's a moot point. Peterson will sit in prison for years, appealing everything. The ACLU will protect his rights; he'll get fan mail and might even have some fun. That's the state of justice and vengeance in America today."


Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren joined The Factor and reported on the heated atmosphere in the courtroom. "There was lots of emotion," Van Susteren said, "and lots of yelling. This was the chance for Laci's family to look over at Scott and call him a baby killer. They did everything they could to try to get back at him." Van Susteren also commented on Peterson's demeanor and the verdict. "He came with that same arrogance he always has. I saw nothing to indicate that he was the least bit moved by the decision. And I think justice was done. This was a very strong circumstantial case." The Factor suggested that Peterson's attitude may have been his undoing. "The jury clearly hated Peterson because he had this arrogance about him and never once showed a human side. Peterson has to watch himself in prison, because they'll be gunning for him there."
Impact Segment
Blake acquitted
Guests: Criminal defense attorney Debra Opri

Robert Blake has been acquitted of killing his wife Bonnie Lee Bakely, a verdict that shocked The Factor. "I'm stunned. I thought Blake was going because there's no other explanation for the murder, and two guys said under oath that Blake tried to hire them to kill her." Criminal defense attorney Debra Opri provided her analysis of why Blake was freed. "The difference between this and Scott Peterson is that in the Peterson case there was no one else who could have done it, and in this case there were many other people who wanted to do it. Reasonable doubt was created and that was enough. This jury was very deliberate, careful and cautious, and came back and said not guilty."
Unresolved Problems Segment
Media & torture allegations
Guest: Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt

The Factor says left-wing media continue to accuse the US military of condoning torture and even killing. Most recently, The New York Times ran a story claiming twenty-six inmates may have been murdered while in military custody. Fox News analyst Col. David Hunt argued the Times story is based on unreliable sources. "I think it's crap. The US government is being accused of murder. It's a lie and it's old information. There have been hundreds of charges by Afghanis and Iraqis that we've done bad things. Every single one has been investigated, and there have been four cases of potential criminal acts. Not twenty-six--four!" But Rosa Brooks, a former official in the Clinton administration, contended that the story is credible. "I did believe the article. The New York Times cites eleven sources, nine of them from the military. I don't see why we're being so defensive. We have the best military in the world, but it would shock me if there weren't abuses and deaths. And if The New York Times is left wing, I'm Sean Hannity."
Factor Follow Up Segment
Of mice and men
Guest: Dr. William Hurlbut, President's Council on Bioethics

Researchers at Stanford are injecting human brain cells into mice, raising new questions in the ongoing debate about cloning and stem cell research. Dr. William Hurlbut of the President's Council on Bioethics explained. "The idea is that these human cells in mice will provide a model for studying disease formation and possibly for testing pharmaceuticals. It will have to be done carefully and thoughtfully." Hurlbut said the research could prove valuable, but urged caution. "There are some possibilities worth exploring, but there are also serious issues regarding the protection of human life. And also regarding animals--I don't think we should use animals as raw materials." The Factor added this thought: "They're cloning cats, and a clinic is opening that will clone dogs. This whole thing seems to be almost getting out of control."
Personal Story Segment
Rooting against America?
Guest: Author & former Clinton foreign policy official Nancy Soderberg

Nancy Soderberg, a foreign policy specialist in the Clinton administration, recently came under fire for implying that Democrats may be rooting for the failure of our current policies in Iraq and the Middle East. During an appearance on the Comedy Channel's "Daily Show," Soderberg said the notion that Bush is correct is "scary for Democrats." Soderberg joined The Factor to clarify her comments. "This was a comedy show, so you have to keep that in mind. There's no doubt the war in Iraq will work, and I think Democrats want George Bush to succeed. But they're concerned about how the war was handled." The Factor expressed astonishment at Soderberg's assertion. "I am amazed that you're sitting there telling me that Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, The New York Times and the Air America crew want the US to win the war in Iraq. I don't believe that for one second. The far left doesn't want the Bush administration to get credit for anything."
Back of Book Segment
Oral sex lawsuit
Guests: Attorney Elizabeth Thomson & mother Pamela Brown

A lawsuit filed in 2001 claimed four Detroit middle school boys forced an 11-year old female special-ed student to perform oral sex on them while a movie was being shown in the classroom. "She was totally distraught," Pamela Brown said of her daughter. "She started wetting the bed and having nightmares. She had a lot of psychological problems, and we're still going through a struggle." Brown sued the school and the substitute teacher who was monitoring the class. "The teacher said she didn't see this take place," said the family's attorney Elizabeth Thomson. "But we have evidence that other students tried to tell her what was going on. She didn't want to know... [T]here are laws that give protection to teachers from being held responsible when one student attacks another. The case was kicked out of the federal court because of those laws."
Books Mentioned

The Superpower Myth: The Use and Misuse of American Might
by Nancy Soderberg


They Just Don't Get It: How the Washington Political Machine is Still Compromising Your Safety--and What You Can Do About It
by David Hunt