Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly finally provided some perspective on the U.S. attorney firing story with some information the mainstream media will not report. On the March 22 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," O’Reilly exposed much of the media spin on the situation from members of the White House press corps to several print media outlets. He then explained plausible reasons why three of the eight U.S. attorneys were fired.
The mainstream media hinted that the administration fired San Diego attorney Carol Lam for prosecuting former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. What they failed to report is that Ms. Lam did not aggressively prosecute illegal alien criminals. Her lax approach concerned even Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. Paul Charlton was not aggressive in pursuing marijuana cases, and even the liberal "Los Angeles Times" editorialized against fired attorney Kevin Ryan.
Following his "Talking Points Memo," when interviewing Dick Morris, O’Reilly made an interesting analysis as transcribed by MRC's Brendan Jones.
O'REILLY: I know. That's what I don't get. But, here's something really interesting. We called over the past few days and it had to be about a hundred Democrats. People usually come on The Factor in an instant. Nobody wants to come on. Because they know that I'm going to present this evidence and they can't answer it. But you know why they really won't come on, because the press is carrying their water for them.
The relevant transcript of Bill’s "Talking Points" is below.
BILL O'REILLY: Once again I'm put in a position of having to defend the Bush administration, which is not my job. My mandate is to watch the Bush administration and everybody else, to watch them who holds power in this country. But the U.S. attorney thing is absurd, a fabricated event designed to hurt the president and make it easier for the Democrats to consolidate their power and elect a president in 2008. That being said, all Mr. Bush has to do is to tell Tony Snow to explain the reasons why all eight prosecutors were replaced. Snow could do that in his sleep. Just go, boom, boom, boom, have a nice weekend. But because the Bush administration is so reluctant to explain anything, the media is running wild.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER 1: Is the White House ready for this to be played out in court for a political public spectacle?
REPORTER 2: How do you avoid the appearance of stonewalling?
REPORTER 3: What do you say to criticism that this is part of a pattern of secrecy?
BRIAN HENRY: Are you afraid that they will be able to go through and find inconsistencies in testimony if there's a transcript?
BRET BAIER: This is the final offer? This is it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, on the print side, here we go. The ultra-liberal "Baltimore Sun" says, quote: "Either he," the president, "doesn't recognize the weakness of his position or he has something awful to hide." Uber-left "Newsday" writes, quote: "Gonzales wasn't telling the truth when he said the prosecutors were fired for poor job performance." OK, "Newsday," prove it. Prove it. Demonstrate the attorney general was lying. If you can't, close up shop. And the absolute topper comes from The "Brattleboro Reformer," which says, quote: "This whole affair is too reminiscent of Watergate." No, it's not. There's not even a hint of illegality in play. By the way, the radical left Vermont paper has also called for the president's impeachment. The only way this dopey story matters is if the Bush administration fired a prosecutor who was looking into political corruption. If that happened, the president is doomed. But there's no evidence of that. In fact, "The Factor's" initial investigation shows that at least three of the fired U.S. attorneys were controversial, to say the least. In San Diego, U.S. attorney Carol Lam was under fire for failing to prosecute illegal alien criminals. On June 15, 2006, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein complained about Ms. Lam to Alberto Gonzales, quote: "It is my understanding that Ms. Lam may have some of the most restrictive prosecutorial guidelines nationwide for immigration cases, such that many Border Patrol agents end up not referring their cases." That was Feinstein then. Here she is now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: The White House is in a bunker mentality: won't listen, won't change. I believe there is even more to come out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Yeah. And then there's fired U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who wouldn't prosecute pot-smuggling cases unless they were above 500 pounds. Wow. How about San Francisco federal prosecutor Kevin Ryan? Here is what the liberal Los Angeles Times wrote about him today: "It was only when a Democratic judge threatened to go to Congress to raise a public fuss over Ryan's poor performance that Ryan was put on the termination list, according to e-mails released by the White House."