Big win for Jessica's Law in Ohio. The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that mandates 25-year minimum prison term for the rape of a child under 13. Fifteen years for attempted child rape. The Ohio House is expected to go along. And Governor Bob Taft will most likely sign the legislation.
Now the tough bill was passed over the objections of judges and some attorneys, reports The Cleveland Plain Dealer, which also wrote, "Looming over Tuesday's [vote] was the specter of FOX News commentator Bill O'Reilly, who launched a white hot crusade earlier this month to impeach a Columbus judge who placed a child sex offender on probation."
Now I don't know whether I loomed over anything. I do know that Judge John Connor's actions were so outrageous that many Ohioans demanded justice. And so, the Senate passed Jessica's Law because the folks wanted it, not because I wanted it.
The fight in Ohio has been brutal with much of the media siding with Connor and The Columbus Dispatch sniping away at me. Here's an example. Dispatch TV critic Joe Blundo says, "The best time for an O'Reilly eruption is during an election year. Any number of politicians will bravely rush to O'Reilly's side, and then hide behind his pant legs and snarl menacingly like Yorkshire terriers."
Now those are tough words, right, right, from Blundo? Well, we asked him to appear on "The Factor" tonight, but he's hiding under his desk. Somebody send him a sandwich.
Now this kind of media resentment is perplexing. I mean, why do they want to keep Judge Connor around? Why? In the wake of the Connor controversy, The Columbus Dispatch even questioned the financial status of the Justice League of Ohio, which is trying to get rid of Connor. Why? Why do they do that?
The result was an audit of the child protection group. We'll have more on that coming up.
It's become obvious that many in the print press simply don't want tough laws against child predators and will attack those who disagree with that stance. The state of Maine voted down Jessica's Law last week. And The Bangor Daily News was very happy about it. It wrote, "This is a good first step. [Jessica's Law] should be rejected outright."
The Bangor paper also misled its readers by saying only three states have passed a version of Jessica's Law. The truth is six states have it and 13 others are close.
"Talking Points" predicts by the end of 2006, most states will have a version of Jessica's Law, but the left-wing media, particularly in print, is not going to like that at all. And so the struggle continues, but the good guys have won a big victory in Ohio. We are proud of all the senators there who are looking out for the kids. And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Here's an update on those two criminals who led police on high-speed car chases last week, as we promised.
In Los Angeles, 23-year-old Felix Stigbauer can't make his $500,000 bail, so he's sitting in jail, charged with a bunch of felonies. He's looking at about four years in prison if convicted, which he will be. And we expect him to serve about two years.
In south Florida, 23-year-old Jason Cortez also remains in jail. He's being held without bail because of his extensive criminal history. Cortez has not yet been charged, but we do expect he'll do some serious time in Rayford State Prison. To not do so would be ridiculous. And we will keep you posted on exactly what happens to those two guys.
—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly.