A Vermont Paper Turns Jessica's Law Into a Gay Issue

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 17, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: For the "Impact" segment tonight, evil gets stronger in Vermont. No guest this segment because I'm so angry I'm just going to let you know what's going on in that secular progressive paradise, and you are going to be angry too.

As you know Vermont is one of 10 states that does not have Jessica's law. In fact, if you rape a child in Vermont right now, the minimum sentence you can get is five years. Five years for raping a little child.

And as we've seen there are Vermont judges willing to give that sentence to child rapists. This man, Vermont House judiciary chairman Bill Lippert, opposed Jessica's law and made it impossible for the good politicians of Vermont to pass it. Lippert would not explain his actions to our satisfaction. So “Factor” producer Jesse Watters went to him.


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Why did you pass that transgender identity bill and kill Jessica's law?


BILL LIPPERT, (D), VT STATE REP.: We don't know what you are talking about.

WATTERS: The transgender identity bill you guys just passed. Seems like the priorities are a little strange.

LIPPERT: I passed an anti-discrimination bill to protect transgender people in Vermont. And I'm proud of that. What's your problem?

WATTERS: What about Jessica's law?

LIPPERT: Who are you with?

WATTERS: I'm with “The O’Reilly Factor” with FOX News.


WATTERS: What about 25 mandatory minimum for child rape.

LIPPERT: We have the strongest laws in the country against sexual predators.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are out of here!

WATTERS: Mr. Lippert, are you OK with a guy getting probation for sexually assaulting a four-year-old?


O'REILLY: He obviously, Lippert, don't have the strongest laws. They're very weak laws regarding child predators. Now, that confrontation happened last weekend. We played the whole thing on Monday. Today the Rutland Herald newspaper, a corrupt enterprise, ran a column that said, quote, "So why would FOX News ambush Bill Lippert, one of the most respected members of the legislature? The answer is as simple as it is unsettling. Lippert is gay. Bigots like Bill O'Reilly have the right to free speech but Vermonters also have the right and responsibility to stand up to intolerance. Go home, indeed, Mr. O'Reilly. Hate has no place in Vermont."

Well if hate has no place in Vermont then the Rutland Herald has to shut down right now. “The Factor” never mentioned Bill Lippert's private life in any way. It was never an issue.

So what the Rutland Herald did was change the subject from the failure to pass Jessica's law, designed to protect children, to accusing me of homophobia. Doesn't get more hateful and dishonest than that.

Now the Rutland Herald needs to be held accountable for that. So I'm going to give you some information and I hope hundreds of thousands of Americans will contact this newspaper. This is a culture war issue.

The editor of the Rutland Herald is Randall Smathers. His phone number is 802-747, like the plane, 6121. 802-747-6121, ext 2279.

Now if you can't write it down we have it on our Web site. If you do call Mr. Smathers please be polite. If you are not polite, if you curse, if you harangue, you will hurt the children. Remember, this is about protecting the kids. This is about Jessica's law.

The e-mail for the Rutland Herald is letters@rutlandherald.com. Now the reason I'm asking you for help in this situation is that the Rutland Herald is a corrupt, dishonest enterprise. It's enabling bad politicians like Bill Lippert to do what they do. This is a Vermont issue but it's also an American issue and the folks need to fight back against this kind of corruption.

So you make the call, pardon the pun. If you feel the way I do, that the Rutland Herald is despicable, let them know. It's a small thing in the culture war but it's important.

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