Pennsylvania Gov. Schweiker on VH1's 'Music Behind Bars'

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, October 17, 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the personal story segment tonight, Governor Mark Schweiker of Pennsylvania has gotten an earful from many Americans about a killer in one of his prisons being featured on VH-1.

Governor joins us now from Philadelphia.

We appreciate it, governor. I guess you've, you heard the thunder of the nation just outraged about this. What say you?

GOV. MARK SCHWEIKER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I'm not surprised, and I'm as fired up as they are, Bill. The just -- we don't want it to happen again, and today we're making sure that in all of our prisons, no more music programs or opportunities of this kind again will be afforded to murderers.

O'REILLY: Jeffrey Beard is the secretary of the Department of Corrections. Have you spoken with that man?

SCHWEIKER: Yes, I have, and I've expressed my displeasure not just with the corrections commissioner, but I've made my displeasure -- that's a mild word that I use -- I've made my displeasure known to the prison officials at the particular prison where this happened...

O'REILLY: Yes, that's Donald...

SCHWEIKER: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not only the policy examined but their heads examined for allowing this kind of thing to happen.

O'REILLY: Right, that's Donald Vaughn. You see, we tried to call these guys before we called you, because we didn't want to, you know, we wanted to give them a chance to explain. Did they offer any explanation to you at all about this?

SCHWEIKER: Well, no, to give you a quick answer, no. They -- you know, this happened some weeks ago, and I'm disturbed that I wasn't given the courtesy of preinformation about this. And more than that, you know, when it comes to the prison officials, they need to realize that -- you know, look at the perspective of the survivors.

O'REILLY: Oh, yes.

SCHWEIKER: And the victim's family, you know, to see, you know, two people that literally took the lives out of their loved one, out of the loved ones, you know, in one case a drive-by shooting, and the other breaking into a senior citizens' home. But then for the family to have to contemplate -- I'm sure they won't watch it, and I don't plan on watching it, but...

O'REILLY: It doesn't matter, though, governor, because we had Mrs. Orlando on here, the mother of 15-year-old Mary Orlando, who was just gunned down by this guy Bissie. And, I mean, the woman is broken-hearted. Not only is she broken-hearted about this, governor, but her whole life has been shattered because her daughter was killed.

You can just imagine, my daughter, your daughter, anybody's daughter.

SCHWEIKER: Well, Bill, I got to -- I -- you're...

O'REILLY: You never recover from that, you know?

SCHWEIKER: ... you're right...

O'REILLY: And then, and you get this VH-1 -- you know, look, the guys that you hired, Beard and Vaughn, they're just -- they're just dumb, I think. I mean, they made a mistake. They made a mistake. They didn't alert you. They didn't handle it well.

But the VH-1 people...

SCHWEIKER: And they're going to have to acknowledge it, yes. And, you know, and I do have a 9-year-old daughter, and it is tough on the families...


SCHWEIKER: ... and it just goes to show you that after, you know, decades of victims' rights orientation trying to take hold, that in 2002 they are still improperly overlooked.

O'REILLY: But the VH-1 people know now. They could pull it, they could pull it if they wanted to. But they know the pain that this is causing the families and the anger of millions and millions of Americans. If VH-1 thumbs its nose at me, at you, at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at every American citizen, how do you react to that?

SCHWEIKER: Well, you know, they realize now that there is national interest in this, and I guess in their mind, given their perverse assessment that it helps the show, and I wish they -- I wish they had the guts to sit in the living room of the survivor's family as they have to contemplate this or perhaps even watch this...

O'REILLY: You ought to -- did your office zip over a fax to VH-1 asking them not to run it?

SCHWEIKER: Well, we've asked them to do that. And I...

O'REILLY: Have you really? What did you say to them? What did they say to you?

SCHWEIKER: Well, our -- we made an appeal to at least consider the perspective and the pain that the survivors and the family would feel. I don't -- I think it's going to fall on deaf ears, because they -- I think they see their role, you know, as a media organization to give an opportunity to, in this case, two -- you know, it's a nine-member band, to two lifers.

And, you know, it is despicable, and unfortunately it seems like it's going to go on, and it's -- and the request will fall on deaf ears.

O'REILLY: OK. They haven't replied formally to you, then?

SCHWEIKER: Well, I'm not -- as we speak tonight, I am not aware that they have done that.

O'REILLY: You know, I mean, these people, really -- we're going to take care of them, governor.

Now, we have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- zeroed in on this guy Bissie, who killed the two teenage girls. There is another guy in the band that did something heinous. Tell us about him.

SCHWEIKER: Well, he broke into a home and killed an elderly Pennsylvania resident.

And the -- it -- I really don't want to overemotionalize our discussion, but, you know, the very distressing bottom line is that of the nine-member band, two murderers are given acclaim by virtue of this association with the band. And I want America to know and I want you to know that, you know, yes, legitimate options as far as personal growth and entertainment probably ought to be provided to inmates, but not the opportunity to establish a band and to draw acclaim, and in this case have come in a TV recording crew.

O'REILLY: That's right.

SCHWEIKER: It just isn't right.

O'REILLY: Some inmates, governor, with all due respect, some inmates, all right, those who can be rehabilitated, will go back into society, should be given some kind of recreational possibilities. Not killers. Not rapists.



Because then you get into an area where these people should be doing hard labor, and, you know, the only reason this Bissie wasn't executed is one person in Pennsylvania said no, 11 said yes.

SCHWEIKER: On the jury, yes.

O'REILLY: So anyway, I'll give you the last word. We appreciate your coming on with us.UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SCHWEIKER: Well, we agree on, we agree on this, that it ought to be about tough time, not easy time. And as it's depicted, unfortunately, it probably will air, it shows anything but tough time.

O'REILLY: That's right. All right, governor, thanks a lot. We appreciate it.

SCHWEIKER: Thank you.

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