Some Vermont media sympathizing with Judge Cashman, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
For years I've been telling you that the print press in America is undergoing a profound change. Generally speaking, it has always leaned left, but now it is full bore secular progressive. That is, most newspapers are taking a hard line against conservative, traditional policy.
As you may know, this man, Judge Edward Cashman, sentenced a rapist of a six-year-old girl to just 60 days in prison. The judge did this because he believes the criminal, 34-year-old Mark Hulett can't get rehab in prison. And Judge Cashman believes punishment alone is not appropriate for child rapists.
Now most Americans understand that sentence and the attitude behind it is insane, but not the print media in Vermont. Oh, no. Associated Press reporter Christopher Graff actually wrote a flattering piece this week on Cashman. The Bennington Banner said people like me who criticize Cashman are "opportunistic."
But the absolute worst is The Rutland Herald, which editorialized, "Cashman issued the [60 day] sentence precisely to protect children. It was the only way to provide Hulett the treatment he needs in a timely manner in order to deter him from committing similar offenses in the future."
Is that unbelievable? Hulett's needs rise above justice for the raped child, according to The Rutland Herald.
If Vermont had Jessica's Law, we wouldn't need to worry about Hulett committing the crime again. He'd be gone for at least 25 years.
Let me put it this way. In Florida and some other states, if you rape a child, you're in prison for much of your life. In Vermont if you rape a child and appear before Cashman, you get less jail time than Martha Stewart. How about that?
The only responsible newspaper in Vermont seems to be The Burlington Free Press, which has not only called for Cashman's removal, but has also reported his bizarre behavior on the bench in the past.
According to the paper, Cashman once told a 20-year-old rape victim she had experienced "one of the harsh realities of life." The woman broke down in tears in the courtroom. And Cashman later apologized.
Also the paper reports that advocates for battered women have complained about Cashman's insensitive treatment of the abuse victims. There is no question the state of Vermont must find a way to remove Judge Cashman from the bench or face the wrath of the American people. Vermont depends heavily on tourism. And millions of Americans are furious about this.
Tomorrow, Judge Cashman gets another chance to sentence Hulett to what he deserves. We will, of course, keep you posted, but I'm not very optimistic. Very few Vermont officials will now talk about Cashman. The press is hiding up there. No surprise. But even child advocates in Vermont are afraid to speak publicly.
Why? I don't know. But believe me, I'm going to find out. And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
What happened to Laurie Dhue, the FOX new correspondent to used to do "The Factor" cut-ins. I've gotten some desperate e-mails, mostly from guys, asking, "Where's Laurie?"
There she is. Where are you?
LAURIE DHUE, CORRESPONDENT, "GERALDO AT LARGE": Here I am. I haven't gone anywhere and, despite the rumors that you might have heard, I did not get fired.
DHUE: I took a new job with "Geraldo at Large."
O'REILLY: "Geraldo at Large."
DHUE: He's large and in charge.
O'REILLY: That's big.
DHUE: It's big. It's almost as big at "The Factor."
O'REILLY: No, not quite.
O'REILLY: So you're a correspondent for Geraldo, running around doing Geraldo's stories?
DHUE: Well, it's breaking news. It's crime stories. A very compelling story I did recently was interview the father of a teenage girl who'd been murdered by a cyber-predator. You know, I'll do a story on that. We'll do breaking news. You probably saw Geraldo covering the coal miners tragedy.
DHUE: A little bit of everything.
O'REILLY: All right. So you're on the syndicated program "Geraldo at Large." You haven't been fired.
DHUE: That's right.
O'REILLY: Here she is. Take a good look, guys. Now you're not going to see her again until you watch "Geraldo."
DHUE: I've got to say, it's been really gratifying. It's almost as much fun as working with you.
DHUE: But I miss you. And just so that you don't forget who I am, here's my headshot.
O'REILLY: Laurie Dhue's head shot, everyone. This will be on eBay after the program, $20. Thank you, Laurie.
DHUE: All right, Bill.
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