Will there be justice in Norfolk?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 4, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: But first, our "Top Story". As you may know we have been covering a vicious assault that took place in Norfolk, Virginia.

Two reporters for the "Virginian Pilot" Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami were driving home from a movie theater back on April 14th when a mob of African-American men descended on their Chevy Cavalier.

Now apparently someone threw a rock at the car and Mr. Forster got out to confront the attacker. And as a result he was attacked and so was Miss Rostami. Both took a week off work to recover from the assault but their own newspaper did not report the story for two weeks.

"The Factor" has been critical of the "Virginian Pilot" and believes the editor Denis Finley did not cover the story because of its racial component.

Well, today, "Virginian Pilot" columnist Karrie Dougherty shot back at "The Factor" writing and I quote "The reporters didn't deserve this act of aggression but what about the "Pilot"? Does this paper deserve to be kicked in the head by everyone from Fox's Bill O'Reilly to hundreds of our readers? It was a lapse in judgment not to report on a violent mob on a Norfolk street but not a left-wing conspiracy. The reaction has been obscenely overblown," close quote.

Now, it's worth noting that our request to the Norfolk police to release that 911 call that Miss Rostami made during the assault was denied. The police claim that it would disrupt an ongoing investigation.

Now, there has been one arrest in the case, a 16-year-old whose name is not being released. Shockingly, some local residents don't seem surprised at all by the attack.


VALERIE FRANCIS, RESIDENT: That is just a lack of just home training, good parenting. It's... it's tragic. It truly is tragic.

REPORTER: Valerie Francis thinks it's disappointing. She says her family doesn't walk around this area at night.

FRANCIS: I will be in the house with my children taking care of my household trying to stay to myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We also met 20-year-old Marvin who tells (inaudible) there is a culture here, stick together to survive. I asked if he has seen large groups of young men walking around the neighborhood at night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see like 20-30 kids at night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes thousand of them. You know you got to protect your neighborhood regardless of the people outside because the inside is the problems and the outside will protect them. So the problem can be with balance you know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marvin's personal opinion is the two reporters should have known better than to drive-thru Church and Brambleton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They shouldn't have been out here is my whole standpoint. Because if we were out there where they live in their environment we would have been saying what are you'll been feeling.


INGRAHAM: Wow. Well, joining us from Virginia Beach, Dave Parker he is a radio talk show host on WNIS there. Now Dave some people watching this across the country it may seem shocking to hear people say things like well, they shouldn't come to our neighborhood because obviously if the -- if the -- if the situation were reversed and someone said that people would be outraged. And people are supposed to be welcome in the United States of America to walk where they want to walk.

But was this area a particularly dangerous area that the... that the reporters should not have been driving through?

DAVE PARKER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think if you look at the crime rates of the city of Norfolk, yeah, it's a little bit higher in that area. But I want to address the race issue right off the bat because there are the facts that we know and the feelings that have been expressed and as you know sometimes there can be a big difference between those two things.

The facts that we know is there were no racial slurs hurled at these two reporters. This young man who is 16 who was arrested as you mentioned he's not going to be charged with... with a hate crime.

So those are the facts that we know, but the feelings that have been expressed and boy they have been vehement and they have been quite loud, the feelings are that there is some racial overtone but that is conjecture. We can't prove that.

And Laura I think it... I think it clouds over the real story here and that is safety issue for many of those residents not just in Norfolk...


INGRAHAM: Well, yes...

PARKER: ...but this is something that in a similar fashion happens in communities all across the American and then of course the other issue is with the "Virginian Pilot".

INGRAHAM: Yes well I... we'll get to the "Pilot" issue in a second. But let's say it were a group of 30 white kids or more, we don't really know the exact number. And there were two African American individuals, maybe reporters, maybe a couple in their car and they descended upon that car and news organizations were not either reporting on it or it was difficult to get that information let's say from police.

I have a feeling the outrage would be expressed quite vehemently in certain circles. And yet in this case, two weeks go by, no one reports anything. No one even asks, I don't know if you asked for the... for your request but we... we've asked for information from the police and it's not forthcoming. Maybe there is good reason for it, fine.

But there is a double standard here with the types of reporting. You don't have to use a racial slur to feel like this was a racially charged act whether it was or wasn't. It doesn't have to be a racial slur involved.

PARKER: Well, that is certainly the common thread from... that people are feeling here in the community. And there are some things about the story that just don't make sense.

I mean we have the two reporters. Now, these are people who base their income, their livelihood on ferreting out facts, making sure that those facts are put forth in a succinct and truthful fashion. They have given us one... one record of what happened. That there was a group of 100 people on a Friday night. That within that group of 100 people a group of 30 broke off surrounded the vehicle and some of them attacked them. Pulled the woman by the hair and beat her.


PARKER: Now that is the... that's the story we've been given by the "Virginian Pilot" reporters. I'm sorry?

INGRAHAM: Not newsworthy apparently... yes well, not newsworthy apparently to the "Virginian Pilot" until they were pressured to report on this.


PARKER: Right but -- but and Laura but here is part of the disconnect with that small portion of the story. And that is I have been asked repeatedly to -- Hey, Parker, stop saying there were 30 people involved. Why do you keep saying that? Because I'm borrowing the information from your very own reporters that's why. Because the Norfolk Police Department is saying well, there were only five people. Well, excuse me it was the two reporters who were there.


PARKER: I would trust the veracity of their statements over the investigators who were not there. So there is a huge disconnect between five and 30. I mean that's like a 600 percent difference in people.

INGRAHAM: Yes well, again, the editors at the "Virginian Pilot" I mean, they can bluster all they want about oh "The Factor" is being too aggressive and they were kicked in the head or something. It's just ridiculous. This is a -- this is an attack that should have been reported. There are facts that are apparently no known yet but let's get the bottom of it and see what happens. I mean, that's -- to me that just seem like a common sense deal.


PARKER: And --

INGRAHAM: Quickly, yes.

PARKER: And Laura one -- one more thing there have been a lot of conspiracy issues that have come up about why the "Pilot" did not put this up sooner.



PARKER: -- did not put this forth sooner, one that there is a multimillion dollars investment project going on, on the waterfront here and also that there were mayoral elections.


PARKER: Also that all of this stuff is going on I think it was simply a really bad journalistic decision.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, I'll see. I appreciate it.

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