O’Reilly Smearing of Mark Ferrandino Continues

UPDATE #3: Let the record show that KDVR FOX 31 is not the national FOX News. Eli Stokols:

In the segment, the reporter demands that Ferrandino explain how he could oppose mandatory sentences for first-time child molesters and cites a few cases in which predators have done minimal jail time.

But it’s O’Reilly’s repeated mentioning of Ferrandino’s sexual orientation, which would seem to have little relevance to an issue of criminal justice, in both on-air segments that has Colorado Democrats upset. [Pols emphasis]


UPDATE #2: Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio hits back hard at Bill O'Reilly moments ago:

Republicans are attacking Ferrandino for opposing a bill that would tie the hands of prosecutors who are trying to convict child predators. Colorado has some of the toughest penalties in the country for convicted child molesters, and our district attorneys have flexibility to make the best prosecution possible in each case. Colorado prosecutors and victims' rights groups stand with Speaker Ferrandino for smart and tough law enforcement, but that isn't stopping Republicans.
Instead, they are lobbing some of the most vile, homophobic attacks you will ever see. [Pols emphasis] Bill O'Reilly and his Republican allies are insinuating that our State House Speaker protects child predators because he is gay. If there is a more vicious smear they could try, it's hard to imagine what it could even be.

It's a relief to see this isn't being taken passively. With O'Reilly and co-smear Rep. Libby Szabo, it should not be.

UPDATE: FOX News-dogging Media Matters for America weighs in:

During the February 22 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly criticized Ferrandino for opposing "Jessica's Law," a measure that would impose a 25-year sentence on those found guilty of sexually assaulting children. Law enforcement experts and victims' advocates in Colorado have deemed Jessica's Law unnecessary, noting that current Colorado laws "already go beyond what Jessica's law mandates."

During the segment, O'Reilly joined Colorado Rep. Libby Szabo (R-27) in attempting to link Ferrandino's opposition to the bill to his homosexuality and support for civil unions. O'Reilly also promised to hold Ferrandino "personally responsible," threatening that his life would soon "take a turn for the worse…"

And now, Bill O'Reilly is doing his very worst to keep that promise.

Think Progress picks up on a story we started covering over a week ago, the newfound interest from host Bill O'Reilly in Speaker of the Colorado House Mark Ferrandino–now the target of a campaign on O'Reilly's show linking Ferrandino's support for civil unions with both his personal life and the killing of a perennial GOP bill pertaining to child predators. As posted this morning: 

As expected, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is continuing his smear campaign against Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D), who is openly gay, because of his opposition to instituting “Jessica’s Law,” which imposes excessive mandatory sentences for first-time offenders of child molesters…Colorado already has harsh sentencing for sex offenders and nobody — not even the law enforcement community or victims’ advocates groups — supports changing the laws. But that hasn’t stopped O’Reilly from pursuing his campaign against Ferrandino, who he plans to hold “personally responsible” for the bill’s defeat and for “protecting” perpetrators.

Last night, a segment aired of Speaker Ferrandino being confronted by a FOX News crew outside his home: 

WATTERS: You're not protecting the kids from sexual predators in passing Jessica's Law. Why is that?

FERRANDINO: Well, no DA's. The DA has actually opposed Jessica's Law. So have victim rights groups in Colorado. In 2009, the DA has come out in opposition to the bill. They haven't supported it still. We have very strong laws.

WATTERS: You actually don't have strong laws because let me give you a few examples…

As we've discussed and press has reported, existing Colorado law on the matter of child predators is already very tough, sufficiently that law enforcement groups and victims groups like the Colorado District Attorneys' Council and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault didn't find reason to support the bill. We can't speak to these anecdotal cases Ferrandino was confronted with, but we do know what the experts say about Colorado law.

But again, as we said before and TP drives home today, this wasn't about reality. It's about smear.

It’s hard to justify anything about this “campaign” of O’Reilly’s as journalism. It seems increasingly apparent that he is simply manipulating the fact that Ferrandino is gay to prey on viewers’ fears that the Speaker is thus somehow more likely to be endangering children.

After our own Rep. Libby Szabo told O'Reilly that Ferrandino is "obviously protecting somebody" in the death of this bill, and O'Reilly's explicit linkage between Ferrandino being gay and the death of "Jessica's Law," we would consider O'Reilly's deplorable motives more than simply "apparent."

They are obvious.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Aristotle says:

    Of course it's about smear. It's probably also about punishing Colorado for embarrassing the GOP by going for Obama, electing Democrats, and being the first state to tackle gun control in a meaningful manner.

    O'Reilly is nothing but a bully, and his fans are at best gullible, and at worst bullies themselves.

    • La Libertad says:

      Do Democrats have a problem with this Jessica's Law (a strategic reason to keep it off the books) or was this just a mistake (rushed push on the bill) that resulted in a quick death?

      I hate to say it, but those cases the reporter cites and the sentences are not helping Ferrandino. I think even Evie would agree that the statistics aren't on his side here.

      • Aristotle says:

        Hey Libby, you haven't answered what you think of the revelation that the sex scandal you were peddling was trumped up?

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          [Yawn] . . .

          Dog bites man, Ari . . . everything 'Tad has ever peddled has been trumped up.

        • La Libertad says:

          Ari I don't find it scandalous that you want to rim my bunghole, but I do find it scandalous that you want to rim the Defense Bar on mandatory sentencing. Especially when those mandatory sentences are tied to convicted child rapists.

          Youre one sick fuck Ari.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        A strategic reason? Are you implying that by not supporting a bill that Republicans had no interest in proposing (when they were in power), a bill that even prosecutors say isn't necessary, that the Democrats are trying to lure away the staunch Republican supporters of  Rush Limbaugh's Dominican Frequent Flyer club? 

        That, Sir, is a downright sleazy accusation.  

        • Duke Cox says:

          by the by…Are you the same curmudgeon who used to post on the old Daily Sentinel "Community" blog? Feel free to disregard this question if you choose, but I'm curious…seems like I know you….

      • roccoprahn says:

        "All those cases".

        When, where, who, what, and how.

        He made that shit up, you moron!

  2. zenarcade says:

    What a sad, pathetic man O'Reilly continues to prove himself to be . . .

  3. Curmudgeon says:

    References to Speaker Ferrandino being Openly Gay in 3…2…1….

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    And ambushing him outside his home? That's wrong.

    • La Libertad says:

      Yes how dare Oreilly accost him about his failure to protect the most innocent and vulnerable of our citizens

      • roccoprahn says:

        Again, when, where, how, who, what?

        Those "cases" the young coward hit Speaker Farrandino with were made up!.

        Thin air!

        fox has been pulling shit like this since they launched mid-90's. It's allways the same bullshit. Some unbelievable, heinous malfeasance, deplorable act committed by "libruls", rubes like you jumping on it, thinking it's true, making a fucking asshole out of yourself. Oh wait a minute, didn't they just do that to uo allready this week with Senator Menendez?

        Then, a week later, it's "never mind". But the foxies/daily calletts/WND lemmings like you never get the fucking memo that it was never true!

        You fucking sap.

      • TobiasFunke says:

        You're not really this simple, are you? You're just on a trolling mission… right?

  5. rathmone says:

    How wrong is it that O'Reilly essentially threatened the Speaker w/ this in his first broadcast w/ Szabo. During the interview he says "We'll keep asking him, I mean he won't come on, but that doesn't mean we can't keep asking, b/c his life is about to take a turn for the worse."

    then a week later, BAM, stalker camera crew on the Speaker's doorstep. 


  6. yameniye says:

    O'Reilly left Colorado with idiocy in his brain casing.

  7. roccoprahn says:

    This has been going on too long.

    This "waters" sissy jumps the unsuspecting person, then brings up cases that didn't actually occur. Naturally the surprised victim is stammering, trying to collect his/her thoughts, and the audience believes the accusations are factual.

    In truth, Speaker Ferrandino would have been within his rights had he immediately maced "waters" AND the camera man. No waiting though, you have to hit 'em in the eyes with that pepper spray as soon as they confront you. If you wait a few seconds, while they'd probably be too embarrassed to, they MIGHT consider trying assault charges. The charges wouldn't hold up, as all you have to say is you used non deadly force because you were afraid, startled, pinicked, threatened, and spooked into instant reaction, fearing the "waters" guy and his goon were muggers disguised as fox sissies.

    Guarantee, one episode runnin' the old cold water over the eyes for 45 minutes will cool old waters' ass off but good. There won't be "another time".

  8. JeffcoBlue says:

    Why the fuck is the Denver Post ignoring this story? Shameful. Everyone in Colorado should be outraged.

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