Fox News host Bill O’Reilly
accused liberals and The New York Times of taking on the American prison system now that they have been victorious in their push to legalize same-sex marriage and marijuana.
During a heated debate on his show with guest Kirsten Powers, a former Democratic operative turned pundit, O’Reilly attacked a recent Times editorial
characterizing the United States’ "mass incarceration" of criminals as a "moral, legal, social, and economic disaster" that needs to be revamped.
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The newspaper cited a two-year study by the National Academy of Sciences that found that since the early 1970s, the country’s prison population has quadrupled to 2.2 million people, the largest of any nation.
"More than half of state prisoners are serving time for nonviolent crimes, and 1 of every 9, or about 159,000 people, are serving life sentences — nearly a third of them without the possibility of parole," the Times editorial states.
O’Reilly criticized the editorial for "not once" mentioning the victims of crime and suggested that the paper twisted the facts to suit its argument.
"What the uber-liberal newspaper doesn’t tell its readers is that over the past 20 years, violent crime in America has dropped a whopping 49 percent," he said. "That has saved the country far more than $80 billion a year, and the human suffering caused by crime has been vastly diminished, as well."
O’Reilly went on to opine that "the Times believes people who sell hard drugs are nonviolent criminals."
"People who sell heroin, meth, or cocaine are very bad people," he countered, suggesting that keeping about 10 percent of the American population behind bars – "selected, very bad people" – would be a boon to the country.
"The more people you take off the street, the less crime there is," he told an aghast Powers.
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