Jewish World Review Oct. 21, 2002 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal | In late June 1995, James Lewis, Nicholas Stroble and Christopher Bissey, all in their late teens, went looking for two girls from Bethlehem, Pa. One of the girls, 17-year-old Jennifer Grider, apparently owed Bissey $400 from a cocaine transaction. The three young men were high on marijuana when they found Jennifer and her friend, 15-year-old Mary Orlando, near Lehigh University.

According to sworn testimony by Lewis, things quickly got out of hand when Bissey found out Grider could not pay. Bissey pulled out a handgun and emptied it into both girls; they died moments later.

It took a Pennsylvania jury just two hours to convict Bissey of first-degree murder. Eleven jury members voted for death, one dissented. Thus Bissey's life was spared, and he is now serving life without parole.

But that's not the end of the story. Even though Bissey has been convicted of the worst crime imaginable, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been treating him quite well inside the Graterford State Prison. Bissey is a singer in a prison rock band called "Dark Mischief." Each day, the boys in the band get together to jam with instruments provided by the taxpayers.

It is all so civilized. The deputy warden at the prison, David DiGuglielmo says, "not giving inmates things to do is dangerous. They need outlets. They need to occupy their time. Some of the inmates, before they got into music, were difficult people."

Yeah, I guess so. Killing two young girls might indicate a "difficult" person.

So Christopher Bissey and his merry men sing the days away at Graterford, and then, all of a sudden, along comes the cable TV music channel VH-1, one of the most morally bankrupt outfits in the history of American television. That channel gets state permission to shoot "Dark Mischief" giving a concert inside the prison and then decides to broadcast the "entertainment" nationwide as part of their "Music Behind Bars" series.

Upon hearing this, the mother of Mary Orlando breaks down emotionally. She has never really recovered from the murder of her daughter, and now she knows the killer has developed into a rock star inside prison.

Armed with Mrs. Orlando's emotional words, I confronted VH-1 president Christina Norman and asked her to not to broadcast "Dark Mischief" for humanitarian reasons.

Ms. Norman, through flunkies, told me to stuff it.

This kind of thing is way beyond a questionable programming decision. This is inflicting direct pain on the grieving families of Mary Orlando and Jennifer Grider in order to make money for VH-1. Does it get any worse than that?

For far too long in this country, we have tolerated barbaric behavior on the part of some "entertainment" companies. We have seen the coarsening of America, aided by heavy doses of degenerate rap lyrics, movie plots and television series that feature sex without consequences, blatant disrespect for parents and teachers, and the glorification of criminals.

Now we have hit an all-time low. A television network actually inflicting emotional pain on the victims of violent crime and using a heinous killer for entertainment purposes.

I know it's only rock and roll, but it's brutal.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate