The Washington State cop killer should be a slam dunk of rage for Bill O'Reilly: A governor commutes a criminal's sentence, then the guy goes and kills four cops. Except that governor was fellow Fox commentator Mike Huckabee.

Yesterday morning, four cops were shot dead in a Washington State coffee shop. Police think it was Maurice Clemmons, a man whose 108 year prison sentence for burglary was commuted nine years ago in Arkansas by then-governor Huckabee.

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O'Reilly starts out tough: "A lot of people want an explanation: This was a bad Hombre, and you let him out. Why?" But as Huckabee rolls out his defense, wrapped around a rambling explanation of the American legal system, O'Reilly sort of tunes out :

The post prison transfer board, the process, and I'll be very brief about this, but to understand: They recommended to me, as governor for his commutation, which didn't release him, it simply cut his sentence to 47 years. That would give him parole eligibility. That was the commutation. I'm responsible for that, and it's not something I'm happy about at this particular moment

It's almost too obvious to ask, but we will anyway: What if this governor had been someone who doesn't appear in a show a few hours earlier on the same network as Bill O'Reilly? Would O'Reilly have heard this explanation and then said: "It's not your fault, Governor. I'm not saying it's your fault. I don't think anyone here is thinking it's your fault." Would he have made no mention of Huckabee's extraordinary record of pardoning all sorts of criminals (likely due to his religious beliefs) as governor of Arkansas? Or pivoted so quickly into blaming the Washington judges —who at worst were the last failed link in a years-long chain of missed opportunities? Maybe his hatred of paroles and his love of mandatory sentences would have made a vein-popping appearance.

Consider how pissed off O'Reilly got when Paris Hilton—in jail for drunk driving!—got out a few weeks early:


"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."