Media Appearance

Kline is accused of revealing prejudicial case information while a guest on the O’Reilly Factor.

In early November of 2006, Mr. Kline appeared on the O’Reilly Factor show on Fox News. The show’s host asked Mr. Kline to respond to statements by the founder of the Third Wave Feminist Foundation, Amy Richards. Ms. Richards stated that we must protect the privacy of children, including children as young as 10 years old, by not seeking their abortion records in order to investigate their own rape.

Mr. Kline stated that it was “absurd” to argue that the privacy of the child, “which was already violated by the rapist” prevented law enforcement from obtaining those records in order to investigate the rape of the child. (See Exceptions, paragraph 178, page 59 for full quote.)

Mr. Hazlett claims this statement and Kline’s appearance as a whole is a violation of ethics because it held a criminal defendant - Dr. Tiller – up to ridicule.

Prosecutors have a First Amendment right to comment on public issues. The claim also fails because Dr. Tiller was not a criminal defendant – he had not been charged with any crime at the time Kline was interviewed on the O’Reilly Factor.

This is another example of Mr. Hazlett applying a rule retroactively.

At the time Kline appeared on O’Reilly, the ethics rules did not contain language that prosecutors cannot make statements which may subject the “accused” to public ridicule. That language was added years later.

Creating rules to retro-actively apply to conduct that was allowed at the time is a violation of due process. It also is revealing of the “get Kline at all costs” mentality of Mr. Hazlett.

Mr. Hazlett also criticized Kline for statements made by Mr. O’Reilly. The following excerpt from the ethics hearing transcript reveals Mr. Hazlett’s bizarre effort to make Mr. Kline legally responsible for statements by Mr. O’Reilly:

(Questions by Mr. Hazlett and Answers by Mr. Kline)

  • Q: Okay. So you heard Mr. O’Reilly say, and I’m on page 1 of the transcript, “Reporting from Boston, Thank you for watching us. Killing babies in America, that’s the subject of this evening’s talking point memo. For more than a year The Factor has been investigating Doctor George Tiller of Kansas. For $5,000 Tiller the baby killer, as some call him, will perform a late term abortion for just about any reason.” You would have heard that?

  • A. I don’t recall hearing it, but they set is up so you can, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I did.

  • [Kline had been in Topeka, connected to the show by a remote hook up. O’Reilly’s first guest after this statement was Amy Richards. Kline did not come on until two commercial breaks later. He is now being asked about this by Hazlett five years after the show.]

  • Q. Would you agree with me that’s pretty inflammatory stuff?

  • A. Yes, the whole topic is inflammatory to many different groups of people.

  • Q. On the second page of the transcript, the second paragraph. “But now The Factor has evidence that indicates Tiller killed late-term fetuses by citing temporary depression on the part of the mother.” So O’Reilly is making the allegation there, is he not, that he killed unborn children.

  • A. Yes. As did we, yeah.

  • Q. Well, you didn’t use the word ‘killed,’ did you?

  • A. No, we used abortion, right.

  • Q. He said here in his lead-in that Tiller killed?

  • A. That’s what an abortion is.

  • Q. That’s your opinion?

  • A. That’s medical science.

Kline Hearing Transcript, pages 295-299 (lengthy objections and legal argument are omitted here).

O’Reilly’s information about Dr. Tiller was available to the public and was based on statements by former patients. Dr. Tiller had not been charged with a crime at the time the show aired, and Kline had a right to comment about an issue of national public concern.

The abortion clinics made this same claim against Mr. Kline before, and at that time Mr. Hazlett hired two Topeka lawyers to investigate the claim. Those lawyers issued a report in May of 2008 concluding that Kline did not violate any of the rules of ethics in his O’Reilly appearance.

Hazlett simply ignores the finding of his own investigators, then builds his claim with speculation placed on top of falsehood and supported by a non-existent rule.

  • First, Hazlett speculates that Kline’s comment would heap scorn on Dr. Tiller such that he would not be able to defend himself.

  • Next, Mr. Hazlett falsely assumes that abortion does not kill the unborn child.

  • Finally, Mr. Hazlett applies a rule that didn’t exist to say Kline violated ethics.