More Charming Bill O’Reilly Behavior

24 03 2009

This weekend, Amanda Terkel (writer for ThinkProgress) was allegedly followed, harassed and ambushed by The O’Reilly Factor’s producer, Jesse Watters.  Terkel was on vacation at the time.  Watters supposedly followed her to her vacation spot and barraged her with questions.  According to Terkel, he accused her of causing “pain and suffering” to rape victims and their families.

What was Amanda Terkel’s crime against O’Reilly?  She simply mentioned the fact that O’Reilly had in the past made victim-blaming comments about rape victims.  On an episode about the dangers of drunkenness, O’Reilly stated:

Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She’s walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she’s out of her mind, drunk.

I think it’s safe to say that if Mel Gibson didn’t get drunk, he wouldn’t be in this terrible situation he finds himself in.  And if a young woman, 18-year-old Jennifer Moore of Harrington Park, NJ, didn’t get drunk, she’d be alive today.

O’Reilly also called the young victim “moronic.”  

Terkel’s original March 1st post is not even especially accusatory of O’Reilly.  She calls his comments “controversial” and highlights the fact that O’Reilly’s comments imply that if a woman dresses a certain way or gets drunk, she might expect to be raped.  The post did not criticize the Alexa Foundation.  The post refers back to a NewsHounds post which highlighted the fact that O’Reilly never apologized for his comments and questioned The Alexa Foundation’s decision to invite O’Reilly to speak at a fundraiser.

The O’Reilly Factor’s scare tactics are invasive and appalling.  This young woman simply spoke the truth, and O’Reilly’s show repaid her with intimidation and stalking.  

As mentioned in angryblkfeminist’s previous post, O’Reilly has also made other victim-blaming statements.  O’Reilly stated in reference to abducted child and rape victim Shawn Hornbeck that he might have “liked his circumstances” and had “a lot more fun” than usual.

The kidnapping of those two boys should be front-page news in your house if you have kids. I actually hope I’m wrong about Shawn Hornbeck. I hope he did not make a conscious decision to accept his captivity because Devlin made things easy for him. No school, play all day long.

This is what I believe happened in the Hearst case and in this case. The situation that Hearst found herself in was exciting. She had a boring life. She was a child of privilege. All of a sudden, she’s in with a bunch of charismatic thugs, and she enjoyed it. The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn’t have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted.

…there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances.

How can O’Reilly and Watters claim that pointing out these facts is causing “pain and suffering” to rape survivors and their families.  I applaud Amanda Terkel for keeping her cool in face of Watters’ harassment.  This type of behavior will only work against O’Reilly and his program.


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