Bill O'Reilly sics producer on female blogger who criticized host's record on rape
Amanda Terkel, a writer for the popular progressive blog Think Progress, reports that she was stalked and harassed by a producer for the O'Reilly Factor after she observed that Factor host Bill O'Reilly blamed an 18-year-old for her own rape and murder on air and subsequently agreed to host a fundraiser for a non-profit group that supports rape survivors. (Audio clip of O'Reilly's rant, here.)
Terkel describes what happened next:
This weekend, while on vacation, I was ambushed by O’Reilly’s top hit man, producer Jesse Watters, who accosted me on the street and told me that because I highlighted O’Reilly’s comments, I was causing “pain and suffering” to rape victims and their families. He of course offered no proof to back up this claim, instead choosing to shout questions at me.
I expect O’Reilly to air this “interview” at some point this week, possibly as early as tonight. I have no expectation that he will show the entire altercation or give the entire story about what happened, so here is the full account, offering a glimpse inside the O’Reilly harassment machine.
Terkel says she was surveilled, followed, and accosted on the street by producer Jesse Watters and a cameraman. They found her in Winchester, VA, a two-hour drive from her home in Washington, DC. Since Terkel didn't tell anyone where she was going, she infers Watters and his camera operator staked out her apartment and followed her to Virginia.
Watters demanded to know why Terkel was causing "pain and suffering" to the Alexa Foundation, even though Terkel never criticized the non-profit in her post. She merely pointed out a certain tension between O'Reilly's on air pronouncements about a dead 18-year-old rape victim and his appearance at a fundraiser for a group that supports survivors of sexual assault.
O'Reilly had no compunctions about how the family of the victim, Jennifer Moore, might feel when he called her a "moronic girl" on the air and implied that she was responsible for her own death because she was a 5-foot-2, 105lb woman in a crop top who had been drinking.
Lots of other blogs picked up on O'Reilly's outrageous statements, including the Media Matters. The Factor wouldn't explain why Amanda Terkel was singled out for a confrontation. Amanda writes, "Since I’m a 5 ft, 100 pound woman with an opinion that he doesn’t like, perhaps O’Reilly believes I deserve to be treated this way."
Bill O'Reilly is a notorious bully of both men and women. In 2004, O'Reilly was forced to pay over $2 million to settle a sexual harassment suit brought against him by his former producer Andrea Mackris.
And who can forget O'Reilly's demagogic tirades against feminist bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McKewan?
Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently satirized O'Reilly for accosting even casual critics on the street and then excoriating reporters for violating the privacy of their subjects.