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.
Pecunium, a talented photographer and writer (and onetime Majikthise guest blogger), is entering a contest called Name Your Dream Assignment.
First prize is a $50,000 grant to shoot the assignment of the photographer's dreams. I've blogged about this contest before. A previous winner traveled around the world documenting the epidemic of drug resistant tuberculosis.
Pecunium dreams of traversing Great Britain on foot, by bridle path and barge:
England is a wealth of history. The motor car is new. For all the time before that people got around on lanes, and highways, which are now byways and backpaths. I want to wander them, recording what I find.
Time and place are two of the things a photograph lets us share.. It’s done by controlling time and light. With enough time the passage of the seasons and the changing of the ages can be shown.
I've always wanted to live the life of a tinker; this lets me mingle that with photography. I'm used to living light (16 years in the army will teach one to live out of a bag). I want the chance to soak up the country, and share it with the rest of you. From the Isles on the North Sea, to the Cliffs of Dover, the Cities of London, York, Inverness and Cardiff; the hills of Wales, the Mountains of Scotland and the rolling landscapes between. The dewponds and millstreams, people and wildlife, the battlefields, and the wheatfields, the modern wonders, and the ancient ones.
I can write. I've done descriptive writing, and I can take pictures. Macro to wide-angled, details and the big picture. I can do it.
I have the time, and can do a good trip (at least 6 months, and probably 9, with two people, after taxes.). I’ve thought it out. I can spare a year for going walkabout, and I can share the experience. I can detail the cold mornings, the starlit evenings. The kindnesses of strangers and the sense of wonder which comes of exploring something at once foreign, and familiar. To speak English is to be, at least a little, connected to England.
With your vote, I can do this. With your vote I can share this.
I voted for Pecunium's idea and I encourage others to do likewise. You can register and vote here.
Mark Gerald, an analyst and photographer, embarked on an interesting documentary project: Portraits of psychoanalysts in their offices. [NYT]
The Nation Institute's panel discussion on progressive responses to the economic crisis attracted a huge amount of interest.
By the time I arrived, about two minutes before the program was supposed to start, the entire auditorium was full and over 30 people were waiting on the sidewalk.
A woman in a gray knit hat said that a staffer had already come out to announce that there was no more room. But they were all still there, hoping someone would have a change of heart and let them in.
"We're wondering if we could rush the door," the woman said, jokingly.
I was disappointed that there weren't any seats left, but it was exhilarating to see so much enthusiasm for a panel discussion on economics at eight o'clock on a Friday night.
You can watch online here. Last I checked, about 300 people were watching the live stream at home.
Election officials begin counting 953 improperly rejected absentee ballots in the Minnesota Senate race.
The count is expected to be complete by Saturday night and the Canvassing Board will likely certify the ballots by 2:30pm on Monday. The final count may not be available until Tuesday.
Secretary of State Mark Richie told the NYT Caucus blog he doesn't expect the loser to challenge the result in court. That's an interesting claim. The conventional wisdom is that if Franken retains his lead, Coleman will litigate--hence the handwringing about whether to seat Franken provisionally.
I wonder why Richie foresees a definitive end by Tuesday. Maybe he knows something about the state of the count that we don't. My guess is that he expects the absentee ballots from heavily Democratic Hennepin County to go overwhelmingly for Franken, thereby expanding his margin of victory beyond the point where a Coleman suit could hope to close the gap.
Tactical genius Harry Reid scores another coup. In his eagerness to prevent the Senate from seating Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama, Reid encouraged the Illinois Secretary of State to refuse to certify the appointment.
Reid failed to take the following into account: i) The governor of Illinois has a stack "blank check" papers, pre-signed by the Secretary of State, ii) Even the IL Secretary of State publicly admits that his signature isn't necessary, iii) the spurious paperwork argument being used to exclude Burris is already being cited by the Republicans to refuse to provisionally seat Al Franken pending the outcome of legal challenges to his victory in the Minnesota Senate recount.
Wow. Roland Burris, the man who will probably replace Obama as the junior senator from Illinois, has been constructing a monument to himself in Chicago's Oak Lawn Cemetery. (Shown here.)
Burris pencils in his achievements on the tombstones.
This looks like a two-grave installation. I wonder if his wife's achievements get etched in as well, or whether being married to Burris is considered honor enough. Commenter John points out below that Mrs. Burris's educational achievements are listed.