Offender: Bill O’Reilly and Jesse Watters for The O’Reilly Factor
Media Outlet: FOX News Network, aired 3/23/09
The Offense: On March 1, Amanda Terkel wrote a blog post for ThinkProgress questioning why Bill O’Reilly was scheduled to speak at an event for a foundation that supports rape survivors. In her post, Terkel pointed out that O’Reilly previously implied on his radio show that women who are drunk in public and dressed a certain way should expect to be raped and murdered.
O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters and a camera operator subsequently stalked and ambushed Terkel, telling her that she had caused “a lot of pain and suffering” to the foundation, the rape survivor for whom it is named, and her family. The O’Reilly Factor aired a portion of the resulting interview on March 23, calling Terkel a “villain.”
Read more at Think Progress.
NOW’s Analysis: Bill O’Reilly has demonstrated a lack of sensitivity toward victims of violence, suggesting that they are partly to blame for the horrific acts committed against them. Sending a producer to stalk and ambush a woman journalist, rather than calling to schedule an interview with her, was not only unprofessional, but downright hostile. Terkel had every right to question why O’Reilly was speaking at an event organized to raise money for rape survivors. It would have been reasonable for O’Reilly’s to invite Terkel on to his show to debate her comments, but instead his response seemed designed to threaten and silence her and others who might challenge him.
Take Action: Write to the Executive VP at Fox News and tell him what you think.
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director