Democracy Soup

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Bill O’Reilly wins Media Putz for yet another stalking, this time across a state line

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Originally published on on March 26, 2009

Bill O’Reilly


One of Bill O’Reilly’s passions that doesn’t involve loofahs is to stalk people who publicly disagree with him, even if they are just reporting what he actually said. Well, his passion in the sense that he doesn’t actually participate; O’Reilly is more of a voyeur, getting off on watching people be victimized whose only “sin” was to go against the mighty, powerful O’Reilly.

To give O’Reilly the Media Putz of the week award just for having one of his minions stalk someone would feel so repetitious it would be like giving Tiger Woods Golfer of the Year or in days gone by, giving the New York Yankees the World Series trophy.

No, O’Reilly gets this week’s award for going above and beyond his normal stalking craziness. Meet Amanda Terkel, managing editor of

Terkel was one of many in the media — and she admits Think Progress wasn’t even the original source — to point out the hypocrisy of O’Reilly speaking in front of a group, the Alexa Foundation, devoted to helping rape victims when O’Reilly chastised a young woman who was raped and murdered and basically saying she was asking for it.

So O’Reilly’s producer went to stalk Terkel; what’s the big deal? Well, the better question is whether O’Reilly and his minions deliberately picked her because she was a woman. And in a cruel fate, Terkel is similar in build to the woman that OReilly mocked that started all of this. O’Reilly could have gone after a number of people to accomplish the same tactic, yet he picked Terkel. And there is also the point of how Terkel was stalked.

Jon Stewart played the tape of someone being stalked on a city bus — not great but out in public. But we’ve also seen stalkees accosted on their private property. Amazingly, the Terkel stalking has a new twist. According to Terkel, O’Reilly and his minions tracked down her home address, waited outside her apartment, and followed her car on a two-hour ride to a small town in Virginia. You are going on vacation with a friend, a brief getaway and you get accosted by a stalker who crossed a state line to commit his act.

So in a story that goes back to a woman who was attacked, raped, and murdered, and to retaliate for literally repeating what O’Reilly said on the air, their revenge was to accost a woman two hours from her home on vacation for a piece she wrote three weeks before, and scare the crap out of her.

Now, you’re thinking: Doesn’t Bill O’Reilly have a policy on this? Well, apparently he does, from this 2007 quote:

“Now, some object to displays like these. But we feel they’re a vital tool in holding public servants accountable for their actions, and we do not go after people lightly. We always ask them on the program first, or to issue a clear statement explaining their actions.”

Terkel isn’t a public servant; in fact very few of his stalkees fit that definition. Terkel says she wasn’t contacted or asked onto the program.

Stalking in itself sounds awful, but it get worse. Terkel was falsely accused of hurting rape victims and the foundation, even though Terkel never criticized either group. And of course, unlike conventional stalkers, there isn’t a camera following them around hoping to catch some actual or edited excerpt that could make O’Reilly joyful sitting there in the dark watching the results.

Keith Olbermann has this easy instructional video on what to do when O’Reilly sends his producers to stalk you. We might even need this if O’Reilly gets angry over winning this award (again).

In O’Reilly’s screwed-up, borderline psychotic reaction to being legitimately criticized over chastising a rape victim, his reaction was to accost and scare a young, female reporter to make his point. Our reaction is to give Bill O’Reilly the Media Putz of the week award.

Bill O’Reilly previously won the Media Putz on February 12, 2009, September 4, 2008, and July 5, 2007.


Written by democracysoup

March 26, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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