O'Reilly's sleazy résumé
There's no denying Bill O'Reilly has the tickets to be a news commentator on cable television. His education has been textbook with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from top colleges and universities, and his experience as a reporter and analyst all over the world has been outstanding.
He is also a genius at marketing. He knows what a certain segment of the public wants and he directs his viewpoints straight at them. He has established himself as an ultimate Catholic who single-handedly protects Christianity from the pagan hordes that have them completely surrounded, and he is also the Ultimate Patriot who smites the enemies of the United States wherever they might stand, sit or creep.
As a consequence he has the highest-rated "news" show on cable television and something over three million rabid listeners on the 400 radio stations that broadcast his program. He also writes a syndicated column and has had seven books published.
The problem with all this is that the man is obviously of low moral character and has hurt many worthwhile people with his righteous wrangling and wrongful purposes. The most recent victim has been the town of Great Barrington and its Selectmen. The excuse for the attack was that Great Barrington shut its (Christmas) (holiday) lights off at 10 p.m. in its bit to save electricity and help contain global warming. An O'Reilly producer came to a Selectmen's meeting with the program's version of "When did you stop beating your wife?" and then showed selected bits on the O'Reilly program. As a result of this, vicious e-mails, containing threats and vituperations of the basest sort, were sent by O'Reilly regulars to Great Barrington and environs. Peace on earth, good will to men.
The thing about O'Reilly (God's henchman), however, is that the history of the man has been lost because he keeps launching attacks that keep everybody so busy that they don't have time to bring up his résumé.
In 2004, which is just three years ago, a 33-year-old female producer on O'Reilly's TV show sued him for "sexual harassment." She brought the suit because O'Reilly had launched a suit against her claiming she was trying to shake him down for $60 million, which happened to be the amount grossed yearly by O'Reilly's show at that time.
The producer, Andrea Mackris, claimed that the then 55-year-old O'Reilly through personal conversations, a great many of them by telephone, made her feel "absolutely threatened" and forced her to earn her living in "a hostile work environment." She claimed in her lawsuit that O'Reilly continually insisted on describing sexual fantasies, masturbation and the use of vibrators, a practice in which he seemed to consider himself a master teacher. She said that he sometimes obviously "pleasured himself" while describing these things to her on the phone.
The details were so graphic that objective bystanders figured the young woman had taped some of these conversations after they had been going on for a while. She claimed that O'Reilly continually talked about how powerful he was and that he could assemble a horde of lawyers that would beat down anyone who opposed him in any legal matter. He also implied that Roger Ailes, the president of the Fox News Channel, had the power of extra-legal means to take care of any enemies that might take on O'Reilly.
Mackris hired a powerful legal team of her own and negotiations began. Word on the street was that parley broke off when the Mackris people felt that an offer of $2 million from O'Reilly was not enough to stop the matter from going to trial. However, before too much time elapsed a settlement was reached and all parties agreed to keep silent on how much money changed hands. O'Reilly was making about $9 million a year at the time and Fox was part of the settlement so there was much conjecture about how many million dollars the young woman received.
O'Reilly made a statement that there was "no wrongdoing in the case whatsoever by anyone" and he ended what he considered a "brutal ordeal" without issuing an apology. The young lady subsequently purchased two condos in New York so her ordeal seemed to end comfortably. By the by, O'Reilly's TV ratings went up considerably during his "ordeal." Which tells you a great deal about the people who watch him and send out vicious e-mails in his behalf.
For those who might be interested in what Mackris claimed to have endured, the court file is available for view on the Internet.
So this is the man who has set himself up as the defender of the faith and the protector of his country. He calls himself an independent, but it is obvious where his political agenda lies. And lies and lies and lies.
Great Barrington has been besmirched in that it was forced to be part of his machinations. If you do not wish to watch O'Reilly in person, Stephen Colbert is more than a reasonable facsimile and quite funny in his impersonation of "the real thing."
Milton Bass is a regular Eagle contributor.
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