Blame the Victim, As Long as She’s Drunk

According to Bill O’Reilly, Amanda Terkel—the Think Progress blogger whom his producers stalked and harassed—is a “villain” because “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 [the Alexa Foundation,] a non-profit group that supports rape survivors.”

Seems like a fair objection on her part—but apparently it hit a nerve with the conservative host.

According to a blog that Terkel posted on Monday, O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters followed her while she was on vacation in the quiet town of Winchester, VA. Coming out of their lodgings, the blogger was accosted by Fox News.

“Watters immediately began asking me why I was causing ‘pain and suffering’ to the Alexa Foundation. He never gave me the context for his questions. Confused, I repeatedly asked him what he was talking about and whether he could refresh my memory, but he just continued shouting his question.”

O’Reilly’s defense was that the segment to which Terkel referred was taken out of context; he was criticizing alcohol consumption in general, comparing the rape and murder of Jennifer Moore to Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant the summer of 2006.

“I think it’s safe to say that if Mel Gibson didn’t get drunk, he wouldn’t be in this terrible situation he finds himself in,” said O’Reilly in the 2006 radio segment. “And if a young woman, 18-year-old Jennifer Moore of Harrington Park, NJ, didn’t get drunk, she’d be alive today.”

Let’s run with the logic of this comparison for just a moment. Moore and her friend had come to the city, and became separated after their car was towed. Moore was intoxicated, walking down the West Side Highway in the early hours of morning when she was abducted, raped, and murdered. She was drunk and these actions happened to her—she was acted upon. Mel Gibson was driving while intoxicated and when he was pulled over he spewed racist comments at the cops. In this case, not only is he a grown man who should have known better than to drink and drive—he was the actor, not the one acted upon.

O’Reilly must be delusional. To compare the drunken ramblings of a privileged movie star to the rape and murder of a teenage girl is inaccurate, and to pugnaciously chase down those who disagree just proves what kind of journalist he really is.

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