New Civilization News: OutFoxed    
 OutFoxed16 comments
picture19 Jul 2004 @ 03:46, by Richard Carlson

It is the very energy of thought
Which keeps thee from thy God.

---John Henry Newman

The thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.

---Bayazid Bistami

Each man is in his Spectre's power
Until the arrival of that hour,
When his Humanity awake
And cast his Spectre into the Lake.

---William Blake

Clockwise from top left, Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Page Hopkins

I'm a neutral observer, of course, here to give you a fair and balanced report. But some people would say that Fox News Channel is nothing more than the private right-wing propaganda machine of a sneaky right-wing billionaire who is -- now these are just the facts, people -- not an American at all but some kind of Down Under, funny-accented, shrimp-on-the-barbie-eating, crocodile-hunting, profoundly un-American Australian, for goodness' sake.

And while I know Australia is not obviously very much like France -- treasonous, untrustworthy France -- let's look under the surface a little, OK? Do you know what one of Australia's top agricultural products is? That's right, it's wine. Draw your own conclusions, people, that's all I ask. And when you get right down to it, isn't there something French about Shep Smith, if you know what I mean? Isn't that "mousse" in his hair? Does that sound like an American word to you? Isn't there something about him that suggests the French government of, say, 1943? Something a little Vichy French? Nazi-collaborator French, possibly? I don't know, I'm only asking. You decide.

OK I reluctantly confess I didn't write the above 2 paragraphs, although I wish I had. They open a review of Robert Greenwald's documentary "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" at Salon and the author is Andrew O'Hehir. [link] Having watched the DVD at one of 3 house parties where it played in Athens last night, I admire O'Hehir's sendup of the Fox style of commentary. We don't have cable at our house in the sticks and so I've never seen the Fox news network nor have I tuned in this O'Reilly guy, except for Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with him---out of which he stomped by the way, but clearly these people are the Culture War at the front lines. What Fox does is drill into minds the vocabulary and definitions of what the United States of America is to be about. And when you see "Outfoxed" you will realize that "is to be" is a dictate.

Start with Bill O'Reilly himself who says, "I'm not right wing. I believe in global warming." OK if he's not right wing, what is he? He must be a moderate, just as Fox is "fair and balanced," which logo will be tested in a lawsuit filed by today. If Fox convinces its viewers that its politics (and even they would not deny they have an agenda, although they like a monopoly on the label "Pro-American") represent the Center, then majority rule declares that's what Center is and means. Of course, I don't believe the Fox viewership is exactly that naive---although maybe I'm wrong. I think they know they're watching a skewering bias, but really don't give a s--t. If that's the case, maybe Fox won't mind broadcasting the truth about what it really is.

After the film, the house parties interacted online with Robert Greenwald and then Al Franken, who has a couple of moments in "Outfoxed" himself. The best part of Franken's time with us for me was his taking apart of a statistic Fox presented recently. They said that an American serviceman or -person is safer in Iraq than in California. The network's proof of this remarkable "fact" was a comparison of the number of soldiers who die everyday in Iraq to the number of Californians who are murdered everyday. At the same time as this information is related we see a map which shows Iraq and California to be areas roughly the same size. What Franken points out is that there are 35,000,000 people living in California and there were only a couple of hundred thousand soldiers in Iraq. Let's see, would that make a difference in the ratio? Reportedly Fox dismissed the criticism, when the Washington Post made it, by responding that nevertheless it was "proof of something." Can we expect to debate a temperament like this?

I Googled up "Outfoxed" first thing this morning, and here are some highlights you might like to visit from only the first page~~~

[link] - the actual site of the documentary where you can see portions and order it ($9.95---cheap!)

[link] - I would think might be in danger of running out of stock; if so, here's Amazon

[link] - Alternet's review of the film by Don Hazen

The blogs are hot today with reactions and argument. Here are 2~~~



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19 Jul 2004 @ 06:07 by istvan : You might like this.

Published on Sunday, July 18, 2004 by the Associated Press
Dictionary Creates Vocabulary for a Future Without Bush
by Hillel Italie

NEW YORK - If you have never dropped the word ''dubyavirus'' into casual conversation, urged that an official be ''ashcrofted'' or commented upon ''The Cheney Effect,'' then you haven't seen the future, at least the future according to McSweeney's.

The ever-expanding genre of anti-Bush books has now entered the reference field. Coming in August from McSweeney's, the publishing house founded by author-activist Dave Eggers, is The Future Dictionary of America, a Utopian tome set ''sometime'' beyond the present.

Contributors include Eggers, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Franzen, Wendy Wasserstein and more than 100 others. Proceeds will be donated to ''groups working for the public good in the 2004 election.''

''The dictionary was conceived as a way for a great number of American writers and artists to voice their displeasure with their current political leadership, and to collectively imagine a brighter future,'' reads an introductory note from the editors, who include Eggers and novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.

The McSweeney's dictionary includes new words such as ''dubyavirus'' and old words such as ''environment'' with new definitions. Most of the entries are political. Some are philosophical, some simply playful.

Author T.C. Boyle offers definitions of ''environment,'' including ''a conceptual space, like the airspace over Iraq, which will create a sucking void if not filled to repleteness with high explosives.''

Under the entry ''dubyavi- rus,'' Thisbe Nissen imagines that President Bush has been indicted as a war criminal, thus ending ''an aggressively invasive and tragically widespread disease.'' Another fiction writer, Paul Auster, defines ''bush'' as ''a poisonous family of shrubs, now extinct.''

In homage to Vice President Dick Cheney, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides invokes the ''Cheney Effect,'' reserved for ''the manifestation of personality changes brought on by the reception of a transplanted organ, usually the heart.''

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is the basis for ''rumsfeld,'' defined by Vonnegut as ''one who can stomach casualties.'' Attorney General John Ashcroft inspired novelist Robert Coover to coin ''ashcrofted,'' when one is ''removed from or disqualified for public office on grounds of religious delusions.''

Daniel Handler, known to young readers as Lemony Snicket, gives us ''fraudeville,'' in which ''white-collar criminals were punished by performing tricks live on stage.'' Eggers has fun with ''lactose intolerance,'' which he predicts will be cured in 2005 by one Ronald Frame, who will receive a ''Nobel Prize and a tricked-out Camino.'' Franzen, author of the award-winning novel The Corrections, invents ''the silence parlor,'' a soundproofed cafe ''equipped with noise-cancellation technology.''

Stephen King contributes ''sloudge,'' his term for the endless political opining on cable television. ''Most sloudge,'' King writes, is conducted by ''overweight white men'' seated around ''shiny tables'' and mouthing off against the liberal state.

Sample usage of sloudge, a la King: ''The President's press conference was followed by over three hours of sloudge on MSNBC and six hours of sloudge on Fox-TV.''

Some liberals, too, receive entries. ''Dean depression,'' named for failed presidential contender Howard Dean, is defined by short story writer Ken Foster as ''the surprising and illogical defeat of a populist candidate.'' Cartoonist Art Spiegelman contributes ''ralphnadir,'' which is ''the lowest point in any process,'' so low that the process must be changed.

Some examples:

The ralphnadir of America's unrepresentative two-party system led to the establishment, in 2012, of our current proportional allnite-party system.''

He ralphnadired their relationship when he condi-scendingly denied that he'd cheneyed their joint account.''

© Copyright 2004 Associated Press


19 Jul 2004 @ 12:48 by Quinty @ : The liberal bias in the news media

I can remember when the right, many years ago, began to complain about the liberal bias in the news media. Then, as now, all the media had to do was present an unpleasant truth about a rightwinger to be labeled biased. It was a means, then as now, of shutting the media up, and of forcing them to march in lockstep. We saw this most brilliantly in the lead up to the Iraq war. It became unpatriotic to question Bush and his war plans So, the far rightwing lads and lasses at Fox call anyone who utters a humble truth, such as: "Bush is a liar who lied to us about Iraq," a leftwing nut. As someone on NPR said, the news media broadcasts a truth and in the name of objectivity someone is brought to lie about it. All in the name of fairness. I'm not biased. I don't care if we are discussing Republicans or Democrats. LBJ did a pretty good job of lying to the American people about Vietnam. We not only have the best government money can buy, as Greg Palast pointed out, but the best news media money can buy. Ask Rupert Murdoch if you don't believe me. And Clear Channel, and.........


20 Jul 2004 @ 03:31 by jazzolog : Get A MoveOn
I know many of you already subscribe to the newsletter service, so please forgive my duplication here. Watching the special feature The Making of OutFoxed on the DVD and getting to know the regular folks who took shifts watching the channel day and night for months, I became increasingly convinced the problems with the media in the States need urgent addressing. Some of the battle may take place in the courts, as Fox may sue the filmmakers for using their "news" footage without permission. MoveOn is getting the jump on Fox in this case by suing them first. Here's more about it~~~

"Dear MoveOn member,

Last night, over 25,000 people gathered in living rooms across the nation to see Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. It was an inspiring turnout. And we saw just how Fox News delivers the Republicans' talking points under the guise of a news broadcast.

Raising the stakes, Common Cause and MoveOn filed a complaint this morning with the Federal Trade Commission challenging Fox News' deceptive advertising slogan 'fair and balanced.'

We need your help. Sign our Fox petition and join in our complaint to the FTC and Congress at:

We need to add hundreds of thousands of signatures and comments by Wednesday, so that the FTC and Congress know they've got to deal with this issue. The challenges to Fox's partisanship are mounting. Not surprisingly, Fox hasn't offered any real defense. Instead, they have responded by attacking former employees who are speaking out. It's crucial that we demonstrate public support for these courageous journalists and voice our disgust with Fox's deceptive advertising.

And we really need to spread the word about this campaign. On the petition page, there's a really horrifying but funny video clip from the film highlighting Bill O'Reilly's hypocrisy. After signing and giving your comment, you can send the petition and this clip to friends to keep the ball rolling.

Join us in taking on Fox at:

This is just the beginning of our Fox campaign. In this election year, nothing could be more important than demanding fair coverage in the press. We're putting all the media on notice that we will accept no less.

Thanks, as always, for all that you do.

--Carrie, Joan, Lee, Marika, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The Team
July 19th, 2004"  

20 Jul 2004 @ 18:55 by James Weems @ : What if Fox News had been around
during past famous historical dates:




Thanks for these. We can imagine O'Reilly yelling at Lincoln to "shut up!" at Gettysburg.


26 Jul 2004 @ 17:21 by Quinty @ : I feel robbed
sometimes by the right when they take for granted progressive reforms they once opposed, such as civil rights. Though they haven't forgotten Roosevelt's reforms, and they're out to crush them.  

27 Jul 2004 @ 02:35 by jazzolog : Fox Reacts To Bill Clinton's Speech
Since we prefer C-Span for Convention coverage (no stupid commentary by anybody) I needed the Los Angeles Times' editorial this morning to get the Fox "balance" on the former president's magnificent oration~~~

"When Bill Clinton ended his keynote speech, to thunderous applause and a smattering of tears, Fox News commentators described it as 'demagogic.' In Fox-speak, that means, 'Dang, he's good.'"


27 Jul 2004 @ 04:26 by jstarrs : Since all Australians come...
...from pure 'ex-con' stock, whaddya expect?  

27 Jul 2004 @ 05:51 by jazzolog : I Hope You're Kidding As Usual
Undoubtedly Mr. O'Hehir chose that nationality at random to illustrate Fox' penchant for creating groups viewers are supposed to despise. Interestingly I got an email from a history professor here in Athens very seriously taking me to task for skewering a group of people. As we've discussed before at NCN, satire seems to be the most difficult kind of communication to get across on the Internet. People read fast and carelessly and miss the point.  

2 Aug 2004 @ 03:55 by jazzolog : I Hadn't Heard About This
"Some of the most memorable moments on television had almost nothing to do with the convention itself, notably Michael Moore on Fox News badgering Bill O'Reilly into submissive silence by asking if he would send his own child to Iraq."

---from What We Missed in Boston
Alessandra Stanley
August 1, 2004  

20 Sep 2004 @ 04:41 by A proud American @ : CBS, CNN, NPR, NY TIMES .... lib trash
FOX is fair and balanced.

Although in the liberal warped world, FOX should take some tips from CBS on how to forge government memos. FOX should take some tips from the DNC shill Dan Rather on forgery, lies, and coverup.

Nothing scares the libs more than them losing their grip on the media, and that is happening.

FOX is a cable news network that often times now beats CBS in the ratings and FOX always beats MSNBC and CNN in the ratings, the libs are worried. The libbies and MoveON sheep can file as many lawsuits as they want to, they won't get anywhere. There should be a documentary on how Dan Rather and CBS have been lying to Americans for 30 years, we could do a whole segment on Dan Rather putting forged government memos on the air. The forgery or government military memos is a Felony, the libs must be proud of that.  

20 Sep 2004 @ 07:23 by jazzolog : Dear Proud American
If a felony was perpetrated, I look forward to justice being served. If you are concerned with the corruption of the free press in the States, I agree with you completely. Nothing is more important in our society, whether there is an election going on or not, than prevention of the slide of media journalism into mere entertainment. When anything can get on the air as long as the ratings soar, a culture is in huge trouble. I'm working on an essay on this topic.  

10 Oct 2004 @ 10:56 by jazzolog : Bush Team Outfoxes Itself
The New York Times
October 10, 2004

Why Did James Baker Turn Bush Into Nixon?

WE'VE never seen anything like this, even the old Kennedy-Nixon classic great debate," said a breathless Chris Matthews on the "Today" show as he touted a poll showing that John Kerry had won presidential debate No. 1 by as much as a 4-to-1 margin. But actually we have seen something like this - and at that first Kennedy-Nixon debate. The polls may have gyrated more violently this time around, but the scenario is identical: a campaign's seemingly mundane decision about television theatrics has potentially changed the dynamic of a presidential election.

Only Election Day will reveal if Sept. 30, 2004, set off a political chain reaction to match that of Sept. 26, 1960; then as now the candidates soon settled down into a post-debate statistical dead heat in the horse race (Kennedy 49, Nixon 46, according to Gallup). But at the very least the first Bush-Kerry debate marked the moment that the savvy Bush-Cheney machine lost its once-invincible grip on the all-important TV game and, just like Nixon before it, did so because of its own blunders, not any sorcery by the opposing J. F. K.

As Mr. Matthews recounts the historical antecedent in his 1996 book, "Kennedy and Nixon," the debate director, Don Hewitt, offered the haggard Nixon makeup to help bridge the video gap with his tan and fit opponent, the junior Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Not only did Nixon decline but this decision was seconded by his campaign media adviser, Ted Rogers. The world remembers the rest. The only cosmetic aid that Nixon used - an over-the-counter product called Lazy Shave to mask his stubble - melted in sweat, casting an incumbent vice president in a lesser light than his lesser known challenger.

In the 2004 replay the Ted Rogers of the story is, of all people, James A. Baker III, the Bush family consigliere who so cannily gamed the 2000 count in Florida, outsmarting the Gore forces at every turn. This may be the year he lost his fast ball, unless you take the Freudian view that he has an unconscious wish to prevent 43 from bettering the re-election record of his original patron, 41. Either way, the thoroughness with which Mr. Baker's offstage maneuvers set his guy up for disaster on Sept. 30 may tell us more about the state of play in the campaign than the much-dissected style and substance of the debaters' onstage performance.

It was Mr. Baker's job to negotiate the 32-page debate agreement with Vernon Jordan, representing the Kerry camp, and by all accounts, the Bush campaign got almost everything it wanted. Yet as we now know, every Bush stipulation backfired, from the identically sized podiums that made the 5-foot-11 president look as if he needed a booster stool, to the flashing "Time's up!" lights that emphasized Mr. Kerry's uncharacteristic brevity and Mr. Bush's need to run out the clock by repeating stock phrases ad infinitum and ad absurdum.

The most revealing Baker error, though, was to insist that the first debate be about the president's purported strong suit, foreign affairs, instead of domestic policy. Did no one anticipate the likelihood that Iraq might once again explode that day, as it has on so many recent others? Insurgent attacks have gone from a daily average of 6 in May 2003 to as high as 87 in August. And so, as Adam Nagourney of The Times reported, "In the hours leading up to the debate, television images of aides to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry were mixed with images of corpses and bloody children from Baghdad," on a day when some 35 Iraqi children were slaughtered by car bombs. With this montage grinding away in the media mix, Mr. Kerry probably could have gotten away with even more inconsistent positions about the war than he did that night.

Mr. Baker isn't responsible for the other split-screen visuals that undid Mr. Bush on Sept. 30: the reaction shots during the debate itself. They were forbidden by the 32-page agreement. But earlier that week, the networks, including Fox News, publicly announced they would violate that rule. The Bush campaign has since said that the president knew this was coming, but if so, that makes his lack of self-discipline seem all the more self-destructive, or perhaps out of touch. He couldn't have provided a better out-take promo for the DVD release of "Fahrenheit 9/11" had Michael Moore been directing it himself.

Mr. Bush could recoup by Nov. 2 for all manner of reasons, including his showing in the subsequent debates, both yet to come as I write. John F. Kerry is no John F. Kennedy. But the liberal blog Daily Kos had the big picture right: on Sept. 30, "months of meticulous image manipulation" by the Bush-Cheney forces went "down the toilet in 90 minutes."

That's a shocking development because until recently, that manipulation had been meticulous and then some. The administration has been brilliant at concocting camera-ready video narratives that flatter if not outright fictionalize its actions: "Saving Jessica Lynch," "Shock and Awe," the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue (a sparsely populated, unspontaneous event, when seen in the documentary "Control Room"), "Mission Accomplished." Mr. Bush has been posed by his imagineers to appear to be the fifth head on Mount Rushmore; he has kept the coffins of the American war dead off-screen; he has been seen in shirtsleeves at faux-folksy Town Hall meetings that, until his second debate with Mr. Kerry, were so firmly policed in content and attendees that they would make a Skull and Bones soiree look like a paragon of democracy in action. Time reported last spring that even the Department of Homeland Security was told to take a break from its appointed tasks to round up one terrorism-fighting photo op a month for the president.

To enforce the triumphalist narrative of these cinematic efforts, the Bush team had to cut out any skeptical press, or, as Mr. Bush once put it, "go over the heads of the filter and speak directly to the people" (as long as they're pre-selected). This didn't just mean avoiding press conferences and blackballing reporters from campaign planes. It also required an active program to demonize "the elite media" while feeding Fox News and its talk-radio and on-line amen chorus at every opportunity. "I end up spending a lot of time watching Fox News, because they're more accurate in my experience" is how Dick Cheney put it earlier this year. Thus the first Bush-Kerry debate was preceded by a three-installment interview with the president by Fox's Bill O'Reilly, whose idea of hard-hitting journalism is encapsulated in his boast that his was "the only national TV news program" to shield its viewers from pictures of Abu Ghraib. The highlight of his pre-debate Bush marathon was his expression of admiration for the president's guts in taking questions not submitted to him in advance. This is a "free press" in the same spirit as that championed by such Bush pals as Silvio Berlusconi, Crown Prince Abdullah, Pervez Musharraf, Ayad Allawi and, of course, dear old "Vladimir."

But those who live by Fox News can die by Fox News. If you limit your diet to Fox and its talk-radio and blogging satellites, you may think that the only pressing non-Laci Peterson, non-Kobe, non-hurricane stories are "Rathergate" and the antics of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Your diet of bad news from Iraq is restricted, and Abu Ghraib becomes an over-the-top frat hazing. You are certain that John Kerry can't score in the debates because everyone knows he's an overtanned, overmanicured metrosexual. You reside in such an isolated echo chamber that you aren't aware that even the third-rated network news broadcast, that anchored by the boogeyman Dan Rather, draws 50 percent more viewers on a bad night than "The O'Reilly Factor" does on a great one (the Bush interview).

Eventually you become a prisoner of your own fiction and lose touch with reality. You start making the mistakes Mr. Baker made - and more. The whole Bush-Cheney operation is less sure-footed about media manipulation than it once was. You could see this the week before the debate, when the president rolled out Mr. Allawi for a series of staged Washington appearances that were even less effective than his predecessor Ahmad Chalabi's State of the Union photo op with Laura Bush. No one at the White House seemed to realize that if you want to keep a puppet from being ridiculed as a puppet you don't put him on camera to deliver sound bites (some 16, by the calculation of Dana Milbank of The Washington Post) that are paraphrases of the president's much replayed golden oldies. The whole long charade played out like a lost reel of "Duck Soup."

The Bush-Cheney campaign can console itself with the hope that the embarrassing first debate images will be superseded by debates No. 2 and No. 3. (Nixon aced the third of his four matchups with Kennedy.) But it can't suppress the pictures from an ongoing war that only Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Allawi believe is getting better by the day. It was back in March that the discrepancy between the White House's narrative and the reality on the ground was first captured in dramatic split screen: as Dick Cheney delivered a speech at the Reagan presidential library bashing Mr. Kerry and boasting of our progress in Iraq, his sour certitude was paired with an especially lethal car bombing in central Baghdad. These days the bombings are more frequent and often more lethal, and such tragic juxtapositions are the rule rather than the exception.

If anything, the first Bush-Kerry confrontation has given split-screen television a new vogue. Having defied the efforts of both campaigns to squelch its use on Sept. 30, emboldened TV news organizations can run with it at will. So we saw on the Sunday after that debate, when Condoleezza Rice appeared on ABC's "This Week."

There she was quizzed about the report in that morning's Times saying that in 2002 she had hyped aluminum tubes as evidence of Saddam's nuclear threat a year after her staff was told that government experts had serious doubts. Ms. Rice kept trying to talk over the soft-voiced George Stephanopoulos's questions, but he zapped her with a picture: a September 2002 CNN interview in which she had not, shall we say, told the whole truth and nothing but. As the old video played, ABC used a split screen so we could watch Ms. Rice, "This Is Your Life" style, as she watched the replay of her incriminating appearance of two years earlier. Maybe, like Mr. Bush at the first debate, she knew her reaction was being caught on camera. But even if she did, the unchecked rage in her face, like that of her boss three days earlier, revealed that her image and her story, like the war itself, had spun completely out of her control.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company  

14 Oct 2004 @ 09:55 by jazzolog : O'Reilly Accused Of Unwanted Phone Sex
Story Url:

TV Host O'Reilly Accused of Harassment
Thursday, October 14, 2004 4:42 a.m. ET
By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bill O'Reilly, whose Fox News Channel show is the highest-rated cable news program, has been accused of sexual harassment by one of his producers. O'Reilly says the complaint is a politically motivated extortion attempt.

Both sides filed lawsuits Wednesday, with the woman, Andrea Mackris, saying the commentator had phone sex with her against her wishes three times.

In his claim against Mackris and her attorney, Benedict Morelli, O'Reilly said Morelli demanded $60 million in "hush money" to not file the lawsuit.

"As a public figure, I have received many threats," he said. "But enough is enough ... The threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion."

Mackris, 33, is an associate producer on "The O'Reilly Factor," a job she returned to in July after a short stint at CNN.

During a phone conversation this August, Mackris, 33, said O'Reilly suggested she buy a vibrator and was clearly excited. Before hanging up, she said, O'Reilly told her: "I appreciate the fun phone call."

She contended he made a similar call Sept. 21, ending that one by saying: "Next time you'll come up to my hotel room and we'll make this happen."

O'Reilly's lawyer, Ronald Green, said he believes there are tapes of conversations between the two and asked a court to compel Mackris to produce them so they could be played publicly.

"I know that he does not fear what is on the tapes," Green said.

Morelli would not comment on whether any taped phone conversations exist.

Besides the attempt for money, O'Reilly charged that his accuser and her lawyer were trying to embarrass him and Fox News Channel three weeks before the election. Morelli, he said, is a contributor to the Democratic Party; "The O'Reilly Factor" is a particular favorite among Republican viewers.

Morelli said his political contributions had nothing to do with the case.

"When he sued me today, I understood what kind of bully he is," the lawyer said.

Mackris sat next to Morelli at a news conference Wednesday, but did not speak and would not answer questions.

Mackris' complaint said she told O'Reilly she was not interested in phone sex and felt "trapped" after his first inappropriate phone call.

Mackris never complained to anyone at Fox about untoward behavior by O'Reilly, Green said. When she returned to Fox earlier this year, O'Reilly agreed to match her salary at CNN, the network said.

Fox produced an e-mail Mackris sent to a friend last month, saying things are "wonderful, amazing, fun, creative, invigorating, secure, well-managed, challenging, interesting fun and surrounded by really good, fun people. I'm home and I'll never leave again."

Mackris said in her lawsuit that she told O'Reilly she would return to Fox only if he stopped the inappropriate behavior.

She said O'Reilly told her: "If any woman ever breathed a word I'll make her pay so dearly that she'll wish she'd never been born. I'll rake her through the mud, bring up things in her life and make her so miserable that she'll be destroyed."

On his show Wednesday, O'Reilly called the case "the single most evil thing I have ever experienced, and I've seen a lot. But these people picked the wrong guy."

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press  

21 Oct 2004 @ 08:54 by jazzolog : Bill O'Reilly & Mary Cheney On His Knee
The New York Times
October 24, 2004

The O'Reilly Factor for Lesbians

"And guys, if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you. That's called 'karma.' "
- Bill O'Reilly, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids"

IN the annals of election year 2004, Oct. 13 will be remembered as the day it rained lesbians in red America. That was when we learned that Andrea Mackris, an associate producer on "The O'Reilly Factor," had filed her sexual harassment law suit, charging that her boss had an obsessive interest in vibrators, phone sex and, most persistently, erotic scenarios involving pairs of women. That night brought the final presidential debate, in which John Kerry's description of Mary Cheney as a lesbian so riled the Bush-Cheney campaign, not to mention the easily aghast Washington press corps, you'd have thought the vice president's daughter was accused of enlisting in a threesome with Bill O'Reilly.

What's followed ever since is an orgy of schadenfreude and hypocrisy almost entertaining enough to take your mind off Iraq (as the Bush-Cheney campaign hopes it will). It's the kind of three-ring circus that makes me love this country. Only in America could Mr. O'Reilly appear on "Live With Regis and Kelly" to plug his new moralistic children's advice book (sample dictum: "Healthy sex is a combination of sensible behavior and sincere affection") just as old and young alike were going online to search for the lewd monologues attributed to him in Ms. Mackris's 22-page complaint. Everyone is now so busy matching Mr. O'Reilly's alleged after-hours oratory - none of which he or his lawyer immediately denied - with his past condemnations of Janet Jackson, Ludacris, wet T-shirt contests, Joycelyn Elders and the televised Madonna-Britney smooch that the findings could fill another Starr report. My own favorite example, hands down, is Mr. O'Reilly's reverie about hooking up with "hot" Italian women during a visit to the Vatican while his pregnant wife was marooned at home in Plandome, Long Island.

The bad news for Fox is not only that its most bankable cable star could end up in the third-tier broadcasting oblivion of William Bennett but also that Fox News, handed the kind of story it lives for, could not (or, more precisely, would not) turn it into a mediathon, complete with legal analysis from Greta, Gloria Allred and Jeanine Pirro. So the network made do instead with the parallel soap opera of Mary Cheney. The Focus on the Family politico James Dobson quickly set the tone on "Hannity & Colmes" by accusing Mr. Kerry of "outing" the vice president's daughter - a charge duly echoed by others on the right, led, inevitably, by The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

To try to prop up its fictional headline "Outing Mary Cheney," The Journal argued that "Mr. and Mrs. Cheney have not kept their daughter's lesbianism a secret but neither have they shouted it to the sky." Huh? Though Dick Cheney doesn't shout anything, he described his daughter as gay on camera at an Iowa campaign appearance this summer. But whatever Mr. and Mrs. Cheney may have to say about it, The Journal never entertained the thought that Mary Cheney herself has a voice in this matter. She has been openly gay for years. Before the 2000 campaign, she held a job that literally announced her homosexuality: gay and lesbian liaison for Coors, a public marketing assignment that even required her to travel the country with the winner of the 1999 International Mr. Leather competition. She later joined the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-rights advocacy group formed as an alternative to the similarly inclined Log Cabin Republicans.

From all the outcry over Mr. Kerry's invocation of Ms. Cheney, with the attendant rhetoric about the evil of exploiting a candidate's "child" in a campaign, you might never guess that the child in question is not Chelsea Clinton at age 12 but a 35-year-old woman (two years older than Andrea Mackris). Or that she lives openly with her partner, Heather Poe, whom she brought onstage after the vice presidential debate. Or that she is the paid director of vice presidential operations for the Bush campaign, and that her mother is the author of a notorious potboiler ("Sisters," 1981) that drools over the prospect of lesbian coupling with O'Reilly-like glee. (For choice excerpts from Mrs. Cheney's fiction, go to ).

So you have to wonder what motivated the Bush-Cheney brigade to go ballistic over Mr. Kerry's "outing" of Mary Cheney after it had ignored not just John Edwards's previous "outing" but also the earlier "outings" by Bush campaign allies like the Concerned Women for America and the Republican senatorial candidate Alan Keyes. Unlike the Democrats, who spoke respectfully of gay sexual orientation, these right-wing activists trashed the vice president's daughter for sowing anti-family values. But as Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, even when Mr. Keyes attacked Mary Cheney in August for practicing "selfish hedonism," the same Mrs. Cheney, who, "speaking as a mom," called Mr. Kerry "not a good man," spoke not at all.

To understand what strange game is playing out here, you must go back to the equally close 2000 election. In the campaign postmortems, Karl Rove famously attributed his candidate's shortfall in the popular vote to four million "fundamentalists and evangelicals" in the Republican base who didn't turn up on Election Day. A common theory among Bush operatives had it that these no-shows had been alienated by the pre-election revelation of Mr. Bush's arrest for drunk driving years earlier.

The current Bush-Cheney campaign clearly believes that for these voters, Mary Cheney's sexuality could be a last-minute turnoff equivalent to Mr. Bush's D.U.I. history. When Rich Lowry of National Review said on Fox that "millions and millions of people" were not aware that Mary Cheney was gay until Mr. Kerry brought it up, it was clear just which four million he was talking about. Mr. Kerry, his critics all speculate, was deliberately seeking to depress voter turnout among Mr. Rove's M.I.A. religious conservatives by broadcasting Mary Cheney's sexuality to them for the first time.

To buy this theory you have to believe that by this late date a large group of potential voters obsessed with homosexuality didn't yet know that Ms. Cheney is gay. I find that preposterous, but only Mr. Kerry knows if he thought so and if his intentions were so smarmily Machiavellian. Even if they were, there's no ambiguity about what the Bush campaign is up to. Mr. Rove can out-Machiavelli Mr. Kerry anytime. Though the president pays "compassionate conservative" lip service to "tolerance" of homosexuality to appease suburban swing voters, his campaign has pushed a gratuitous constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, one opposed by Mary Cheney's own father, to stir up as much fear and ugly rage as it can.

When Mrs. Cheney hyperbolically implies that even using the word lesbian in 2004 is a slur out of the McCarthy era - "a cheap and tawdry political trick," she said - she is playing a similar game. She is positioning lesbian as a term comparable to child molester. But as Dave Cullen writes in Salon: "It is not an insult to call a proudly public lesbian a lesbian. It's an insult to gasp when someone calls her a lesbian." Mrs. Cheney and her surrogates are in effect doing exactly what Elizabeth Edwards had the guts to say they were doing: they are sending the message to Mr. Rove's four million that they are ashamed of Mary Cheney. They are disowning her under the guise of "defending" her. They are exploiting her for the sake of political expediency even as they level that charge at Democrats.

The deployment of homosexuality as a nasty campaign weapon has long been second nature to Mr. Rove. In the must-read article "Karl Rove in a Corner" in the November issue of The Atlantic, the journalist Joshua Green exhaustively researches the tightest campaigns of Mr. Rove's career and exhumes the pattern. As Mr. Green reminds us, George W. Bush's 1994 gubernatorial race against Ann Richards "featured a rumor" that Governor Richards was a lesbian. Gay whispers have also swirled around Rove adversaries like a rival Republican campaign consultant in the 1980's and a 1994 Alabama judicial candidate who was branded a "homosexual pedophile."

None of these rumors were, in fact, true, but Mary Cheney is unambiguously and unapologetically gay. For a campaign that wants to pander to the fringe, that makes her presence in the Bush-Cheney family a problem - just how big a problem can be seen by its disingenuously hysterical reaction to Mr. Kerry's use of the L word. But Mary Cheney isn't the only problem for Mr. Rove as he plays this game. The Republican establishment is rife with gay people - just ask anyone in proximity to its convention in New York - and the campaign doesn't want the four million to know about them, either. But in this election season, actual outing has begun to creep onto the Internet, where the names of closeted Republican congressmen and aides who support anti-gay policies are a Google search away. Some named so far - one of whom dropped out of his re-election campaign in August - hail from districts where some of those four million live.

Sooner or later this untenable level of hypocrisy is going to lead to a civil war within the Republican party. But this hypocrisy is not just about homosexuality - it's about all sexuality, as befits a party that calls for the elimination of Roe v. Wade and the suppression of candid sex education that might prevent teenage pregnancy and AIDS alike. Should Bill O'Reilly-Andrea Mackris tapes exist, as many believe they do, we will learn graphically where the right's most popular cultural defender of G-rated values stands not only on lesbianism but also on extramarital sex, sexual tourism in Asia and masturbation -which all figure in the complainant's detailed description of her alleged conversations with her boss. But anyone who fears that Mr. O'Reilly has completely abandoned his political faith need not worry. According to Ms. Mackris's account, the one time this would-be Lothario succeeded in luring her to his hotel room alone it was not by offering to show her his etchings, or even Spectravision, but a televised news conference by President Bush.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company  

1 Nov 2004 @ 08:37 by jazzolog : $10 Million For Phone Sex!
New York Daily News -
Bill bucks buy cup o' joe
Friday, October 29th, 2004

Bill O'Reilly's accuser showed no signs of letting her multimillion-dollar windfall affect her yesterday as she spent the morning in typical New York fashion - grousing about a $4 cup of coffee.
"It's over and I get to move on now," Andrea Mackris said a day after the 33-year-old TV producer and her former boss agreed to an out-of-court settlement reportedly worth between $2 million and $10 million for her.

Yet as a pack of reporters tailed Mackris from her West Side apartment to a nearby Starbucks, the price of a grande skim latte struck the new millionaire as a bit steep.

"Four bucks for a cup of coffee? What is that?" she quipped, fending off a question about whether her first move would be to jet to some fun place, like the Bahamas.

"That's not what it was about, or what I was focused on," she said, adding that after reaching the settlement she merely "ordered in sushi."

She and O'Reilly were mum on details of the deal that ended an embarrassing scandal for the Fox News titan.

As part of the pact, Mackris agreed to drop her sexual harassment suit against O'Reilly and Fox, and O'Reilly agreed to drop his lawsuit claiming Mackris and her lawyer tried to shake down the network for $60 million. The paperwork ending the lawsuits was filed yesterday.

Though O'Reilly wasn't talking, his friends scoffed at the idea Mackris pulled down a seven-figure settlement. Mackris reportedly had turned down an offer of $2 million before she filed her lawsuit.

Both sides agreed to a confidentiality clause and issued a statement Thursday that "there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Mackris or Ms. Mackris' counsel, Benedict P. Morelli & Associates."

But in New York, everyone takes sides.

"You should have fried him!" doorman Nelson Santiago, 33, called out when he recognized Mackris sprinting past for her morning cup of coffee.

"That's nice," she laughed, a bit taken aback by the notoriety she said went so far as partygoers dressing up as her for Halloween.

"It's weird. I'm just a little girl from Missouri," she said.

Mackris jumped into the spotlight with her bombshell accusations that O'Reilly tormented her with unwanted phone sex, and observers speculated she had tapes to back it up.

Fox spokesman Brian Lewis declined to comment on the settlement other than to say the statement of no wrongdoing "speaks for itself" and to note that Mackris is "no longer employed at Fox."  

12 Feb 2005 @ 11:35 by jazzolog : O'Reilly Fumbles Big Time
If you're going to talk sports around someone like Keith Olbermann, even Bill O'Reilly might want to rein in his loud mouth~~~

• February 9, 2005 | 7:01 p.m. ET
Time to punt, Bill

SECAUCUS — For those of you familiar with the kids’ football challenge, “Punt, Pass, and Kick,” we long ago saw Bill O’Reilly’s passing (ask Andrea Mackris). Sunday we learned about his punting (in a rather exaggerated essay in the official Super Bowl program). And now we’re seeing him kick.

Typical to the commemorative programs for the big sporting events, O’Reilly was asked to write the ‘end piece’ to the Super Bowl 39 edition. Dan Rather penned one for Super Bowl 38, and even I’ve done them for Baseball’s All-Star Game Program and annual official “yearbooks.” But only O’Reilly could turn one of these brief “Why I Love This Sport” venues into a means of shameless self-promotion.

He waxed poetic about the inspiration provided by his own football career at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, observing that he learned much from having one of his punts land behind his own line of scrimmage (one could argue that what he learned was to see everything backwards). He added, “I won the national punting title for my division as a senior,” and concluded, “I guess you could say the end zone was the beginning of the no-spin zone.”

Ah, but in recounting his collegiate football experience, Mr. O’Reilly has done a little spinning of his own.

The phrase in question is “I won the national punting title for my division as a senior.” For the unfamiliar, college football is and has been divided not merely into regional conferences (Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac Ten, etc.) and leagues (Ivy, Patriot, etc.), but also national divisions, based on the size of a school’s student body and the relative strength of its commitment to a particular sport. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has Division 1 (the big schools, and actually known as Division 1-A), Division 1-AA, Division 2, and Division 3. Another collegiate group, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, currently has all its football teams in one Division, but maintains Division 1 and Division 2 for basketball.

The key word here is “division.” In college sports, it implies organization, national recognition, big athletic budgets, careful scheduling and record-keeping — and scholarships and varying degrees of those charming professional touches that all too often turn college sports into mere way stations for future NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL players.

In short, “division” means big time.

And herein lies the problem with Mr. O’Reilly’s boast. A very nice man named Juwan Jackson, an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator for the Marist football program, told me the other day that the school didn’t start playing varsity football until 1978. That year, it launched its “program” with an inauspicious record of one win and eight losses, in the NCAA Division 3 Metropolitan Conference. In 1993, Marist made the big jump to Division 1-AA, the second highest division, and the next year won its conference championship.

But Bill O’Reilly graduated from Marist in 1971. Certainly he played football there — there’s a New York Times clipping in front of me showing him kicking the points-after for two of Marist’s final-game loss to St. John’s on November 27, 1970 (he missed the third point-after). But if Marist dates the start of its divisional football history to 1978, exactly what kind of “division” did O’Reilly play in?

It turns out when O’Reilly was at Marist, football was a so-called “club sport.” The school lent its name to the team — and nothing else. Players paid all their own expenses, were led not by a coach but a president (usually a student, even an active player, sometimes an ex-player), and organization was, at best, loose. “Club sports” were still widespread in my time at Cornell — rugby was the big one in the late ‘70s — but even their own members would grudgingly acknowledge that they were barely a notch above intramural teams which simply competed with rivals on their own campuses.

Some time in the ‘60s, the football “club teams” at some of the bigger non-division schools organized the National Club Football Association. The “national” part was not to be taken too literally. In O’Reilly’s senior year, 1970, a disproportionate number of the schools were in the New York metropolitan area. Marist’s football media guide notes that the 1970 squad for which O’Reilly kicked “advanced to the national championship game.” But that Times account of the game — versus St. John’s University of Queens, New York — calls it “the third annual Metropolitan Club Football Bowl,” and it was played in a ramshackle stadium in Mount Vernon, New York (a park I well remember from my childhood as the site of some lackluster kid baseball clinics usually attended by the least popular members of the then-equally lackluster New York Yankees).

I pointed this out — in considerably less detail — on Monday’s edition of Countdown. The point was not that O’Reilly wasn’t a punter/placekicker for a college football team (he was), nor that he wasn’t a good one (he was; he averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 1970) — just that he’d once again conveyed an illusion of grandeur about his accomplishments. There was no “division” for him to win “the national punting title” in while with Marist’s club team in 1970.

His claim was a little less egregious than the assertion that he won a Peabody Award while on the show “Inside Edition” (it was a Polk Award, and the show got it after he left). But the venue — the back page of the Super Bowl program — elevated to a similar level of ridiculousness.

Apparently I struck one of Mr. O’Reilly’s many nerves.

Tuesday, I got one of the damnedest e-mails I’ve ever received, anonymous other than for its return address and the signature “J., Chicago, IL.” Whoever wrote it seems to have been the club football equivalent of Deep Throat: “A long time friend of mine (and long time NFL scout) once told me that Bill O’Reilly could have dominated in the NFL as a punter if he had chosen that career path,” he began. “And a cousin of mine…” — maybe the best comparison to this guy isn’t Deep Throat but Forrest Gump — “a cousin of mine, who was the official statistician during that time period said that O’Reilly in fact did lead in punting net average…”

My anonymous correspondent then turned television critic. “So after using your O’Reilly ‘story’ as a tease for your entire hour, knowing that would be the only way to keep anyone watching your worthless show, you flat out got the facts WRONG, as you usually do.”

But wait. How could this viewer have known about our ‘teases’ and story if he hadn’t watched it? Ah, he had his answer prepared: “And before you get your snide remark ready, I only glanced over your show thanks to TiVo, since there’s no way I would be watching your show live instead of the Factor, you chump.”

My reply was brief — that an anonymous e-mailer quoting two anonymous sources had a lot of nerve calling anybody else a chump, and that as O’Reilly’s theoretical dominance of the annals of National Football League punting, perhaps we should leave him to trying to dominate the likes of Andrea Mackris and other employees, past and present.

Remarkably, this storm in a teacup got bigger still. The anonymous e-mailer’s subject line read simply “punting stats.” Lo and behold, on the same day, what shows up on Bill O’Reilly’s own website, but what appears to be an ancient, typed, either photocopied or mimeographed, list of the top ten performers in various statistical categories for the National Club Football Association for the 1970 season - including O’Reilly’s punting stats.

There’s an interesting coincidence.

I haven’t studied the typefaces carefully enough, nor called in any of the bloggers who got so much joy out of CBS’s dubious “Killian Memos,” but the thing looks legitimate. And there he is, at the top of the punting list at an average of 41.4 yards per kick: “O’Reilly, Marist.”

Now, of course there are a few facts about these statistics that would make the sports-savvy cringe. The runner-up, a punter from New Haven named Potter, averaged only 40.7 yards per kick. But he punted 36 times to O’Reilly’s 23 — thus exposing his average to the vagaries of sport more than 50% more often than O’Reilly did. In fact, of the other nine punters on the list, only two had fewer punts than did O’Reilly, and their average number of punts was 32 (some poor fellow named Ruth from Niagara had to make 48 punts that season).

From the dawn of sports figure filberts, leaders in all statistical average categories have had to exceed a minimum basis of attempts. Bob Hazle of the Milwaukee Braves hit an astonishing .403 in 1957, but he wasn’t considered the National League’s batting champion — he only came to bat 134 times (to blur the mind of the sports-hating reader still further, Stan Musial won the batting championship that year; he hit .351 - coming to bat 502 times).

The “National Club Football Association” stat sheet offers no minimum number of punts required to be eligible for the championship average for O’Reilly’s senior year. There may have been such an established standard and O’Reilly may have legitimately cleared it. But a sports statistician looking at these numbers would say that Mr. Potter of New Haven (36 punts, 40.7 average) and Mr. Primerano of St. John’s (40 punts, 38.1 average), got jobbed.

The point of all this is, like much of Mr. O’Reilly’s assertions about himself (and others), there’s a lot less than meets the eye in the statement “I won the national punting title for my division as a senior.” There was no division, the outfit was semi-national at best, and the title might have been statistically dubious.

So, writing in the official Super Bowl Program that you won the “punting title” in your “division” would be like me writing in one of those baseball program articles that I led the nation’s high school baseball players in on-base percentage in 1973 (I did, too — in a manner of speaking — my on-base percentage was a perfect one thousand: I came to bat once, and got hit in the ass with a pitch).

I guess we’re just lucky Bill didn’t claim he’d won a Peabody Award for his punting at Marist.


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