Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Don’t mess with Fox

A disturbing part of a lawsuit filed against Fox News star Bill O’Reilly talks about how he warned a female colleague that screwing with Fox News (so to speak) would bring repercussions:

I posted this to CAJ-L first. It has its genesis in the Frank Rich column I posted earlier tonight. Another related posting is Bushies: Psychopaths or fascists? You tell me.

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One final thing on the nastiness of some members of the U.S. right:

Here’s a page from The Smoking Gun, dealing with a sexual harassment lawsuit levied against Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’s O’Reilly Factor, by Andrea Mackris, an associate producer for the show.

The URL is: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1013043mackris12.html

Remember, these are allegations, not proven statements of fact. The conversation supposedly occurred over dinner on April 13, 2004. The two were discussing Mackris coming back to work for him, which she would do if he promised to stop his offending conduct:

55. During the course of this conversation, defendant Bill O’Reilly warned that:

“If you cross Fox News Channel, it’s not just me, it’s [Fox president] Roger Ailes who will come after you. I’m the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person get’s what’s coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he’s going to get a knock on his door and life as he’s known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me.”

56. During the course of this conversation, defendant Bill O’Reilly bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: “Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top.” Plaintiff queried: “To the top of what?” Defendant responded: “Top of the country. Just look at who’s on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they’re watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken’s] finished, and he’s going to be sorry he ever took Fox News on.” Plaintiff found O’Reilly’s paranoid rambling both strange and alarming.

Al Franken wrote a book called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Fox went to court to block the book, saying ‘Fair and Balanced’ was one of their trademarks. It lost.

Here’s a story:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/08/22/fox.franken/

For context, Ailes has been a media adviser to Republican Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He has been jokingly described by politico and pundit Pat Buchanan as an “evil genius.”

Here is a quote from Ailes, taken from a May 26, 2003 New Yorker article on Fox News: “I don’t ignore anything. Somebody gets in my face, I get in their face.” Added writer Ken Auletta: “Ailes requires enemies the way a tank requires fuel …” The late Lee Atwater, another Republican operative not known for gentleness, told Time magazine that Ailes has two speeds: “Attack and destroy.”

It’s conceivable O’Reilly wasn’t exaggerating.

Bill Doskoch
Toronto, ON

Addendum:

Mackris was fired within two days of filing her lawsuit. Fox wants a judge to rule the firing wasn’t related to the lawsuit against O’Reilly, according to a New York Daily News story.

Fri, October 22 2004 » CAJ-L postings, Main Page