Monday, March 23, 2009

The scumbag tactics of Bill O'Reilly and Jesse Watters

I see that Bill O'Reilly will be running his latest stalker "interview" piece in which his twerp producer Jesse Watters accuses ThinkProgress of being part of the nefarious George Soros/Media Matters/NBC one world government socialist S-P axis of evil conspiracy O'Reilly has dreamed up.

Read with disgust how Watters literally stalked Amanda Terkel and ambushed her for having the audacity to observe that O'Reilly being chosen to speak at a fundraiser for rape victims is an odd choice given his past comment suggesting that the "moronic" 18 year old rape/murder victim Jennifer Moore brought her death upon herself.

Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She’s walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she’s out of her mind, drunk.
Watters had the nerve to demand Terkel apologize for causing rape victims "pain and suffering."

What a complete and utter slimeball.

Update: Terkel points out that O'Reilly claims he always contacts an individual and invites them on the Factor before ambushing them, but he did not do that in her case and he lied about doing it in the case of Hendrik Hertzberg. (I previously discussed O'Reilly's stalking of Hertzberg, here.) She also links to footage of Jon Stewart demonstrating the hypocrisy of O'Reilly denoucing the paparazzi while simultaneously sending creeps like Watters out to stalk people.

Update II: Ok I just watched the footage from the Factor. Jesse Watters is a dishonest, dirtbag, miserable rotten cretin. I lack the rhetorical skill to express what disdain I have for him and the lengths to which he is willing to go to please O'Reilly. O'Reilly pretty nearly said that a rape/murder victim had it coming because of what she was wearing, and yet Watters has the nerve to call Terkel a liar because of some ridiculous red herring about Mel Gibson and alcohol? And this was shown after O'Reilly introduced the segment as evidence of the "evil" of Terkel and others in the media who have questioned the choice of having O'Reilly speak at a rape victim fundraiser. He should be too ashamed to see himself in a mirror.

As Dave Neiwert puts it, "this is a psychotic perversion of press rights in a way that violates basic American privacy rights."

[This]raises an important point about press ethics. O'Reilly's ambush crews claim to be "investigative journalists" acting in the crusading tradition of the old '60 Minutes' crews of the '70s and '80s. And indeed those journalists did excellent and serious work tracking down various official miscreants.

But they did it at their offices or their places of work. They didn't invade their homes.

Moreover, there is a big difference between people who anger you, or people with whom you disagree, and public officials or powerful people who have abused their positions. I think we all can understand why it's ethical for journalists to pursue the latter, and why everyone who has a shred of ethical decency as a journalist pauses long and hard while considering the former.

The power of the press is very easily abused, especially against ordinary private citizens who aren't celebrities, and whose privacy is every bit as sacred as Bill O'Reilly's.

If this kind of harassment continues, however, then it may comes time to turn the tables -- and they've picked a set of victims more capable of fighting fire with fire than they reckon. O'Reilly and his crew may not like it when bloggers start camping out on their lawns and demanding answers to insultingly partisan questions, shouted aggressively, as they try to get to their cars. Jesse Watters, what's your address?
I actually disagree about that last bit. I don't believe two wrongs make a right; and I think that the proper way to get O'Reilly to stop is for enough pressure be put on him through various forms of public protest and condemnation of Fox News; journalists working in print, tv, and radio especially have an obligation to denounce O'Reilly's behavior. As a society we should not tolerate such bullying. (And I think that had Terkel noticed she was being stalked she would have had legitimate grounds to contact the police.)

But it does bring to light an issue that should be obvious to anyone with at least a remotely functioning sense of ethics: if you don't want people invading your privacy you shouldn't be invading the privacy of others. Given that O'Reilly is a self-professed Christian "T-Warrior" one might have assumed he'd be familiar with the Golden Rule.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, Jesse's parents run the Green Vale School in Glen Head. Do you think their student's parents know what kind of people they're working with?