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O’Reilly Producer Refuses To Comment After ‘Stalking’ TV Critic Who Refused To Comment

By Matt Corley on April 19, 2007 at 5:30 pm

"O’Reilly Producer Refuses To Comment After ‘Stalking’ TV Critic Who Refused To Comment"

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stalkAfter viewing Bill O’Reilly’s now-infamous meltdown with Geraldo Rivera, Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow wrote an April 7 column describing O’Reilly’s outbursts as “a new low in what passes for modern political discourse.” She added that O’Reilly had “spewed racist bile.”

O’Reilly responded on the April 9 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, calling Ostrow “dishonest — flat-out dishonest — and a far-left ideologue.” O’Reilly didn’t stop there. After Ostrow declined to appear on The Factor, O’Reilly sent his producer, Porter Berry, to Denver, where he snuck up on Ostrow in a supermarket parking lot and interrogated her on camera. (Colorado Media Matters has video of the exchange.)

During the exchange, Ostrow asks Berry why he is “stalking” her “in a parking lot” to get the footage. Berry denied the claim, saying “I’m not stalking you. We called you and invited you to come on the program, so — because we want to get an explanation.”

When contacted by the Denver alternative weekly Westword, Berry refused to comment on his ambush tactics:

What does Berry say to Ostrow’s assertions? Zip — and his silence comes with a serving of irony. When reached on April 16, he claimed he couldn’t speak without permission from Fox News’s media-relations branch. “I’ll do anything they tell me,” he maintained. Requests to interview both Berry and O’Reilly were then submitted to a Fox spokeswoman, who phoned back to say, “We’re going to take a pass.” Was it hypocritical for the two men to criticize Ostrow for not standing up for her actions when they rebuffed inquiries about theirs? The spokeswoman didn’t retort on the record — but she did request that her name not be printed. (No problem, ma’am. Happy to preserve your deniability.)

The next day, Berry agreed to personally ask the spokeswoman for permission to speak. He apparently got nowhere, and an e-mail to O’Reilly went unanswered.

So, O’Reilly and his staff “criticize Ostrow for not standing up for her actions,” but then when asked to justify their own actions, they balk and hide behind Fox News’ corporate policy.

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