In a new interview with Broadcasting & Cable, O’Reilly defends sending his producer to harass me on March 21. Specifically, he says that he contacted our “website” beforehand, but received no response. He also says that I clearly wasn’t disturbed by the incident because I didn’t “look threatened” in the video that Fox aired:
Q: Amanda Terkel from Think Progress [who wrote the initial blog about O’Reilly’s keynote at the It Happened to Alexa Foundation] said she felt threatened by your producer.
O’REILLY: Did you see the clip?
Q: I did.
O’REILLY: Did she look threatened to you?
Q: Not really.
O’REILLY: See, sometimes you’ve got to go with what you see.
Q: She also said you didn’t invite her on The O’Reilly Factor.
O’REILLY: We contacted that Website. We heard nothing.
Neither I nor anyone else at ThinkProgress ever received any sort of request from anyone at Fox News. O’Reilly’s producers did ask CAP CEO John Podesta to appear on his show — after his ambush of me. They then had no problem finding the phone number of the appropriate people to contact at our organization; why wasn’t I extended the same courtesy, if they were legitimately interested getting a response from me?
This isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has lied about inviting his ambush targets on his show. On Dec. 14, he aired a segment of his producer Jesse Watters harassing New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg outside his home in Manhattan. O’Reilly said that he had to send out his henchman because Hertzberg had “refused to go on the Factor.” Hertzberg called O’Reilly’s claim an “outright lie,” noting that he also had never been invited to appear on the show.
So not only does O’Reilly think he knows how abducted children feel, he also now thinks that he can assess the internal emotional states of women. Maybe O’Reilly thinks that unless I cried or ran away, I must have been enjoying the harassment.
I have more on O’Reilly’s Harassment Machine on the Daily Beast today.