Rachel wrote about this earlier, but just a quick follow-up for y’all who don’t click through links: Journalist, activist and ThinkProgress blogger Amanda Terkel was recently followed, harassed and ambushed by a production team from The O’Reilly Factor. Why? Because she wrote a post criticizing O’Reilly’s comments about rape victims, in response to finding out that he was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for a foundation that supports sexual assault survivors and their families. Here’s what O’Reilly said about Jennifer Moore, an 18-year-old who was raped and murdered:
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.
He followed that up by comparing rape victims to people who go on anti-Semitic tirades:
“I think it’s safe to say that if Mel Gibson didn’t get drunk, he wouldn’t be in this terrible situation he finds himself in,” said O’Reilly. “And if a young woman, 18-year-old Jennifer Moore of Harrington Park, NJ, didn’t get drunk, she’d be alive today.”
Because drunk girls rape themselves, apparently.
It’s that kind of victim-blaming language that Amanda was objecting to. But O’Reilly’s abhorrent comments aside, his actions here are particularly disgusting. His producer followed Amanda by car for two hours from her home in Washington D.C. to a vacation spot in Virginia; they then accosted her on the street and accused her of causing “pain and suffering” to rape survivors and their families. They demanded that Amanda be the one to apologize to rape survivors. Amanda’s full account is here. Her conclusion is particularly important:
The main issue remains: O’Reilly should offer an apology/explanation of why, when a woman is raped and murdered, it’s relevant what she was wearing or how much she was drinking. O’Reilly never asked me for a statement nor invited me on his show before sending Watters to harass me. Since I’m a 5 ft, 100 pound woman with an opinion that he doesn’t like, perhaps O’Reilly believes I deserve to be treated this way.
You can email Jesse Watters, the O’Reilly Factor producer who followed Amanda, at Jesse.Watters@FOXNEWS.COM. There’s also a Facebook group in support of Amanda here. In the meantime, help spread the word by blogging, tweeting, writing and talking about this.
- While Palin was mayor, Wasilla billed rape victims for their rape kits by Jill September 8, 2008
- Right-wing cartoon depicts Obama raping the Statue of Liberty by Jill March 29, 2010
- More on the Sarah Palin rape kit controversy by Jill September 15, 2008
- And speaking of taking religion out of the public sphere… by Jill September 8, 2008
- The Morality of Rape by Jill December 5, 2005