Bill O’Reilly’s mouth got him where he is. That same mouth could put him out on the street.
O’Reilly, the bombastic loudmouth showcase for Fox’s pretend news network, stands accused of sexually harassing his associate producer and – in typical O’Reilly style – is trying to bluster his way out of the mess.
Andrea Mackris, associate producer of “The O’Reilly Factor,” says the talk show host sexually harassed her in a series of phone calls, suggesting in one that she buy a vibrator and ending another with “next time you’ll come up to my hotel room and we’ll make this happen.”
O’Reilly claims Mackris is just trying to shake him down for money, saying she and her lawyer demanded $60 million in hush money to not file the sexual harassment suit. He has filed his own lawsuit against Mackris, a move that most attorneys say is a lot of spin with no legal substance.
“As a public figure, I have received many threats,” O”Reilly says. “But enough is enough … The threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion.”
O’Reilly should know a thing or two about threats. His style has always been to intimidate his guests, shouting at them to “shut up” and assuming that his opinion is the only one that matters.
Now the man who has victimized so many is trying to paint himself as the victim, calling Mackris’ claim “the single most evil thing I have ever experienced, and I’ve seen a lot.”
Yet those who work around O’Reilly say it was only a matter of time before somebody came forward.
“He’s a sexist buffoon,” claims one former female Fox employee. “He thinks he’s God’s gift to women and is always making inappropriate comments.”
Mackris says she left Fox because of O’Reilly’s sexual harassment and worked briefly for CNN but O’Reilly talked her into coming back. She told O’Reilly she would return only if his advances stopped and noted that other women had complained about his sexual harassment.
“If any woman ever breathed a word I’ll make her pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born,” O’Reilly told Mackris. “I’ll rake her through the mud, bring up things in her life and make her so miserable that she’ll be destroyed.”
Mackris says O’Reilly would call her while watching porn movies and masturbate while talking to her.
In one such call, she says O’Reilly said: “You know, Mackris, in these days of your celibacy and your hibernation, this is good for you to have a little fantasy outlet, you know, just to keep it tuned, keep that sensuality tuned until, you know, Mr. Right comes along and then you can put him in traction. . . . I’m trying to tell you, this is good for your mental health.”
Sources close to the case say the quotes cited in Mackris’ lawsuit against O’Reilly are so detailed because she taped some of his phone calls. Other women, they say, are prepared to come forward.
O’Reilly, when asked about the specific charges, hides behind legalese.
“Obviously, I can’t get into specifics as the litigation is in motion,” he says.
And when asked if he made the phone calls to Mackris, O’Reilly avoids the question and refuses to answer.
In other words, spin from the self-proclaimed master of the “No Spin Zone.”
Live by the mouth. Die by the mouth.