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Sleazy O'Really

Reported by Judy - October 22, 2004 -

Lately, the best news about Fox News is not on Fox News. Today (Oct. 22) was no exception. Fox and Friends had nothing to say about the sexual harassment case about Bill O'Reilly. Viewers had to look elsewhere for coverage of that story.

Fox and Friends' co-hosts rehashed Kerry's goose-hunting trip in Ohio and Teresa Heinz-Kerry's faux pas about Laura Bush's job history during their 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. segment, but had nothing to say about O'Reilly. Rupert Murdoch is relying on one of his other news outlets -- the New York Post -- to spin the story in O'Reilly's favor by attacking the alleged victim.

The only reason I know this is that I watched MSNBC's Count Down last night, where the O'Reilly suit was the No. 3 story. MSNBC referred to a Post article which suggested the associate producer suing O'Reilly may have intentionally set him up. The associate producer, Andrea Mackris, says that O'Reilly engaged in unwanted sleazy phone conversations with her. According to the Post, Mackris left O'Reilly for CNN and then later came back to Fox again. The Post article claims that another alleged sexual harassment victim represented by the same attorney quit her job and then came back to it before filing suit.

MSNBC also quoted former CNN employees as implying that Mackris did not go back to Fox for the $90,000 a year salary but to set up O'Reilly. And it said that today's scheduled court hearing regarding possible transcripts of the conversations between O'Reilly and Mackris was cancelled by the judge.

The New York Post also has accused Mackris of going "nuts" in a New York hotel bar after an encounter with other customers. The newspaper did acknowledge, however, that the bar management made the other customers leave and gave Mackris a gift to make amends.

Meanwhile, other news organizations are having fun at O'Reilly's expense. A Seattle newspaper , the Post-Intelligencer, dug up a quote from O'Reilly in which he says the most beautiful women in the world are in Norway and Thailand and the least attractive are in Muslim countries because you can't see them.

MSNBC will be back on the O'Reilly beat tonight at 8 p.m. EDT. MSNBC featured O'Reilly's lawyer earlier this week and its coverage has been balanced, but the folks there must be relishing the chance to get back at Fox for all its bragging about having higher ratings.