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Fox News in Margaritaville

Reported by Melanie - November 17, 2004 -

(Sent by Judy, from Mexico, on Wednesday evening, November 17, 2004.)

Immediately after the election, I left on a week-long cross-country trip to
relocate to the southwest for the winter. Then I took off for Mexico, for a
vacation from watching Fox News, posting, and deleting obscene comments.

On the second day of my vacation, I headed into the dusty shrimp-fishing village
and not-quite-there-yet tourist spot for lunch and some college football
watching. I wandered into J.R.'s Barbecue and Bar, the kind of place that's
dark even in the daytime, where they have a beer list instead of a wine list,
where the food is good and greasy, and where there's bound to be a television
showing a football game somewhere.

As I slid onto the barstool, my heart sank, however, as I saw Fox News on the
screen. Fox News? In a sports bar? In Mexico? Where most people don't speak
English? (Wonder if this audience shows up in Fox's cable ratings?) With a
little cajoling, the bar-maid found the game I was looking for and nobody

A few days later, I was doing my job of holding down a chaise lounge in the
shade of a palapa, watching the sunlight sparkle off the blue of the ocean,
when I heard a whisper from the row behind me -- "Bill O'Reilly," and "the
O'Reilly Factor" and "he settled with her." Of all the miles of beach in
Mexico, I had chosen to sit right in front of eight vacationing Americans who
had just discovered that Bill O'Reilly had settled his sexual harassment
lawsuit brought by a former producer. This is old news to anybody who reads the Newshounds, but big news to this bunch.

The next fifteen minutes, four women in the group conducted a loud conversation about whether O'Reilly was guilty, and if not, why did he settle, and what was sexual harassment anyway, while a guy or two chimed in with the view that anybody can get accused of sexual harassment these days if they don't give a woman a promotion.

My blood pressure had been pretty normal during my vacation and I didn't want
that to change, so I slid my chaise lounge about 25 feet closer to the ocean.
Still I could hear them -- Bill O'Reilly only cares about the truth, one day he
bashed Bush and the next day he bashes Kerry.

I moved again, this time, upwind, positive that would protect me. But no, still
they prattled on -- O'Reilly isn't as conservative as Limbaugh, and he doesn't
always yell at people, sometimes he backs down.

Finally, I went to lunch to get out of earshot. Looks like the Newshounds have a
lot of work left to do.