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Does Bill O'Reilly Have His Own Armstrong Williams At FOX News?

Reported by Ellen - January 26, 2005

After all the recent hoopla about journalists getting paid to promote certain policies, I couldn't help but wonder if Bill O'Reilly didn't decide to follow in the footsteps of the Bush Administration and pay for a little journalistic promotion of his own. Or is it just a coincidence that FOXNews.com has posted an editorial about the evils of sexual misconduct lawsuits?

Called "Removing Legal Incentives To Lie," the title alone gives you an idea where the author is going and you would have guessed right.

According to author Wendy Mcelroy,

Bill Cosby is the latest cultural icon to face highly publicized and unproven allegations of sexual misconduct. Indeed, police charges have not even been filed. Whatever may be proven true of Cosby's conduct, the emerging scandal once again raises questions about how society should deal with accusations.

McElroy says that "the false accusations that grab the spotlight are usually connected to sexual abuse and celebrities" and that the accusations, along with photos of the accused, will make news regardless of the truth of the complaint.

McElroy calls herself an ifeminist (the "i" is for "individualist"). She rationalizes her concern for women in this situation by saying that, "unfortunately, the sensational headlines along with men's disillusionment are creating something of a backlash against women who make any allegations at all — true or false." Therefore, she goes on to say, the incentives to lie should be removed. One of those incentives she suggests removing is the ability to file a civil lawsuit without having a criminal conviction first. "This would remove the financial incentive of a civil court award." What about women who may have been abused but not have the ability to get a criminal conviction? Apparently, they'd just be screwed.

Comment: It's rather hypocritical of FOX News to be promoting an opinion like this when they aired the disputed allegations of the Swift Boat Vets night after night, week after week last summer without any apparent pangs about how those unproven accusations may have unfairly tarnished Kerry's image. In fact, the vets got a Courage Award for their efforts and FOX never complained. But women? They get a lot of loofah.

Thanks to our reader, Branson, who gmailed us about this.

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