The World According to O’Reilly: If You Got It, You Were Asking for It

Amanda Marcotte

The reason that people blame Rihanna or any victim of a gender-based hate crime is that the supposed protection of the patriarchy is only extended to good girls.

creepy stalking and ambush of journalist Amanda Terkel by "O’Reilly
Factor" producer Jesse Watters

was notable not because it was unusual.  Sadly, O’Reilly’s staff frequently
uses this schtick — using harassment tactics to silence journalists
who say things that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like, especially those
who criticize O’Reilly.  Terkel had pointed
out that it was inappropriate for O’Reilly to speak on behalf of an
anti-rape organization

when he engaged in rape apologism, and for that, he sent out the bully
patrol to harass Terkel for the viewing pleasure of his wannabe bully

But the stalking was notable because of the context. 
The producer followed Terkel from her home and ambushed her in the town in which she was vacationing because she dared to defend rape/murder
victims against O’Reilly’s insinuation that they have it coming
if they break one of O’Reilly’s Rules For Young Ladies involving
alcohol consumption, curfew, or clothing choices.  You can’t blame Terkel for being shaken. 
After all, O’Reilly has implied that women who break
a rule he wrote for them are asking to be raped and murdered, and now
she’s got a group of men following her around because she broke a
rule O’Reilly wrote for her.  The context elevates the usual ambushing
tactics of the "O’Reilly Factor"

straight into creepy territory, as Terkel noted: 

    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. 

Unsurprisingly, bloggers who
wrote in support of Terkel drew
the ire of O’Reilly fans, who, as I’ve noted before, are huge fans of
virtual bullying.
The endless cycles of lashing out and virtual (or real life) bullying
in an attempt (often unsuccessful) to silence truth-tellers is the point
of another post, though.  What I find interesting in all this is
that O’Reilly is framing his attack on Terkel as a defense
of rape victims, because he’s claiming that his speaking gig at the
Alexa Foundation is well-deserved because he goes to bat for rape victims.   

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How can that be, one may ask, when he says things

    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. 

If O’Reilly has trouble grasping
that the fault for rape and murder belongs 100% on the rapist-murdered,
then he has no business identifying himself as an advocate for victims. 
That alone should disqualify him, but the fact that he’s had his own
problems harassing
should have
made it beyond the pale to treat him as an advocate against sexual violence.   

But I suspect that O’Reilly
does think he’s a good guy who deplores rape, so long as it’s "real"
rape, i.e. rape committed against a young woman who follows O’Reilly’s
Rules For Young Ladies.  If you stay in at night and accept male
authority over your movements, and get raped anyway, he probably does
feel bad for you.  Isn’t that the selling point of the patriarchy–you’ll
be safe and under male protection if you behave yourself and follow
all the rules? 

This fantasy that male dominance
is better for women (at least good girls!) is explicitly stated in Kathryn
Jean Lopez’s deplorable
essay blaming feminism for Chris Brown beating Rihanna.
  Instead of Chris Brown, who
continues to enjoy varied, colorful excuses for his behavior offered
free of charge from the public.  Lopez would like to believe that
putting a man in complete control of you means he’ll never use violence
to enforce his authority–which is actually very close to what abusers
often say to their victims, that if they didn’t buck authority, they
wouldn’t get beaten.  (Somehow, she also finds lesbians to blame
for this.)   

    We’ve so confused ourselves
    that now many teenagers in Boston are excusing Chris Brown. Why wouldn’t
    they? He and Rihanna are equal, and we expect no more from men – in
    fact, we’ve conditioned a generation or two now to expect less. 

I’m not sure what world she
lives in where a straight man is permitted to deliver a hospitalization-requiring
beat-down to another straight man because he complained about a broken
promise.  In fact, that sort of thing is indisputably a crime and
always has been.  It’s domestic violence–violence aimed at
women to keep them submissive, a role Lopez assumes women should just
take on voluntarily–that was treated and still is treated as a private
manner.  Because, in the world Lopez longs for, women are considered
property and men have certain rights to dispose of their property as
they see fit.  Lopez, with her grade A levels of misogyny, probably
wouldn’t even consider wife-battering a problem if feminism hadn’t
forced the issue. 

No, the reason that people
blame Rihanna or Jennifer Moore or any victim of a gender hate crime
is that the supposed protection of the patriarchy is only extended to
good girls.  Then, in a version of the post hoc fallacy, we assume
that anyone who gets raped or beaten must have been asking for it, because
we believe good girls don’t get raped or beaten.  It’s a tight
loop, and a victim must bring extraordinary amounts of evidence of submissiveness
and chastity to even be considered for an exception–levels pretty
much no woman can meet. 

Sadly, anecdotal evidence shows
that other controlling men are absorbing the message that Rihanna is
to blame for getting beaten, and are using that as moral support for
their own behavior. Tracy
Clark-Flory saw a disturbing example.

    Just the other day, riding
    the train home from work,  I heard a teenage couple seated behind
    me fighting. The girl pleaded to her boyfriend: "Let me see it!"
    She had caught a glimpse of a sexy photo of another girl on his phone.
    With mounting outrage, her voice catching in her throat, she shrieked,
    "You promised me you deleted all of ’em!" He paused
    and then, with smirking confidence, threw down his trump card: "Don’t
    go all Rihanna on me, now." With that, the conversation ended. 

The question for those who
believe male dominance is good for women (as long as they behave themselves)
is this: do you think this teenage girl was "asking for it"?

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: Trump Selects Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to Join His Ticket

Ally Boguhn

And in other news, Donald Trump suggested that he can relate to Black people who are discriminated against because the system has been rigged against him, too. But he stopped short of saying he understood the experiences of Black Americans.

Donald Trump announced this week that he had selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) to join him as his vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket, and earlier in the week, the presumptive presidential nominee suggested to Fox News that he could relate to Black Americans because the “system is rigged” against him too.

Pence Selected to Join the GOP Ticket 

After weeks of speculation over who the presumptive nominee would chose as his vice presidential candidate, Trump announced Friday that he had chosen Pence.

“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump tweeted Friday morning, adding that he will make the official announcement on Saturday during a news conference.

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The presumptive Republican nominee was originally slated to host the news conference Friday, but postponed in response to Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France. As late as Thursday evening, Trump told Fox News that he had not made a final decision on who would join his ticket—even as news reports came in that he had already selected Pence for the position.

As Rewire Editor in Chief Jodi Jacobson explained in a Thursday commentary, Pence “has problems with the truth, isn’t inclined to rely on facts, has little to no concern for the health and welfare of the poorest, doesn’t understand health care, and bases his decisions on discriminatory beliefs.” Jacobson further explained: 

He has, for example, eagerly signed laws aimed at criminalizing abortion, forcing women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds, banning coverage for abortion care in private insurance plans, and forcing doctors performing abortions to seek admitting privileges at hospitals (a requirement the Supreme Court recently struck down as medically unnecessary in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case). He signed a ‘religious freedom’ law that would have legalized discrimination against LGBTQ persons and only ‘amended’ it after a national outcry. Because Pence has guided public health policy based on his ‘conservative values,’ rather than on evidence and best practices in public health, he presided over one of the fastest growing outbreaks of HIV infection in rural areas in the United States.

Trump Suggests He Can Relate to Black Americans Because “Even Against Me the System Is Rigged”

Trump suggested to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he could relate to the discrimination Black Americans face since “the system [was] rigged” against him when he began his run for president.

When asked during a Tuesday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor what he would say to those “who believe that the system is biased against them” because they are Black, Trump leaped to highlight what he deemed to be discrimination he had faced. “I have been saying even against me the system is rigged. When I ran … for president, I mean, I could see what was going on with the system, and the system is rigged,” Trump responded.

“What I’m saying [is] they are not necessarily wrong,” Trump went on. “I mean, there are certain people where unfortunately that comes into play,” he said, concluding that he could “relate it, really, very much to myself.”

When O’Reilly asked Trump to specify whether he truly understood the “experience” of Black Americans, Trump said that he couldn’t, necessarily. 

“I would like to say yes, but you really can’t unless you are African American,” said Trump. “I would like to say yes, however.”

Trump has consistently struggled to connect with Black voters during his 2016 presidential run. Despite claiming to have “a great relationship with the blacks,” the presumptive Republican nominee has come under intense scrutiny for using inflammatory rhetoric and initially failing to condemn white supremacists who offered him their support.

According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Tuesday, Trump is polling at 0 percent among Black voters in the key swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

What Else We’re Reading

Newt Gingrich, who was one of Trump’s finalists for the vice presidential spot, reacted to the terrorist attack in Nice, France, by calling for all those in the United States with a “Muslim background” to face a test to determine if they “believe in sharia” and should be deported.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton threw her support behind a public option for health insurance.

Bloomberg Politics’ Greg Stohr reports that election-related cases—including those involving voter-identification requirements and Ohio’s early-voting period—are moving toward the Supreme Court, where they are “risking deadlocks.”

According to a Reuters review of GOP-backed changes to North Carolina’s voting rules, “as many as 29,000 votes might not be counted in this year’s Nov. 8 presidential election if a federal appeals court upholds” a 2013 law that bans voters from casting ballots outside of their assigned precincts.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the election goals and strategies of anti-choice organization Susan B. Anthony List, explaining that the organization plans to work to ensure that policy goals such as a 20-week abortion ban and defunding Planned Parenthood “are the key issues that it will use to rally support for its congressional and White House candidates this fall, following recent setbacks in the courts.”

Multiple “dark money” nonprofits once connected to the Koch brothers’ network were fined by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week after hiding funding sources for 2010 political ads. They will now be required to “amend past FEC filings to disclose who provided their funding,” according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

Politico’s Matthew Nussbaum and Ben Weyl explain how Trump’s budget would end up “making the deficit great again.”

“The 2016 Democratic platform has the strongest language on voting rights in the party’s history,” according to the Nation’s Ari Berman.

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: Trump Insists It Was He Who ‘Broke the Glass Ceiling’ for Women in Construction

Ally Boguhn

Though Trump’s statement came the same day the Associated Press first reported Clinton—whose 2008 concession speech referenced the glass ceiling—would be the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, the news had not broken at the time of Trump’s comments.

This week on the campaign trail, Donald Trump insisted he was the one who had broken the “glass ceiling” for women—in the construction industry. 

Clinton Takes Democratic Nomination—and Endorsements From Key Democrats 

Clinton received endorsements and support from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Thursday after Clinton’s Tuesday primary victories solidified her place as the party’s presumptive nominee.

“For more than a year now, across thousands of miles and all 50 states, tens of millions of Americans have made their voices heard,” Obama said in a video posted to Clinton’s Facebook page. “Today I just want to add mine.”

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“I’m with her,” continued Obama, who had previously remained neutral in the 2016 Democratic primary race. “I am fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there to campaign for Hillary.”

Biden threw his support behind Clinton that same day while speaking at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy’s 2016 national convention in Washington. According to CNN, Biden said that “God willing, in my view, [the next U.S. president] will be Secretary Clinton.”

During an interview Thursday night with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Warren, an influential voice among the party, also embraced Clinton. “I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States,” said Warren, adding that she was determined “to make sure that Donald Trump never gets anyplace close to the White House.”

Clinton’s string of endorsements come just days after news broke that the former secretary of state had secured enough delegates to become the party’s presumptive nominee.

Though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) remains in the race for the Democratic nomination, he signaled he will be willing to work with Clinton in order to unite the party.

“I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the 1 percent,” Sanders told reporters Thursday during a press conference outside of the White House.

Trump Says He “Broke the Glass Ceiling on Behalf of Women” in Construction

Trump took credit for breaking “the glass ceiling” in construction for women during an interview on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor Monday evening.

“Number one, I have great respect for women. I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women, more than anybody in the construction industry,” Trump told host Bill O’Reilly when questioned about how he would appeal to women voters during the general election. “My relationship, I think, is going to end up being very good with women.”

Though Trump’s statement came the same day the Associated Press first reported Clintonwhose 2008 concession speech referenced the glass ceilingwould be the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, the news had not broken at the time of Trump’s comments, according to the Washington Post.

O’Reilly went on to ask the presumptive Republican nominee about a recent Boston Globe report analyzing presidential-campaign payroll data, which revealed that just 28 percent of Trump’s staff were women and that the men on staff made “about 35 percent more” than women.

Trump denied the allegations, instead claiming it was Clinton who truly failed to offer pay equality, though he later suggested “there are reasons” men on his campaign would be paid more than women such as “different jobs.”

“If you look at my company and what I pay women versus men, in many cases I pay women more money than I pay for men, and frankly, now I’ll probably get a lawsuit from my men that work for me,” Trump added.

The Globe’s analysis, however, also looked at data for the Clinton campaign and found that men and women were paid roughly the same:

The women working for Clinton — who account for 53 percent of her total staff—took home an average of $3,710. The men made slightly more, at $3,760. Clinton’s staffers, men and women, made less than the women who work for Trump.

On Clinton’s campaign, the highest-paid employee was a woman, Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s director of communications. And of the 15 highest-paid employees, eight were men and seven were women.

Trump has voiced some support for gender pay equality in the past, telling the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe in August 2015 that “if they do the same job, they should get the same pay,” but adding that “it’s very hard to say what is the same job.” When questioned about the topic by an attendee of a rally in November, Trump reportedly said that a woman would “make the same [as a man] if you do as good a job.”

Conservatives have previously alleged that a gender pay disparity existed in Clinton’s senate office, evidencing their claim with a report from conservative news site the Free Beacon. According to, Clinton’s campaign doesn’t deny that the data used for that study was accurate but argues the analysis used “incomplete, and therefore inaccurate set of numbers.”

When the fact-checking site analyzed the annual salary data provided by the Democrat’s campaign, which included some staff members not included in the Free Beacon’s study because they did not work the full year, it found that “median salaries for men and women in Clinton’s office were virtually identical” and that “Clinton hired roughly twice as many women as men.” The site took “no position” on whether the methodology used by the campaign was superior to that used by the conservative news site.

What Else We’re Reading

ThinkProgress’ Evan Popp explained that “while Clinton’s declared victory was historic and diversity within government positions has improved, experts say much more is needed before the U.S. government is truly representative of the people.”

Some Republicans are jumping ship after Trump commented on the “Mexican heritage” of the judge presiding over his Trump University case.

When asked about the possibility of another woman joining her ticket as potential vice president, Clinton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I’m looking at the most qualified people, and that includes women, of course, because I want to be sure that whoever I pick could be president immediately if something were to happen—that’s the most important qualification.” 

Though 70 percent of women view Trump unfavorably, Politico’s Daniel Lippman and Ben Schreckinger profiled some of the women who do support the presumptive Republican nominee.

“Libertarians are stepping up to the big time when it comes to fundraising from political action committees,” according to the Sunlight Foundation. Though big money typically doesn’t flow to the party during presidential elections, Gary Johnson’s presence in the race this year could change that.

Delete your account”: Clinton and Trump squared off on Twitter on Thursday.

California’s open primary system allows the top two Senate candidatesno matter the party they belong toto run in the state’s general election, and this time, two Democrats will face off.


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