John Walker's Electronic House

The O’Really? Factor

by on Jul.10, 2006, under The Rest

The greatest thing on all television worldwide just now is Countdown W/ Keith Olbermann. (And no, it’s nothing to do with Channel 4’s Countdown). It’s an hour-long news programme on MSNBC – not a station famous for its quality news and balanced opinions, and while not Fox News, certainly rather wrapped up in those two rather troubling companies, MSN and NBC. However, there’s a diamond in the dungheap, and it’s Keith Olbermann.

Formerly a Sportscenter presenter, Olbermann has created a bubble of relief for anyone wanting a non-right-wing spin on the news. While the clip below is obviously not hard-hitting news, it’s the only national broadcast in America that gave any reasoned and investigative coverage into the recent Watergate Hotel scandals, and while “my producers are forcing me to cover” various celebrity stories toward the end, the first 2/3 are mostly dedicated to severe news stories covered from a cut-the-crap, who’s lying to us, perspective. It’s often accused of being left-wing, as things that tell the truth so often are. But the programme is willing to tell the truth about both sides of the corruption. Oddly enough, most of the corruption happens on the right, and the right’s currently in control of America, so they get the dominant coverage. Reasonably simple, but too much for your average Fox News viewer.

And also too much for your average Fox News presenter. Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor just so happens to air at the same time as Countdown, and Olbermann just so happens to rather enjoy pointing out when O’Reilly strays from “just the facts”. They’re always super-bitchy segments, but they’re always sheer joy. However, to receive the full level of glee, it’s important you know something about O’Reilly first. The sex scandal. The Smoking Gun’s coverage of the story is all you need.

“Hours after Bill O’Reilly accused her of a multimillion dollar shakedown attempt, a female Fox News producer fired back at the TV star today, filing a lawsuit claiming that he subjected her to repeated instances of sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his virginity, and sexual fantasies.”

There follows the complete transcript of Andrea Mackris’s complaint, all 22 pages of it, detailing the nature of the sexual harrassment she received from O’Reilly from 2002 to 2004. O’Reilly settled out of court for millions of dollars. He continues to promote his beliefs in family values every day on his programme.

The key passage for appreciating Olbermann’s references are on page 16, especially when she repeats word for word the (presumably recorded) phone conversation in which he told her his fantasy about her, during which she could hear him masturbating,

“You would basically be in the shower and then I would come in and I’d join you and you would have your back to me and I would take that little loofa thing and kinda’ soap up your back…

“…So anyway I’d be rubbing your big boobs and getting your nipples really hard, kinda’ kissing your neck from behind… and then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and I’d put it on your…” (I stop here out of decency – follow the link to find out where he puts it!)

And now enjoy:

And now, enjoy a lot less:

There are other places to keep tabs on O’Reilly’s ceaseless lying, like the fantastic Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O’Reilly, Intl, and for all things despicable in the American media, there’s the exceptional MediaMatters, which contains clips of the more horrifying moments.

Oh, and another thing. Every episode ends with Olbermann’s sign off. It’s partly familiar, and he deserves the words:

“That’s Countdown for this, the one thousandth, one hundred and fifty-fourth day since the declaration of Mission Accomplished in Iraq. I’m Keith Olbermann, good night, and good luck.”

1 Comment for this entry

  • Sarah

    Christ John, do you have any idea how devastating it is to be forced, even for a moment, to think of O’Reilly in a shower with or without anyone else? In a just world you’d have to atone for that, possibly by being made to read the sex scene from his novel a few times over.