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By Mike Hudson

It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for rabid right-wing Republicans.


First they found out that their icon Rush Limbaugh is a pathetic dope addict, that Matt Drudge is a self-loathing homosexual and that morality czar Bill Bennett's a degenerate gambler. All three made millions preaching to their idiot choir about the evils of drugs, sodomy and lack of self-control.

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Then the wingnuts discovered their fearless leader -- George W. Bush -- lied to them about weapons of mass destruction and the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in order to invade Iraq, a course of action that has thus far claimed the lives of 1,100 brave Americans.

And now they find that morality beacon Bill O'Reilly, the bullyboy of FOX News, is a pervert.

Andrea Mackris, 33, who worked as a producer on O'Reilly's show, filed suit in state Supreme Court last week charging him with sexual harassment. In an incredible 22-page complaint, Mackris details a litany of lewd charges involving phone sex, masturbation, vibrators, threesomes and other sexual fantasies.

For his part, O'Reilly filed a countersuit, accusing Mackris and her attorney of attempting to shake him down. I've read a lot of lawsuits over the past three decades and this one reads more like a press release. In fact, it's the most poorly written lawsuit I've read since O'Reilly and FOX sued the comedian Al Franken for using the words "fair and balanced" in the title of a book that made fun of O'Reilly.

And that suit was thrown out of court by a judge who was literally laughing.

Mackris' complaint, which you can read online at www.thesmokinggun.com, contains extensive quotations that would strongly indicate she taped O' Reilly at his rudest and crudest. He is, apparently, what working girls refer to as a "phone freak." That is, he gets his kinky kicks out of talking dirty to women on the telephone.

Far be it from me to criticize anyone's idea of a good time, but O'Reilly's holier-than-thou attitude, expressed ad nauseam on television and radio as well as in best-selling books and a syndicated newspaper column, begs a closer inspection.

The extent of O'Reilly's obsession with Bill Clinton's sex life can be indicated by a quick Google search. Type in the words "O'Reilly + Clinton + sex" and you'll find 25,900 hits. He's devoted whole programs to the alleged sexual misconduct of singer R. Kelly. And when Janet Jackson's partly covered right breast was flashed on screen for a nanosecond during this year's Super Bowl, O'Reilly flew into a rage and ranted on endlessly about the decline of Western Civilization.

All the while getting his jollies calling up a defenseless young woman, who was dependent on him for her livelihood, and talking in language so obscene I can't reprint it here.

And O'Reilly didn't just harass, he threatened her. Bizarrely, he invoked the name of Franken in one of his lurid fantasies.

"If you cross FOX News Channel, it's not just me, it's (FOX President) Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming," he reportedly said. "Look at Al Franken. One day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

While I've always thought of FOX News as some sort of organized crime, I didn't know that it was that sort of organized crime.

Like all the other right-wing phonies, O'Reilly is an outspoken advocate of what Republicans like to call "family values." And the suckers eat it up. As of this writing, he hasn't denied any of the charges Mackris made in her complaint, although, in a demonstration of colossal egotism, he has claimed he's the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.

The gullibility of a large portion of the American electorate is troublesome. A lot of people in this country take liars like O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Drudge at their word and about half are ready to go out and vote for the coward and moron Bush in two weeks.

"You'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public," George S. Kaufman once cracked wise.

I never believed it before. But looking around lately, I'm not too sure.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Oct. 19 2004