O'Reilly on the radio: "We believe that the people behind this lawsuit are on the left"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On the October 13 edition of The Radio Factor, FOX News Channel host and radio host Bill O'Reilly remarked about lawsuits filed in connection with an allegation of sexual harassment against him:

O'REILLY: Okay, well, this is going to be an interesting day for me. You know we live in a treacherous world. Particularly those of us in the public eye. And I talked about this a little bit but not a lot over the past year or so, that we get lots of threats against me here at FOX News and Westwood One [syndicator of O'Reilly's radio show]. And most of the threats come in [a] physical manner, we're gonna kill him or hurt him or get his family or burn his house down, and -- you know, whatever. And the lawyers, FOX lawyers are very good and they handle those threats routinely. And we have a lotta security and things like that. They come in on a regular basis.

And then the other category of threats are basically -- we're gonna destroy your career. We're gonna say something bad about you to the press. We're gonna defame you. And you all know about the books and all of that, that have been out -- you know. And those threats have been intensifying over the last six months as we get stronger and stronger. And after the interview with the president and the story on 60 Minutes, they became a crescendo of, particularly in one area.

So today, unfortunately, I had to file a lawsuit in Nassau County, New York, against a Manhattan law firm and an attorney, and a woman who are trying to extort $60 million from me and FOX News. And I filed against these people. And I have no idea what they're gonna say about me, because I haven't been served with anything, and I don't know what -- I know who these people are, and they're not very nice people. But I don't know what it's gonna come down to. But I'm sure it's gonna be nasty. I mean, $60 million -- as far as I know I was never at the Neverland ranch with Michael Jackson, so we have to rule that out, right?

But Michael Jackson needs that kind of money. Sixty million bucks they want from me and FOX News for something that I allegedly did to somebody. Okay? Now, press is gonna run wild with it, we know that. All the people who hate me, and they are legion, will pile on and probably pony on up with the extortionists and, you know, drag me through the mud for the next month or so. I assume that will happen.

But comes a time when you have to just stand and say enough. All right? So the FOX News issued a press release this morning. I'll read you a little bit of it. And I can't talk about the case, but I will talk about a couple of other things that happened to me to put it in perspective for you. Because look, you're out there, you don't know me, you listen to me on radio and watch me on television, you don't know what kind of guy I am. I could be the worst guy in the world. I could do this and try to fool you -- you know, how do you know? So, I think I owe it to you, a little bit of an explanation, without going into any detail because I wouldn't do that anyway. This isn't a court. It'll be interesting to see if the justice system plays out now. Now that I'm on the inside of it. I've only been on the inside of the justice system one other time, and it was very frustrating. The case was won, we won the case, but that was a physical threat against my family and myself.

And I kept it quiet, kept it out of the papers, but you know, this is the reality of my life here. So anyway -- the press release reads this ...

"O'Reilly sues Manhattan attorney, his law firm and employee in extortion scheme. Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, filed suit today in Nassau County Supreme Court against a Manhattan attorney, his law firm and a FOX News employee for attempting to extort $60 million from Mr. O'Reilly," and then they go and name these people, which I'm not gonna do 'cause I don't care about them at all.

"The complaint filed by Mr. O'Reilly alleges that the lawyer and the person engaged in an extortion attempt by threatening to file a well-publicized lawsuit, and demanding an exorbitant financial settlement for hush money.

"The complaint describes the lawyer's demand that Mr. O'Reilly pay the pair nothing less than $60 million. In addition, the lawyer claimed he wanted to punish not only O'Reilly but FOX News." Okay?

"Mr. O'Reilly said, 'as a public figure I receive many threats. But enough's enough. The threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion." And if I do win damages in the case, I will donate 100 percent of them to charity. "In addition to extortion, O'Reilly has sued these people for intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful interference of contractual relations, alleging that their accusations threaten to impair his reputation and standing with the employers and the public." You know, 'cause that's a game. Sixty million dollars, come on, you know?

All right now, I gotta go through this, and obviously people close to me have to go through it, very, very discomforting. But I wanna give you one example of another thing that happened ... again, we didn't tell anybody about. But this gives you an idea of what's in play out here.

About a year ago there was a guy from the Midwest who was tracking down old friends of mine, college buddies, things like that -- old girlfriends, and he was offering them a cashier's check on the spot of $25,000 if they would sign an affidavit attesting to something that I had done, and he had like three or four choices. It was a multiple-choice affidavit. He did X, he did Y, he did Z. All right? If you sign, you get $25,000 on the spot. Now, FOX lawyers, we got tipped by friends calling me and saying this guy's doing this, here they are -- we've tracked 'em, we found 'em okay? And FOX lawyers took care of them.

But that's the kind of stuff that's goin' on. Why is it going on? That's the next question. It's going on because we have now become -- FOX News, and The Factor, and Westwood One, and all of that -- pretty much the most powerful voice in the country as far as public affairs are concerned because we combine a tremendous television audience with the radio audience, where a million people every second we're on the air, are listening to the radio program.

And you know it's funny, The New York Times wrote that even -- that Dan Rather had twice as many viewers than O'Reilly's presidential interview with Bush. That's just not true. You know, I mean, we had the same amount of viewers watching Dan Rather as watching that interview that day that we ran it, the first day.

But be that as it may, everybody knows the power of the books, the column, the radio, the television and they -- people who don't like me, and they come from primarily the left, all right? We believe that the people behind this lawsuit are on the left. But on the right, too, I mean, I get a lot of lunatic-fringe right people screaming and yelling. And they want to do anything they can to destroy the voice. They want us off the air. They want FOX off the air; they want O'Reilly off the air; and the other commentators they don't like.

And you can see this in a pattern of behavior where a Hollywood-funded documentaries [sic]; smear books from major publishing houses; elite media picking up this stuff and then running with it in a favorable way. I mean, there's a smear documentary out on FOX. And look -- if you do a search on how many good reviews that thing got? This is the "shut up" one, where they put together a bunch of me saying "shut up". And we did the research on this; I said "shut up" on the air, the last six years, six times.

Of course, they put all of those in and then they went out, you know, and tried to portray -- that's what they do. But there's big money behind this. Big, big money. And it's not an accident that this extortion attempt came three weeks before the election -- four weeks before the election. It's no accident -- this is not a coincidence.

So anyway, there we are. I can't really talk about it more specifically for legal reasons and because I really don't know much. I do expect that I will be, over the next week or so -- get the Rush Limbaugh treatment. I'll get it. They'll do whatever they wanna do and -- you know -- and then you gotta decide what you think is legit.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.