T Nation

The Bill O'Reilly Police ! HAHA!


Summary: On MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann devoted an entire segment to responding to Bill O'Reilly's threat to turn over to "Fox security" the personal information of a caller to O'Reilly's radio show because the caller mentioned Olbermann's name. Olbermann commented: "Bill thinks he has his own police."



the guy must have said something in the delay that was cut. and why was the legal advisor's comments cut too? O'reilly is full of himself but who's to say what was said in that delay. not us.


why do you think he "must have said something" ? and even if he did ...it's a frickn call in show !!!

turns out what susan filan, former connecticut state prosecuter, said was the harassment is o'reilly's.


KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, ?COUNTDOWN?: I've done call-in radio off and on since 1975. I thought I knew this thing pretty well. The caller can only get into trouble if he threatens a violent or illegal act, right?

SUSAN FILAN, FORMER CONNECTICUT STATE PROSECUTOR: The only person that's going to get in trouble here is Bill O'Reilly. He's lost the plot entirely. To think that you can commandeer local law enforcement to be your personal henchman because you don't like something a caller said on the air is absolutely outrageous and absurd. It's an abuse of the media, it's an abuse of law enforcement, and he's now the one engaging in threatening behavior. You can't do that. He's crossed the line.

What did the caller say that's obscene, ?Keith Olbermann?? I don't think so.

OLBERMANN: The people behind this and, as much as I'd like to claim I'm behind this, I'm not. I'm not as smart as Howard Stern is. But the people behind this say that one of their callers, Spinners, they call themselves, actually got calls today from somebody identifying himself as a former New York City policeman who is now director of FOX News security, who advised that organizer that if you call anyone to often in this circumstance, you can be charged with harassment.

Is that a scare tactic or is there anything to that particular claim, the idea of harassment?

FILAN: I think that's a scare tactic. Because what is too often? If one called and said every single day, ?I love you, I love you? and he likes your message, is that too often? Is it only too often when he doesn't like what you're saying?

The harassment here is coming from Bill?Bill O'Reilly to that caller. The caller calling up and saying your name on the air, how is that harassment? It's a public radio show. He's inviting people to call in. That person has a First Amendment right to say your name on the air, and Bill O'Reilly doesn't have the First Amendment right to threaten a visit from law enforcement, as if this person has committed some kind of criminal behavior. Bill O'Reilly has crossed the line and lost the plot.

OLBERMANN: Well, he has a long history of trouble when it comes to phones, but that's another story entirely.

Is there a scenario with a call-in show, if you're obscene, if you're actually personally threatening the host and you've called in a number of times? Is some line you can cross when you're being asked to call in to a radio show to be a participant?

FILAN: Of course. One's First Amendment right ends where somebody else's nose begins. You can say what you want to say, but you can't use threatening behavior. You can't say, ?I'm going to kill you.? If something like that is said on the air, that's clearly a threat. That's more than harassment. There can be an on-air stalker.

But can you really tell me that calling into the Bill O'Reilly show and using the name Keith Olbermann is harassment, is stalking, is crossing the line, incites violence, is obscene or foul or illegal? I can't understand it.

And for a host to threaten the power of the media, FOX News security force, to call local law enforcement, to knock on your door and say, ?Hey, buddy, you're in trouble, because you said Keith Olbermann's name on my show? is patently absurd. And the only one that's going to get in trouble on this one is Bill O'Reilly.

OLBERMANN: Now, to be fair, when I was at FOX Sports, I had a stalker, constant phone calls. There were trips, attempts to get into the studio. To their credit and with my everlasting thanks, they had a team in place to deal with this and they dealt with it very effectively. They dealt with it legally. They dealt with it even physically to intervene.

They get a lot of training because Rupert Murdock owns them, and he gets, like, a death threat a day. So that's one thing where aggressive attitudes towards potential stalkers or people who are genuine threats is applicable.

But now let's flip this thing on its head here. You mentioned Bill O'Reilly threatening a caller on the air or this director of FOX News security phoning a caller at home or at work and saying, you know, ?You'll be getting a little visit.?

Is there seriously a potential legal risk here? I mean, could Bill O'Reilly, could FOX News be charged with harassment of some sort?

Related content

* Read Keith's blog: 'Bloggermann'
* 'Countdown' homepage

FILAN: Well, I think that this has to be investigated. I think if Bill O'Reilly, in fact, made that threat on the air and, in fact, followed it up with someone from FOX security and, in fact, local law enforcement was called, I think that has to be investigated. Because that is an abuse of Bill O'Reilly's power.

And it's an attempt, literally, to commandeer local law enforcement to be his personal henchmen, so that he can be the censor, the arbiter of what's allowed to be said on his show. How can it be illegal, how can it be a crime to say ?Keith Olbermann? on the Bill O'Reilly show?

OLBERMANN: Well, you'd have to know him. Former Connecticut prosecutor Susan Filan, great thanks.

FILAN: It's a pleasure.


I agree that what was stated seems to have been cut, however, it is a radio show. It seems like he is pissed that anyone disagrees with him on the air. Either way, this is minor bullshit considering I am sure the man gets hate mail much worse than what was possibly stated on that show. I do find it funny that he acts as if Fox "police" will be tracking down callers and trying to get them arrested for public statement on a call in radio show. I think the whole thing is retarded.


i think it's completely hilarious. especially the fact that "fox security" has actually been contacting callers ! olbermann had the original caller, who is a teacher in florida, on his show last night. he was contacted by fox, as were others who called and used olbermann's name !

apparently there's a killer feud going between olbermann and o'reilly. o'reilly has a petition going to have olbermann replaced by phil donohue. olbermann repeatedly names o'reilly in his nightly " worst person in the world " segment.

i'm hooked. this is the best thing since shaq and kobe.


I find both O'Reilly and Olbermen to be pompous asses. Can't stand either of them.


Someone could not have said something threatening because it's a "frickin call in show?"

Oh....wait...I get it...this is a pounce on O'Reilly post.

Okay...well in that case. Yea that O'Reilly is ...well he's such an ass.

(There did I do it right?)


haha ! yes zeb, your eloquent condescension is right up there with jacob's ladder.


LOL...(takes a bow)