Bill O'Reilly speaks for rape foundation

The host is booked for a survivor's foundation: Anything inconsistent there?

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published February 23, 2010 1:24PM (EST)

When you think "rape survivor support," what's the first name to pop into your head? Is it Bill O'Reilly? You know, the guy who in 2006 said that a "moronic" 18-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted and murdered was "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 2 in the morning"?

Well, save the date and set aside six hundred dollars, ladies, because on March 26, the FOX jabber mouth will be the keynote speaker for an event for the It Happened to Alexa Foundation, an organization that helps provide travel expenses to rape survivors during their trials.

Why would such an organization pursue a speaker with O'Reilly's colorful history? It may have something to do with his friendship with Alexa board member Wendy Murphy, a Boston attorney best known for her punditing during the Duke rape trial

It's a return visit for O'Reilly, who spoke for the foundation last March as well. Back then, when ThinkProgress writer Amanda Terkel pointed out O'Reilly's seemingly inconsistent record with rape victims, the host responded by sending a producer to ambush her on the air and then referred to her on his show as a "loon" and "villain." In the same segment, he also huffed about "some propaganda from the hate group Media Matters that said I am unsympathetic to the plight of crime victims, a preposterous lie." Right, it's not like he'd ever suggest a child who'd been abducted and spent five years in captivity was having "fun."

If O'Reilly truly wants to use his fame to show support and raise money for crime victims on March 26, mazel tov. But maybe he should remember that doesn't give him a pass to be a bully the rest of the year.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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