Monday, March 20, 2006

Lest we forget: Bill O'Reilly and the "falafel thing."

While I'm sure it's over somewhere on, this New Yorker retrospective puts it in detached perspective:

O’Reilly is the most popular host on cable news; his average nightly audience is about two million people, while Larry King, on CNN, has an audience about half that size. O’Reilly is most successful in attracting attention when he feuds with other media figures, which happens, in part, because they attack him and he is not one to turn the other cheek. He has started a petition campaign calling on MSNBC to replace Keith Olbermann, one of its prime-time hosts, with, oddly, the paleo-liberal Phil Donahue; he recently threatened a caller to his radio show—someone who mentioned Olbermann’s name—with “a little visit” from “Fox security.” Olbermann has repeatedly conferred on O’Reilly the top place in a “Worst Person in the World” competition, and, probably more to the point, when discussing O’Reilly he often finds ways to work in the word “falafel.” That is a reference to a sexual-harassment suit that a former Fox News producer named Andrea Mackris filed against O’Reilly a couple of years ago. (The case was settled out of court, but not before it got extensive press attention.) Mackris produced what she said were quotes of O’Reilly on the phone discussing things that he imagined they might enjoy doing together. The most notorious of these was a scenario in which they would be in the shower and he would massage her with a loofah, a scrubby sponge—but then, as he went on talking, he slipped up and referred to it as “the falafel thing,” which is funny not only because the picture of smearing wet mashed chickpeas on someone’s body is profoundly unerotic but also because the mistake seems to be a peculiar by-product of O’Reilly’s suspicion of things non-American. That’s why, for O’Reilly, “falafel” is a fighting word...

And this guy thinks he's some kind of moralist? Falafel.

No comments: