“[Civil] assault is an intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury upon a person, coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm, which creates a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or offensive contact in another. Assault does not require actual touching or bodily harm to the victim.”
Apparently Bill O’Reilly isn’t familiar with the fact that sending a couple of guys to stalk and ambush a young woman reporter, regardless of whether they physically accosted her, could get him sued … again.
O’Reilly or someone at Fox News sent O’Reilly’s producer and “helper” to stalk and intimidate Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress after she highlighted in a speech that O’Reilly had suggested that if a woman is dressed in a suggestive way, and becomes the victim of rape, she was asking for it.
To add insult to injury, take a look at the comments on this story over at Politico. I don’t know what’s scarier — the fact that Fox News thought its actions were legitimate “journalism” or the comments online of people who think stalking an O’Reilly critic deserved it:
“That is nothing compared to what Lunatic Lying Liberal Losers have done in times past. Too effing bad, [woman], how do you like it, you sleaze bag? I hope they continue to “ambush” you, you miserable cow.”
So do you think if a couple of guys you didn’t know stalked you on your weekend getaway and then ambushed you O’Reilly style, that you might think there was a threat of bodily harm? In my book, that’s a no brainer.
I’m sure O’Reilly will have something self-serving to say about this soon, though at the moment Fox isn’t commenting. But the bigger issue is the fact that men, both high profile and anonymous, continue to think it’s fair to intimidate a woman because she dares to publicly disagree with them. And as long as that’s the case, we’ll never be rid of the likes of Bill O’Reilly and it won’t be safe to speak our minds.