They followed away from DC, into Virginia, across that state, and finally ambushed her on her vacation, in order to ask a bunch of frenzied, crackpotty question in an attempt to make her look fearful, agitated and incoherent on national teevee. They did this on behalf of another person in their employ, the thin-skinned shouty moron Bill O'Reilly.
Why did this happen? Well, Terkel was one of many people who pointed out the super-duper hypocrisy of O'Reilly appearing as a speaker before the It Happened To Alexa Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting victims of rape. This was absurd, because O'Reilly doesn't particularly seem to care for rape victims. Of one, O'Reilly famously said:
"Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, 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 two in the morning. She's walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she's out of her mind, drunk."
Such sensitivity, I know. But then what do you expect from a loofah wielding sex creep? By the way, if you want to ensure your O'Reilly ambush footage never makes it to air, simply repeat the phrase "loofah wielding sex creep" over and over again.
Interestingly, the complaints about O'Reilly did not begin, or end, with Terkel. As near as I can tell, O'Reilly's hypocrisy on rape victims was first noted by the Fox News watchdog site NewsHounds. Neither was Terkel the highest profile critic of O'Reilly on this regard. That honor would likely fall to Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, who hammered O'Reilly for days on the air. Somewhere between NewsHounds delivering the story and Olbermann repeatedly banging the outrage home, Terkel posted a brief item describing the matter on ThinkProgress. So, why was it Terkel that was singled out for stalking by the O'Reilly Factor? That's easy! Of all the people they could have possibly intimidated, Terkel was the smallest in stature and the most female. See, all of this is connected, back to the part where O'Reilly is a cowardly sex creep.
It's also connected to O'Reilly's extreme paranoia, which borders on camp. In this case, O'Reilly believes that Terkel is a part of a broad conspiracy, led by NBC News, to make him look foolish. After his broadcast of this addled ambush footage, O'Reilly intoned: "Well, Ms. Terkel is certainly a villain. She was obviously used by NBC News." Occam's Razor holds that what O'Reilly actually faces is not a conspiracy controlled by shadowy figures at NBC, but rather, the widespread belief that he is an uninformed, creepy, loudmouth - a belief that's taken root in the mainstream owing to such "O'Reilly factors" such as "the things O'Reilly does" and "the words that come out of O'Reilly's mouth" and "the creepy sex-loofah stuff, which skeeves people, massively."
If this ever happens to you, it's important to keep a few things in perspective. Last weekend, Terkel was enjoying a vacation, while O'Reilly's factotum, Jesse Watters, was crouched in a van with a cameraperson, stuck following a happier and more well-adjusted member of society across the state of Virginia. So, remember, when Jesse Watters runs up on you, you are about to be confronted by a loser. And if it turns out that you just don't have the time or inclination to speak to the Factor, just tell them that you are a homeless veteran. As it turns out, O'Reilly and all of his employees are terrified that they might one day come face to face with a homeless veteran.
I Was Followed, Harassed, And Ambushed By Bill O'Reilly's Producer [ThinkProgress]
Bill O'Reilly Knows What To Do To Uppity Women That Won't Shut Up [Jezebel]
A Lot Of Parents Like To Say I'm A Villain [Attackerman]
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON POST:
Paul Rieckhoff: O'Reilly Downplays Number of Homeless Veterans
Fox News, O'Reilly Offer Chilly Reception To Homeless Vets