Harvey Levin, who created and hosts “Celebrity Justice,” and with whom I happily worked at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles in the late ’80s, came on Countdown last night and said that the tapes are Mackris�s only leverage against O’Reilly, that the preliminary expenses of the twin law cases are hurting her, and that despite the report early in the week that the Fox side had made a two million dollar settlement offer to her, that O’Reilly had in fact offered twice that, weeks ago.
The two provisos on O’Reilly’s end: the tapes must be destroyed, and the settlement must include an automatic clause that if copies turn up at any point in the future, O’Reilly gets his hush money back.
I believe the Time-Life Record Library has a similar money-back guarantee.
I’ve testified in many sexual harassment cases in my days at ESPN and the process is still inevitably stacked against the accuser, so, I understand if she has to do what she has to. And, hell, when they took me off the air in 2001, I took $800,000 from Fox just to not say anything about what idiots they were – until the contract was over eight months later (I think I’ve done another $800,000 worth of damage to them since, because nowhere in the deal did it say I couldn’t start saying what idiots they were once the contract ran out – and they are idiots, by the way – there’s another $17 right there).
So from two viewpoints, I appreciate Ms. Mackris’s position. But I am speaking on behalf of history. I am pleading for the CD listeners as yet unborn. I am thinking of the boxed DVD sets and the orders from Amazon and the dance-mix versions of O’Reilly talking about loofas and falafels, counterpointed with his radio statement from this week: “I just made a decision that I’m just going to ride it out, and I’m going to fight them.”
Fight them. For four days. Yeah, like the Yankees fought the Red Sox.
But, as I said, I am not asking Andrea Mackris to do this alone. The NewsCorp smear machine, known by its colloquial title “The New York Post,” reports she’s exactly $99,000 in debt due to credit card bills and student loans (thus making her about $5,000 more in debt than the average 33-year old in television who has college and grad school loans). She’s selling the tapes and her case to O’Reilly to avoid financial calamity.
Well, if she’s going to get $4,000,000 out of it, I can’t match that.
But if she really wants to fight this, and only needs seed money to keep the legal challenge going, I’m willing to stand up and help her – and help history. I’ll pay off her $99,000 in debts. All I ask is a copy of the tapes, and her agreement not to make any deals requiring their destruction. She can settle with O’Reilly; she can sue him (with the tapes remaining in the public record) from now until 2027; she can date the guy.
Just save the tapes – that’s all I ask.
More power to you, Keith.