Friday, October 15, 2004

Faux Disclosure

Update: "That's just the Post - I don't expect any better."

Ok, does anyone else see a problem with a newspaper writing a page 3 story trashing one party to a lawsuit and not disclosing that the newspaper is OWNED by the other party to the lawsuit? Because that's exactly what happened today in the New York Post, which of course is owned by News Corporation, the Murdoch media giant named in the O'Reilly sexual harrassment lawsuit.
--
NEW YORK POST
FLIPPING OUT

by Todd Venezia

October 15, 2004
-- The woman accusing Bill O'Reilly of sex harassment threw a hissy fit inside a tony Midtown hotel bar last week and then sneered to onlookers that she works for "The O'Reilly Factor," a Manhattan chef told The Post yesterday.

"She literally verbally attacked and abused and harassed us at The Peninsula hotel, like a raving lunatic," said Bethenny Frankel, a chef and owner of a cookie-making company. "It was very strange."

The altercation allegedly started when Frankel asked Andrea Mackris if she could borrow two chairs from a four-person table where the TV producer was having a drink with her handicapped mother.

Frankel and a friend who witnessed the debacle last Friday say Mackris refused to yield a chair and became abusive, leading to an angry altercation.

"I said, 'Can we have those chairs?' " Frankel said. "She started flipping out . . . she was like 'There's something wrong with you, why can't I sit here with my mother?' So I said to her, 'What are you so upset about?' And all of a sudden she said: 'Do you know who I am? I work at the O'Reilly report.' "

Izzy Goldreich, an attorney and consultant who was part of Frankel's party, couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"Before you knew it, this woman got simply irate. It just became like women's wrestling hour," he said. "This woman was more or less in Bethenny's face."

Mackris' attorney, Benedict Morelli, confirmed that Mackris was at the hotel having a drink with her mother, who he said has MS and walks with a cane. But he said Frankel escalated the incident.

"They came in and they wanted the chairs because they had a large party, and Ms. Mackris said why don't you wait until the maitre d' comes over because you need more than one chair and you can get a group of chairs [from him], and this woman started to really insult her and bad-mouth her and act inappropriately.

After the initial confrontation, Mackris turned to the management of the hotel, who Morelli said booted Frankel and her party.

Frankel said she and her group were asked to leave. She said it was only because Mackris raised such a fuss that flustered bar workers asked them to go so things would calm down.

Morelli said the bar management, which could not be reached for comment, gave Mackris a box of truffles to smooth over the incident.

But Frankel said Mackris kept the anger flowing by following them to the elevator and berating them.

"So as we're leaving, and she comes flying at me at the elevator, and is like, see you're leaving and I'm staying," Frankel said.

Mackris filed a lawsuit Wednesday, accusing the Fox News Channel host of making lewd passes at her as she worked for him. O'Reilly has filed a countersuit accusing Frankel of blackmailing him with the threat of the suit.

On TV talk shows yesterday, Mackris and O'Reilly attacked each other.

On "Good Morning America," Mackris said O'Reilly "pushed boundaries further and further." While on "Live with Regis and Kelly," O'Reilly denied the charges and said, "This is the worst day of my life."

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