NBC News and Far Left Hurt Rape Victim and Her Family

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, "Reality Check," this evening a story about good and evil that you should know about.

In 1999, Alexa Branchini was a freshman at Boston University, on campus just two weeks when she was brutally raped in a dormitory. Abdel Akouk, a Moroccan citizen working outside of Boston, was arrested and subsequently convicted of the crime. He's now serving 40 years in prison.

But to get that conviction, Alexa and her family went through hell, as defense attorneys delayed and used terrible tactics on Alexa, trying to prove the rape was consensual. But the young woman and her family persevered, even though the ordeal cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

Click here to watch the video.

So after it was all over, the Branchinis started the "It Happened to Alexa Foundation," where they raise money to help other victims of rape and their family survive the court system and get counseling. Alexa herself is working on achieving a Ph.D. in criminology. The family is turning their suffering into help for others.

Now a few months ago, I was asked to headline a benefit for Alexa's Foundation. Of course I said yes. The event last week in Palm Beach, Florida, was a big success. The elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel was terrific, the generous crowd the best. We all admire Alexa's courage.

Now for the evil part. Last month, after the charitable event was announced, a bunch of far-left loons picked up some propaganda from the hate group Media Matters that said I am unsympathetic to the plight of crime victims, a preposterous lie. Along with "America's Most Wanted," "The Factor" has done more for the victims of crime in America than any other television program on the air.

The loons pointed to a "Radio Factor" episode from three years ago. We've posted the entire commentary on BillOReilly.com.

Elements at NBC News then encouraged the loons to protest the Alexa Foundation, causing Alexa and her family major grief. Perhaps the worst garbage came from the far-left group Center for American Progress, headed by John Podesta. A woman named Amanda Terkel led that charge.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: You wrote a blog about Bill O'Reilly going to speak for this great function, this charity group. And you attacked him personally, and you attacked the foundation, and you brought a lot of pain and suffering to this group. What's your reaction?

AMANDA TERKEL, FAR-LEFT BLOGGER: What I remember writing was highlighting a comment that Bill O'Reilly had said, and that's what I remember doing. I don't remember attacking the foundation.

WATTERS: What did Bill O'Reilly say?

TERKEL: I can't remember exactly what he had said, because it was a while ago. But I remember it was something having to do with he had talked about a rape victim in a derogatory way that seemed to place the blame for the rape on the victim.

WATTERS: Did you actually ever hear "The Radio Factor" segment in question?


WATTERS: You did hear it?

TERKEL: There's audio online.

WATTERS: So what was the Mel Gibson component to Bill's analysis?

TERKEL: I don't believe I highlighted the Mel Gibson component.

WATTERS: Do you know what the Mel Gibson component was?


WATTERS: Why not?

TERKEL: Because I didn't highlight it.

WATTERS: Because you didn't hear it, did you? Because you're just dishonest.

TERKEL: I listened to the portion that I highlighted.

WATTERS: You didn't hear the entire thing. You don't know the context, and you owe everybody an apology, because you brought a lot of pain and suffering to this rape victim and this foundation and her family.


O'REILLY: Well, Miss Terkel is certainly a villain. She was obviously used by NBC News, and that brings us to the man behind the curtain.

For years, NBC president Jeff Zucker has been paying character assassins to lie and distort the truth under the banner of NBC News. Zucker is the guy who hires the hate, the executive who allows NBC's airwaves to harm innocent people. With NBC's programming a disaster, he is almost single-handedly ruining a once-great brand.

By the way, Zucker's direct boss is our old pal, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of the failing General Electric Corporation and great patron of Iran.

And so we have a brave young woman and her fine family subjected to pain imposed by the likes of Jeff Zucker. In white-collar circles, it doesn't get much more evil than that.

And that's "Reality Check."

Joining us now from Boston, crime victim advocate Wendy Murphy, who knows the Branchini family very well. So how are they doing, Wendy?

WENDY MURPHY, CRIME VICTIM ADVOCATE: Well, you know, Bill, after you were there last week, they're obviously so pleased with the great success. But I'll tell you, before then and during this nutty protest, they were suffering, and I mean all of them, including, most importantly, Alexa.

She had been working — I don't know if you know this — she had been working in the court system as an advocate for troubled kids, juveniles having a tough time. And she was so distraught by this petty protest nonsense, she literally had to quit her job.

So not only did they hurt her — I mean, she couldn't eat or sleep. She's still struggling. She's so upset about this protest. People shaming her? All she's ever done since being brutally raped at knifepoint is try to heal and help others. And for that she gets attacked? They tell her she should be ashamed? Are you kidding me?

But it not only hurt her, because she had to quit her job, Bill. All those kids she was working with, poor disadvantaged kids, are now without Alexa's advocacy. You know, it is heart-breaking. This family has done nothing but help people and try to help their child heal for 10 years.

O'REILLY: Now, you've been working with them for quite some time.

MURPHY: This protest — since the beginning. Since the beginning.

O'REILLY: Right. Because you're a Boston person. This happened at Boston U. And you have helped them as you've helped hundreds of other people in this effort. When you saw NBC News, because that was the primary driver of this thing, this woman, this unfortunate woman that we had to confront, she is attached to this Podesta Web site, this far-left crazy Web site. And she did some damage. But she never would have done it if not egged on by NBC. So how do you process that?

MURPHY: You know, I don't know. Because you're absolutely right. There was some, a kind of a push button protest thing where you just automatically send an e-mail.


MURPHY: This family had never been through anything like this. How do you explain to them that hateful e-mail should just be ignored? I mean, to you and I who have been in this business for a long time, maybe we can deal with it. They were — and they still are suffering. They are so distraught. And they're still trying to recover, because they don't understand how anyone can hate what they do. Bill, they don't help just certain types of people. They don't ask when you need help. They don't say, "Well, what party are you affiliated with? Are you left wing or right wing?"

O'REILLY: No, they don't. All right.

MURPHY: They say only — they say one thing. They say, "How can we help you?" Which, by the way, Bill, is exactly what you said to me when I asked you to get involved.

O'REILLY: We raised a lot of money. And if people want to give more money to "It Happened to Alexa," the foundation, go to BillOReilly.com. We'll have a link over there for you. Wendy, thanks for your good work. We appreciate it.

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