Speed Reads


Bill O'Reilly's advice to teenagers on sex and exploitation makes for a really awkward read today

In September 2004, Bill O'Reilly published an advice book for teens — The O'Reilly Factor for Kids — dealing with subjects like drugs, alcohol, smoking, and sex. A month later, Andrea Mackris, a 33-year-old O'Reilly Factor producer, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court, accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment in a complaint filled with lurid details about falafel, loofahs, and saltier subject matter; two weeks later, O'Reilly settled the suit for about $9 million. That lawsuit was part of the recent investigation by The New York Times, which found three other sexual harassment settlements and two more public complaints of sexual harassment.

O'Reilly, 67, whose continued tenure at Fox News is an open question, denies any wrongdoing and said he only settled to protect his children. But knowing the multiple allegations about him propositioning female subordinates and contributors and retaliating when they said no, his 2004 advice to teenagers on sex is pretty hairy.

"Did you think that O'Reilly would tell you sex is off-limits?" he asked his regular teenage viewers (on page 75). "As you know, things are more complicated than that. But I repeat my mantra: Sex is best when you combine sensible behavior with sincere affection." Smart people "recognize that there is no area more potentially dishonest than the sexual arena," he wrote, then dished out some advice for the women: "Girls, some guys will tell you anything to get that sex thing going. Then, after it's done, they will brutally drop you."

Still, it's O'Reilly's advice for young men that is most awkward, considering: "Guys, if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you. That's called 'karma.' And don't allow yourself to be exploited by a troubled partner who wants to brag about her sex life to her friends, either. Believe me, you will come out a loser in that scenario." Words to live by — maybe co-author Charles Flower wrote them.