From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
O'Reilly lied about Outfoxed

August 8, 2004 4:46 PM

On Tim Russert's show yesterday, O'Reilly singled out one instance in "that stupid thing" (otherwise known as Outfoxed) of "a hundred" he could have given us, but didn't because he "didn't want to waste" our time.

He cited the instance in the shut-up medley where he was "interviewing" Derek Henkle, the gay student who "got in some trouble." He claimed he said: "Why don't you just shut up about your sex life." and that it was edited in Outfoxed to just be "Why don't you just shut up."


The entire line was "I'm asking you to shut up about sex," and we included the full thing.

Below is the full transcript, see it for yourself, in context and everything. And compare it to the Outfoxed transcript, page 17.

O'Reilly Factor, "Back of the Book" segment w/Derek Henkle
9/23/2002, FOX News Network

O'REILLY: In the "Back of the Book" Segment tonight, as a former high schoolteacher, I can tell you that sometimes the teasing and hazing can get pretty brutal, especially when a teenager is known to be gay.

And so it was for Derek Henkle at three different high schools near Reno, Nevada. But Derek fought back, filed a lawsuit and said teachers and administrators failed to protect him from beatings and other harassment, and the school district settled giving Derek $451,000.

He joins us now from San Francisco.

All right. So you're going next September to American University in Washington, D.C. And, right now, you're basically just hanging around, cleaning up the lawsuit, right?

DEREK HENKLE, SUED SCHOOL FOR HARASSMENT: Yes, we're doing a lot of work to make sure that people know about this so that what happens to me doesn't happen to other kids in schools across the country.

O'REILLY: All right. I want to walk through this. How many kids know -- in the high school know you were gay?

HENKLE: Well, you know, there was a lot of harassment prior to me coming out of closet, but my administrators did something about that.

And then, when I came out of the closet on my -- in my sophomore year, it became really clear that my administrators weren't going to stand up and protect me. And, when I came out of closet, it spread like wildfire through the campus...

O'REILLY: Sure. And I...

HENKLE: ... like any good rumor.

O'REILLY: And I have to tell you, Mr. Henkle, I mean, we don't want any American ever to be tortured or harassed by anyone, but I am going to say again: Do not define your sexuality out there, you guys or girls listening, in any way. It's not going to be good for you. Now...

HENKLE: Well, you know -- and...

O'REILLY: Well, you can...

HENKLE: Bill, if I could say...

O'REILLY: You can...

HENKLE: I think...

O'REILLY: Let's get your story, and then we can debate the point.

HENKLE: All right.

O'REILLY: All right. So, before you announced that you were gay, people were bothering you, teasing you for what reason? Do you -- are you effeminate in your mannerisms?

HENKLE: Well, you know, I think that kids saw me as effeminate. They didn't see me as a traditional male, and that's where the stuff started. It started at words. It started at "Sissy" and...

O'REILLY: Sure. And that happens to almost every boy that's effeminate, even if he isn't gay.

HENKLE: That's correct. I think this...

O'REILLY: Right. You'll be called a fag or...

HENKLE: ... problem is based on perceived...

O'REILLY: ... one of these other pejorative names.

HENKLE: ... or actual sexual orientation.

O'REILLY: All right. Now did that offend you? Did that hurt you, devastate you? Because all of us are teased to some extent. Some worse than others, obviously.

HENKLE: Yes. Everyone's teased to some extent, but I think what's really clear is that gay kids in this country are going to school, and they're going to school in fear. That was my circumstance as well.

According to GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian. Straight Education Network, 83 percent of kids in this country -- of gay kids in this country are going to school and hearing epithets up to 20 times a day. Forty-three percent of those kids are actually physically attacked on their campuses.

The Massachusetts...

O'REILLY: Now you -- were you physically attacked? Did somebody punch you or do anything about it?

HENKLE: Yes. I was horribly attacked. I was in the middle of my high school parking lot in one attack where a group of kids surrounded me, took out a lasso, and said, "Let's string up the fag and tie him to the back of our truck and drag him down"...

O'REILLY: What did the principal do about that?

HENKLE: Absolutely nothing. It took them an hour and 45 minutes to respond, once I was able to escape the students and get into the safety of -- or what should have been the safety of a classroom.

And then after an hour and 45 minutes, when the vice principal got there, she laughed because I was so hysterical that I couldn't recount what had happened to me because I was, you know, really worked up. I said, "They tried to"...

O'REILLY: Did they put the rope around your...

HENKLE: ... "throw a neck around my rope."

O'REILLY: Did they actually put the rope...

HENKLE: Yes, they got the neck around my -- or they got the rope around my neck.

O'REILLY: Did they? all right.

HENKLE: And that wasn't the only attack that I faced. I faced...

O'REILLY: No, I -- look...

HENKLE: ... an attack at...

O'REILLY: Look, you don't have to convince me.

HENKLE: ... a third school in front of the school police officer.

O'REILLY: Hey, Mr. Henkle, you don't have to convince me. I know what you went through. I taught high school. I saw what they did. It's awful, all right?

HENKLE: It is.

O'REILLY: And you did the right thing. You filed a lawsuit. You did the right thing.

Now, let's get back to the closet deal. You knew -- you knew that once you pronounced yourself gay that it wasn't going to go down, you were going to get a lot of flak. Why was the point? Why did you do it?

HENKLE: Well, you know, I think that asking a student to stay in a closet in order to go to school is a lot like...

O'REILLY: I'm asking you to shut up about sex.

HENKLE: ... asking an African-American...

O'REILLY: No, no, no, no.

HENKLE: ... student to paint their skin white in order to go to school.


HENKLE: And, Bill, I really...

O'REILLY: That's an invalid comparison.

HENKLE: It's not about sex. It's -- and it's not about sex.

O'REILLY: Mr. Henkle, listen to me for a minute.

HENKLE: I wasn't talking about sex on my school campus.

O'REILLY: Sure you are.

HENKLE: What I was saying -- no, I wasn't. I was saying...

O'REILLY: You're saying you're gay.

HENKLE: ... I was gay, which is...

O'REILLY: You're talking about sex.

HENKLE: No. There's a difference, I think, between identity and talking about sex, and I wasn't talking about sex. What I was saying is that...

O'REILLY: You defined yourself in a sexual way which heterosexuals...

HENKLE: Well...

O'REILLY: Look, anybody who does...

HENKLE: And, you know, heterosexuals -- that's a good point, actually. Heterosexual students have the opportunity every day to define themselves as heterosexual because it's accepted in our society. Kids kissing in the school by the lockers -- and I'm not saying the...

O'REILLY: Here. Let me show you where you're wrong. If there's a girl in your high school who says, "I'm a heterosexual, and I sleep around," she's a slut, she's going to get it, and you know it.

All American kids should not do what you did, I am telling you. Now that doesn't justify what they did to you. I'm glad you won the money, and I'm glad you did what you did.

But I'm telling you...

HENKLE: But the issue of...

O'REILLY: If kids are watching today, do not talk about your sex life because you don't want to go through that.

HENKLE: Well, I think that that's horrible, and I think that that's what really -- we are -- 3,000 kids in this country -- according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender kids kill themselves, and one of the reasons that they're killing themselves is because they're being told that their lives are worth nothing.

And, when they come out on their high school campuses and when they affirm identity and when they take steps to develop a positive self- identity...

O'REILLY: It gets worse.

HENKLE: ,.. it gets...

O'REILLY: It gets...

HENKLE: Well, it gets worse when the administrators don't do anything...

O'REILLY: ... because you're never going to be accepted, Mr. Henkle.

HENKLE: Well, I think if we approach it...

O'REILLY: If you think you are, you're wrong. You will never...

HENKLE: Mr. O'Reilly, I think that, if we approach it with that attitude of no one's ever going to be accepted, that that probably will be the case. But if we embrace our kids, if we really leave no child behind in this country and if we do...

O'REILLY: You're living in the land of oz, Mr. Henkle.

HENKLE: ... the things that we need to do in order...

O'REILLY: OK. We appreciate it. We respect your opinion.

HENKLE: And it's the law.

O'REILLY: I've got to go. I've got to go.

HENKLE: The First Amendment allows kids to be out.

O'REILLY: I've got to go. All right.

HENKLE: Thanks so much.


We'll wrap things up with "Most Ridiculous Item" and some of your mail.

More from the archive in Lies and Deceit, Outfoxed.

O'Reilly lied about Outfoxed (08.08.2004)

Next Entry: Outfoxed: "the movie that bit back at Murdoch's TV station" (08.08.2004)
Previous Entry: Krugman vs. O'Reilly -- watch the video (08.08.2004)

Read the 7 comments.


You seem to misunderstand the point that O'reilly was trying to get across. He was not telling his guest to shut up, he was merely trying to point out that the guest does not need to make such a big deal about his sexuality when he knows it will aggrivate the situation. O'reilly was trying to show that the video was attempting to push a point with examples that are misleading.

Mon Aug 9 2004 9:04 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Then he could have made that point. Instead he chose to say that we clipped his sentence when we not only didn't do that, we provided sentences on either end from the interviewee to provide context.

And if you think it is unfair to call O'Reilly out on his claim of only having "used the shut-up line once in six years," then see Slate's list of 30 times he's said it -- on camera.

Mon Aug 9 2004 9:13 PM


There's no doubt O'Reilly is a train wreck. I find myself watching more and more as pure entertainment but he's just Wally George with a bigger antenna. He'll blow up and do something SO outrageous that it won't be ignored. The guy is clearly a psycho. I liken it to smoking and LaToya Jackson. Many people smoke. Many people buy LaToya Jackson records. Many people watch Bill O'Reilly.

Tue Aug 10 2004 12:46 AM

Michael Moore:

Bozell spanks it best:

"A classic example of the film’s inanity is an incredibly silly attack on Bill O’Reilly because he said he almost never said “shut up” to guests. Greenwald goes about disproving this trite little point, but after finding an example or two, he ruins it all by gratuitously adding clips where O’Reilly used the words “shut up” in commentaries, or in questions where he wasn’t telling a guest to shut up, but asking the guest if someone else should shut up. Now he’s not making a point. He’s un-making it.

And do we really need to point out that O’Reilly isn’t a reporter, and therefore has nothing to do with the news product of Fox?"

Tue Aug 10 2004 9:05 AM

Mack w.:

O'liely is a huge fake, he would not know the truth if it bit him in the arse. The entire FAUX NEWS, bunch are just a group of losers who have found a much larger group of haters to spread their ilk.
Ten years from now no one will even remember Bill, who.
Sex perverts should not be allowed to litter prime time with their lies.

Thu Dec 16 2004 2:23 PM


I don't understand how the whole of Fox News' audience can ignore where O'Reilly is blatantly going against ethical customs. Whether he said shut up in this context in a negative way or not, the fact stands that he has said it before and he will more than likely say it again. Why is this man allowed to influence an entire country with his lies and his disgusting contempt for the truth?

Sun Mar 18 2007 7:13 AM


I just want to say that OUTFOXED was one of the best documentaries I've seen. Very informative. This really should be turned into a drama/action show and played in theatres across the country to get more attention.

It's sad that most people won't listen unless it's for entertainment.

Tue Jun 19 2007 9:05 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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