The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Bill O’Reilly Bans the Press From His Values Voter Speech

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 09/19/2009 05:09
William Willis

When reporters walked up to the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel to see Bill O’Reilly’s Friday night speech — he was receiving the “Media Courage Award” — we were told, to our surprise, that no members of the media would be allowed in. Word had leaked out that no non-Fox News cameras would be allowed in, but there had been no indication that no reporters could attend even if they left their recording equipment and notebooks outside.

I was one of about a dozen reporters who huddled outside the room for a few minutes immediately after the speech was supposed to start. Security guards, pictured after the jump, ushered us further and further away from the door–we could hear brief bits of O’Reilly’s speech when the doors would swing open. At around 7:10, we heard a loud clatter and the doors blasted open, as Mike Stark, a Huffington Post liberal blogger [UPDATE: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Stark, formerly employed by FireDogLake, still worked for that site], was hauled out by multiple security guards.

“I have a right to be here!” shouted Stark, as he was forced into the stairwell leading outside the hotel. Speaking the next morning, emcee Gil Mertz mocked Stark (not by name) as a “representative from don’”

The blocked ballroom door.


The belated warning to the press, which was posted in the press room during the speech.


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William Willis | William Willis is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. William worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career. William is a strong force in the workplace, inspiring others to work hard and excel with her optimistic attitude and boundless energy. He enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing video games with her grandchildren in her spare time.


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