The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

21 September 2008

Bill O'Reilly Latest Target Of Anti-Palin Hackers


Vandals And Supporters Again Blame The Victims

Underscoring the amoral, anything-goes nature of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's political enemies, cable talker Bill O'Reilly has become the latest target of their destructive campaign. And once again, weak excuses have been cooked up to justify their illegal actions.

It began with last week's hacking of Palin's email account, with private messages splashed across the Internet, followed by a laughably twisted effort to blame the victim for their invasion of her privacy.

Federal authorities are still investigating, with the son of a Democratic Tennessee legislator emerging as a potential suspect.

Instead of condemning those who were responsible, the mainstream media focused on the content of the emails, hoping to bring down Palin.

But when O'Reilly criticized the hackers on his program, they turned against him, targeting his website in retaliation. Instead of damaging the host himself, however, they chose to attack his subscribers, making their personal information public.

Here's the O'Reilly Factor clip that angered the hackers:

Beyond their well-honed
hacking skills, it should be obvious to all that these guys aren't particularly bright. But the especially weak (and overtly partisan) justification given for the O'Reilly attack is breathtaking:

While this is a crime, it was done not to cause harm or embarrassment, but merely to prove whether or not Palin was using a private email account to conduct government business. But rather than look at the facts surrounding the hack, ultra-conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly just went for the jugular and verbally attacked not only the hackers themselves, but even the sites publishing the material on the Internet.


O’Reilly has now got his comeuppance as unnamed hackers have reacted by hacking in to his official website,, and obtained the names of premium subscribers. They not only managed to discover the names of these O’Reilly fans but also their addresses and passwords to the site.

All affected members of the site have been notified, and it has since been locked down to avoid any further incidents. But, as with the Palin hack, this virtual break-in wasn’t done for malicious reasons. No credit card details were stolen, and no harm was done to the website itself. The hackers seem to have hit O’Reilly just to prove the point. And I can’t say I blame them.

Clearly, there are a lot of angry (but not terribly intelligent) lefty basement-dwellers out there looking for targets. It's no different than the schoolyard bully who blames the children he's terrorized once caught and held accountable.

Computerworld believes this is the start of a partisan hacking war between liberals and conservatives:

Given the online animosity over Palin's email hack, Ferguson said the O'Reilly attack could be the next step in a "hacktivist" war between liberals and conservatives. "It'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out," he said.

So far, however, all of the vandals have been leftists. Where is the evidence that conservatives are planning their own response?

Right-leaning computer hackers, if any happen to actually exist, should not plan to retaliate. Why sink to their sick level?

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  • This is complete asshatery. Hacking actually has a legitimate societal function, but all that is lost as a result of these small-minded idiots.

    By Anonymous Host, at 21 September, 2008 23:58  

  • Water Gate anyone??

    Amazing. This HACK is crying about an individual hacking Palin's emial, while his party hasd been known for party sanctioned electoral headquarters break in
    and hacking intoh voter machines

    what a hypocrite

    By Anonymous REPUBLICANSANCTIONEDCRIMES, at 22 September, 2008 09:40  

  • MOP stop with the lies.

    Have a little class for a change.

    By Blogger pf1, at 23 September, 2008 01:27  

  • My understanding was that the kid was released after questioning...

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 24 September, 2008 01:05  

  • The case is proceeding. A federal grand jury in Chattanooga, Tenn., reportedly adjourned for the day without delivering an indictment in the hacking of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account. The grand jury heard testimony from three friends of University of Tennessee student David Kernell, according to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. The FBI will present their evidence today.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 24 September, 2008 09:49  

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