Young Bill O'Reilly Was an Expert In Porn

Long before Bill O'Reilly was a blowhard conservative commentator, he was a contributor to the Boston Phoenix, an alternative-weekly newspaper. One of his assignments: A profile of porn director Gerard Damiano, of Deepthroat fame. What would the "culture warriors" think!?

In April 1974, a young Bill O'Reilly, fresh out of Boston University, was sent by the Phoenix to cover a screening of Damiano's latest highbrow sex flick, The Devil In Miss Jones. But not, as you might expect, to denounce it. He wanted to understand it.

The profile, "The Devil Behind 'The Devil in Miss Jones'" is about as dull as you can make an article about a porn director. But it includes a few promising bits. When O'Reilly spots Damiano at the screening, he describes him as "exactly what you would expect a pornographer to look like. His hair is a neatly coiffed graying pompadour and his lecherous smile seems to be saying: 'Candy, little girl?'" At another point, O'Reilly refers to Damiano as the "High Priest of porno-chic". (Bill O'Reilly: Tom Wolfe fanboy?)

After the film, O'Reilly takes Damiano out for sandwiches and grills him about his craft. He tells O'Reilly of Deepthroat Star Linda Lovelace:

She just had one unique quality of being the most sensually turned on person I have ever met. She had this innocence. No matter what she did she came across as not being dirty. She doesn't have this quality anymore.

Apparently, Bill O'Reilly had interviewed Lovelace for another article. He writes: "In an interview with Linda Lovelace last November the performer told me that she was an afterthought for the lead in Deep Throat." (Where is this interview? We want it, now.)

So, there you go. Bill O'Reilly wasn't always a right-wing demagogue and champion of traditional values. Once he was just a young naif with a deep knowledge of sex films, a cub journalist working the edges of the "porno-chic" moment. [Boston Phoenix]

[Photo by Getty]