Bill O'Reilly Defends His War Reporting, Slams 'Liar'

Mother Jones critic responds with annotated rebuttal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2015 9:21 AM CST
Bill O'Reilly of Fox is defending his war reporting.   (Photo by Paul Morigi/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Bill O'Reilly aggressively defended his own war reporting last night, dismissing accusations that he embellished his work about the Falklands and El Salvador in the 1980s as a "political hit job" from a "far left zealot" and "liar." The Fox News host is referring to David Corn of Mother Jones, who posted a piece Thursday headliined, "Bill O'Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem," notes the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, Corn says O'Reilly has repeatedly stated that he reported from the Falklands while he was with CBS. Part of O'Reilly's response:

  • "Everything I’ve said about my reportorial career—everything—is true. Thirty-three years ago in June, Argentina surrendered to Great Britain, ending the Falklands War. I was covering the conflict from Argentina and Uruguay for CBS News. After learning of the surrender, angry mobs in Buenos Aires stormed the presidential palace—the Casa Rosada—trying to overthrow the government of General Leopoldo Galtieri. I was there on the street with my camera crews. The violence was horrific, as Argentine soldiers fired into the crowd, who were responding with violent acts of their own. My video of the combat led the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather that evening and, later on, I filed a report that ran nationwide. That’s what happened. I never said I was on the Falkland Islands, as Corn purports. I said I covered the Falklands War, which I did."

Corn begs to differ, citing examples including O'Reilly's own 2001 book in which he writes, "I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands." You can read the transcript of O'Reilly's remarks here, and Corn's annotated response here.

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