Accusations of deceit aren't ending with Bill O'Reilly's Falklands War reporting or a JFK-linked suicide. Media Matters has turned up a new claim that O'Reilly lied about what he saw while covering civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. On Dec. 2, 1980, early in the war between the government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, members of the national guard raped and killed three American nuns and a layworker. O'Reilly said at least twice that he saw it happen. "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador," he said on his talk-radio program in 2005. On The O'Reilly Factor in 2012, he said he told his mom, "I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head." O'Reilly has also said he only arrived in the country in 1981.
In his book, The No Spin Zone, O'Reilly said he arrived in El Salvador "a few weeks" after he became a CBS News correspondent in 1981. On a 2002 episode of The O'Reilly Factor, he again said, "I went to El Salvador in 1981." In a 2009 interview on Hamptons TV, O'Reilly outright said he arrived "right after" the killings. Though a single nun, among others, was killed by government troops on Jan. 17, 1981, a religion professor says that after that, "no priests or nuns were killed in El Salvador for more than eight years." In a statement to Mediaite, O'Reilly says reporters were shown "horrendous images of violence" and "that's what I am referring to when I say 'I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head.'" A Fox News rep calls the accusations "nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far left advocates."