Bill O’Reilly Has Been Brian Williams-ing For Decades

After Brian Williams’ (completely justified) fall from grace, Bill O’Reilly actually said something smart by suggesting people should start questioning other “news distortions.” And so Mother Jones did exactly that by digging up Bill’s repeated assertion over the decades that he was “on the ground” during the Falklands War. A claim he once used to shout down a retired air force colonel in 1999:

On his television show in 1999, O’Reilly responded to a letter from a retired Air Force colonel, who said he had flown 123 missions over Vietnam and who criticized O’Reilly for supporting military action in Kosovo, by citing his Falklands war days: “Hey, Colonel, did you ever have a hostile point an M-16 at your head from 10 yards away? That happened to me while I was covering the Falklands war.”

Except Bill O’Reilly’s own book and accounts from other journalists and CBS producers put him nowhere near the combat during the Falklands because only 30 British journalists were allowed on the island while everyone else was miles away eating delicious dinners:

American reporters were not on the ground in this distant war zone. “Nobody got to the war zone during the Falklands war,” Susan Zirinsky, a longtime CBS News producer who helped manage the network’s coverage of the war from Buenos Aires, tells Mother Jones. She does not remember what O’Reilly did during his time in Argentina. But she notes that the military junta kept US reporters from reaching the islands: “You weren’t allowed on by the Argentinians. No CBS person got there.”
That’s how Bob Schieffer, who was CBS News’ lead correspondent covering the Falklands war, recalls it: “Nobody from CBS got to the Falklands. I came close. We’d been trying to get somebody down there. It was impossible.” He notes that NBC News reporter Robin Lloyd was the only American network correspondent to reach the islands. “I remember because I got my butt scooped on that,” Schieffer says. “He got out there and we were all trying to get there.” (Lloyd tells Mother Jones that he managed to convince the Argentine military to let him visit Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, but he spent only a day there—and this was weeks before the British forces arrived and the fighting began.)
Schieffer adds, “For us, you were a thousand miles from where the fighting was. So we had some great meals.”

Bill O’Reilly also embellished several “staring down the barrel of a gun” instances that didn’t match his own footage or even his own reporting, but none of that will mean anything because we’re talking about Fox News viewers who jizzed themselves over American Sniper and responded to the several debunked Chris Kyle claims with, “I can’t hear you! Troops! LA LA LA LA LA!” On top of that, you have Bill O’Reilly himself now saying he never claimed to be specifically in the Falklands despite video evidence after video evidence of him doing exactly that. Then again, it’s no secret video recordings have a liberal bias. I don’t need the folks sitting at home in the Midwest that. Via Mediaite:

Despite the report being framed as O’Reilly claiming to be specifically in the Falkland Islands, O’Reilly firmly insisted he did no such thing. O’Reilly explained, “If you were assigned to a war, you put on your resume you covered the Falklands, the Middle East, El Salvador, wherever it is where you were sent. That is what journalists do.”

Bill O’Reilly saying he missed Bill Moyers in the “war zones” of the Falklands:

And there are several more instances, but that’s what happened when you elect a secret Muslim president who has satanic video editing powers from drinking aborted fetuses. We all knew this day was coming.

Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem – Mother Jones

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