The Falkland Islands

Recently Mother Jones went after Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly for allegedly misspeaking about reporting from a “war zone” in the Falklands in 1982.  Other news sources have also picked up the story.

O’Reilly had repeatedly suggested that he was in a combat zone or “war zone” (see video) in the Falkland Islands when no CBS News reporters (O’Reilly’s employer at the time) ever reached the islands.  Instead, he covered protests in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires.

As can be seen on the map, that was roughly 1200 miles away – about 1931 kilometers.

The Falkland Islands – Islas Malvinas – are in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf.  The principal islands are about 300 miles (500 km) east of South America’s southern Patagonian coast, off the coast of Argentina.

The population (2,932 inhabitants in 2012) primarily consists of native Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. Other ethnicities include French, Gibraltarian and Scandinavian, according to Wikipedia.

The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles (12,200 km2), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands.  As a British Overseas Territory, the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defense and foreign affairs, though the islands have internal self-governance. Under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

Controversy exists over the Falklands’ discovery and subsequent colonization by Europeans. At various times, the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, although Argentina maintains its claim to the islands to this day.

In April 1982, Argentine forces temporarily occupied the islands. British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War.

That was the war covered by O’Reilly.


Mother Jones

Updated post

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