TYT Network / Nerd Seed
TYT Network discusses Bill O’Reilly’s lies and fabrications regarding his war stories.
TYT Network discusses Bill O’Reilly’s lies and fabrications regarding his war stories.
According to Wikipedia, Leonard Pitts, Jr. is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Pitts wrote a column recently on the Bill O’Reilly controversy (and cover-up) about his exaggerations.
“Last month, when NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ career imploded as he was caught in a high-profile, self-aggrandizing lie, I suggested in this space that there would be much less angst or fallout if someone from Fox News were caught lying.”
Since then, Mother Jones ran a story questioning Bill O’Reilly’s claim to have been in the combat zone in the Falkland Islands while covering that war for CBS. Other news organizations have reported other questionable assertions by O’Reilly, including the claim that O’Reilly was outside of the home of an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald when the associate shot himself.
O’Reilly dismissed Mother Jones as the “bottom rung of journalism in America,” and called the reporter David Corn a “liar,” an “irresponsible guttersnipe,” a “far-left zealot” and “dumb.”
Other instances of questionable claims include O’Reilly saying that he witnessed the execution of a group of American nuns in El Salvador that happened in 1980, even though O’Reilly apparently did not reach El Salvador until 1981, and he “saw photos” of the incident.
In his book, “Keep it Pithy,” O’Reilly states that he saw “Irish terrorists kill and maim their fellow citizens in Belfast with bombs.” Fox News itself denied that comment, according to the Chicago Tribune.
O’Reilly has claimed he was “attacked by protesters” while covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots for “Inside Edition,” but former colleagues say he is exaggerating an incident where an angry man took a piece of rubble to a camera.
Bill O’Reilly gave a response to the coverage of his untruths and exaggerations – by not addressing them.
Instead, he showed his ratings and polls, which prove that his audience is loyal. But is his audience right?
He did not address the substance of the accusations.
In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly writes on page 300 that he was about to interview a man named George de Mohrenschildt, a figure in the JFK assassination. As a “reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian … that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly,” states Media Matters.
O’Reilly repeated the tale for the Killing Kennedy audiobook. In Kennedy’s Last Days, the adaptation for younger readers, O’Reilly wrote, “As I knocked on the door, I heard a shotgun blast. He had killed himself.”
The Fox News host also repeated the tale while promoting his book and movie special on Fox News.
However, numerous pieces of evidence contradict O’Reilly’s claim that he “heard the shotgun blast” that killed de Mohrenschildt.
In comments to Media Matters, two of O’Reilly’s former colleagues at station WFAA in Dallas said that O’Reilly’s version of events is not true. “Bill O’Reilly’s a phony, there’s no other way to put it,” said Tracy Rowlett, a former WFAA reporter and anchor who worked there with O’Reilly. “He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn’t traveling at that time.”
Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, said that O’Reilly had not traveled to Florida for the story and accused him of “stealing” his reporting on de Mohrenschildt’s suicide from a newspaper. He said O’Reilly “was in Dallas. He stole that article out of the newspaper. I guarantee Channel 8 didn’t send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News.”
Both Harris and Rowlett said O’Reilly never mentioned having been present for the gunshot during his time at WFAA.
“I don’t remember O’Reilly claiming that he was there. That came later, that must have been a brain surge when he was writing the book,” said Rowlett.
Harris further pointed out that WFAA “would have reported it as some kind of exclusive — and there was no exclusive — if O’Reilly had been standing outside the door.”
O’Reilly’s claim of having been present when de Mohrenschildt shot himself was also missing from his 1992 Inside Edition report on documents relating to the Kennedy assassination.
During that report, O’Reilly said, “moments before he was to be interviewed by House investigators, de Mohrenschildt blew his brains out with a 20-gauge shotgun.”
(That statement comes at roughly the 2:37 mark in the video below.)
In comments to Media Matters, Reporter and University of California (Washington Center) visiting professor Jefferson Morley said O’Reilly’s claim of being present for the gunshot is “just not true” and speculated that it was “just part of the pattern, to embellish the story and make it a sexier story.” Morley said, “It is what these guys all do, they inject themselves into a dramatic situation,” said Media Matters.
Below is a video of CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewing Morley about O’Reilly’s report on de Mohrenschildt.
According to Media Matters, Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly claimed in his books and on Fox News that while he was reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977, he was directly outside the home at the moment that George de Mohrenschildt — an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald — shot himself in Florida.
Rachel Maddow of MSNBC took on O’Reilly recently, and she ran a clip of him on “Fox & Friends” repeating the story from 1977.
Maddow played audio tapes released by CNN last week of phone calls made by O’Reilly from 1977. The recording was recently released by CNN on Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter.
On the tapes, O’Reilly can be heard asking the congressional reporter Gaeton Fonzi about the details of the suicide, and adding that he is not yet in Florida — a claim that is at odds with O’Reilly’s statements that he was near the home where de Mohrenschildt killed himself, states Media Matters.
David Corn and Daniel Schulman recently published a scathing article in Mother Jones attacking Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly for allegedly misspeaking about reporting from a “war zone” in the Falklands in 1982.
Corn and Media Matters exposed a series of questionable claims made about his reporting during the Falklands War and the El Salvadoran Civil War.
In the former case, O’Reilly repeatedly suggested to viewers he was in a combat zone in the Falkland Islands when no CBS News reporters (O’Reilly’s employer at the time) ever reached the islands. He, instead, covered protests in the capitol of Argentina, Buenos Aires. In the latter case, O’Reilly said on multiple occasions that he witnessed the execution of four American nuns in El Salvador – an event that took place before he was even in the country.
“It’s pretty lightweight to say you were in a war zone because you covered a protest,” said Corn to HuffPost Live.
The story about O’Reilly’s inconsistencies began with the publication Mother Jones and then spread to Media Matters. What other publications have reported on it?
USA Today’s editorial board is calling on Fox News to “distance itself” from the network’s “truth-challenged” Bill O’Reilly in the wake of revelations that the Fox host has repeatedly lied about some of his experiences as a reporter.
CNN’s Brian Stelter picked up the story. O’Reilly reportedly called Stelter “another far-left zealot … masquerading as a journalist. CNN can do a lot better than this guy.”
David Corn told The Huffington Post Live recently that O’Reilly “still has yet to refute a single fact” in his and Daniel Schulman’s original Mother Jones’ report on O’Reilly’s Falklands claims.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a segment about O’Reilly’s threatening behavior towards David Corn.
The British paper The Guardian published a piece relating to inconsistencies with O’Reilly’s reporting on the LA riots in 1992.
Politico reported that Bill O’Reilly threatened a New York Times reporter interviewing him about recent allegations he made up stories concerning his reporting on the Falklands War in 1982.
During a phone conversation, O’Reilly allegedly told Times reporter Emily Steel there would be repercussions if he felt her coverage was inappropriate. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.”
O’Reilly has also threatened David Corn, suggesting that he needs to be placed in the “kill zone.”
Recently, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took on Bill O’Reilly and Fox News for O’Reilly taking his bombast to the point of directly threatening reporters for reporting. She also looks at the recent series of revelations about uncorrected false claims O’Reilly has made on Fox News.