Leonard Pitts On Whether Fox News Treats Employees Differently Than Other News Groups

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 Maher’s Take On Bill O’Reilly’s ‘War Reporting’

Real Time With Bill Maher

Friday night on HBO, comedian and progressive political commentator Bill Maher called on the media to treat Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s false statements with the same ferocity as it treated now-suspended NBC anchor Brian Williams for inaccurate claims about his war reporting.

Maher called O’Reilly a “blatant bald-assed liar. … These are out and out lies.”

(Updated post)

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

What Is The Situation With Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands War Reporting?

Mother Jones

As we know, NBC Anchor Brian Williams has come under fire and has been suspended from work for 6 months due to exaggerations or outright lies he made about his time spent in the Iraq war.

What about Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly? Bill O’Reilly has told stories about his time as a war correspondent in the Falklands War in Argentina. He has stated he was in a “war zone.”

David Corn, Washington bureau chief at Mother Jones, published a report on Thursday claiming that Bill O’Reilly was nowhere near the fighting between the United Kingdom and Argentina.

O’Reilly’s former colleagues at CBS News apparently told the left-leaning magazine that no American correspondents reached the war zone, but were 1200 miles away in Buenos Aires, according to Yahoo! News.

“Nobody from CBS got to the Falklands. I came close. We’d been trying to get somebody down there. It was impossible,” said Bob Schieffer, CBS News’ lead Falklands War correspondent at the time. “For us, you were a thousand miles from where the fighting was. So we had some great meals.”