Bill O’Reilly’s “War Record”…
Bill O’Reilly says a new Mother Jones report alleging that the Fox News host made false claims about his Falklands War experience is “a piece of garbage” and that its principal author, David Corn, is “a liar.”
In a telephone interview with the On Media blog, O’Reilly called Corn a “despicable guttersnipe” who has been trying to take him down “for years.”
“It’s a hit piece,” O’Reilly said. “Everything I said about what I reported in South and Central America is true. Everything.”
The report, published late Thursday, alleges that O’Reilly repeatedly misled viewers by claiming to have been in a war zone during the conflict between England and Argentina in 1982. In his book, in public appearances and on his television program, O’Reilly has claimed to have been “in an active war zone” in the Falklands, despite the fact that no American correspondents are believed to have reached the combat zones on the islands.
In the interview, O’Reilly said that he never claimed to have been on the Falkland Islands.
“I was not on the Falkland Islands and I never said I was. I was in Buenos Aires… In Buenos Aires we were in a combat situation after the Argentines surrendered.”
O’Reilly is going to have to do better than that. The Mother Jones article has quotes from O’Reilly that…while not explicitly stating he was “on the ground” do paint a picture of one a lot closer to the action than he apparently really was.
“It was clear that I did not say I was in the Falkland Islands. I’ve done myriad interviews over the years and I never said that,” O’Reilly told On Media.
Not good enough. That borders on a straw man argument. Certainly a Clintonian way of parsing things. Having watched O’Reilly over the years, I don’t get a sense from those quotes that he was being deliberately misleading…more like he just wasn’t being as accurate as he should have been.