Irascable Teflon…

Politico’s Dylan Byers does a pretty good job explaining why the Falklands story hasn’t stuck very well to Bill O’Reilly…

Had O’Reilly falsely claimed to have been on the Falkland Islands when he wasn’t, the Fox News host might be in serious trouble. But he never really said that. He has said that he was “in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands,” which can reasonably be defended as short-hand for “in the Falklands War” — especially because O’Reilly has oft described his experiences there as taking place in Buenos Aires. “I was not on the Falkland Islands and I never said I was,” O’Reilly told the On Media blog last week. That hasn’t really been disputed since.

Instead, the debate has shifted to whether or not O’Reilly was actually in “a war zone” or a “combat situation,” as he has repeatedly claimed. Well, no, he wasn’t. He was present at a violent protest — or “a riot,” or “a demonstration” — that took place immediately after the conclusion of the war. This is a major embellishment, defensible only under the most forgiving parameters of what constitutes wartime activity. Whatever the case, an embellishment is not going to lead Roger Ailes to fire his most valuable personnel asset. (The network has said that “Fox News Chairman and C.E.O. Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly.”)

This was never Brian Williams Part 2. Whatever happened in Argentina with O’Reilly, it doesn’t equate to what has been documented about Williams. And that’s the fundamental problem here because O’Reilly’s antagonists were playing long ball swinging for the fences…and not making it out of the park…the equivalent of a pop-up flyball. There are legitimate questions that could be raised about what O’Reilly claimed…and his response to the charges…but they don’t appear to amount to out and out falsehoods. So by claiming them as such, O’Reilly was able to credibly defend himself to those charges…while at the same time being able to dodge any legitimate questions on the theory that the well had been poisoned. It’s a classic tactic. If you can discredit your opponent legitimately, you can then parry the discussion to your opponents credibility. Then everyone starts talking about that and not whatever legitimate questions still remain because the oxygen gets sucked up.

12 Responses to “Irascable Teflon…”

  1. I’ve thought from the start that the war zone/combat zone attack was defensible by O’Reilly. It’s the CBS /riot coverage that is more problematic.

    There were 10-15 CBS reporters and technicians plus many other crews on the scene at the time. There’s lots of video of what happened and plenty of witnesses. Yet despite the release of the CBS video and statements by some of the reporters and others there are still many questions as to what exactly happened.

    Bill may be 100% right in his version of events and that’s fine but I still want to hear from the participants, like Bob Schieffer, that don’t have an ax to grind.

    My guess, as I’ve said in an earlier post, is that the final answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Maybe some of what Bill says is factual but over the years, just like with Williams, the story got embellished.

    The problem for Bill is he was an egotistical a**hole at that time and still is today. I doubt he has a lot of friends from that trip that want to take his side or even get remotely involved now; one way or the other. So, despite all the witnesses and video tape, in the end we may never really know what happened.

  2. Well, I doubt O’Reilly or Goldberg or any other non-liberals who escaped one of the big 3 and went on to tell the world just how biased those organizations are, have a whole lot of friends at those places.

    Regarding Spud’s assessment that his was never Williams-esque. That’s the biggest point. Mother Jones, with the help of Stelter at CNN, tried to make this something it wasn’t. One of theirs went down so they thought they’d try to take the largest name in the anti-establishment media down. They couldn’t.

    And it really hurt them that their (mostly) like-minded peers in the MSM pretty much ignored the story.

  3. Just a quick reminder LS. This story is still in the early stages and far from over despite what you may think. O’Reilly will probably survive at FNC as whether or not he embellished his ‘war stories’ is not relevant to his employment there.

    But by being a blowhard and bully he only ensures the MSM will continue to dig for more dirt in coming days. Unlike with William, who most reporters liked and respected, most MSM reporters dislike Billo and will be only to happy to see him take a fall; if the evidence proves he fabricated or embellished stories. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few days.

  4. Of course MSM reporters hate BOR because he has attacked them about their biases and no one likes their ivory tower attacked. When you are in the tower, you want to stay in the tower and look down on your minions and tell them we are in control and “we” will tell you the truth. Don’t pay attention to those rabble rousers.

    Problem is, the story people like O’Reilly and Goldberg started telling years ago has proven to be true because of “new” media and their ability to point out how the MSM shades the story to the liberal side.

  5. savefarris Says:

    O’Reilly now accused of fabricating something in his “Killing Kennedy” book.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/oreillys-dramatic-jfk-story-discredited-by-former-colleagues/

    Pay no attention to the fact that these same accusers were mysteriously silent during the Lena Dunham “My biography claims this identifiable guy r*ped me … Oh wait, he’s got a lawyer? Never mind, I made it up” episode this summer.

  6. He may be a blowhard or whatever else. But, that’s not the main reason he’s disliked amongst the MSM chattering class.

  7. Brian Williams’ downfall was an expectation of truth. Fox News, as a whole, doesn’t have that expectation. The network doesn’t demand it of their employees and the public doesn’t demand honesty or integrity from Fox News because, aside from the far-right, most Americans (including a lot of Republicans) know Fox News is a political operation.

  8. Couldn’t agree more Andy.

  9. ^^ LOL. That’s some good stuff. Bumper sticker material. If it could be shortened. Oh wait, I can do it: “Faux News”!

  10. O’Reilly gets a pass 1) because he defended Brian Williams, so he isn’t being a hypocrite and 2) Nobody takes him seriously.

  11. As has been explained by everyone who doesn’t spend all day hyperventilating over Fox News: the two “controversies” (Williams/O’Reilly) aren’t very similar or comparable.

    Now that most understand that there isn’t much there regarding the Falklands stuff, the argument has predictably transformed to “nobody cares cuz Fox News lies and BOR lies and Faux and Fixed”. This wasn’t being said at the beginning when liberals thought this could be their own “Brian Williams Moment”.

    Jeez, y’all are so predictable.

  12. This was never a search for the truth, this is just another futile attempt for people to try and get O’Reilly of the air, they’ve been trying it seems for 20 years.

    Predictable is an understatment, it’s a cliche at this point.

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