CNN’s Reliable Sources has blown apart Bill O’Reilly’s claim that he was a war correspondent by interviewing six former CBS colleagues who say that O’Reilly is lying about his time as a war correspondent.
CNN played a clip of O’Reilly claiming that he rescued an injured photographer in the Falklands “war zone:”
Host Brian Stelter said:
So O’Reilly there is describing a riot that happened in Buenos Aires right after Argentina surrendered to the British. Here is CNN’s footage from that night. It was hairy. It was scary. We can find no evidence that anyone from CBS was injured. We’ve been trying all weekend. To the contrary, six other people who were there working for CBS say they are unaware of any injuries. They also say they’re unaware of any civilians being killed in the riot. And O’Reilly has repeatedly claimed over the years that people were killed there. None of these people, none of them agree with O’Reilly’s depiction of it as a combat situation or a war zone.
Some of them remarked to us yesterday and this morning that the event in Ferguson recently were actually more serious and more severe.
Now, Jim Forrest, who worked with O’Reilly as a sound engineer on the day of this riot, told me, “There were certainly no dead people. Had there been dead people, they would have sent more camera crews.” Unfortunately, some of the other staffers we talked are requesting anonymity because they still work in the industry, or because they don’t want to be criticized by Bill O’Reilly.
Stelter brought in former CBS correspondent Eric Engberg, who was in Buenos Aires with O’Reilly. When asked if O’Reilly is lying, Engberg said, “Well, I think what is doing is trying to build it up into a more frightening and deadly situation than what it was. It wasn’t a combat situation by any sense of the word that I know. There were no people killed. He said that he saw troops fire into the crowd. I never saw that, and I don’t know anybody who did, and I was there on the scene. What’s interesting is not only did I not hear any shots, I didn’t see any ambulances. I didn’t see any tanks. I didn’t see any armored cars. All of the things that you would have expected to see had people been shot.”
Bill O’Reilly and Fox News have refused to comment on the new allegations.
However, they did try to get Engberg to go on O’Reilly’s Fox News show. He refused because he didn’t want to get into an argument with O’Reilly on his turf about what he saw that night. Engberg added that he was simply stating the facts, and he’s not going to argue about it.
There are now a half a dozen journalists and personnel from CBS who were working O’Reilly on the ground in Buenos Aires who dispute his claims.
The evidence suggests that Bill O’Reilly is lying. Brian Williams got suspended for six months without pay for doing the same thing that O’Reilly did. Both men exaggerated events to make them appear to be more dangerous. The difference is that NBC News is interested in journalism. Fox News isn’t.
The next step in Fox News’s defense of O’Reilly will likely be to call him a commentator, not a journalist, but O’Reilly tries to sell himself as a journalist on a nightly basis on Fox News. A large veterans group is calling for O’Reilly to be taken off the air. The media is afraid of Fox News and O’Reilly, but the hypocrisy must stop.
Brian Williams was suspended and taken off of the air. Fox News must do the same to Bill O’Reilly.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association