February 20, 2015

David Corn's article about Bill-O's exaggerations about his presence in war zones must have landed too close to home, because O'Reilly went into full-blown deflection mode tonight on Republican Party TV (aka Faux News).

Rather than just post the transcript, I'll give you an excerpt of O'Reilly's bloviation with David Corn's responses in italics. The entire response is here.

In his own 2001 book, The No Spin Zone, O'Reilly says he arrived in Buenos Aires just before the war ended.

After learning of the surrender ... angry mobs in Buenos Aires ... stormed the presidential palace ... the Casa Rosada ... trying to overthrow the government of General Leopoldo Galtieri.

News accounts, including the CBS News report, noted that a crowd numbering in the thousands had gathered to hear the president, but people grew angry after learning Galtieri would not speak, with many denouncing him and his junta as traitors for surrendering to the Brits. Media accounts do not describe the scene as a mob storming the palace, but angry protesters who set fires, broke store windows, and jostled reporters.

I was there on the street ... with my camera crews.

In a 2009 interview, O'Reilly claimed other CBS journalists were too fearful to cover this event: "I was out there pretty much by myself because the other CBS news correspondents were hiding in the hotel." Yet veteran CBS News reporter Bob Schieffer, who was then the lead correspondent in Buenos Aires says, "We were all out with our camera crews that day to cover the protest. I'd been out there with a crew too."

The violence was horrific. ... as Argentine soldiers ... fired into the crowd ... who were responding with violent acts of their own. My video of the combat ... led the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather that evening. and later on ... I filed a report ... that ran nationwide. That's what happened.

In tonight's account, O'Reilly doesn't say—as he has previously said—that Argentine troops gunned down civilians and many were killed. So is he standing by those prior assertions? He does still refer to the protest as "combat."

I never said I was on the Falkland Islands... as Corn purports ... I said I covered the Falklands War ... which I did.

See above. O'Reilly said on his own show in 2013, "I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands." In his 2001 book, he wrote, "I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands." The "active war zone" in the Falklands war was 1,200 miles from Buenos Aires, far out in the Atlantic ocean.

The correct response was for Bill-O to first apologize for the "kill zone" comments and then clarify and apologize for misleading his fans. But we knew that wouldn't happen, didn't we?

I love the way he plays the victim. Poor guy, had to deal with press inquiries. I guess he really doesn't know how journalism works, does he?

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