Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever has sold very well, in fact the book has pushed more than one million copies and currently sits at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, there’s just one problem, it’s riddled with historical inaccuracies that a middle school student in their first year learning about history could point out.
Salon National Park Service bookstore at Ford’s Theatre pointed out these glaring inaccuracies:
- Killing Lincoln refers several times to the Oval Office. Little problem: The Oval Office wasn’t built until 1909.
- O’Reilly writes of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee: “The two warriors will never meet again.” In fact, they did have a second meeting in 1865 to talk about prisoners of war.
- According to the book, Ford’s Theatre “burned to the ground in 1863.” Sorry Bill, make that 1862.
- In O’Reilly’s words, John Wilkes Booth used “a pen knife to carve a very small peephole” to observe Lincoln in his theater box. But one historical record says the hole was bored so guards could keep an eye on the president.
Aside from one organization taking aim at the book other reviewers and everyday readers on Amazon and other book review sites have pointed out how Bill O’Reilly has decided to mold history into his own personal account of events he obviously wasn’t a part of.
Given the number of fudged facts his Fox News network makes on a regular basis I can’t say it surprises me to learn that the network’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, couldn’t be bothered to fact check information before he moved forward. Perhaps O’Reilly used Conservapedia to find his facts and we all know how inaccurate their database has become.
I have to agree with Gawker’s Lauri Apple’s assessment of the book:
Even though O’Reilly’s book is a rectangle-shaped poop-pile, it’s still on the best-seller list and he’s still going to get paid wheelbarrows full of money to write more poop-piles in the future—including another presidential history. Look, he wouldn’t write these things if people didn’t care what he thought.
Here’s an interview Bill O’Reilly did for the book with David Letterman:
Weigh in with your thoughts about O’Reilly’s glaring mistakes in our comments section.