Bill O’Reilly is in the news again, this time for the wrong reasons. According to a New York Daily News report, the Fox News anchor and host of the O’Reilly Factor is under scrutiny for false reporting on the Falklands War in the 1980’s. He becomes the second high-profile television anchor, the first being Brian Williams, in recent weeks to come under fire for fudging reports on a war.
Mother Jones released a lengthy piece citing that O’Reilly misrepresented himself as a war correspondent. He claimed in one of his books released in 2011 that he has been around “active war zones”. O’Reilly has repeated several times about having “experienced combat” when the United Kingdom and Argentina had their conflict in 1982.
His claims returns to the surface after he bashed Brian Williams for his admission about not being inside a helicopter which was shot down during the Iraqi war. Bill O’Reilly continued to call into question the legitimacies of other recounted war stories told by journalists. After the release of the Mother Jones story, it is time to call the gregarious Fox News anchor also.
These Are the Questions Bill O’Reilly Won’t Answer http://t.co/gp68splrPJ
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) February 20, 2015
Fudging reports and misremembering details has become commonplace in journalism. Is it about being accurate with the information, or entertaining the audience? That question has been in the balance for the last few years. While news serves the purpose of informing its viewers, keeping them is done by entertaining them, leaving a delicate balance. What is put into question is the overall integrity of the journalists.
Bill O’Reilly, for all of his faults in the eyes of his detractors, stands by his words and wields a heavy stick. His audience believes in his and follows behind his every word, even if he has been proven to submit fraudulent recollections, if the Mother Jones report is accurate.
Nobody is above reproach.
This goes for O’Reilly, who, by all accounts is one of the loudest, most influential voices on Fox News, in right-wing media and on radio. Being who he is, he should know better.
The message is clear.
When you throw bricks at one person’s glass house, be prepared to have someone ambush yours. Be prepared to have someone dig into your works, good and bad. Retell your story with accuracy. Why? Your audience is watching you and your detractors are following your every move.
That is the point!
Bill O’Reilly has attacked many people during his run as a media mogul. Among his victims is Brian Williams. His verbal onslaught of the NBC News anchor was ill-timed and unnecessary. Now with the news that O’Reilly is guilty of the same thing that he crucified Williams for, is it time that the people at Fox pull the plug on its biggest star?
Williams received a suspension of six months for misremembering, Bill O’Reilly flat-out lied. Both fudges gives a black eye to the reliable journalism world.
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]