Two weeks after Brian Williams, the NBC anchor for Nightly News was suspended for six months due to inaccurate or misstated reporting, Bill O’Reilly is coming under fire from Mother Jones‘ David Corn that he falsified an account he made of a war zone thirty-three years ago. According to Corn, O’Reilly had claimed he was in the “war zone” of the Falklands, but it was determined that no reporters were ever able to make it to the Falklands in 1982. The closest they got was Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bill O’Reilly did not take the accusations lightly — he adamantly denies false reporting and had plenty to say about David Corn and used the following descriptors to do so.
“disgusting piece of garbage…”
“a guttersnipe liar…”
That may sound harsh, but on the heels of Williams’ accusations and punishments, O’Reilly was quick to say that he thought it was an attempt to take a swipe at Fox News. Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, told CNNMoney that O’Reilly was resorting to ad-hominem attacks to distract from the substance of his report, which he co-authored with Daniel Schulman, and urged people to look at the facts of the reporting.
Corn and Schulman’s report cited several times when O’Reilly said that he had spent time in a “war zone” while covering the Falklands conflict as a reporter for CBS News. The problem is, according to Corn and Schulman, is that nobody ever got to the Falklands. O’Reilly explained that he used “Falklands” as a broad term to describe his coverage of the conflict, not meaning that he was actually there, and he stated that he never said he was actually there in the battle.
“If you were assigned to a war, you put on your resume you covered the Falklands, the Middle East, El Salvador, wherever it is where you were sent. This is what journalists do.”
Of interest, when Bill O’Reilly was covering the Brian Williams story, he took him to task for his possible misrepresentation and seemed offended as a journalist by the fabricated tales. He had hard words for Williams about the situation, stating that reporting was an important and honorable job and one that should be done with honesty.
“Reporting comes with a big responsibility; the founding fathers made that point very clearly. They said to us, ‘We’ll give you the freedom. We’ll protect you from government intrusion. But in return, you, the press, must be honest.’ “