A media watchdog group has raised new allegations against Bill O’Reilly, claiming the Fox News host repeatedly lied about his presence at the suicide of an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1977.
Media Matters has called into question O’Reilly’s assertion that he was standing on the porch of a Palm Beach, Florida, home belonging to George S. de Mohrenschildt’s daughter when he heard a gunshot, as de Mohrenschildt took his own life. A former associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, de Mohrenschildt had been called to appear before the House Select Committee on Assassinations on the day that he committed suicide, March 29, 1977.
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 24, 2015
During that time period, Bill O’Reilly was working as a reporter for Dallas’ WFAA-TV. In his 2012 book, Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly related the story of de Mohrenschildt’s suicide, placing himself at the scene.
“As the reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood. By the way, that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.”
O’Reilly went on to repeat that claim on Fox News and in Kennedy’s Last Days, the young reader adaptation of his book.
The Media Matters report cites several contemporary sources, however, that refute O’Reilly’s claim. Byron Harris and Tracy Rowlett, former associates of his at the station, have asserted that O’Reilly was in Dallas at the time of the suicide. Harris accused O’Reilly of stealing the story out of a newspaper, while Rowlett was direct in criticizing the Fox News host, as Politico points out.
“Bill O’Reilly’s a phony, there’s no other way to put it. He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn’t traveling at that time.”
Both of his former colleagues assert that O’Reilly never mentioned being present for the suicide while he was employed by WFAA. Rowlett suggested that O’Reilly may have created the story while writing Killing Kennedy, and Harris pointed out that WFAA would have reported the event as an exclusive, had O’Reilly been standing on the porch.
The autobiography of Gaeton Fonzi is also cited in the Media Matters report. An investigator on the House Select Committee, he recalled O’Reilly contacting him to inquire about the suicide the day it took place.
“About 6:30 that evening I received a call from Bill O’Reilly, a friend who was then a television reporter in Dallas. ‘Funny thing happened,’ he said. ‘We just aired a story that come over the wire about a Dutch journalist saying the Assassinations Committee has finally located de Mohrenschildt in South Florida. Now de Mohrenschildt’s attorney, a guy named Pat Russell, he calls and says de Mohrenschildt committed suicide this afternoon. Is that true?”
The allegations come after a report by Mother Jones asserted last week that Bill O’Reilly lied about his time reporting in the Falklands War. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, O’Reilly has responded forcefully to the claims, allegedly telling a New York Times reporter there would be consequences for coverage he felt was inappropriate.
Politico noted that it had reached out to Fox News for comment on the new allegations against Bill O’Reilly, but received no response.
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