Fox News is defending Bill O’Reilly through thick and thin as he battles accusations that he “pulled a Brian Williams” by embellishing anecdotes from his reporting career. Some of O’Reilly’s critics seem to acknowledge the uselessness of attacking the pundit, including his old nemesis from Comedy Central.
Fox News is behind O’Reilly 100 percent according to a statement they sent to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple Blog.
“Bill O’Reilly has already addressed several claims leveled against him. This is nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far-left advocates Mother Jones and Media Matters. Responding to the unproven accusation du jour has become an exercise in futility. Fox News maintains its staunch support of O’Reilly, who is no stranger to calculated onslaughts.”
The first accusation came from Mother Jones Magazine, which said that O’Reilly falsely claimed he was in “war zone” in the Falklands. O’Reilly addressed the claims on his Fox News show, calling one of the authors an “irresponsible guttersnipe.”
But the televised rebuttal didn’t end the rumors swirling around his journalistic career. Media Matters released its own story saying Bill O’Reilly lied about being near the home of Russian emigre George de Mohrenschildt. Mohrenschildt was a friend of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and was reportedly contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations the day he killed himself.
Media Matters then released another article claiming the Fox News pundit inaccurately said he witnessed nuns being shot in El Salvador. Although O’Reilly rebuked that accusation as well, it seems clear from the statement above that Fox News is done responding.
Other journalists and commentators, even left-leaning ones, implicitly acknowledge the futility of attacking the pundit, regardless of the truth behind the claims.
The New York Times called Bill O’Reilly a “professional provocateur,” explaining that, unlike a news anchor like Brian Williams, the Fox News host actually gains from being attacked. Former CNN president Jonathan Klein explained his take on O’Reilly’s credibility to the Times.
“Bill’s credibility with his audience is not based on his record as a traditional journalist. His credibility, in the view of his fans, is based on his trenchant analysis of the events of the day, his pulling no punches, his willingness to call it like it is.”
The accusations have given O’Reilly plenty of material for his Fox News show. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, he aggressively threatened a New York Times reporter over the story, but there are already a number of videos showcasing the pundit’s occasional temper flare-ups.
Even Jon Stewart, a long-time critic of Fox News, admitted the scandal was a bit ridiculous since O’Reilly has never been entirely accurate or fair on his show. Stewart explained with an eloquent metaphor.
“You’re [media outlets] basically putting in a tremendous amount of work to say the emperor has no clothes, when the emperor has spent like the last 20 years going, ‘Look at my d**k! I’m naked!'”
Whether or not Bill O’Reilly really embellished his stories, it sounds like his job at Fox News is secure.
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