When former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months without pay earlier this month, he found an unlikely ally in Fox News pundit extraordinaire Bill O’Reilly. Too bad O’Reilly himself would become the subject of his own I-was-there-and-it-happened-to-me reporting shenanigans. According to separate reports by Mother Jones and CNN, O’Reilly’s stories about covering the Falklands and Argentinian conflicts for CBS aren’t everything he’s hyped them up to be.
Mother Jones‘s investigative report revealed several discrepancies with O’Reilly’s comments regarding his experience reporting on the Falklands War in the early ’80s. However, many of The O’Reilly Factor host’s former colleagues came forward on Sunday with renewed criticisms of his account of a 1982 riot in Argentina:
“Nobody remembers this happening,” said Manny Alvarez, who was a cameraman for CBS News in Buenos Aires.
Jim Forrest, who was a sound engineer for CBS there, said that when he heard O’Reilly retell the Argentina riot story to interviewer Marvin Kalb several years ago, he contacted Kalb and said “I was on that crew, and I don’t recall his version of events.” (Via CNN)
O’Reilly, like Williams, has referenced these experiences several times in his published writings and recorded segments:
In his 2001 book, “The No Spin Zone,” O’Reilly wrote, “I’ve reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands.”
On his show “The O’Reilly Factor” in 2013, O’Reilly told a guest, “I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us. I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time, I’m looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy out of there because that was more important.” (Via CNN)
When O’Reilly fired back against the Mother Jones report and its sources, more of his former fellow CBS reporters came out of the woodwork to further contradict the Fox News pundit:
Things aren’t looking so good for O’Reilly.