First it was Brian Williams. Now it seems FOX News’ Bill O’ Reilly is also in hot water over supposed embellishments and exaggerations on his reporting of the Falklands War during the early part of his career. Appearing on Fox News TV’s #MediaBuzz, O’ Reilly claims that the recent attacks on his Falklands coverage is nothing more than a smear campaign by liberals who are attempting to ride the Brian Williams scandal bandwagon.
When asked if he would call the Falklands as anything else other than a “war zone”, O’ Reilly answered no. “When you have soldiers and military police firing into the crowed and you have people who are injured and hurt and you are in the middle of that, that (a war zone) is the definition.”
Commentary: What Brian Williams Could Learn from Bill O’Reilly http://t.co/a7aZ8B8b59 pic.twitter.com/qnnm7VjbIL
— Variety (@Variety) February 22, 2015
Former CBS colleagues refute Bill O’Reilly’s “combat” reporting experience http://t.co/o2rYwL555j pic.twitter.com/ndnH44TEbH
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 22, 2015
Retired CBS News correspondent, Eric Engberg, was with O’ Reilly during the Falklands War. He posted a message on his Facebook page disputing O’ Reilly’s accounts of what happened. “We — meaning the American networks — were all in the same, modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties or weapons,” Engberg wrote. “It was not a war zone or even close. It was an ‘expense account zone’.”
Engberg’s remarks followed an article published by Mother Jones that was about O’ Reilly’s coverage of the Falklands War. According to the article, O’ Reilly has “bemoaned the supposed culture of deception within the liberal media, and he proclaimed that the Williams controversy should prompt questioning of other ‘distortions’ by left-leaning outlets. Yet for years, O’Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don’t withstand scrutiny.”
Other members of the CBS staff stationed at the Falklands have also stepped forward to refute O’ Reilly’s war zone story. Mainly, they spoke out against O’ Reilly’s recollection that he helped an injured cameraman to safety. According to the staff, they were far from the actual war zone and that they don’t recall anyone being injured during the coverage.