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Falklands Drama: Cornered Narcissist Bill O'Reilly Lashes Out
As the media casts a spotlight on his fake journalistic endeavors, Bill O'Reilly is becoming more and more unhinged. Last week he threatened to send David Corn of Mother Jones to a "Kill Zone," and this week he made threats against a writer for the New York Times.
He's a classic loud-mouth bully who can dish it out but can't take it, thin-skinned and violent. And why is he so defensive? Because he has been caught lying over and over again and there's no way out.
From New York Times
Mr. O’Reilly’s efforts to refute the claims by Mother Jones and some former CBS News colleagues occurred both on the air and off on Monday. During a phone conversation, he told a reporter for The New York Times that there would be repercussions if he felt any of the reporter’s coverage was inappropriate. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.”
“I am coming after you with everything I have,” Mr. O’Reilly told me. “You can take it as a threat.” http://t.co/gXsH3Zqaig
— Emily Steel (@emilysteel) February 24, 2015
.@emilysteel At least @oreillyfactor didn't tell you that you deserve "to be in the kill zone."
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) February 24, 2015
"(O'Reilly is) the biggest Kahuna in all of cable news - a man who at any other news network would be in a fight for his professional life right now, but so far for him apparently no consequences."
~ Rachel Maddow
Statement from Fox News:
But reporters are not backing down. If anything, they are digging deeper into O'Reilly's mountain of lies.
The Guardian is investigating O'Reilly's coverage of the Los Angeles Riots in the 1990s when he worked for Inside Edition.
From Talking Points Memo
Six former co-workers disputed O'Reilly's tale of being bombarded with concrete and bricks by rioters while covering the 1992 unrest in Los Angeles, according to the Guardian.
“They were throwing bricks and stones at us,” O’Reilly told an online interviewer in 2006, according to the Guardian.
“Concrete was raining down on us. The cops saved our butts that time," O'Reilly added.
O'Reilly repeated the story to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this month.
“We were attacked, we were attacked by protesters, where bricks were thrown at us,” he told Hewitt, the Guardian reported.
“It didn’t happen,” one colleague from "Inside Edition" told the paper. “If it did, how come none of the rest of us remember it?”
. . .
Hunter Walker of Business Insider points out that O'Reilly's "heroic" version of himself in Buenos Aires saving a cameraman in a combat zone during the Falklands War was included in a novel written by O'Reilly called "Those Who Trespass." When Art Imitates Ego! However, it is mostly fiction:
From Business Insider
In O'Reilly's novel the protest was broken up by soldiers, or as the author put it, "combat-ready shock troops dressed in full battle gear and armed with machine guns." At this point, Michaels, one of the characters described as O'Reilly's fictional "alter ego" realized he "had to get away" with his cameraman and soundman. As Michaels and his crew escaped, the soldiers let loose on the crowd.
"Without warning, they began firing directly into the crowd," O'Reilly wrote, adding, "Hundreds of people immediately fell onto the cement."
O'Reilly wrote that Michaels "saw one man take a bullet squarely in the right eye" and he "was killed instantly." He described "ten thousand tightly packed demonstrators ... desperately trying to get away from the gunfire any way they could."
These scenes written by O'Reilly contradict contemporaneous reports of the real-life protest, which do not describe widespread gunfire or any deaths.
In another book, O'Reilly claimed that he saw some war action in Northern Ireland and El Salvador in addition to Buenos Aires, but under scrutiny he is backing off.
From Washington Post
In his 2013 book, “Keep It Pithy,” the Fox News host recounted,“I’ve seen soldiers gun down unarmed civilians in Latin America, Irish terrorists kill and maim their fellow citizens in Belfast with bombs.”
On another occasion, he said, “I’ve covered four wars,” and ticked off El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s, the 1982 Falklands conflict, Northern Ireland and an unspecified conflict in Israel. “I’ve seen the best and the worst.”. . . O’Reilly traveled to Northern Ireland in 1984 to research a book about the Troubles, according to Fox News. The book was never finished, and it’s not clear whether he covered the conflict for any news organization. At the time, he was working for a Boston TV station, WCVB, but his then-boss, Philip S. Balboni, said that O’Reilly covered only local news and did commentary for the station.O’Reilly didn’t mention seeing any terrorist bombings in Northern Ireland during a radio interview with syndicated host Hugh Hewitt last week. Instead, he told a milder story: “We went on a raid in Divis Flats with the police. And it was a pretty intense situation. There was stuff being thrown, arrests being made, all of that.”“Were you in fear of physical harm?” Hewitt asked.No, O’Reilly replied.
O'Reilly also tried to use photographic evidence to "prove" that he saw nuns being shot in El Salvador. He doesn't seem to understand the difference between "seeing" a picture of something and "seeing" something in person, yet he always uses first person when he talks.
From Talking Points Memo
“While in El Salvador, reporters were shown horrendous images of violence that were never broadcast, including depictions of nuns who were murdered," he told Mediaite.
During a Dec. 14, 2012 episode of "The O'Reilly Factor," O'Reilly talked about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He compared it to something he said he'd seen earlier in his career.
"I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head," O'Reilly said, according to Media Matters.
He explained to Mediaite on Wednesday that he brought up El Salvador while discussing the Sandy Hook shooting to talk about "evil."
"I used the murdered nuns as an example of that evil," O'Reilly told the website. "That’s what I am referring to when I say ‘I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head.’ No one could possibly take that segment as reporting on El Salvador.”
Media Matters also pointed to a Sept. 27, 2005 episode of O'Reilly's radio show in which he said, "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador."
Media Matters also found a good example of O'Reilly claiming that he covered a dramatic story in person when actually he was several states away at a TV station.
George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.
O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death.
. . . In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."
. . . "Bill O'Reilly's a phony, there's no other way to put it," said Tracy Rowlett, a former WFAA reporter and anchor who worked at the station with O'Reilly. "He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn't traveling at that time."
Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, agreed that O'Reilly had not traveled to Florida for the story and accused him of stealing his reporting on de Mohrenschildt's suicide from a newspaper.
According to Harris, O'Reilly "was in Dallas. He stole that article out of the newspaper. I guarantee Channel 8 didn't send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News."
"Muddy the waters, and establish plausible deniability" = #OReilly learned from #Reagan's spin masters @thenation http://t.co/QEz3rJyqMW
— Holly Blomberg (@HollyBlomberg) February 27, 2015
Bill "Baron Munchausen" O'Reilly surveys Falklands War http://t.co/YmD19WUj5D pic.twitter.com/MoixvK5PVX
— GoodTwitty (@GoodTwitty) February 25, 2015
Stewart Tears into O’Reilly: ‘No One’s Watching Him for the Actual Truth’ http://t.co/PhvmSGqRyQ pic.twitter.com/u7rTApehYM
— Blue DuPage (@BlueDuPage) February 25, 2015
Bill O'Reilly and the Truthiness Defense http://t.co/DAy8A2g28o @TIMECulture #BilloReillyMisremembers #BillOReilly pic.twitter.com/O6szKDfuJq
— bennydiego (@bennydiego) February 25, 2015
"Reporting live from the beaches of Normandy, Bill O'Reilly, Fox News." pic.twitter.com/cN0FDGLGTt
— David Waldman (@KagroX) February 28, 2015