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Did Fox News bloviater Bill O'Reilly commit Brian Williams type fabrications when he claimed he had been in a "combat situation" while working as a reporter for CBS News during the Falklands War in 1982? Did he pad his resume' as he was laying claim to personal knowledge about what happens in war? The issue has arisen because the "Mother Jones" magazine Washington bureau chief David Corn has written a story, largely based on recollections of CBS News senior staffers, comparing O'Reilly's statements about his war experience to the fabrications which sent NBC anchor Williams into a six-month suspension.
I can provide some eyewitness information on this matter because I was one of the correspondents in Buenos Aires with O'Reilly and the rest of the rather large staff of CBS News people who were there "covering" the war. To begin with "covering" is an overstatement of what we were doing. Corn is correct in pointing out that the Falkland Islands, where the combat between Great Britain and Argentina took place, was a thousand miles away from Buenos Aires. We were in Buenos Aires because that's the only place the Argentine military junta would let journalists go. Our knowledge of the war was restricted to what we could glean from comically deceitful daily briefings given by the Argentine military and watching government-controlled television to try to pick up a useful clue from propaganda broadcasts. We -- meaning the American networks -- were all in the same, modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties or weapons. It was not a war zone or even close. It was an "expense account zone."
O'Reilly, freshly hired by CBS, arrived in Buenos Aires a few days before the British expeditionary force defeated the Argentine occupiers. He was, as he is today, full of brio and confidence. I remember him asking me how I liked my assignment. When I said I was tired of living in a hotel and wanted to go home he said, "Call your agent." Back in those days calling your agent to complain about the company's decision-making would have been a career-ender, but he didn't seem to understand matters of the CBS internal secret wooglies, which included the rule that you did as you were told. I should have known he was headed for trouble, but I just thought he was a rookie who would learn. Yeah, right.
Within a couple of days of his arrival the British Army and Marines had completed their land assault on the Falklands capital and forced the Argentines to surrender. The Argentine public, who had been living under a murderous, corrupt military government for years, were driven into the streets of their capital by rage over the loss of a war they had been repeatedly told their army was winning. As night fell after the surrender statement, several thousand people gathered in the streets around the presidential palace to protest. All the members of the CBS reporting staff and all the two-person camera crews we had in Buenos Aires were sent in to the street. I believe there were four or five crews. The reporters, as I remember, were O'Reilly, Chuck Gomez, Charles Krause, Bob Schieffer and myself. Somewhere it has been reported that O'Reilly has claimed he was the only CBS News reporter who had the courage to go into the street because the rest of us were hiding in our hotel. If he said such thing it is an absolute lie. Everyone was working in the street that night, the crews exhibiting their usual courage. O'Reilly was the one person who behaved unprofessionally and without regard for the safety of the camera crew he was leading.
Williams gets outed so they go after O'Reilly.
FoxNews did not uncover Williams lies.
Which process makes rich people richer, faster? As to Bill 'Oh, Really?'...looks like the Teflon isn't working too well, and this is starting to stick. Good.
originally posted by: roadgravel
It appears that war is so popular in the US that news men are now inventing war stories for them self to keep their popularity up and add some 'cred' to resume.
Any wonder the country is headed in the wrong direction. We can't keep 40 hour a week jobs for average Americans but we can bomb the heck out of anyone in the world at a moments notice.