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CBS releases tapes O’Reilly asked for

Bill O’Reilly asked CBS for the videos of its Falklands news coverage. CBS obliged by releasing the videos and putting them on its website. They show, among other things, that O’Reilly edited history:

“Meanwhile, the author of that New York Times article O’Reilly read from on Mediabuzz fired back at O’Reilly on Facebook, for leaving out one part of a sentence about a police officer who he’d reported fired five shots — the ‘over the heads of’ fleeing demonstrators part.”

To understand why this is important, you need to know that O’Reilly originally claimed he covered the war from the Falkland Islands; but after that was debunked (like other western journalists, O’Reilly was stuck in Argentina), O’Reilly based his claims to have been in the “war zone” and to have “combat experience” on his coverage of “deadly riots” in Buenos Aries. But other newsmen dispute that anyone was killed or that the “riots” were anything more than rowdy demonstrations.

Thus, to give credence to his “deadly riots” and “combat” claims, O’Reilly described a police officer firing shots, but omitted the fact he fired “over the heads” of the crowd, which left his readers with an impression the police officer fired into the crowd. He can argue it wasn’t an overt lie. A lawyer would call it “a material omission.” Either way, O’Reilly exaggerated his “combat” experience in the Falklands War. He had none.

If O’Reilly really wanted combat experience, he could’ve enlisted in the Army like I did, and served with my unit in Vietnam. But instead, he chose to apply for multiple draft deferments and avoid military service. That was legal, and therefore his prerogative, and I don’t begrudge it to him; but he shouldn’t go around calling himself a combat veteran. He’s nothing of the sort. He’s merely a great big fibber.

Update: Mother Jones responds the CBS tapes do not support O’Reilly’s “combat” claims.

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Photo: Bill O’Reilly (third from left, standing next to the President) didn’t show up at Antietam until after the fighting was over. 

 


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