Tuesday, February 24, 2015

O'Reilly Redoubles Defense of Falklands Reporting

Bill O'Reilly
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly stepped up his defense against reports in Mother Jones and subsequent interviews with former journalists at CBS News that accuse him of misrepresenting his coverage of the Falklands War in 1982 as a young correspondent for CBS News. The central dispute is whether O'Reilly reported from active war zones, as he's repeatedly said he did.

According to Talk Radio News Service (TRNS), O'Reilly in fact covered protests in the aftermath of the war in the streets of Buenos Aires, some 1,200 miles away from the Falklands. On Monday's show, O'Reilly played CBS footage from 1982 the showed the violent protests and included an interview with Don Browne, a former NBC News bureau chief who oversaw coverage of Latin America

"It was a real country at war," Browne said. "It was a very intense situation where people got hurt." He said there were tanks on the streets. David Corn, a reporter for Mother Jones, said the issue wasn't whether O'Reilly had reported on a violent protest, but whether he had reported from a war zone.

During a phone conversation Monday, O'Reilly told a reporter for the NYTimes 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," O'Reilly said. "You can take it as a threat."

Former CBS News staff members said Monday that O'Reilly's account of his reporting on the protests in Argentina was flawed. Eric Engberg, a correspondent for CBS News for 27 years, reported on the same protest near the presidential palace, as O'Reilly.

On The Factor Monday evening, O’Reilly brought on a former NBC News bureau chief who backed up his story.

Don Browne was the NBC News Miami bureau chief at the time, and he oversaw the network’s Falklands coverage. And Browne told O’Reilly his account was accurate. As opposed to some of the other accounts, which have to some extent downplayed the danger, Browne said the situation “got progressively more intense” and there were demonstrations in Buenos Aires every day.

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