Bill O’Reilly‘s claims of reporting in a war zone in the 1980’s is being challenged in an explosive new piece by Mother Jones.
The website’s David Corn highlights several instances where the Fox News primetime host claimed to have covered the 1982 fighting in the Falklands War between Argentina and England up close—the issue is few reporters were able to cover the conflict up close due to the remote location of the war zone.
The main fighting was 1,400 miles offshore between the British territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Corn reports O’Reilly was in Buenos Aires covering a public protest against the military junta directly after the Argentine surrendered to England—a point media critics are suggesting is not the equivalent of a war zone; the term O’Reilly has used on TV and in books.
“Few reporters were able to witness and report on the combat that claimed the lives of about 900 Argentine and British troops,” Corn wrote for Mother Jones.
“I’ve been there. That’s really what separates me from most of these other bloviators,” O’Reilly has said in recent years about covering wars he gives his opinion about. “I bloviate, but I bloviate about stuff I’ve seen. They bloviate about stuff that they haven’t.”
O’Reilly shot back in a slew of interviews Thursday night.
“Everything I said is true,” O’Reilly told TVNewser. “Everything I said is verifiable. The video that I got led the Dan Rather program that night. This is insane. I never said I was on the Falkland Islands, nobody was.”
“This guy [David Corn] is far-left assassin. That’s what he does. Everybody knows that,” O’Reilly added. In a separate interview with Mediaite, he called Corn’s report “total bullshit.”
Corn responded to O’Reilly’s “name calling” in an interview with Politico Thursday.
“To me, the issue here is whether a media figure and journalist like Bill O’Reilly, who claims to be a truth teller, can get away without answering questions about specific statements he’s made, and hide behind name calling,” Corn told Politico. “I would encourage anyone else who covers this story to get Bill O’Reilly to answer those quesitons — if not to me, than to anyone else.”
Fox News cited interviews Bill O’Reilly has done Thursday night in response to TheWrap’s request for comment.