Saturday, February 21, 2015

So Bill O'Reilly Was in a "Combat Situation, Okay"?

Normally I am pretty willing to give a little slack to people "misremembering" shit that happens to them. See for example How Do We Know What We Know, about the whole Brian Williams fiasco. So I was willing to cut Bill Orally a bit of slack over the years on his claims that he was "in a combat situation, okay?"

But if you as a "newsman" are going to pitch shit on a fellow reporter, you ought to make sure your own skirts are clean. Which is why I experienced a certain amount of schadenfreude glee when I read the Mother Jones story, Bill O'Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem.

BillO of course was not so happy. He immediately doubled down by saying that he never said he was IN the Falklands for the Falklands War, just that he covered the war. From Buenos Aires and Montevideo. You know, where all the combat was -- NOT!

Media Matters has combed through various transcripts and compiled a bunch of quotes from BillO on this topic. Read them and then you tell me if he did not claim that he was in combat in the Falklands War. Maybe he didn't say those exact words, but context is everything, and the kind of people who are his normal audience are a little short on the nuance thing: "Because I was in a situation, one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete." Look at that and you will see that even the average listener, let alone the Bill Orally fan, would think that he heard that BillO said he was "in the Falklands". Also, an aside from the 12-year-old that lives inside my head..."this one time? at band camp?"

Like I say, I'm willing to give a guy a little slack if, for example, he says he was in combat and we learn that he wasn't actually IN combat but was actually a block away and saw it go down. Everybody does a little "résumé enhancement" from time to time, but I'm not going to claim that I was in the 1968 Tet Offensive when I was actually half a world and three months away from Vietnam at the time. I can, however, say that I was in the so-called "Little Tet" of 1968, literally almost from the time my boots hit the ground at the Bien Hoa airfield on the 10th of May.

Speaking of that, BillO, you were born in 1949, which means that you were 18 years old in 1967. Why didn't you go to Vietnam? Why didn't you avail yourself of the opportunity for that real "war experience" you apparently craved so much that you thrust yourself onto the Mean Streets of the "war zone" of Buenos Aires at the very end of the Falklands War.

On the March 19, 2008 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly used his "war experience" to criticize Bill Moyers: "I missed Moyers in the war zones of Falkland conflict in Argentina, the Middle East and Northern Ireland. I looked for Bill, but I didn't see him."

Yeah, BillO,  I looked for you in Vietnam but I didn't see you, either.


BadTux said...

Thing is, Bill O'Really does *not* have a Brian Williams Problem. See, Brian Williams worked for a reputable journalistic establishment with a reputation for honesty and journalistic integrity to protect. Bill O'Reilly, on the other hand, works for Fox News.

Ba da BOOM!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Farnsworth68 said...

That's fucking hilarious! To the rest of my literally dozens of readers, be sure to check out BT's blog, Bad Tux the Snarky Penguin. He is another guy who "gets it".