Bill O’Reilly Totally Loses It, Threatens Reporter
Bill O’Reilly has raised the bar in his war against journalists. Late last night, The New York Times disclosed that O’Reilly threatened a reporter during a phone conversation with him discussing possible embellishments he made regarding his reporting during the Falklands War.
According to the Times article:
“Mr. O’Reilly’s efforts to refute the claims by Mother Jones and some former CBS News colleagues occurred both on the air and off on Monday. During a phone conversation, he told a reporter for The New York Times 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,’ Mr. O’Reilly said. ‘You can take it as a threat.’”
One of the Times’ bylined reporters, Emily Steel revealed on Twitter that she was the writer threatened by O’Reilly.
On his nightly Fox News rant, The O’Reilly Factor, O'Reilly again defended his account, showing footage of protests in Argentina and saying that he pulled an injured CBS News photographer to safety. He also stood by his previous assertions that the rioting resulted in deaths. O’Reilly then declared that it was time to end the controversy about his claims regarding the 1982 war. "I want to stop this now,” bellowed an irate O’Reilly. “I hope we can stop it. I really do.”
O’Reilly has also accused journalists of purposely going after him in some form of retaliation over the 6-month suspension of NBC News anchor Brian Williams for serial embellishment.
CBS News released its own video retrospective of its Falklands War coverage, but did not indicate that any of its staff was injured. In a report from 1982, however, then anchor Dan Rather says that some CBS crew members were shoved and knocked down.
The controversy began last week when Mother Jones writers David Corn and Daniel Schulman revealed that O’Reilly made claims that about his time cover during the Falklands War, suggesting that he was actually in the Falkland Islands.
Mother Jones referred to an O’Reilly Factor clip from April 2013, where the conservative bloviator said, "I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands.” It also referred to 2004 post on O’Reilly’s blog, where he wrote: "Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands war, I know that life-and-death decisions are made in a flash."
The article also quoted O’Reilly from his ironically titled book, The No Spin Zone, where he wrote: "You know that I am not easily shocked. I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands." O’Reilly, however, contradicts himself in his book, suggesting that he arrived in Buenos Aires after the Falklands War ended.
O’Reilly was never closer than 300 miles from the battles, which occurred well off the Patagonia Coast and lasted 10 weeks. No American journalists were present on the Falkland Islands during the war.
After the Mother Jones story was released O’Reilly quickly turned on Corn, calling him a liar and questioning his ethics. He then equated the protest that he witnessed in Buenos Aires, where police fired on the crowd, to be a “war situation.”