The more time it takes for Bill O’Reilly to come clean and apologize for his past exaggerations about his street credentials in journalism and bad behaviour, the more time there is for more people to dig up more examples of past exaggerations and bad behaviour.
Bill O’Reilly flat-out lied about his participation in the reporting of a rather infamous suicide. Back in 1977 O’Reilly claimed to have been standing outside the home of George de Mohrenschild, a Russian man who had befriended Lee Harvey Oswald some 15 years earlier and who had only hours before been contacted by the House Select Committee investigating the JFK assassination. O’Reilly claims to have heard the shotgun fire that killed the Russian – a claim that contradicts the facts on many levels.
First, according to travel documentation, his bosses and fellow reporters, O’Reilly was in Dallas Texas at the time making phone calls trying to track down the Russian man (who was in Florida) so he could set up an interview.
Second, neither of the two maids living in the Florida house heard any gunfire at all. Both were home at the time and unaware of the suicide until the body had been discovered.
Third – and probably the most telling – O’Reilly never said a word about being at Mr. de Mohrenschild’s front door until after he began writing a book about the Kennedy Assassination some 36 years later.
Full story (plus video) at Media Matters:
In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly writes on page 300 that as a “reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian … that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.”
O’Reilly repeated the tale for the Killing Kennedy audiobook.
He also wrote in Kennedy’s Last Days, the 2013 adaption of Killing Kennedy for younger readers: “As I knocked on the door, I heard a shotgun blast. He had killed himself.”
The Fox News host repeated the tale while promoting his book and movie special on Fox News. During an October 2, 2012, appearance on Fox & Friends, O’Reilly claimed he “was about to knock on the door where [de Mohrenschildt] was, his daughter’s house, and he blew his brains out with a shotgun.” O’Reilly replayed the clip of his 2012 appearance during a November 30, 2014, O’Reilly Factorspecial before Fox News’ airing of the Killing Kennedy film.
Rachel Maddow addresses the threats made by O’Reilly to reporters attempting to do their job – here.
Mother Jones posts interview of David Corn by Rachel Maddow about his reaction to O’Reilly’s threats – here.
I’m curious to see how Fox & Friends are going to spin their interviews with O’Reilly in which they seemed to have obediently bought into every one of Pinocchio’s lies.
Also curious to see how many more surface in the coming weeks.
============ UPDATE ============
Well that didn’t take long –
Media Matters has a new reveal on a tall-tale O’Reilly spun about having witnessed the killing of Nuns in el Salvador back in 1980. Full story and video here:
O’Reilly has spoken on several occasions about his time covering the Salvadoran civil war as a CBS correspondent in 1981, suggesting at least twice that he witnessed the murder of the churchwomen. On the September 27, 2005, edition of his talk-radio programThe Radio Factor, O’Reilly said, “I’ve seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador.” And on the December 14, 2012, edition of his Fox News show, O’Reilly spoke of telling his mother that “I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head.”
However, O’Reilly could not possibly have witnessed the murder of the churchwomen if his own timeline is to be believed. The former CBS correspondent only arrived in El Salvador in 1981, as he mentioned on the February 22, 2002, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, saying (according to Nexis transcript), “Before I went to El Salvador in 1981, I talked with some experienced Latin American experts, people who had seen the brutal wars down there for themselves. I had never been in a war zone before, so I wanted some prep.”
Point of fact: the rape and murder of the four Americans occurred on December 2, 1980 and according to historical records no other nuns or Americans were killed past that incident.
The problem with
bloviating lying as often as Mr. O’Reilly seems to is that it gets harder and harder to bend the truth and keep the lies straight at the same time. It should come as no surprise then that O’Reilly has verbally on the air and through his own writings, altered the details of his stories on several occasions to such an extent as to now find himself swimming in a sea of self-contradiction.
I’m guessing he’s starting to seriously regret having gone after Brian Williams, which was the impetus for creating this Pandora’s Box in the first place.