February 2015

From a USA TODAY editorial:

By journalism ethics, Fox should distance itself from its truth-challenged employee. But that’s not likely to happen because for Fox and its fans, credibility is established by different means. Having common enemies matters more than factual detail. That’s why Fox has left a canyon-wide gap between its standards and those of NBC.

NBC took its tarnished anchor off the air; Fox let O’Reilly use his show to go on the attack. NBC executives began an investigation of Williams; Fox News CEO Roger Ailespublicly backed his marquee talent. Williams apologized; O’Reilly threatened journalistswriting about him.

NBC tried to make itself better. Fox went to war.

That shouldn’t be a surprise. Fox News was not created to be neutral but rather to feed a hunger among conservatives for a network they could relate to. For decades, the so-called mainstream news media left them with the impression that the press, liberals and the Democratic Party shared the same enemies: them.

And we can count his reported experiences during the 1992 L.A. riots among his growing list of tall-tales. Not that it seems to matter much. Roger Aisles is only riled when a Democrat tells a whopper while his cash cow boy is granted immunity against the same criticism.

O’Reilly’s role on Fox is quite like the parent who lords over his child with a cigarette in one hand, a beer in the other while shrieking DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO! And Fox followers are all too willing to play the obedient child.

Here is Media Matters take on this USA TODAY editorial.

============ UPDATE ============

RAW STORY has a detailed account of O’Reilly’s coverage of the L.A. riots in 1992 as witnessed by his colleagues and crew. It’s a good read and I hope you take the time to go to Raw Story and give it your full attention. I’m only posting a snippet of it here because there’s a particular quote I think you will find… shall we say… interesting 🙂

“There were people putting out fires nearby,” said McKeown. “And Bill showed up in his fancy car.” McKeown said at one point, the driver of O’Reilly’s personal car risked causing further offence by exiting the vehicle with a bottle of Windex and polishing the roof.

“The guy was watching us and getting more and more angry,” said McKeown. “Bill was being Bill — complaining ‘people are in my eye line’ – and kind of being very insensitive to the situation.” Kirkham said: “It was just so out of line. He starts barking commands about ‘this isn’t good enough for me’, ‘this isn’t gonna work’, ‘who’s in charge here?’”

The man shouted abuse at O’Reilly and the team, crew members said, and O’Reilly ordered him to shut up. He asked “don’t you know who I am?’,” according to two members of the team

“The guy lost it,” said McKeown. Enraged, he is said to have leapt on to the team’s flatbed trailer and kicked over a light, before throwing the piece of rubble, which smashed the camera and an autocue screen. Antin said he restrained the man. But O’Reilly then continued taunting him while a producer stood between them. “Come on, you wanna take me? I’ll take you on,” O’Reilly is said to have shouted at him.

McCall said the producer, who is about a foot shorter than O’Reilly, “didn’t have much trouble holding Bill back.” McCall said: “It was a lot more show than anything else on Bill’s part”.

“don’t you know who I am?” seems to be the battlecry of the fake-at-heart. Now, where have we heard this before?

Two peas in a pod 🙂
Palin'Occhio PiniocchiO Reilly


PiniocchiO Reilly

A Top surgeon and head of a Woman’s Health Clinic was murdered – coincidently – after a 28-episode smear campaign spread over 3 years by the FNC television show (The O’Reilly Factor) in which he was repeatedly and relentlessly referred to by Bill O’Reilly as “Tiller the baby killer”.

Mr. O’Reilly did not coin the name, that was done by a right-wing senator, but he was responsible for putting it in the ear of millions of pro-life Fox viewers, many of whom violently opposed the concept of abortion on any level.

At some point – a man with an audience needs to be a responsible speaker. We may indeed enjoy free speech under the first amendment, but hate speech is still hate speech and repeatedly, publicly labeling a licensed doctor a baby killer is not speech we shjould ever sanction under our constitution.

From Wikipedia:


Tiller was discussed in 28 episodes of the Fox News talk show The O’Reilly Factor before his death in May 2009, focusing national attention on his practice. Although he later denied it, show host Bill O’Reilly sometimes described him as “Tiller the Baby Killer,” a nickname that Congressman Robert K. Dornan had used on the floor of the US House of Representatives. O’Reilly said he would not want to be Tiller, Kathleen Sebelius, and other pro-choice Kansas politicians “if there is a judgment day.”[14] On November 3, 2006, O’Reilly featured an exclusive segment on The O’Reilly Factor, saying that he had an “inside source” with official clinic documentation indicating that Tiller performed late-term abortions to alleviate “temporary depression” in pregnant woman.[15] He characterized the doctor as “a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly,” and accused him of “operating a death mill,” and of protecting the rapists of children. He suggested that Tiller performed abortions for women who had “a bit of a headache or anxiety” or who felt “a bit blue.”[16]

After Dr. Tiller was murdered, O’Reilly denied responsibility and defended his campaign against Dr. Tiller, saying: “When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime, and that’s exactly what has happened. […] Every single thing we said about Tiller was true, and my analysis was based on those facts. […] Now, it’s clear that the far left is exploiting — exploiting — the death of the doctor. Those vicious individuals want to stifle any criticism of people like Tiller. That — and hating Fox News — is the real agenda here.”[17]


PiniocchiO ReillyThe 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.”

Bill O'Reilly's Killing Kennedy

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.

PiniocchiO Reilly


Fox News Channel throws the stations full support behind their biggest star. Houston we may have a problem…


…the problem with chucking a tanty during the filming of your nightly news broadcast is that the camera probably won’t stop rolling just because you began behaving badly – and the intern you just told to fuck off is highly motivated to keeping a copy for himself – and then one day you really piss someone off and the clip of your tantrum ends up on youtube.

Full story at Liberals Unite:

Fox journalism… when you just gotta tell someone to fuck off.

PiniocchiO Reilly

Oh looky! An actual, bonafide, card-carrying journalist calls out O’Reilly on national televsion for lying about his *cough* combat zone credentials. And he’s apparently not the only one!

When O’Reilly made the claim that he had been the only journalist to get footage of the anti-war rally in Buenos Aires, (which he then falsely describes as a combat zone in the Falklands war) the other five – still living – journalists and their camera crews also assigned to the story AND their on-site director take umbrage. Putting six other reputations on the line may just be his downfall.

And so the game is afoot!

Be sure to watch both video clips in the link below and stock up on popcorn because it looks like this is just the beginning…

Mother Jones vindicated in first CNN interview.  with promise of more to come.


CBS releases original footage – O’Reilly tries to use it to vindicate himself but falls flat on his two-face. Mother Jones has full story.

For the past 72+ hours, residents of Southeast Queensland have had to deal with Tropical Cyclone Marcia. Some areas were hit hard and sustained a lot of property damage but thankfully no one was reported missing or killed. Those of us in the extended path and outer parameters  mercifully just dealt with a fair bit of wind, a monumental amount of rain, and none of us will not know the full effect of this storm until we see how swollen our rivers become in the coming days.

But here’s the thing.

Australia itself is divided into five states with Tasmania, a small island off the southern coast being the sixth – much like the United States is divided into 48 states with the territory of Alaska and the islands which make up Hawaii, the 49th and 50th states. In the middle is an area divided into so many disputed parts we just lumped it all into one big box and labelled it a territory.

And we don’t quite know why some news outlets – specifically CNN can always be getting this wrong. We only have 6 states and a territory. If CNN can keep track of all 50 US states, why is Australia so hard to manage?

Here is a map of Australia with clear lines drawn between the states and the correct placement of Marcia’s path and the cities involved (plus I added me!):

[Click to enlarge]
The Real Australia

Marcia hit Yeppoon first, made her way down to Rockhampton before losing steam, becoming just another dangerous thunderstorm. (But not any more dangerous than our backyard snakes and we get thunderstorms in Qld all the time. No worries mate!)

The odd bit for me about this particular storm is – look at the map please – TC Marcia touched down at Yeppoon at 8:46am, 20 Feb and was never less than 8-10 hours away from where I live – and yet we had constant rain from Wednesday afternoon through earlier today. That’s some 30 hours before TC Marcia touched down and a good 36 hours after her downgrade. So really that was one ginormous storm system!!!

But I digress.

Now that you’ve seen the actual map of Australia, here is the map placed on international television via CNN during their coverage yesterday (20 Feb 015) *see correction below- of cyclone Marcia:

CNN 2015 Qld in tasmania

How many things are wrong with this picture? Ohhh let me count the ways…

First, Queensland is not Tasmania. They have Brisbane in the right place geographically but Brisbane had nothing to do with TC Marcia. Brisbane got wet and the rivers may yet flood but all the damage was between Yeppoon and Rockhampton. So showing Brisbane on the map is like showing pictures of San Francisco when reporting on an avalanche in Tahoe.

The big giveaway? Look north. See Innisfail and Cairns? They were pretty popular with reporters way back in March of 2006. That’s when Tropical Cyclone Larry hit northern Queensland and took out several millions of dollars worth of produce. Whole citrus orchards were toppled. Pineapple and sugar cane fields were leveled. It was horrid. But it had nothing to do with TC Marcia yesterday so why on earth is it on today’s map???

Well here’s a clue.

CNN reports on  Australia’s category 5 Cyclone Yasi in 2011. Anduses this map:

[Click to Enlarge]
CNN 2011 Qld in tasmania

Look familiar?

So apparently, CNN tells some guy to go find a map of Australia they can dress up, and he tells his boss ‘hey I think there’s one in the archives – and it’s already marked!’ and the boss is like – ‘cool – works done – let’s go get a beer!’

But wait! There’s more!

Spouse found this tweet from New Year’s Eve 2013 that just fits right in with the incompetency of CNN researchers:

CNN 2013 Aickland Australia

And just for fun I have this to add:
Brady Bunch LOLand this…

marcia marcia marcia

and finally, just to show CNN isn’t the only US news network to get our little country wrong, there’s this from when the Indonesia plane went missing…

Perth is not in Tasmania

Sorry boys – Perth is on the west coast of Western Australia – that’s Tasmania you’re pointing to – and the word search has an ‘r’ in it. I’m guessing this is from one of those well-educated Republican states…

============== CORRECTION ==============

CNN isn’t the only one who can get it wrong. The initial image of the erroneous map presented to me as a screenshot of a CNN broadcast from 20 Feb 015 is in all probability a copy of the image used in their 2011 report on Cyclone Yasi. That link is in fact still up along with the erroneous image of Australia. However, I wrote this post prior to double checking my sources and the link I’d been given to the supposed 20 Feb 015 screenshot doesn’t exist anywhere on the net. My guess is, someone grabbed a screenie of the 2011 news report and has passed it off as current. When your eyes settle read the banner at the bottom closely – what are the odds that on both occasions, 4 years apart, the Dow avg would be the same number?

I’m leaving the article as is with this added correction because at the end of the day they did get it wrong 4 years ago – and there’s a chance they also got it wrong back in 2006 when they reported on Cyclone Larry. My observations and comments remain accurate – just with the adjustment that this image probably does not relate to Cyclone Marcia.


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