Bill O, checking out his favorite war hero ...
The fallout over Mother Jones' expose of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's long-running lies about his combat reporting continues, today with a Facebook posting by Eric Jon Engberg, a former CBS correspondent who worked for the network for 27 years and, along with O'Reilly, reported from Buenos Aires back in 1982. And how does he remember it? Just a few of the highlights:
- We -- meaning the American networks -- were all in the same, modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties or weapons. It was not a war zone or even close. It was an "expense account zone."
- All the members of the CBS reporting staff and all the two-person camera crews we had in Buenos Aires were sent in to the street. I believe there were four or five crews. The reporters, as I remember, were O'Reilly, Chuck Gomez, Charles Krause, Bob Schieffer and myself. Somewhere it has been reported that O'Reilly has claimed he was the only CBS News reporter who had the courage to go into the street because the rest of us were hiding in our hotel. If he said such thing it is an absolute lie.
- When Doyle informed O'Reilly that Schieffer would be doing the report, which would not include any segment from O'Reilly, the reporter exploded. "I didn't come down here to have my footage used by that old man," he shouted ... This confrontation led the next day to O'Reilly being ordered out of Argentina by the CBS bosses. Doyle had told them O'Reilly was a "disruptive force" who threatened his bureau's morale and cohesion.
- O'Reilly has said he was in a situation in Argentina where "my photographer got run down and hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete and the army was chasing us." The only place where such an injury could have occurred was the relatively tame riot I have described above. Neither Doyle, who would have been immediately informed of injury to any CBS personnel, nor anyone else who was working the story remembers a cameraman being injured that night.
- The gunfire reported by O'Reilly is equally suspicious. One of our camera crews reported that they believed the Argentine police or army had fired a few rubber bullets at the crowd. That was the only report we received of weapons being fired that night.
Now, perhaps Mr. O'Reilly will get around to responding the many questions that he refuses to answer. Or he'll continue with his tantrums and name-calling.
6:23 PM PT: Yes, Bill will be on Fox, getting grilled by a Fox co-worker. May be good for a few laughs because God knows it won't be good for getting any questions answered.
UPDATE: O'Reilly to address CBS colleague's claims on Mediabuzz w/ Howard Kurtz tomorrow at 11 AM/ET.