If you hear someone say
Bill O'Reilly in the truth-tellers' corner with Donald Trump.
"I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head" or "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador," what do you think he's saying? Does it seem reasonable to you to believe that he's saying he, personally, has seen nuns be shot in the head while he was in El Salvador?
If your answer to that was yes, you are not operating by Bill O'Reilly rules. Or at least, O'Reilly's rules for interpreting his own statements.
According to O'Reilly, it's okay that he wasn't telling the truth because he didn't lie in the specific context of reporting on El Salvador ... or because any reasonable listener would know that he was talking about having seen pictures of murdered nuns in El Salvador ... or something:
“While in El Salvador, reporters were shown horrendous images of violence that were never broadcast, including depictions of nuns who were murdered,” he said. “The mention of the nuns on my program came the day of the Newtown massacre.” [...]
“The segment was about evil and how hard it is for folks to comprehend it,” O’Reilly added. “I used the murdered nuns as an example of that evil. That's what I am referring to when I say, ‘I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head.’ No one could possibly take that segment as reporting on El Salvador.”
This explanation applies to the claim that "I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head." He has yet to explain how we're to interpret "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador," which he said at another time.
Fox News continues to stand by O'Reilly, because of course. This is not a network that cares about little details like accuracy, and this kind of blustery machismo is exactly what the network pays O'Reilly so much for. Why would it matter to an organization like Fox if O'Reilly's macho bluster bore any connection to reality?