Bill O'Reilly Denies "Smear" Report He Exaggerated War Stories
He says Mother Jones' David Corn's article is false: "If he is reporting that I have exaggerated, embellished or lied, then he's the liar."
Bill O'Reilly is the latest cable news pundit whose wartime exploits are falling under the microscope.
On Thursday, Mother Jones magazine published an article by Washington bureau chief David Corn that detailed alleged inconsistencies in O'Reilly's recollection of his time as a correspondent during the Falklands War. The article cited sources disputing O'Reilly saying he reported from combat zones, with the then-CBS News lead correspondent saying "nobody from CBS got to the Falklands," and adding that they "were a thousand miles from where the fighting was."
O'Reilly says Corn is a "liar," who "saw an opportunity to smear" him and took it. O'Reilly adds that there is video evidence to back up his recollections.
"If he is reporting that I have exaggerated, embellished or lied, then he's the liar," O'Reilly tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Everything I said is verifiable. You can see the videotape."
Corn, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones, was the reporter responsible for unearthing the infamous "47 percent" Mitt Romney video. Fox News confirmed he was a Fox News contributor from March 2001- March 2008, when the network did not renew his deal.
The allegation follows the Feb. 10 suspension of Brian Williams from NBC News Nightly News after the anchor conceded that an oft-told anecdote about a 2003 helicopter incident in Iraq contained false details about being under fire.
O'Reilly says he not only filed segments about the war that were aired on CBS Evening News, but that he received written praise for his work.
"When the Argentines surrendered, the video that I assembled with my crew lead Dan Rather's show," he says. "I filed the reports, they ran on the CBS evening news, it's a matter of record, and there's an internal memo that praises me for the reporting, so it's all a bunch of crap."
The O'Reilly Factor host says he's still considering his alternatives, but that he may address the situation on his Friday show.
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do," O'Reilly says. "I'm not going to waste a lot of air time on a guttersnipe like Corn. It just enhances his ability to smear people. He's a far-left zealot. Whatever damage he can do to people with whom he disagrees, that's what he does. So I am not sure what I'm going to do yet."
The Falklands War was fought between Argentina and the U.K. for 10 weeks in 1982.