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On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly is set to tear into Mother Jones magazine, writer David Corn and a “corrupt” American media — his response to Corn’s claim that he embellished his experiences covering wars in the Falklands and El Salvador for CBS three decades ago.
“David Corn, who works for the far-left magazine Mother Jones, smeared me,” O’Reilly plans to say at the top of his show, which airs on the Fox News Channel and is the highest-rated news show on cable television.
He’ll also describe Mother Jones as a “low circulation” magazine “considered by many the bottom rung of journalism in America.”
Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, co-authored an article published Thursday headlined “Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem,” comparing the Fox News host to the NBC anchor now on suspension for false claims he was shot down in a helicopter while covering the war in Iraq.
The gist of the article is that O’Reilly writes in one of his books that “I’ve reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands.” Corn and co-author Daniel Schulman write that that statement and others like it aren’t exactly true.
Since the story was published just prior to O’Reilly taping his show Thursday, he hasn’t addressed the allegations on air yet. Instead, he spoke to numerous reporters. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, for example, he called Corn a “far-left zealot” and says his claims in the story are “a bunch of crap.”
O’Reilly has said he uses “war zone” as “shorthand” for covering a war from a nearby place but not on the actual battlefield dodging bullets. And he will note on his show that he was in Buenos Aires on the day the Argentines surrendered and violence broke out, which should be considered part of the Falklands War.
“I was there on the street, with my camera crews,” he will say. “The violence was horrific as Argentine soldiers fired into the crowd, who were responding with violent acts of their own. My video of the combat led the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather that evening.”
O’Reilly also plans on showing his audience an internal memo from 33 years ago praising his coverage that day.
“Would like to say many thanks for the riot piece last night. WCBS-TV and WCAU-TV both took the entire piece instead of stripping it for pix. They called to say thanks for a fine piece,” reads the memo.
O’Reilly will read a letter he wrote to then-CBS News boss Ed Joyce as well. “The riot had been very bad. We were gassed, shot at and I had the best vantage point in which to report the story.”
O’Reilly plans on criticizing CNN, Brian Stelter and even Sen. Al Franken in his opening monologue tonight.
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