The often controversial right-wing news commentator is currently embroiled in a Brian Williams-esque scandal of alleged false war reporting.
In another controversy regarding a journalist alleged to have embellished his war reportage, Fox news host Bill O’Reilly continues to come under fire for apparently over-exaggerating the danger he was in while covering the 1982 Falklands crisis in his book four years ago.
A former CBS colleague of O’Reilly’s, Eric Engberg, claimed in a lengthy Facebook post that they were not really in a combat zone, instead being caught up in little more than “routine reporting on a demonstration that got a little nasty.”
Fox's Bill O'Reilly is facing accusations of exaggerating his war reporting
His post opened by tagging O’Reilly as a “bloviater”, saying that he was over-stating the reality of the situation in which they had both found themselves to "burnish his credentials as a ‘war correspondent’" and should be "ashamed of himself.”
He continued “I don't think it's as big a lie as Brian Williams told because O'Reilly hasn't falsely claimed to be the target of an enemy attack, but he has displayed a willingness to twist the truth in a way that seeks to invent a battlefield that did not exist.”
The story originated with news outlet Mother Jones, who claimed that the controversial Fox figurehead had exaggerated war reporting by saying that he had seen “active war zones” when he was covering the crisis. O’Reilly hit back, telling the New York Daily News that the accusations were “bulls***”, calling out Mother Jones writer David Corn in particular.
“David Corn, who works for the far left magazine Mother Jones, smeared me yesterday, saying I had fabricated some war reporting,” he strongly retorted on Friday last week. “Mother Jones, which has low circulation, is considered by many the bottom rung of journalism in America. However, in this Internet age, the defamation they put forth gets exposure, so I have to deal with this garbage.”
But Engberg’s post would seem to have piled the pressure on O’Reilly even further, particularly his assertion that O’Reilly endangered his camera crew by making them switch on their lights while filming, despite advice that they would attract angry locals if they did so. “O'Reilly was the one person who behaved unprofessionally and without regard for the safety of the camera crew he was leading,” Engberg stated.
O’Reilly, normally the presenter of Fox News’ ‘The O’Reilly Factor’, used his appearance on Fox News’ ‘MediaBuzz’ on Sunday to hit back at Engberg’s post, describing it as part of a smear campaign, calling him a “coward” and reading from a contemporary New York Times article describing police officers firing on protestors and vehicles being set alight.