Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responded again Friday to allegations made by "Mother Jones" that he lied about his coverage of the Falklands conflict in 1982.
Thursday night, shortly after the allegations were published, O'Reilly came out blasting, calling David Corn, one of the authors of the piece, a "pig" in an interview with The Sun.
Friday in his "Talking Points" memo, which was to be broadcast at 8 p.m. during his show, O'Reilly quoted from internal CBS memos that he says he found last night, which back his version of the coverage he provided for the network 33 years ago.
Earlier today, "Mother Jones" had emailed O'Reilly a list of questions about his coverage and asked him to answer those rather than attacking Corn.
Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, co-editors of "Mother Jones," also wrote to O'Reilly and a spokeswoman for Fox News Friday saying:
We are writing with alarm about Bill O’Reilly's response to our report investigating his characterizations of his reporting in "war zones." We welcome criticism, but calling for our reporter "to be in the kill zone" crosses a line. Like everyone in media today, we are concerned about the safety of our staff. We'd have hoped that statements with this kind of violent tone would not come from a fellow media professional.
For a full day before publishing the story, starting at 8:30 a.m., Mother Jones sought comment or clarification from Fox News. This included sending emails with a detailed list of questions. After multiple calls and emails to you both went unanswered, we published the story at 5:26 p.m.
After the article was posted, Mr. O’Reilly spoke to multiple reporters for other outlets. He did not address the substance of the article. Instead, he called David Corn “a liar,” “a guttersnipe,” “a disgusting piece of garbage,” and “a left-wing assassin.” He suggested that Corn deserved to be "in the kill zone.”
Mr O'Reilly has indicated that he plans to address the Mother Jones story on his show tonight. He should use that occasion to renounce his “kill zone" remark and apologize. If he does not, he should issue a separate statement renouncing the remark and apologizing.
We would appreciate a response. And of course, we remain very interested in any comments responding to the article itself.
"Mother Jones" is putting O'Reilly in the same boat as Brian Williams, the NBC News managing editor and anchor who was suspended for six months for lying about his coverage in Iraq in 2003.
But whereas the Williams scandal was clearly about journalism from the moment "Stars and Stripes" reported it, this one feels steeped in left-right ideological warfare. Wherever the O'Reilly story ultimately goes, it is not going to make Williams any less a liar and unworthy of the anchor chair and managing editor's title at any national news organization that cares about credibility.
Here's the script for the opening of O'Reilly's show tonight:
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly ... thanks for watching us tonight ... more proof the American media is corrupt.
That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
This man ... 56-year-old David Corn ... who works for the far left magazine ... Mother Jones ... smeared me, your humble correspondent, yesterday ... saying I had fabricated some war reporting.
Mother Jones ... which has low circulation ... considered by many the bottom rung of journalism in America.
however ... in this Internet age ... the defamation they put forth ... gets exposure.
and so I have to deal with this garbage tonight. I’m sorry.
basically David Corn ... a liar ... says that I exaggerated situations in the Falklands War ... and Salvadoran War.
Here's the truth ... everything I’ve said about my reportorial career ... everything ... is true.
33-years ago in June ... Argentina surrendered to Great Britain ... ending the Falklands War.
I was covering the conflict from Argentina and Uruguay for CBS News.
After learning of the surrender ... angry mobs in Buenos Aires ... stormed the presidential palace ... the Casa Rosada ... trying to overthrow the government of General Leopoldo Galtieri.
I was there on the street ... with my camera crews.
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.
and later on ... I filed a report ... that ran nationwide.
That's what happened.
I never said I was on the Falkland Islands ... as Corn purports ... I said I covered the Falklands War ... which I did.
Now ... in what I consider to be a miracle ... I found this CBS internal memo from 33 years ago ... praising my coverage that day.
The cable was sent to the CBS bureau chief in Buenos Aires ... by the news desk here in New York City:
"Doyle, O'Reilly didn't have the time last night but 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.”
"Thanks again. Your piece made the late feed, a winner last night."
Want more? ... here it is:
Shortly after my crew and I ... escaped grave danger on the streets of Buenos Aires ... I wrote to CBS News boss Ed Joyce ... praising the crew’s bravery.
I have the letter:
"The crews were great … the riot had been very bad, we were gassed, shot at, and I had the best vantage point in which to report the story."
So we have rock solid proof ... that David Corn ... smeared me ... and some websites that picked up his defamation ... did as well.
Now ... I had to spend hours last night ... on the phone with various reporters ... and crawling around my basement covered with dust to find documents from 33 years ago. Again, it was a miracle I found them.
all because an irresponsible ... guttersnipe ... a far left zealot ... who has attacked Fox News many times before ... spit this stuff out on the net.
and you know what? ... nothing is gonning to happen to David Corn.
Mother Jones and the far left websites ...couldn't care less about the truth.
They are in business to injure. This is a political hit job.
At this point ... TV coverage has been scant, but CNN tried to exploit the situation because a guy over there named Brian Stelter ... is another far left zealot ... masquerading as a journalist. CNN can do a lot better than this guy.
Real journalists ... knew this story was B-S from the jump.
They knew Corn was trying to take the Brian Williams situation ... and wrap it around my neck ... for ideological reasons ... because he has a history of attacking Fox News.
In addition ... Corn actually wrote that I hammered Brian Williams ... when everyone knows ... I went out of my way on Kimmel and the Factor ... to be compassionate to the man.
Corn must think the folks ... are as dumb ... as he is.
The whole scandal ... reminds me of another guy who got completely away with it.
That man is Al Franken ... who years ago ... accused me of faking my working class upbringing.
He actually said in public many times ... I was not raised in Levittown ... he ran around telling that to the media ... who gleefully printed his words.
The despicable Franken ... perhaps the biggest liar I have ever known ... wouldn't even retract it when I produced this:
The deed to my parent's house ... it says Levittown, Al
... but you, a dishonest smear merchant ... wouldn't retract your false story.
And I'm sure Corn won't either.
and what happened to Al Franken?
He was elected a senator from Minnesota.
And that's the memo ...