Recently, Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly has faced some harsh scrutiny by some in the media over allegations that he lied about his wartime reporting. This is of course on the heels of the now-suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams who admitted that he lied about a helicopter he was a passenger in coming under fire during his time covering the Iraq War.
Though it’s clear that these two situations are being handled very differently. Williams almost immediately admitted to lying or “misremembering,” took a leave of absence and was eventually suspended by NBC for six months. Personally, I don’t think that there’s any chance he returns to his anchor chair even if he remains with the company. I just don’t think someone in his position recovers from this kind of scandal. When you’re anchoring a nightly news desk, you need to be someone who people can trust, not someone who perpetuated a ridiculous lie for well over a decade for who knows what reasons. Meanwhile, O’Reilly continues to stay on air and Fox News has stated that they stand behind him on this issue.
But as most of us know, lying is ingrained into the culture of Fox News and everything that they stand for as a network.
And while O’Reilly’s lies aren’t the same as the lies told by Williams, it’s still an issue of credibility. Though, to be fair, O’Reilly’s credibility is almost non-existent outside of conservatives who worship anything and everything Fox News tells them to believe. So I don’t expect the Fox News host to be subjected to any kind of disciplinary action no matter what else comes to light.
That being said, this story isn’t going away. O’Reilly has responded to these allegations with fits of furious anger toward Mother Jones writer David Corn, but there’s still one thing that he hasn’t provided the public with that could prove that he wasn’t lying: the identity of the cameraman whose life he claimed to have saved.
Sure, Fox News has claimed that the name of the individual is Robert Moreno, but there’s absolutely no evidence of any incident while he worked for CBS where he was involved in any sort of bloody skirmish. And thus far, he hasn’t come forward to back up O’Reilly’s story.
One would think if he was working with this cameraman, and went as far as to save his life, there would be some kind of record of it with CBS and this person would be more than willing to come forward in support of the Fox News host.
Seems pretty simple if you ask me.
But it goes beyond just the cameraman. Who was in the crew with which O’Reilly was working? Wouldn’t they have been eyewitnesses to back up his claims?
So far it seems the only person who’s supporting O’Reilly’s claims – is O’Reilly himself. But he surely wasn’t out there alone. While this happened in 1982, there should have been some kind of video footage, recordings or records of the crew that was with O’Reilly that could easily corroborate his claims.
So why aren’t any of these people coming out publicly to defend him? At the very least one would think this cameraman would be grateful that O’Reilly was there to save him and would be more than wiling to publicly defend him.
Except, none of that has happened. Outside of O’Reilly’s word, he really has no proof for anything he’s claimed. Sure, he can go off on personal attacks against the journalists who’ve written about this story, but that doesn’t prove anything he’s saying is true. You would think if all of this was actually true, that proving some key aspects of it wouldn’t be all that difficult.
But thus far, there’s been almost no proof presented by O’Reilly to support any of his claims.
So, O’Reilly can throw as big of a hissy fit as he wants, while doling out as many personal insults toward any journalist calling him a liar as he feels like, but the fact that he’s still yet to present any proof to back up anything he’s saying speaks volumes. And until he does that (which one would think if there was proof he would have provided it by now) the burden of proof lies on him.
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