Somebody asked me about Bill O’Reilly the other day. I said:
Tag Archive for Bill O’Reilly
After I published my review of Antonio Veciana’s book, Trained to Kill, for Newsweek, several people asked me about Dan Hardway’s review of the book AARC web site and W. Tracy Parnell’s blog, purporting to debunk Veciana’s story.
The former is an investigator’s take, the latter a prosecutor’s brief. Dan looks to get beyond Veciana’s self-presentation. Parnell seeks to impeach his credibility. Dan sees Veciana’s story as “modified limited hangout,” Parnell sees it as a fantasy.
Both are worth taking seriously.
In “Reporting on the Kennedy Assassination,” the late Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans tells the story of his investigation of the JFK’s murder, especially his relationship with the enigmatic figure of George de Mohrenschildt, friend of Lee Oswald and sometime CIA asset. Read more
In 1976, Congress re-opened the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy after three key witnesses died violent deaths within a year. Read more
(First published in JFK Facts, January 30, 2013)
In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter — himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice.
In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.
But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters.
In the run-up to the 52nd anniversary of JFK’s death, we are re-running some of the most significant JFK stories of the year. In this installment from March 2014, CNN picked up on a story first published on JFK Facts.
In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter — himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly revealed in his own voice in an audio recording first published on JFK Facts.
CNN’s Brian Stelter picked up on the story, and I explained what really happened. Read more
As the Washington Post and CNN have reported, JFK Facts was the first news organization to expose Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for fibbing about JFK reporting in the 1970s. In his book Killing Kennedy O’Reilly wrote (on p. 300) that he was knocking on the door of the south Florida home of George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, when De Mohrenschildt committed suicide on March 29, 1977. O’Reilly said he heard the sound of the fatal shotgun blast.
Audio recordings, first published here in 2013, prove that O’Reilly, then a TV reporter for WFAA in Dallas, was actually in Texas at the time and planning to “come to Florida” as soon as possible. O’Reilly didn’t get to south Florida until the next day, as this WFAA video shows.
In O’Reilly’s defense, he really was chasing the De Mohrenschildt story at the time — and for good reason.
From the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, some priceless video of the young Bill O’Reilly covering the story of the suicide of CIA asset and Oswald pal George de Mohrenschildt in March 1977. Read more
“Millionaire entertainers who help one another promote their shows look out for each other,” notes Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic.
As far as I know I am the only blogger who was written in “In Defense of Bill O’Reilly” when it comes to one of his more egregious fibs. But now I am not alone.
At Salon Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out.
Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility
But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him.