O’Reilly not contesting the facts of his JFK fib

Bill O’Reilly seems to have muzzled himself. The publication of David Corn’s “Bill O’Reilly Has His Brian Williams Problem,” followed by the re-publication of JFK Facts’ Jan. 30, 2013, story “Investigators tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib” has done what some thought impossible: The embattled Fox News host has stopped blustering.

Smart move. The JFK Facts story prompted reporter Joe Strupp of Media Matters to do his own reporting. He confirmed the story and added depth, tracking down two WFAA-TV employees in Dallas who confirmed that O’Reilly was not in Florida on March 29, 1977, as he states on p. 300 of his best-selling book, Killing Kennedy.  Newsweek picked up the story. The Daily Mail and CNN took it global. Strupp explained why it matters, and  Politics USA added an apt coda:

“For O’Reilly, it also appears that he’s always wanted the acceptance of the mainstream journalism community he pretends to disdain. Therefore, he makes outlandish claims about the things he’s seen or covered.”

Prudently, O’Reilly has not  contested the accuracy of the JFK Facts story or the Media Matters follow-up. Fox News is referring questions about O’Reilly’s JFK fib to his book publisher, Henry Holt (although O’Reilly also mouthed the untruth on Fox News). Henry Holt, in an ill-advised move, said the company is standing behind O’Reilly’s JFK book.

On the right, the Biz Pac Review.com sees an ideological clash: “Determined to get their pound of flesh in exchange for the fall of NBC’s top-ranked anchor Brian Williams, the far-left outfit Media Matters pounced on the opportunity to once again target Fox News’ kingpin.”

I can’t speak for Media Matters, but I am not seeking a proverbial pound of flesh from Bill O’Reilly or anyone else. I didn’t publish my story because I want to harm him or because I don’t like his politics (although I don’t). I published the story two years ago because his JFK fib shows that he is not a trustworthy source on the assassination story. But Fox News has done some good JFK reporting. James Rosen, for example.







  1. Nathaniel Heidenheimer says:

    As a someone who has followed the media mediation of the JFK narrative for a while now, the Bill O’Reilly evolution from the salad days of Channel 6 in Dallas did not surprise me. What I found more noteworthy was David Corn’s selection of which transgression, in O’Reilly’s cornucopia, Mr. Corn chose for his focus.

    Mother Jones, and Mr. Corn’s earlier employer The Nation are marketed to the left. Perhaps not ironically, the marketed-“left?” part of the spectrum has been THE MOST resistant to new historical research vis a vis JFK’s foreign policy and his assassination.

    It’s almost as if covering up a right wing coup has become the litmus test of our (over)refined “left?” So I was not surprised when Corn completely ignored the much more important JFK related O’Reilly lie. To be on the American “left” today and for some time now, means to have a sense for the capillary and to actively lead the “left” away from the jugular i.e. stories that might spread full spectrum and unite working and middle classes as in the day of the New Deal. Mr. Corn Mr. Chomsky et.al. certainly have this sense for the capillary.

    Cui bono?

  2. Ramon F Herrera says:

    Volumes have been written about the lies being disseminated by the more partisan Right. It is not a coincidence that people decided to use the word “Faux” to designate Fox News, and it stuck.

    See for instance the desperate attempts by Glenn Beck to associate the Nazis with the left, on account of the name of the party including the word “socialist”. See what our own government had to say, during the George W. Bush administration:

    “The US Department of Homeland Security defines RIGHT-wing extremism as hate groups who target racial, ethnic or religious minorities. The phrase is also used to describe support for ethnic nationalism. (ie: anti-immigrants)”


    Here’s one of the books:


    NB: Every fact mentioned in the book by former SNL comedian turned Senator, Al Franken, was double checked and verified by volunteers students at Harvard. They were known as The TeamFranken.


    • Nathaniel Heidenheimer says:

      Yes of course the right has moved far right over the years. There are no more Sen Richard Schweikers permitted.

      Les obvious –given the Republican’s foil factor–is how far right the Democrats have moved. They are no longer New Deal in any way at all. They have become a completely corporate party if one looks at anything related to War, so called National Security issues, and money.

      Part of this is the lack of fluid and inter-active relationship between NOMINALLY left media and the Democrats. This NOMINALLY left media is, of course correct when they call out the Democrats for abandoning their New Deal legacy, yet they are only funded by Capitalist Foundations if they keep the left on the back roads issues and away from the interstate of communications that most of the population can understand. That’s why they type neoliberalsim and feel special.

      That’s why they are evangelical about seeming only one thing: preventing the Good Leftist Schweiks from looking at the major political assassination. They are mysterious. They are potentially interesting to non-grad students. They could lead to Mockingbirds and Paperclips being examined by someone besides a qualified professional aka the editorial board of The Nation. They could lead to non-elites disagreeing with Noam Chomsky about whether JFK controlling the CIA and whether the President and CIA were on the same putting tennis court on August 24th, 1963.

      That’s why our cheerleaders for the working class are permitted only if they completely inaccessible to the remainder of the working class. Stay classy with Noam and Michael Albert!

      Hey… what happened to “the left?”

  3. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Jeff, as you are an experienced journalist I have a question.
    Would you agree that even if known by management O’Riely and Williams embellishments might have been at the least overlooked or possibly encouraged for the sake of ratings?

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      Yes and no.

      We cannot even begin to compare the MSM (which tilts Left) and the Right.

      Brian Williams: 1 incident. Sanctioned.

      Bill O’Reilly: A career dedicated to distorting the truth. Faux is the king of the ratings.

      There is a consolation, however:

      (a) When it comes to the Truth, the only possible reference is the universities.

      (b) The better the university, the more Liberal.

      Take a look at the following video.


      Rachel Maddow questions Fox, on the Fonzi tape issue. She is diplomatically telling them:

      “You are lying !!! Have you got no shame !!??”

      Their response?

      “Of course we are, but look at our ratings and compare them with yours!!! [LOL]” (or words to that effect).

      • Ramon F Herrera says:


        “Bill O’Reilly: A career dedicated to distorting the truth.”


        To be fair (and balanced 🙂 I hurry to clarify that he was not always like that. Take a look at this O’Reilly program from his “Inside Edition” days. It was very uplifting about the Black and Latino communities, after the L.A. riots.

        [Click into “Full Videos | Reginald]

        It is hard to believe that we are seeing the same man.

        There is no way 24×7 Obama-bashing Fox would have a program like that today.

  4. Well Put Jefferson Morley! O’Reilly is not reliable on the facts. I was taught in Investigations never, ever even embellish a little bit. I have sat back watching The Mainstream press and criminal justice people for many years on a local, big city, and National level Blatantly Lie about cases that I’m personally involved in. I will say this though. One Very Big Name Reporter Lost His Job because he ran with 5 of my investigative stories. But I’m not naming him publicly. Nor did I in my E-Book, because we’re dealing with some very dangerous people. It is a Testament to You that You’re not Gleefully Jumping with joy over the downfall of Brian Williams or Possibly O’Reilly being ditched. But The Truth Must Be Told! In Investigations and Reporting. And I truly believe that is why the American Public has lost confidence in The Mainstream Press, and our criminal justice system. The JFK Murder Case is The 1st Big One I can remember where the people said, “We’re not buying this baloney!” “There’s more truth on sites like jfkfacts and other places on the internet. I’ve done around 14 computer radio shows. But the Mainstreamers refuse to reply to me, or even mention my E-Book or work. My book is the victim of massive slander at the review site, so that people won’t buy it. And sad to say not one person has stuck up for me there. Although they have on other sites. It details Exactly the Specific Basics of The JFK assassination and cover up, Jon Benet Ramsey’s Murder by a Federal Informant, and who’s been running The Press, Presidency, Politics, and Criminal Justice in America. “The Jon Benet Ramsey Case And Much More!” Kindle books at Amazon.com by Brian Parkinson Thanks Again Jefferson!

  5. Alex S says:

    ““Determined to get their pound of flesh in exchange for the fall of NBC’s top-ranked anchor Brian Williams, the far-left outfit Media Matters pounced on the opportunity to once again target Fox News’ kingpin.””

    So Brian Williams is on the “far-left”? That’s a new one. I suppose David Gregory is a radical muckraker, in that case?

  6. Gerry Simone says:

    Perhaps on a related note, Barry Krusch debunked Bill O’Reilly’s book with respect to certain facts (his critique disappeared but you can watch a video on the subject below). With respect to same, was O’Reilly’s book erroneous or an embellishment?

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