Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Simple Solution for Bill O'Reilly

The solution for Bill O'Reilly is simple.   It's the same solution Brian Williams had at his disposal.   Richard Nixon had it too, and had he used the solution chances are he may never have had to resign.  


There are lots of VJ's now, the one-man-bands who do it all.   Back when Bill O'Reilly was working for CBS it was always a TV crew.    The correspondent was not by himself.  

To verify what he claims, Bill O'Reilly  can simply name the photographers he was with who witnessed what he claims to have witnessed.   

The Washington Post's Erik Wemple writes what's probably slightly disconcerting for FOX News because Erik's piece contains facts and rational thought.   Will Roger Ailes take any action at all?    Erik asked Fox News for the name of the photographer, and was told it is Roberto Moreno.   Keep watching Erik's blog for an update once he finds the cameraman.

Is O'Reilly telling the truth about his "Falklands warzone" coverage?   A CBS correspondent who was there doesn't think so.   Eric Engberg describes what it was like for CBS crews covering the Falklands War on his Facebook post this way:  

         "Our knowledge of the war was restricted to what we could glean from comically 
          deceitful daily briefings given by the Argentine military and watching government-
          controlled television to try to pick up a useful clue from propaganda broadcasts. We -- 
          meaning the American networks -- were all in the same, modern hotel and we never 
          saw any troops, casualties or weapons. 

          It was not a war zone or even close. It was an "expense account zone.'"

Would any legitimate news organization take immediate action against a host, anchor or reporter
making things up?   Of course.  Will Fox?

Eric Engberg also takes issue with O'Reilly's description of an injured cameraman.

          "O'Reilly has said he was in a situation in Argentina where "my photographer got 
          run down and hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete and the 
          army was chasing us." The only place where such an injury could have occurred 
          was the relatively tame riot I have described above. Neither Doyle, who would have 
          been immediately informed of injury to any CBS personnel, nor anyone else who was
          working the story remembers a cameraman being injured that night. No one who 
          reported back to our hotel newsroom after the disturbance was injured; if a cameraman 
          had been "bleeding from the ear" he would have immediately reported that to his 
          superiors at the hotel. This part of O'Reilly's Argentina story is not credible without 
          further confirmation, and O'Reilly should identify the cameraman by name so he 
          can be questioned about the alleged injury."

Not being a journalistic organization, what Fox News will do is uncertain.   Most likely, it will take no action at all.   Bill O'Reilly's program makes money.   That's what Fox News cares about, not journalism, not ethics, not professional standards, not truth. 

When journalism fails, bad things happen. 


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