- Brian Williams isn’t the only one telling fibs.
- Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?
- CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims.
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February 24 | It's a shame how the media has chosen to cover the issue of Bill O'Reilly's war zone reporing.
This whole issue arose because of an article by Greg Grandin (http://www.thenation.com/…/did-bill-oreilly-cover-war-crime…) which looked at O'Reilly's coverage of the Mozote massacre in the context of US coverage of the Salvadoran civil war.
David Corn then cribbed from the article, moving on to the question of where O'Reilly was during the Falklands.
But all this misses the point.
The problem with O'Reilly's record as a war reporter is that he appears to have covered up the SOA graduate-led Mozote massacre -- a tragic and scarcely known crime, for which the US shares culpability. When we become obsessed with the question of O'Reilly's personal bravery, we throw more dirt over that crime.
SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990, is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.
Full story …
Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador? Greg Grandin, the Nation
Before Bill O’Reilly was, well, Bill O’Reilly, he worked for a time as a foreign correspondent for CBS Evening News, anchored by Dan Rather. O’Reilly talks about that period of his career in two of his books, and in both mentions that in early 1982 he reported from northeastern El Salvador, just after the infamous El Mozote Massacre. “When the CBS News bureau chief asked for volunteers to check out an alleged massacre in the dangerous Morazán Territory, a mountainous region bordering Nicaragua, I willingly went.”
El Mozote is a small, hard-to-reach hamlet. The massacre took place on December 11, 1981, carried out by US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, which was not just trained but created by the United States as a rapid response unit to fight El Salvador’s fast-spreading FMLN insurgency. The killing was savage beyond belief: between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered, decapitated, impaled and burned alive.
Greg Grandin is the author of Empire's Workshop, Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award, and, most recently, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World. He teaches at New York University.
CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims, David Corn and Daniel Schulman, Mother Jones
The Fox News host says he was in a "war zone" where police gunned down civilians. The video doesn't show that.
Mon Feb. 23, 2015 | CBS News today posted its reports from Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands war, in response to a request from Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who has been seeking to counter reports that he mischaracterized his wartime reporting experience. But rather than bolstering O'Reilly's description of the anti-government protest he says he covered as a "combat situation," the tape corroborates the accounts of other journalists who were there and who have described it as simply a chaotic, violent protest.
On his Monday night show, O'Reilly broadcast clips from the CBS video and maintained that the footage proved "I reported accurately the violence was horrific." But the issue has not been whether violence occurred at the demonstration. O'Reilly had previously claimed this protest—triggered when Argentines angry at the ruling junta's surrender to the Brits in the 1982 war gathered near the presidential palace—was a massacre, with Argentine troops gunning down civilians. O'Reilly has relied on that description to support his claim that he was in a "war zone…in the Falklands." The video does not show civilians being mowed down.
David Corn: Washington Bureau Chief, Corn has broken stories on presidents, politicians, and other Washington players. He's written for numerous publications and is a talk show regular. His best-selling books include Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.
Daniel Schulman: Senior Editor, Mother Jones, Based in DC, Dan covers politics and national security. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. He is the author of the new Koch brothers biography, Sons of Wichita (Grand Central Publishing).