Controversy over the coverage by US reporters of the 1982 Falklands conflict continues to rage in US media, since Fox News top star Bill O'Reilly admitted that at the time, working for CBS News, he was based in Buenos Aires, far from the 'war zone' as he had characterized his task.
But despite the damaging allegations, Fox News is putting up a united front. A spokeswoman said network executives are in Bill O’Reilly’s corner, in a statement to several media outlets.
“Fox News Chairman and C.E.O. Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly,” the spokeswoman said.
O’Reilly, the top rated host in cable news, has been forced to defend himself since Thursday, when a report from Mother Jones cast doubt on claims he has made about his time covering the Falklands War for CBS News in 1982. At the time, O’Reilly and his CBS News colleagues were based in Buenos Aires — far from the Falkland Islands, where most of the fighting took place.
O’Reilly insists he never claimed otherwise, but Mother Jones highlighted several examples of him saying he reported from a “war zone” during the Falklands conflict.
Many of O’Reilly’s former CBS News colleagues are now strongly challenging his characterization of the experience, as well as his account of a riot he covered in Buenos Aires.
O’Reilly has previously said that the riot turned violent, resulting in several fatalities and a serious injury to his photographer. He once described the riot as a “combat situation.”
Several CBS News staffers who were also in Buenos Aires said they do not share O’Reilly’s recollection of the events.
O’Reilly, for his part, hopes to trot out his own character witnesses, telling fellow Fox News host Howard Kurtz that he is trying to get former CBS News anchor Dan Rather to appear on his talk show. He also said he plans to show a video that his crew shot while covering the Falklands conflict.
“Controversy over the coverage by US reporters of the 1982 Falklands conflict continues to rage in US media, since Fox News top star Bill O'Reilly admitted that at the time, working for CBS News, he was based in Buenos Aires, far from the 'war zone' as he had characterized his task.