Conservatives have tenaciously sunk their fangs into the juicy scandal that is engulfing NBC News anchor Brian Williams. The fact that he has admitted (and apologized for) some false statements he made several years ago regarding his experiences covering the war in Iraq is troubling and particularly so for people who make their living on their reputation for honesty.
However, the degree to which the right has gone overboard with their overt hostility is a spectacle that is worth watching for the sheer entertainment value. Although it’s not as if they wouldn’t be showering their hatred on Williams and the rest of the so-called “lamestream” media even if their weren’t some budding scandal. For its part, Fox News has been exhibiting a Benghazi-like obsession with their relentless coverage of the story.
What’s missing from all of this is any sense of perspective or context. Has Fox given equal time to the false assertions by their own Geraldo Rivera who excused his lies as being the fault of the “fog of war?” Of course not. Neither do they make a distinction between the lies advanced by mis-remembering a distant event in the past in order to enhance one’s own personal image, and the lies perpetrated deliberately by national leaders (i.e. George Bush, Dick Cheney, etc.) that resulted in the violent deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent, non-combatant Iraqis.
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Nearly every discussion about Williams in the Conservative Media Circus includes outright demands for his termination. Never mind that the false statements made over a decade ago were not made during a newscast or presented as part of his duties as a journalist. The wingnut brigade wants Williams fired for having said some things on David Letterman’s late-night comedy program.
Well, if that’s the standard they are embracing, then let them apply it to Bill O’Reilly as well. Back in 2006, O’Reilly took an extended book promotion tour to Kuwait where he visited with soldiers and signed copies of his book. Reports at the time described how “servicemembers asked O’Reilly about his own tour of duty in Kuwait during Desert Storm.” That might have been an interesting story except for the fact that O’Reilly never did a tour of duty in Kuwait during Desert Storm, or anywhere else since he never served in the military at all.
More recently, O’Reilly told his radio listeners about how he would have coaxed information out of an enemy soldier based on his personal experiences in combat (video below):
“I tell you what, I’ve been in combat. I’ve seen it. I’ve been close to it. And if my unit is in danger and I got a captured guy and the guy knows where the enemy is and I’m looking him in the eye, the guy better tell me. That’s all I’m gonna tell you. If it’s life or death, he’s going first.”
As noted above, and contrary to his statement, O’Reilly has never been in combat. Consequently, he has never commanded a unit or had to contemplate how he would deal with an enemy prisoner. His pretend bluster and machismo is all just a bunch of fantasizing of himself as a hero. So how is that any different than the offenses for which Williams is being pilloried?
There are, however, some very real differences between Williams and O’Reilly. Williams has been found to be less than truthful on this one occasion. O’Reilly has lied repeatedly over his career at Fox News with plenty of documentation to prove it. What’s more O’Reilly has demonstrated himself to be an arrogant, rude, bully who shoves his usually inane opinion down the throats of his guests and his viewers. That’s something that cannot be attributed to Williams.
So if anyone should lose their job over any of this, it would be most advantageous to the television viewing audience, and to society in general, if it is O’Reilly. But don’t count of Fox News to do the right thing. It would be against everything they hold dear.
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h/t Meteor Blades at Daily Kos for the video.
19 thoughts on “When Will Fox News Fire Bill O’Reilly For Lying About Combat Duty?”
Here’s an answer-The 12th of Never.
Why would he be fired for lying? Being a good lier has to be the number one requirement to being hired by Fox to begin with.
I don’t want O’ reilly fired ,I want him drafted. Lets let him put his mouth where his butt should. He thinks hes tough lets let him show us all how tough he really is. DRAFT O’REILLY.
Perfect pitch! I think of O’Reilly as the poster boy for the “muscular stupidity of cowards on the right”. My humble verse about Fox:
From the inanity of Hannity
To the dreck that spewed from Beck
From doofus Doocy’s brainless quips
To O’Reilly’s artless blech
No truth in sight, all fact-free spin
A carnival of shocks
Murdoch’s gift to feeble minds
Nobody. Does stupid. Like Fox.
Absolutely brilliant! I love this!
60 Min. interview regarding Bush’s plans to invade Iraq on day one of his presidency. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETqX3DRtZtU
with all the lies and half truths that come out of obama’s mouth (not being specific because there have been just about one every time he opens his mouth), all i have to say is that everyone has told a lie, a big one, they don’t think anyone will find out about, or even just fudged the truth on a bit to make their life seem more important. i have nothing against williams, i’m conservative, he didn’t hurt anyone with what he said. just leave it alone. don’t worry about a lie someone said years ago, worry about the things that are going on now, you can’t change the past, so why obsess about it and what bush did or didn’t do. think now about why jordan is doing what we should have doe in the first place, bomb the hell out of isis and get it over with, don’t trade 5 terrorists for one traitor. don’t make deals with the enemy because the enemy sits in the white house pretending to be for us while he’s actually against us.
“think now about why jordan is doing what we should have doe in the first place.”
Please educate yourself. The U.S., under Obama’s leadership has been bombing the hell out of ISIL for months. They have killed over 6,000 ISIL fighters, including more than half of their top commanders. Jordan has been a part of that effort, but Obama has been spearheading it with the coalition that he assembled.
And if you think the enemy is in the White House, then YOU are the enemy.
To call Barack Obama the enemy in the white house – those are fighting words to Mark – to call into question the dear leader is just too much for him to handle. Love of BHO is all he knows and is the most powerful emotion he has. I’ve said a lot of ignorant things here but haven’t even gone that far. Wow.
Steve in York: “I’ve said a lot of ignorant things here.”
That’s the first thing you’ve said here that wasn’t ignorant.
Apparently you’re completely ignorant of the fact that what Jordan is doing is simply what we’ve been doing all along.
Cal of course the right wingers do not know that we have had thousands of airstrikes against ISIS. Fox forgot to tell them..
U. R nuttier than Oreilly.
U r nuttier than Bill
This site may graduate from Binkies and Kool Ade filled baby bottles at some point. Until then, it should be mothballed. Quoting the Daily Keg ‘O $hit and railing against one of the most honorable administrations of the 21st century is yellow journalism at its finest. You have discovered that your loyal followers fully lap up your leavings which allows you to push the envelope of adolescent thought to the breaking point, knowing you will be heralded with their approval no matter what you ooze onto the page. You should renounce your citizenship.
Agreed. Since Mark does nothing but lie, He should fire himself – but he won’t. Seriously, goober? You’re relying on Daily Kos for anything resembling the truth? Step away from the crack pipe.
Like Jon Stewart once said……………fox news go fuck yourself. He will be missed. On the other hand fox can’t fire owinney he was hired to lie. Good job billo your whole life is a lie. Make it a point to check out the high school students that rocked his world.
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