First, we learned that Brian Williams, anchorman and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, “conflated” his multiple tales of having been aboard a U.S. Military helicopter that was hit by enemy flak and forced to land.
Now, we have Bill O’Reilly, host of the wildly successful Fox News ‘O’Reilly Factor’ being charged by numerous media outlets of hearing shots that weren’t fired and seeing bodies that weren’t there outside the Argentinian presidential palace during the Falkland’s War.
Unlike Williams, who at least made a graceful, if half-hearted, apology, O’Reilly is taking a different tack. He’s in full pit bull attack mode and firing back hard at anyone questioning his version of the facts.
He issued a statement calling one accuser, retired CBS correspondent, Eric Engberg, ‘Room Service Eric,’ suggesting that Engberg stayed in his hotel during the ‘event’ and didn’t even see the melee O’Reilly claims happened.
It will be interesting to see how O’Reilly fares with his credibility crisis.
Will Fox follow NBC’s lead and announce an internal inquiry to investigate what did, and didn’t, happen in Buenos Aires so long ago? Don’t count on it.
Although Fox claims to provide fair and balanced news, O’Reilly’s program is a nightly barrage on people, places and even things deemed too liberal by The Factor.
I don’t believe the top brass at Fox will do anything. This story may play out for another day or so, but O’Reilly will stay right where he is.
And, poor Walter Cronkite, the epitome of a trusted and objective news anchor, will continue spinning in his grave as one anchorman after another gets caught conflating events or reporting violence and bloodshed that never happened.
And, that’s the way it is, Tuesday, February 24th, 2015.