Monday, February 23, 2015

CBS Reporter Eric Engberg Confirms O'Reilly LIED About His Coverage Of The Falklands - Was SENT HOME For Being "Disruptive'"

O'Reilly has not filed a libel suit, the standard practice for unsubstantiated charges; FOX "News" descends from birdcage liner to toilet paper credibility  

By Wills Robinson
  • Eric Engberg covered the Falklands War for CBS from Buenos Aires in 1982
  • Posted a lengthy message questioning O'Reilly's defense of his reporting
  • Claims broadcaster was a 'disruptive force' and 'ordered out' of Argentina
  • Fox News host blasted left-leaning Mother Jones on his show on Friday
  • Called journalist David Corn 'an irresponsible guttersnipe' and a 'liar' 
  • Dispute comes a week after Brian Williams was kicked off the air 
  • Engberg insists O'Reilly deserves the same scrutiny as the NBC star

A former CBS reporter has launched a damning attack on claims Bill O'Reilly made about his on-the-ground reporting during the Falklands War just hours after the Fox News host vehemently defended the allegations. 

BUSTED: O'Reilly goes apeshit when called on his 
own bogus, shameless self-promoting for which he
is recognised as the undisputed champion of all time
Eric Engberg, who covered the conflict from Buenos Aires for CBS alongside the veteran broadcaster in 1982, posted a lengthy message on Facebook questioning several of the statements made on the O'Reilly Factor on Friday night.

O'Reilly, 65, blasted the left-leaning publication Mother Jones and called journalist David Corn 'an irresponsible guttersnipe' and a 'liar' operating on 'the bottom rung of journalism in America'. Engberg however insists O'Reilly behaved unprofessionally and has accused him of lying about being the only reporter on the streets during a riot.

He also claims O'Reilly was ordered out of Argentina by CBS bosses for being a 'disruptive force'. 

The 27-year CBS employee said the area was more an 'expense account zone' than 'war zone', as the actual conflict was occurring thousands of miles away.

During a 2009 interview, O'Reilly told a Hamptons TV station he was the only CBS journalist brave enough to cover a protest in Buenos Aires. He said: 'I was out there pretty much by myself because the other CBS news correspondents were hiding in the hotel.'

Engberg slates this as an 'absolute lie', saying the entire crew was out that evening 'exhibiting their usual courage.'

Actually, Bill has been rather circumspect and humble in recounting his war reporting record that goes far back; here Bill is seen observing the capitulation of Hataz┼Ź Adachi, commander of the Japanese 18th Army in New Guinea as he surrenders his sword to the commander of the Australian 6th Division, Horace Robertson

In a 2004 column, O'Reilly said: 'Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands war, I know that life-and-death decisions are made in a flash.' 

Engberg also claims that during a late-night recap of the Argentina story, CBS bureau Larry Doyle chief told O'Reilly his senior colleague Bob Schieffer would be doing the segment instead.

Allegedly, he exploded, saying: 'I didn't come down here to have my footage used by that old man.'

Credible, ethical, professional journalist that he is, Bill is always helpful when instructing his colleagues on how to avoid making mistakes in their reporting 

The next day, he says O'Reilly was sent home.

In reference to the injuries O'Reilly claims his cameraman sustained during a riot in the Argentine capital, Engberg says the only place where it could have occurred was in a relatively 'tame' disturbance with police.

To establish his credentials, in the post Engberg said he could provide some 'eyewitness accounts' for what happened because he was part of the 'rather larger' CBS staff covering the conflict. 

Engberg's post read: '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.

'I should have known he was headed for trouble, but I just thought he was a rookie who would learn. Yeah, right.'

Always willing to lend a hand when called upon in sticky situations, Bill was there to talk former Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda out of the jungle on Lubang Island near Luzon, in the Philippines in 1974 where he had been hiding out since the end of WWII

He went on to say: "The reporters, as I remember, were O'Reilly, Chuck Gomez, Charles Krause, Bob Schieffer and myself. Somewhere it has been reported that O'Reilly claimed he was the only CBS News reporter who had the courage to go into the street because the rest of us were hiding in our hotel. If he said such a thing it is an absolute lie. 

'Everyone was working in the street that night, the crews exhibiting their usual courage. O'Reilly was the one person who behaved unprofessionally and without regard for the safety of the camera crew he was leading.

'I am fairly certain that most professional journalists would refer to the story I have just related as "routine reporting on a demonstration that got a little nasty."

A fierce practitioner of ethics in journalism, Bill has never shied away from calling bullshit on nasty, left-wing hacks that distort the truth

'O'Reilly, in defending himself yesterday against Corn's Mother Jones piece, said "We were in a combat situation in Buenos Aires." He is misrepresenting the situation he covered, and he is obviously doing so to burnish his credentials as a "war correspondent," which is not the work he was performing during the Falklands war. 

In reference to Brian Williams axing by NBC last week, he said: 'I don't think it's as big a lie as Brian Williams told because O'Reilly hasn't falsely claimed to be the target of an enemy attack, but he has displayed a willingness to twist the truth in a way that seeks to invent a battlefield that did not exist. And he ought to be subject to the same scrutiny Williams faced. He also ought to be ashamed of himself.'

In response, Fox News told the Daily Mail Online: 'The O'Reilly Factor invited Eric Engberg to appear on the program this Monday and he refused. The Factor has also contacted CBS News and asked them to release the footage in question. Bill O'Reilly will address Engberg's claims on Mediabuzz with Howard Kurtz tomorrow (Sunday).'

It's obvious that irrelevant rags like The Nation
are jealous of Bill's spotless repairing record, and
stoop to baseless attacks whenever possible
On Friday night, O'Reilly told his 1.7 million viewers he spent an evening 'crawling around my basement in the dust' to find what he claims to be two internal CBS memos that refute Corn's allegations.

And a guest star - Fox News' Geraldo Rivera - likened Corn's investigation to Joseph McCarthy's communist manhunt.

The dispute comes a week after Brian Williams was unceremoniously kicked off the air by NBC for lying about his time in Iraq. Claiming to be a victim of a politically motivated sting, O'Reilly said on air on Friday: 'Everything I've said about my reportorial career is true.'

He started by taking down his attackers: 'Mother Jones, which has low circulation, is considered by many the bottom rung of journalism in America.

'However, in this internet age, the defamation they put forth gets exposure.

'And so I have to deal with this garbage tonight. I'm sorry.

'Basically David Corn, a liar, says that I exaggerated situations in the Falklands War and Salvadoran War. Here is the truth…'

He went on to explain that he never claimed to be operating from the Falklands, and insists he did witness violent riots with police shooting in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires in June 1982.

The Mother Jones report centers mainly on O'Reilly's time covering the Falklands War in 1982, when the then 32-year-old reporter was working for CBS.

O'Reilly arrived in Buenos Aires just before the country surrendered the Falkland Islands to British troops leaving the small chain of islands some 1,200 miles south of the Argentinian capital under the control of the United Kingdom.

O'Reilly's wording in several interviews seems to be most at issue. While O'Reilly visited war zones, he includes the Falklands in these general statements - making it seem as if he actually claims to have seen action between British and Argentinian troops.

Indeed, the left-wing media even attempted to equate Bill's peerless reporting with that of the recently disgraced and suspended CBS anchor Brian Williams - an obvious, transparent smear tactic

'You know that I am not easily shocked. I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands.' he said in his 2001 book The No Spin Zone.

However, during the Falklands War, no American journalists were approved to visit the chain during conflict, something CBS' lead reporter for the conflict, Bob Schieffer, and producer Susan Zirinsky, confirmed to Mother Jones.

They say the CBS team worked out the Buenos Aires bureau, and were put up in a Sheraton hotel more than a thousand miles away from the fighting.

'He said he was in the war zone during the Falkland Island conflicts - the conflict was in the Falkland Islands, it was not in Buenos Aires,' Mother Jones reporter David Corn told On The Media. 

'He covered a protest after the war was over in Buenos Aires. I don't think that's a reasonable definition of a combat situation. If you look up 'combat situation' in the dictionary, it's not 'an ugly protest'.'

O'Reilly is now saying that he never claimed to have actually traveled to the Falkland Islands, and that he did no wrong in describing the chaos in Buenos Aires after the Argentinian surrender as a 'war zone'.

'All you have to do is get the video from CBS about what happened the night that they surrendered. The Argentinians, in Buenos Aires - it certainly was a war zone where bullets were being shot, people were going down.

Which just goes to show those nasty O'Reilly critics: The truth shall prevail!

'It was combat of the closest quarters. There's no question about it. I filed two reports it led the [Dan] Rather broadcast video and then I filed later on and I got an internal memo from CBS commending me on my coverage. When bullets are shot it's combat. By soldiers. That's what happened.'

But Mother Jones also questioned his recollections of these riots in Buenos Aires, citing the heart-stopping story O'Reilly told a Hamptons TV station in 2009 about nearly being shot at in the streets.

In the interview, O'Reilly said he and a cameraman got caught up in a stampede when a camera 'went flying'.

'I saved the tape because it was unbelievable tape. But I dragged him off the street because he was bleeding from the ear and had hit his head on the concrete…The sound man is trying to save the camera… And then the army comes running down and the guy points the M-16. And I'm going, 'Periodista, no dispare,' which means, 'Journalist, don't shoot.' And I said, 'Por favor.' Please don't shoot…Then the guy lowered his gun and went away.' 

Mother Jones points out that the footage O'Reilly's cameraman captured paints a less dramatic scene, with the most drama focused on a group of protesters banging up the car of a Canadian news crew.

In his book, O'Reilly called the protests 'a major riot' in which 'many were killed' - though other outlets like the New York Times, the Miami Herald and UPI reported no fatalities.

O'Reilly stands by his statement that 'many' were killed in the clashes - though he's not certain how many.

'I have no idea. It was a long time ago. The Argentine government controlled the flow of information, Western reporters were not given access to morgues or hospitals. Anybody who was there can tell you that it was a chaotic mess,' he said.

Mother Jones also called up O'Reilly's reports from El Salvador, where he traveled shortly after being hired as a reporter for CBS in 1981.

O'Reilly traveled to El Salvador in May 1982 to cover a civil war, and taped a segment in a village called Meanguera where the government claimed to have victoriously driven out a rebel group.

In his book, O'Reilly wrote that the village was 'leveled to the ground and fires were smoldering'.

'But even though the carnage was obviously recent, we saw no one live or dead. There was absolutely nobody around who could tell us what happened. I quickly did a stand-up amid the rubble and we got the hell out of there,' he wrote.

However, Mother Jones points out that his CBS segment was much tamer, showing just one or two burned buildings and several people walking around.

'That's false. Look at the footage,' O'Reilly has responded, again saying his video proved his point. 'The village was devastated.'

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