Bombastic Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, affectionately dubbed “Papa Bear” by Steven Colbert, formerly of “The Colbert Report,” is in so much trouble that he’s even defending President Obama. It’s that bad.
Papa Bear Roars
Anyone with a YouTube account knows by now that Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly has a bit of a temper.
When NBC news anchor Brian Williams falsely claimed that his helicopter was nearly shot down, as he covered the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, O’Reilly unleashed a fusillade of righteous anger against a national media that he said, “isn’t half as responsible as the men who forged the nation.” Lamenting the “culture of deception” in the “liberal media,” O’Reilly said the Williams affair should prompt questioning of other media “deceptions.”
It did, but not in the way O’Reilly probably imagined. Late last week, Mother Jones’ David Corn and Daniel Schulman reported that “for years, O’Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don’t withstand scrutiny.” Here are a few:
“War Zone” Reporting. O’Reilly has claimed over and over again that he was a war correspondent during the Falklands war in 1982, and even face combat. Thus, when “Papa Bear” speaks of war, he does so with the understanding of one who’s seen it up close.Except that O’Reilly was never a war correspondent, nor did he experience combat. O’Reilly was 1,000 miles away, in Buenos Ares. He covered one protest that turned violent, endangering his cameraman in the process, and getting himself yanked out of Argentina. CBS released O’Reilly’s 1982 footage, which confirmed that O’Reilly’s been spinning a yarn for years.
O’Reilly also threatened a New York Times reporter, because he didn’t like a Times article detailing Fox’s defense of O’Reilly, while he lied to the public for years. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.”
O’Reilly’s been in the media long enough that surely he knows this is not the way to kill a story. (The most effective method would have been to ignore it.) Maybe he just can’t help himself. He has a long history of attacking reporters.
How much trouble is O’Reilly in? Things have gotten so desperate that O’Reilly is now defending President Obama. Days after lashing out at the liberal media for smearing him, in the guise of advising would-be GOP presidential candidates, O’Reilly told his audience that the president’s policies may be “controversial,” but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
After ranting last week that America “deserves to be destroyed” if it enacted net neutrality, this week Glenn Beck proved a bit of a sore loser. “You morons! You useful idiots! That’s all you are,” Beck bellowed at net neutrality supporters who were almost certainly not watching his show. “You’re a useful idiot. Read Joe Stalin. You moron!”