Bill O’Reilly’s claim that he knows what war is like because he witnessed it as a war correspondent is once again being questioned, this time by someone who worked with him at CBS News.
Eric Enberg, a former colleague of the Fox News host, said yesterday that Buenos Aires was not a “war zone” or a “combat situation” as O’Reilly has alleged. Enberg was also in the Argentinian capital during the Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina.
In fact, as Enberg posted Saturday on Facebook:
“It was an ‘expense account zone.’ We–meaning the American networks–were all in the same, modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties or weapons.”
Enberg’s account stands in stark contrast to what O’Reilly has written and repeated in the media on several occasions about knowing what war is like because he served as a war correspondent during the Falklands conflict.
Further, Enberg says in his Facebook posting that O’Reilly was an undisciplined reporter who ran into trouble with CBS News for ignoring instructions from his producers. In addition Enberg, refuting O’Reilly’s claim that he was the only reporter “out there pretty much by (himself) because the other CBS News correspondents were hiding in the hotel,” said that was a lie:
“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.”
The unprofessional behavior Enberg refers to was O’Reilly’s ignoring orders from the CBS bureau chief for camera crews to not use lights, as they might draw attention to themselves and endanger the health of the crew in the field.
O’Reilly’s veracity was first questioned earlier in the week when Mother Jones magazine published an article looking at the Fox News mainstay’s repeated claims that he “reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands” and “survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War.”
David Corn, who wrote the piece for Mother Jones, said Saturday that Enberg’s account of what happened in Argentina is further proof that O’Reilly has been less than honest about the matter:
“This account from a veteran CBS News correspondent and a former colleague of O’Reilly–who witnessed O’Reilly’s short stint in Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands War–is additional confirmation of what we reported and raises additional questions for O’Reilly. Will he responsibly respond to all the questions or will he continue to rely upon invective and bombast?”
Also on Saturday, the veterans group VoteVets.org called on Fox News to take O’Reilly off the air, much as NBC did with anchor Brian Williams, who was suspended without pay for six months after incorrectly recalling false details from his Iraq war reporting.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.