February 20, 2015

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will fire back at Mother Jones Friday in response to an article alleging he misrepresented his experiences reporting on the Falklands War.

The rebuttal, which will come in O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” segment, characterizes one of the authors of the article, Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn, as a “far left zealot” and describes the article as “a political hit job.”

Here’s a piece of the transcript, with ellipses edited out:

This man, 56-year-old David Corn, who works for the far left magazine Mother Jones, smeared me, your humble correspondent, yesterday, saying I had fabricated some war reporting.

Mother Jones, which has low circulation, 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’s the truth: everything I’ve said about my reportorial career, everything, is true.

O’Reilly’s statement also quotes from an internal memo sent to the CBS bureau chief in Buenos Aires lauding his coverage of a riot near a presidential palace. In addition, O’Reilly quotes from a note he sent to a higher-up at CBS News in support of his crew.

In an interview with The Associated Press Friday, O’Reilly said Corn “trumped up something from 33 years ago” and called the allegations “delusional.” O’Reilly has also given interviews to The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times refuting the charges.

Mother Jones, meanwhile, has posted a list of 11 questions it says O’Reilly has refused to answer. They include questions about the veracity of statements made in his books and in television and radio interviews.

In an interview with HuffPost Live Friday, Corn dismissed earlier claims by O’Reilly that he was a “smear merchant” as “bombast and name-calling,” designed to distract attention from the reporting in the article.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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