MEDIA

Bill O'Reilly Defends War Reporting Claim, Slamming 'Far-Left' Media

02/20/2015 11:24 pm ET | Updated Feb 20, 2015

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Friday night hotly rejected accusations that he distorted his record of war zone reporting, saying he had been "smeared" by a magazine report questioning his claim of covering the Falklands War that was written by "a liar."

O’Reilly began his show "The O’Reilly Factor" by saying a protest he covered in Buenos Aires after the Falklands War constituted "combat." "Everything I’ve said about my reportorial career -- everything -- is true," he said.

O'Reilly went on the attack, calling the co-author of the Mother Jones story questioning his claims a "liar."

"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," O'Reilly said.

He went on to demean the magazine as the "bottom rung of journalism in America" with a "low circulation."

O'Reilly has said in the past 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." Corn pointed out that O'Reilly was in Buenos Aires after the Falklands War, and that American reporters were unable to reach the islands at the time.

O'Reilly gave a dramatic telling of what it was like covering a protest Buenos Aires -- far from where the war actually was being fought. He maintained that he never said he was on the islands, and argued that the urban protest constituted a combat zone. 'The violence was horrific," he said on Friday night.

O’Reilly complained about having to respond to media inquiries spurred by the Mother Jones story, saying it was only of interest to left-leaning news outfits. "CNN tried to exploit the situation because a guy over there named Brian Stelter is another far-left zealot masquerading as a journalist," O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly ended his rant by saying the criticism of his claims about the war reminded him of a time years ago when Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioned his working-class upbringing. O’Reilly called Franken “perhaps the biggest liar I have ever known,” and a “dishonest smear merchant.”

After opening his show with a statement he introduced as, "More proof the American media is corrupt," O'Reilly discussed the Mother Jones story with Fox News' Geraldo Rivera and Bernie Goldberg. Both agreed O'Reilly was being targeted by liberal media for his conservative views.

Earlier, O'Reilly called Corn "a liar" and "despicable guttersnipe" for the Mother Jones report. On Friday, Mother Jones called on O'Reilly to apologize for the "violent tone" of his rebuttal.

As can be seen in the video above, he did nothing of the kind.

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