MEDIA

Bill O'Reilly Lied About Rescuing Me During Buenos Aires Riot, Says CBS Cameraman

03/30/2015 12:14 pm ET | Updated Mar 31, 2015
Patricia Schlein/Star Max via Getty Images

Accused of lying on multiple occasions about his reporting experiences, Bill O’Reilly has maintained that “everything I’ve said about my reportorial career — everything — is true.” But now the cameraman who O’Reilly worked with in Buenos Aires after the end of the Falklands War has come forward to challenge the Fox host’s account of what happened.

O’Reilly continues to assert that his coverage of the riots in Buenos Aires after the end of the Falklands War constitutes having “reported on the ground in [an] active war zone” and having “survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War.” In addition, he has said he rescued a CBS colleague who “got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete.”

“The 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,” O’Reilly said in a 2009 interview.

But Ignacio Medrano-Carbo, who worked with O’Reilly during the protests, tells liberal magazine Mother Jones that he was neither injured nor in need of rescue.

“I never fell nor was I bleeding out my ear at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment,” Medrano-Carbo told Mother Jones in a statement. “I do not even recall Mr. O'Reilly being near me when I shot all that footage nor after I left the unrest at Plaza de Mayo that evening.”

O’Reilly has said he was working with CBS cameraman Roberto Moreno on the night of the Buenos Aires riots, but according to Medrano-Carbo, Moreno was a sound engineer at the time and did not begin working as a cameraman until years later.

O'Reilly has also said he witnessed widespread casualties during the Buenos Aires riot. Medrano-Carbo says this is also untrue. “I can confirm that no one I know of who worked with me in Buenos Aires during the Falkland War ever heard of any CBS crew member getting beat or hurt,” he says. “Nor did any demonstrators get killed that night at Plaza de Mayo—to quote a colleague, ‘or we would've been following up at the morgue and interviewing family members.’”

Medrano-Carbo’s full statement to Mother Jones below:

After a call from a cameraman friend, I watched Bill O'Reilly’s report filed in 1982 from Buenos Aires for CBS during the Falkland War posted a few weeks ago on the Mother Jones web page. The part that caught my attention was Mr. O'Reilly’s claim that he helped his cameraman to safety who was bleeding out of his ear after he fell when chased by the army.

Ninety-nine percent of the footage in that report was shot by me. Does that make me his cameraman? I never fell nor was I bleeding out my ear at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment. I do not even recall Mr. O'Reilly being near me when I shot all that footage nor after I left the unrest at Plaza de Mayo that evening. But it is not uncommon to be separated from your reporter during a disturbance such as that one.

I also read that some colleagues were accusing Mr. O'Reilly of negligently asking his cameraman to turn on the camera light for his stand up. In his defense, I will attest that he never asked me to turn on the light for any reason. I turned on the camera light at my discretion and possible folly. I also never shot a stand up for Mr. O'Reilly.

In another report...Mr. O’Reilly states that his cameraman that night was Roberto Moreno. Mr. Moreno was indeed there but at that time he was a sound man and working with seasoned CBS cameraman Carl Sorensen. Mr. Moreno, who became my friend, did not pick up a camera until years later. My last name is Medrano perhaps Mr. O’Reilly got confused since Mr. Moreno went on to shoot for CBS News? Medrano? Moreno?

Lastly, I can confirm that no one I know of who worked with me in Buenos Aires during the Falkland War ever heard of any CBS crew member getting beat or hurt. Nor did any demonstrators get killed that night at Plaza de Mayo—to quote a colleague, "or we would've been following up at the morgue and interviewing family members."

O'Reilly has responded to the allegation, saying he never worked with Medrano. “I never worked with Ignacio Medrano-Carbo," O'Reilly said in a statement. "This is nothing more than yet another coordinated attack which predictably comes on the heels of my appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Update (4:45 pm): Medrano-Carbo has responded to O'Reilly in a statement to Mother Jones. "I don't know what to say... Ninety-nine percent of that footage in his report was mine. How'd he get that footage, if I'm not his cameraman?...I have the footage to show," Medrano-Carbo said. He adds, "You can see me in the BBC report. Why would I lie? You used 99 percent of my stuff, and I'm not your cameraman? I certainly did not get beat up. You did not help me."

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.

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