(Disclaimer: I guested a number of times on The Factor...not after I wrote my column)
Bill O'Reilly is being taken to task for his "combat experience" during the Falklands War, in a location where there was no combat to experience. Was Bill only embellishing or out and out lying about coming face to gun? With Brian William's helicopter truth-stretching/lying, so-called news reporters and newfotainers are being placed under the glare of media reporting on the lack of the media's credibility. Some might call this redundant.
I don't know if this O'Reilly situation will prove out to be as he said...well, that's about it. In his Factor's Talking Point Memo he'll get the last word...at least to his 85-110 year old demographic. But I can tell you he has lied on radio and television.
I KNOW BECAUSE HE LIED ABOUT ME.
I used upper case, large font in an attempt to get the attention of the 85-110 demo.
I wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer oped page ("Words Have Consequences" 6/16/09) addressing O'Reilly's labeling of the late Dr. George Tiller as a "baby-killer," equating legal abortions to the murdering of Holocaust victims, as something that might incite violence.
The column's truth is up to the reader to judge. It was on an opinion page afterall. This is not my point here.
Instead of attacking the column, Bill on his radio show and both he and his buddy, Bernie Goldberg on the TV Factor, decided to attack me, without bothering to consider whether they were telling the truth.
I am an award-winning television writer. Check IMDB. Bill said I never wrote television. No idea why he felt that would show me as lacking credibility. That could have been done by just telling the truth. I mostly wrote sitcoms. That in itself would be more than enough to show my dearth of integrity. Bill said I never served in the Armed Forces. I enlisted during Viet Nam and later, in fact, received a medical discharge. Bill called me a left-wing hack. Bernie said I was no journalist. Journalist? Seriously, I wrote silly TV comedy, I was political editor at National Lampoon, I write on an opinion page. For crissakes, I was on the Gong Show (I won). Journalist? Hack or otherwise, I've never admitted to being within a mile of being a journalist.
Obviously Bill and his researchers could have easily checked out my background. And obviously...he didn't want to.
So has Bill lied? Absolutely. Has he admitted it. Not to me. At least Brian Williams had enough balls to admit he lied.
O'Reilly is just a hack.
Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful." (www.greatfailure.com)