Things have quieted down for Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, accused of inflating his resume with over-exaggerated tales of journalistic derring-do, but now the cameraman O’Reilly claimed he dragged to safety from a rioting crowd says it never happened.
[See below: O’Reilly responds.]
Last week O’Reilly told Late Show host David Letterman that he had never “fibbed on the air,” saying, “Fibbed? Not that I know of. What I do is analysis — different from what other people do. So I bloviate and give my opinion, as you well know. But it’s not worth it for me to do that.”
According to Mother Jones, a cameraman of O’Reilly’s has now come forward casting more doubt on his honesty, saying he worked with O’Reilly during the brief Falklands War and O’Reilly’s account of rescuing a bleeding cameraman during a riot in Buenos Aries never happened because it was him.
In O’Reilly’s telling of the incident, his cameraman was knocked down while filming a riot, and he pulled the man to safety.
“I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us,” O’Reilly explained during a 2013 episode of the O’Reilly Factor. “I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time, I’m looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy out of there because that was more important.”
According to Ignacio Medrano-Carbo, he was the cameraman on O’Reilly’s crew that night and it never happened.
“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,” Medrano-Carbo said in a statement.
Medrano-Carbo stated that O’Reilly got other details wrong as well.
“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?”
Medrano-Carbono added 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.”
O’Reilly’s account of the riot has previously been called into question by former CBS News correspondent Eric Jon Engberg who dismissed O’Reilly’s story, saying, “We — meaning the American networks — were all in the same, modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties or weapons. It was not a war zone or even close. It was an ‘expense account zone’.”
UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly has responded with a statement: “I never worked with Ignacio Medrano-Carbo. 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.”