Video: O'Reilly's 'No homeless vets' claim disproved
David Edwards and Katie Baker
Published: Friday January 18, 2008 |
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On January 4th, 2008, Fox Pundit Bill O' Reilly denied the existence of any homeless veterans in the United States. In an effort to prove O'Reilly wrong, Brave New Films visited Homeless Vets – a non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk veterans – so that they could speak with some homeless veterans themselves.

"I talked to over a dozen homeless vets, some who had served as far back as the Korean War," writes the video’s co-producer Jonathan Kim on "These veterans are homeless, they exist, and no matter what [O’Reilly] says, there are way too many of them."

Brave New Films showed the men at Homeless Vets a clip of O'Reilly mocking presidential candidate John Edwards for discussing the topic of homeless veterans in a speech.

"This guy has no clue!" O'Reilly said in response to Edwards. "I mean, come on. The only thing sleeping under a bridge is that guy’s brain. 10 million illegal alien workers are sending billions of dollars back home and Edwards is running around saying nobody has any money."

In an interview with radio host Ed Schultz on Jan 16, 2008, O'Reilly once again denied the existence of homeless veterans – this time, with a slight caveat.

"They may be out there, but there’s not many of them out there. Okay?" he said.

Brave New Film's video depicts the residents of Homeless Vets (which currently houses about 500 homeless veterans) responding to the clip of O’Reilly’s denial.

"There’s a lot of homeless veterans out there, and anyone who would even imply that there are no homeless veterans is out of touch with reality," said Levi Cunningham, a current tenant at Homeless Vets.

"I'd [like] to invite him to sleep out there, too," said Fletcher C. Hicklen, another homeless veteran. "And then we'll see who's talking crazy."

Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann have also teamed up to disprove O’Reilly’s false claims.

"I don't know what his agenda is here, but we hope that he uses it as an opportunity to focus on a very critical issue," Rieckhoff said in an interview with Olbermann. “We need everybody's help, and we need folks to support our veterans. This isn't a partisan issue. It's not about John Edwards. It's about taking care of the people when they come home."

Sign the letter to Bill O'Reilly demanding he apologize to the "non-existent" homeless vets here.

This video is from Brave New Films, broadcast January 18, 2008.

Correction: The first edition of this article incorrectly stated Paul Rieckhoff's first name.