Accusations of lies and distortions ‘just garbage,’ O’Reilly claims
NEW YORK — Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will help represent his “good old friend, professional colleague and journalistic partner,” Brian Williams, at an NBC hearing next month. Williams was suspended from his news-anchor post after allegations that he lied about his experiences as an Iraq War correspondent. O’Reilly stepped forward after questions about his own Falkland War reports were also raised.
“Well of course it’s all just garbage,” the tall Irishman spun furiously on his “No Spin Zone” show, The O’Reilly Factor.
“It’s little more than a hit from the right to pull down a liberal icon. I should know, I sat in on all the meetings with Roger Ailes and Karl Rove when they planned it. That little squirt Hannity was also there.”
O’Reilly said that if Williams was guilty of exaggerating, then he was too. However, everything his friend had said “about what he reported in Iraq—depending on how you define certain words like ‘shot’ and ‘down’ is true.”
“Everything,” he repeated emphatically. Williams never directly claimed to have been shot down, O’Reilly noted, though his helicopter may have been hit and the one in front of him definitely made a forced landing.
“Alright, so he wasn’t in the copter that got ‘shot’ ‘down,'” O’Reilly air-quoted, reading off his teleprompter, with the text irritatingly scrolling down the side of his screen. “But then he never really said he was. It depends on how you interpret his words. He was in a military Blackhawk when ‘shots’ were fired,” he added confusingly, “so technically he was in a combat situation after the Iraqis surrendered.”
The Fox News host called Williams’ critics “liars” and “despicable guttersnipes.” He said the issue was really just a matter of semantics arising from Williams’ shorthand use of “my helicopter was fired on and crashed,” and “well, actually it wasn’t.” His journalistic integrity should never be questioned, nor should that of any former war correspondents.
“After all,” he said reasonably, “isn’t truth the first casualty of war? Goodness me,” he added, “my war reports are just littered with its body parts! Ask any six of my colleagues, ask Eric Engberg!”
O’Reilly said he was helping his friend because “poor dim-witted Brian has too much integrity to fight allegations like these in the way they deserve — with lots of bluster, distortions and red-herring attacks on imaginary critics and other straw men. I mean, he just upped and resigned and admitted he lied. That’s so pathetic.”
“Now if I was ever accused,” O’Reilly added warmly, “I’d immediately and repeatedly deny it, call it a liberal plot, denounce the far-left media, and then finger-point and bloviate and obfuscate with my all my Irish blarney and influence in the media. Go on a couple of talk shows. Get Geraldo to ‘interview’ me while nodding sympathetically and making supportive noises. That sort of thing.”
He laughed menacingly. “Me resign? Fox News is gonna hold hearings into my journalistic integrity? Well, if so,” he sneered, “then après moi, le deluge. The next to fall will be that little squirt Hannity — did I call him that already? — and then Megan Kelly, what a pretty little liar she is! — and after her, the group creeps, like Steve Doocy, and so on down to the slime and Roger Ailes at the very bottom.”
O’Reilly observed that “Fox would have to shut the whole goddamn place down except for the weathermen, and then what would the GOP do? Not even Fox blames Obama for all the snow. Yet.”
He stood up. “No,” he said loftily, “my rule is, deny everything and abuse the opposing counsel. Over and over. Americans are so stupid that if they hear the same thing on TV more than once they believe it. Hey, that’s the principle behind all advertising, right?
“What Brian should have done is simply bluster on, brazen the whole thing out, keep denying everything with an air of outraged indignation, gone on The Daily Show for a sympathetic interview with his good pal Jon Stewart, laughed the whole thing off and left his critics in the kill zone, where they deserve to be. If it ever happens to me,” he added, “you can watch it in action.”
“Anyway, that’s the way it is,” Bill O’Reilly wound up triumphantly, “if I may coin a phrase. Hey, I like that. Since I was there when I invented it, I’ll use it on my show.”