A hero in his own mind

A hero in his own mind

by digby

Gee, I wonder why people thought Bill O'Reilly said he was in combat in the Falklands war?

KEVIN (CALLER): Hey, yeah, I have to say real quick, I've been -- I've listened to interviews from the guy that was saved and from some of the other Swift Boat, the guys in these new groups that have come on talking about it.

And if you listen to interviews with the guy, he's not smearing the guy who got the, you know, who fell in the water, but he gave a rational, cognizant explanation what happened that day, and these boats are always in pairs and packs --

O'REILLY: Right.

KEVIN: -- so they're always trying to say well, no -- well, you weren't on Kerry's you -- you -- his Swift boat. You didn't have to be. You were 20 feet away on another one.

O'REILLY: All right, let me challenge that, Kevin, from --

KEVIN: Uh-huh.

O'REILLY: -- from personal experience.

KEVIN: Sure.

O'REILLY: I -- I was in a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War, OK?

KEVIN: Mm-hmm.

O'REILLY: And I can tell you when the Kool-Aid hits the fan, OK, nobody is locking in on anybody else. Nobody.

KEVIN: And you're right.

O'REILLY: OK, ad --

KEVIN: I know (inaudible; overlapping dialogue)

O'REILLY: -- adrenaline -- adrenaline surges and you veterans out there listening right now, you know exactly what I'm talking about here. Adrenaline surges, your senses become very attune, much sharper than they are ordinarily, and you are locked in, focused in, on your survival and achieving the means of staying alive.

You're not watching what happens in the boat next to year. You're not watching any of that. OK? You are -- you are zeroed in on your situation.

And that's why I am believing the guys that are sitting next to this Kerry, because the guys away from him, yeah, maybe somebody looked over, and yeah, but what probably happened was after the fact people talked. And that's what always happens. And then perceptions are shaped. But they're always ab -- they're never primary source perceptions.

Now, again, I don't have anything against these Swift Boats guys. They -- I'm sure they believe what they're saying. But I'm going to go with the guy in the water. I got to go with him. [Westwood One, The Radio Factor, 8/9/04, transcript via Escriptionist.com/Media Matters internal archives]

There's more where that came from. Here's another one:

O'REILLY: But again, look, I mean all of us who are reporters -- and I was a reporter for 24 years, even, you know -- and I was in El Salvador, and in the Falkland War in Argentina, and in Northern Ireland, and in the Middle East. And I did some pretty risky things. I was single and nobody cared, but you know -- a couple of girlfriends would have been - 'oh, no more free dinners from Bill.'

But I did. I put myself, you know, in positions that perhaps I should not have, but I got good stories. And that's what people do. That's what journalists do. But I volunteered. Nobody sent me. Nobody forced me. I went it. And that's what these guys did. And these guys were in much more danger than I was ever in, although it got a little hairy in the Falklands, that's for sure. [Westwood One, The Radio Factor, 1/30/06]

He pretty clearly wants people to believe that he's been in combat even going so far as to compare himself as superior to actual combat veterans, something Brian Williams never did. He's a liar.

But the biggest lie is that he continually portrays Buenos Aires as a war zone during the Falklands war. It was not. He covered some street demonstrations after the war was over. If that is the definition of being in ths shit, then anyone who was on the streets in Ferguson, Missouri last summer is a combat veteran.

I can't believe he's going to get away with this in the wake of Brian Williams being vilified for much less. O'Reilly has continuously portrayed himself as a fucking hero, someone who stared down the barrel of a gun and saved his cameraman from the the enemy. And he was in a street protest. This is a much more egregious lie than Williams'. But get away with it he will.