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Friday, April 21, 2017

Semper falafel

by digby

Hey, remember when Bill O'Reilly claimed he'd been in combat in the Falklands? Good times.

This one is from 2015:

A hero in his own mind

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.

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 the 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. 

And this from 2007:

Semper Falafel

O'Reilly understands that war is hell:

Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War, I know that life-and-death decisions are made in a flash. If that wounded insurgent had a grenade or other explosive device, the entire marine squad and the photographer could be dead right now. In a killing zone, one cannot afford the luxury of knowing what is certain.

As with all literary greats like Mailer, Jones and Heller, O'Reilly has memorialized his scorching combat experiences in his novel, "Those Who Trespass" a murder mystery set in Argentina during the hell on earth that was the Falklands:
The policemen were clearly frightened. Their fascist powers were being brazenly challenged. Standing directly in front of the police were nearly ten thousand very angry Argentine citizens screaming curses and revolutionary slogans:

ALa gente unida venceramos!

AMuera la Junta!

AMuera Galtieri!

GNN News Correspondent Shannon Michaels translated the chant and wrote it into his notebook: "The people, united, will never be defeated! Death to the Junta! Death to the dictator Galtieri!" Shannon and his video crew stood behind the police, five hundred strong crowded together in a massive show of force. Their assignment was to guard the presidential palace, called the Casa Rosada--the Pink House--and to protect President General Leopoldo Galtieri. But the crowd was getting more and more aggressive, pushing toward the large metal gate that provided access to the palatial grounds. Shannon saw that The Plaza de Mayo, the huge square in front of the Casa Rosada, was now filled to capacity. Something very ugly was going to happen, Shannon thought, and happen soon.

The sky was clear, but clouds were assembling in the west. Shannon ran his fingers through his thick mane of wavy brown hair. His teal blue eyes were locked on the agitated crowd. It was his eyes that most people noticed first--a very unusual color that some thought materialized from a contact lens case. But Shannon, the product of two Celtic parents, didn't go in for cosmetic enhancements. His 6' 4 frame was well toned by constant athletics, and his pale white skin was flawless--another genetic gift. Shannon's looks, which he thoroughly capitalized on, made him a natural for television.

As the mob continued its boisterous serenade, Shannon slowly shook his head. Most wars were foolish, he thought, but this one was unusually idiotic. The Argentine Junta, a group of military thugs led by General Galtieri, had ordered an invasion of the British-administered Falkland Islands on April Fool's Day, 1982. The government claim was that the islands, which the Argentines called the Malvinas, became a part of Argentina through a Papal declaration in 1493. The British disagreed. So, nearly five hundred years after the grant of land, the Argentine Army swarmed ashore, startling eighteen hundred British subjects and tens of thousands of bewildered sheep.


During his seven-year career as a TV news correspondent, Michaels had seen rank stupidity, but this moronic government strategy boggled the mind. Anyone who read a newspaper knew that the British Parliament, and especially Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, would never allow British honor to be besmirched. It took the Brits just three months to thoroughly humiliate the Junta, further angering the Argentine citizenry. No wonder they were now filling the streets in passionate demonstration against the Galtieri government.

Sends chills down your spine, doesn't it? Has anyone matched this searing prose chronicling the nightmare of the Falklands war? 

I don't want to ruin the story by revealing the fiery hell that our blue eyed Celtic hero had to endure. Let's just say that that marine in Falluja won't know what hell is until he's had to film a news story with his flawless white skin covered in dust and dirt. It just makes you sick to even think about it. 

The horror...