Bill O’Reilly Is A Lying Liar, But Fox Is Not About To Care
When the news broke about Brian Williams having lied about his helicopter having been nearly shot down while he was covering the Iraq war, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was there to tear him to shreds with a searing monologue about how important it is for the fourth estate to, you know, not lie about important stuff like that.
Which, hey! I totally agree with. What’s not to agree with there? What Williams did was clearly, clearly, 100 percent wrong.
And yet, it turns out that we’ve got a bit of a “pot calling the kettle a lying liar” situation here. After O’Reilly laid into Williams, David Corn and Daniel Schulmann of Mother Jones came out with an investigative piece determining that O’Reilly lied extensively about his own time as a war correspondent.
Among the myriad accusations in the Mother Jones piece is that O’Reilly claimed he was “on the ground” in a war zone in the Falklands, which he was not, because no one was. He was in Buenos Aires with everyone else. O’Reilly is now claiming that he never said that, even though there is recorded evidence of him saying that, and that he was in a “war zone” because he covered a protest where Argentinian police shot at protesters.
As Wonkette’s Kalli Joy Gray puts it, “This means that anyone who covered Kent State can say they were a Vietnam War correspondent.”
People are now wondering if O’Lielly’s lies will cause Fox to fire him the way Brian Williams was fired for his.
I am not a gambling woman. I bought one lottery ticket on my 18th birthday for festiveness purposes, and have only played slot machines three times in my entire life. I am still mad about having lost $12 Canadian one of those times.
However, I would be willing to bet the farm I don’t have on the fact that Bill O’Reilly will not be kicked off of Fox News for lying about his war correspondent days.
I have a few reasons for this. I mean, he wasn’t fired for trying to sex up his producer with a falafel and calling her in the middle of the night to tell her stories about “tiny Balinese women” who were impressed by the size of his dick, his fondness for Thai sex shows and penchant for threesomes with “Scandinavian Stewardesses.” He wasn’t fired for lying and saying he had Peabody awards when he did not, in fact, have Peabody awards. I am going to say that as long as Bill O’Lielly’s ratings hold, he is not getting fired.
To be fair, unlike Brian Williams, his job is not actually to deliver facts. If it were, he would probably be in serious trouble every few weeks. Bill O’Reilly is not around for truth-telling purposes. He, like most people on Fox News, is there to provide comfort for scared, old, angry white people, and he does that job very well. These people are not going to be all that phased by this. Sometimes–quite often in fact–that comfort comes in the form of lies and lots and lots of bullshit.
Williams’ lies are a betrayal, because people actually thought he was trustworthy. Bill O’Reilly’s lies are the equivalent of your grandpa telling you he walked ten miles to school everyday, uphill both ways and in four feet of snow.
I’m not going to say it’s not wrong for Bill O’Reilly to lie. Of course it is. We expect Bill O’Reilly to lie about things, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not wrong for him to do so. Still, I don’t think it’s going to matter to his employers or his audience, who are clearly unphased by all the other horrible things he’s said and done. We’re gonna want this to be a scandal, and it’s not going to be a scandal for anyone but the left. We can joke about it forever, of course, but I am willing to bet that it’s literally not a thing that is going to be a thing for those who support him.