Does Bill O’Reilly Deserve the Brian Williams Treatment?

Brian Williams, as near as anyone can figure, may have never even been a reporter at this point. His entire career could have just been ramshackle lies about things he thinks would have been cool to see.  Who knows, it’s someone else’s job to hold him accountable for that.  If he lied, fire him and move on.  On to Bill O’Reilly, because we live in a world where all tits must have tats.  O’Reilly could serve as the Conservative side of the BS reporting coin, at least some people want him to be that, thanks to stories about his reporting on incidents during the Falkland Wars.  But is there a difference between Williams and O’Reilly?  Many!

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Bill O’Reilly has long been Darth Vader to John Stewart’s Luke Skywalker.  He’s perceived as basically evil, manipulative and full of crap at the best of times.  So it’s no wonder someone jumped with glee on the possibility to bury him as a ”bad reporter.” Ironically being a bad person has no bearing on success, but if he maybe told a lie we can crucify him.  But here’s there thing, was he even lying?  Police were shooting at citizens, O’Reilly said they were mowing them down with live ammo.  Isn’t it possible he really believed that?  Especially if he was someone who thinks the way O’Reilly thinks?  O’Reilly wallows in misery, he loves bad news.  The worse humanity can be, the more he loves it.  So cops killing civilians would be, to him, a perfect story.  That, mixed with his own fear of getting shot, makes it entirely possible he was reporting what he thought was happening.

Do you even know when the Falkland Wars was?  I had to look it up.  And I have no idea what exactly O’Reilly said at the time, so his reporting certainly didn’t taint the history of the event for me.  Did it alter anyone’s actual perspective of events?  Maybe now it does, but back then wasn’t everyone else reporting what was actually happening in terms of non-lethals?  So wouldn’t O’Reilly’s reporting, in context, not look so much like lies but like maybe he was CBS’s Don Lemon, just saying dumb crap on TV?  He thought people were being shot but then it turned out they weren’t and we all moved on and some of us just discovered the Falkland Wars were a thing and that Bill O’Reilly was someone trusted to report actual news at one point in his career, instead of angry, one-sided opinions.  Fascinating.

Brian Williams reconstructed entire events.  Are they important, in the grand scheme of things?  Not in the least.  Him being on a helicopter or not means nothing to any of us.  But it does characterize him as a bit of an untrustworthy jackass for making up stories.  Bill O’Reilly probably has a million other reasons to be distrusted other than his shoddy reporting of events he was at least present to witness.  Brian Williams told lies, but it really seems more like Bill O’Reilly just doesn’t bother to research facts and reports what he thinks would be the best thing to hear based on what he sees.  Is that irresponsible journalism too?  Of course.  But it’s not the same.  It’s just poor journalism.  If you want reasons to rake O’Reilly over the coals, why not just focus on the kind of person he is.

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