UPDATE 4/14/15: In the weeks since Bill O'Reilly was first caught lying about reporting from a "combat zone" in the Falklands War, Media Matters and other outlets uncovered five more bogus stories that the Fox News star regularly tells about his career. In a new eBook, Media Matters' Eric Boehlert breaks down O'Reilly's fabrications -- and the arguments he used them to win -- to show how he spent years painstakingly crafting a public persona that many Fox viewers now trust implicitly.
For years, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has touted his experience as a correspondent in active war zones. But this week, a new report from Mother Jones found evidence that O'Reilly hasn't been telling the truth about these "combat zone" experiences -- including his supposed reporting from the Falkland Islands, which no American correspondent was able to reach during the war.
O'Reilly's exaggerations matter. Bill O'Reilly has held himself up as a paragon of virtue and truth while attacking anyone that dares to challenge his credibility. But his deceptions about reporting from war zones undermine and insult actual war reporters who risk their lives to report from actual combat zones. And for too long, O'Reilly has relied on these deceptions about his experience to bolster his opinions about and advocacy for U.S. engagement in military conflicts.
Bill O'Reilly shouldn't get away with years of misleading viewers just because he's an icon at Fox News. If Fox wants to move past this scandal, it needs to follow NBC's example with Brian Williams and take action to hold O'Reilly accountable for this deception.
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