BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

news

Bill O'Reilly Says Ex-Colleague Who Questioned His War Reporting "Never Left The Hotel"

Former CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg disputed the Fox News host's war reporting claims in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Posted on February 22, 2015, at 12:40 p.m. ET

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly delivered an angry rebuke on Sunday to another person who disputed his claims of reporting from a war zone in the 1980s.

Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

O’Reilly appeared by phone on Fox News' MediaBuzz on Sunday after a former CBS News colleague cast more doubts on O’Reilly’s claims that he reported from a combat situation in Buenos Aires in the aftermath of the Falklands War.

Former CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg wrote on Facebook Saturday that he was also present in Buenos Aires shortly after Argentina surrendered to the British in 1982.

Engberg posted his account a few days after Mother Jones called into question O'Reilly's claims he saw combat while reporting on the conflict for CBS News.

Engberg said he and the other journalists, including O'Reilly, were barely covering the war because they were thousands of miles from where the conflict was taking place.

"We — meaning the American networks — were all in the same modern hotel and we never saw any troops, casualties, or weapons," he said. "It was not a war zone or even close. It was an 'expense account zone.'"

Engberg took particular umbrage with O'Reilly's claim that he had seen people killed during a huge riot after the Argentine forces surrendered.

"The riot around the presidential palace was actually short-lived," Engberg wrote. "It consisted mostly of chanting, fist-shaking, and throwing coins at the uniformed soldiers who were assembled outside the palace. I did not see any police attacks against demonstrators."

Engberg also wrote that O'Reilly was difficult to work with and directly disobeyed orders to not turn his camera light on while shooting in the field.

In response, O'Reilly told host Howard Kurtz Sunday that he knows why Engberg doesn't remember seeing the conflict: he wasn't there.

"(Engberg's nickname was) 'Room Service Eric,'" O'Reilly said. "He never left the hotel."

O'Reilly said he invited Engberg on his show, The O'Reilly Factor, but he declined. He then quoted from a New York Times article on the riot, which said thousands of demonstrators were there.

"This is splitting hairs and trying anything they can to bring me down because of the Brian Williams situation," O'Reilly said.

A New York Times article from June of 1982 reported that police dispersed a crowd of thousands with tear gas after the surrender of the war, but it was unclear if this was the same article O'Reilly was referring to.

O'Reilly told Kurtz that the questions about his reporting are one big smear campaign against him.

"These guys want to come after me, I'm here," he said. "Anyone who thinks my reporting in Argentina was erroneous, they can come on my show tomorrow night."

O'Reilly promised to further address the claims on his show this week.

Watch the interview here.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT