From Brian Williams to Bill O’Reilly, What News Can We Trust?

Jessica Renae Buxbaum

After the Brian Williams’ Iraq War story scandal, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly went on a rant about liberal media.

Brian Williams, Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly complained about the supposed deception in left-leaning media, and used the Williams’ scandal to encourage viewers to question other distortions in leftist news coverage.

"When hard news people deceive their viewers and readers to advance a political agenda, that's when the nation gets hurt," O’Reilly said on his program last week.

Ironically, O’Reilly is now in the same boat as Williams.

O’Reilly has repeatedly claimed to have acted heroically in his own war stories that turned out not to be true, according to Mother Jones.

Since 2001 O’Reilly has bragged to his audience about being in the heat of the Falklands War as a war correspondent, saying he “survived a combat situation in Argentina” in 1982. Mother Jones reported his claims are not supported by facts.

O’Reilly states in his memoir that he was on the grounds reporting from El Salvador to the Falklands. Trouble is, no U.S. reporters were actually on the remote islands during the war. Only 30 accredited British journalists were amidst the fighting.

O’Reilly rejects the accusations, calling the article a “piece of garbage.” In an interview with On Media Blog, he called Mother Jones editor David Corn, a "despicable guttersnipe" who has been trying to take him down "for years."

While it is not surprising that Faux News overlord fudged on his reporting, both insistences demonstrate the astonishing lack of credibility in Western media that spans both sides of the political spectrum. News is supposed to be about delivering the public the honest truth, but both news anchors have warped that idea into a “who can out-show each other more?” contest. Williams’ dream job was reportedly as a host for "The Tonight Show" (hinting his real aspirations are in performing rather than reporting), and we all know O’Reilly’s outrageous commentary is just for ratings. Our media is a series of circus acts where exaggeration is key, so in the heat of these scandals where can we turn to for the simple truth?