Fox News host Bill O'Reilly will respond on-air tonight to Mother Jones' report that he fabricated stories about his experience as a CBS News journalist covering the 1982 Falklands War between Argentina and Great Britain. O'Reilly plans to call the report "garbage" and will assert that its principal author, David Corn, is carrying out a political vendetta against him.
During the "Talking Points Memo" section of tonight's "O'Reilly Factor" broadcast, the conservative talking head will mock Mother Jones as a "far-left" and "low circulation magazine" and assert that "everything I've said about my reportorial career -- everything -- is true."
The transcript of O'Reilly response was posted to the Fox Nation website.
The crux of O'Reilly's self-defense is an internal CBS News memo in which higher-ups praised O'Reilly and his crew for their reporting on a Buenos Aires street demonstration against Argentina's military junta. "The crews were great … the riot had been very bad, we were gassed, shot at, and I had the best vantage point in which to report the story," the memo reportedly says. But that memo doesn't answer a key issue raised by the Mother Jones report: O'Reilly has claimed that "many were killed" in clashes during the demonstration, even though contemporaneous reports -- including CBS News' -- make no mention of any fatalities.
But an indignant O'Reilly will proclaim that the memo offers "rock solid proof that David Corn smeared me." He will condemn Corn as "an irresponsible guttersnipe, a far-left zealot who has attacked Fox News many times before," echoing the statement O'Reilly provided to Mediaite on Thursday, in which he called the Mother Jones report "total bullshit."
"This is a political hit job," O'Reilly plans to say.
Depicting himself as the victim of a left-wing conspiracy may play into fellow conservatives' acute persecution complex, but O'Reilly's response hardly puts questions about his claims to rest.