Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly Caught in Lying Scandal

Two celebrated journalists have found themselves in the hot seat after embellishing details of their experience while reporting and their future in the media industry is unclear.

It emerged earlier this month that Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, had lied about his experience in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Williams had claimed that when reporting in Iraq that his helicopter was shot down. In reality, it was the helicopter flying in front of him that was hit by a grenade.

After breaking the initial story, Stars and Stripes reported on more inaccuracies in Williams reporting, including exaggerations on Williams’s reporting on Hurricane Katrina and encounters with Navy SEALS, according to

Bill O’Reilly, a political commentator on The O’Reilly Factor for Fox News, found himself in hot water only a few weeks after the Brian Williams scandal when it emerged that he had claimed to have reported on the 1982 Falklands War for CBS News, when in reality he was more than 1,000 miles away at the time. Colleagues also question O’Reilly’s story about saving an injured cameraman during a violent anti-government rally in Buenos Aires.

O’Reilly’s reporting continues to come into question as it was reported yesterday by Media Matters for America that he made up yet another reporting story. Former colleagues of O’Reillys from a local Dallas station where O’Reilly used to work stated that he claimed to have been present during the suicide of a key figure in the Kennedy assassination when in reality he was hundreds of miles away in a different state.

O’Reilly has drawn additional criticism due to his quick condemnation of Williams for his unethical reporting, only to find himself in a similar situation.

Williams has since tried to explain himself in an interview with Stars and Stripes a few nights after the first story broke to explain his story in more detail, while O’Reilly immediately went on the defensive. Williams stumbled through his explanation that left many to question his credibility.

“I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12-years-ago,” Williams said. “I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit…I was instead in a following aircraft.”

O’Reilly criticized Mother Jones after the initial story broke and got into a back-and-forth with CBS News colleague Eric Engberg, who said that the O’Reilly was “completely nutty.”

O’Reilly went on to warn reporters by stating, “I am coming after you with everything I have.” He continued to say, “You can take it as a threat.”

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, issued a statement in support of O’Reilly while NBC responded to Williams with a six month suspension.

While O’Reilly continues to attack the media who report on his inaccuracies, Williams waits to hear about his future with NBC.

About Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn is a recent graduate from City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. His work has appeared in The Buffalo News, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times 'Fort Greene Local', The Daily Meal, and
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