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Factor Foot-in-Mouth Segment: Persecuted Native American Turns Out to Be Liar

Reported by Marie Therese - December 5, 2005

On September 27, 2005 Bill O'Reilly interviewed a "real American Indian" named William "Bill" Bradford. Here's how his encounter is described on BillOReilly.com: "Indiana University professor Bill Bradford refused to sign a petition in support of radical anti-American professor Ward Churchill, after which he was denied tenure. Bradford, himself an Army veteran and an Apache Indian, told The Factor he was punished for not signing. 'Professor Florence Roisman brought me a petition and asked me to sign it. When I wouldn't sign she asked, 'What kind of Indian are you?' She engineered a vote on the faculty to fire me and deny tenure. The presumption was that I, as an Indian, had an ethnic role to play. That because I'm an Indian I'm supposed to perform the way the left wants me to perform rather than think for myself. That's the epitome of racism, Bill.'"

During that show O'Reilly used "good Indian" Bradford as a foil to Ward Churchill, the "bad Indian-who-really-isn't-an-Indian-at-all." Bradford made a bit deal out of his military service.

Well, it turns out that Bradford lied about his service record.

Editor & Publisher, 12/4/05: It all began back on June 26 when [Indianapolis Star reporter Ruth] Holladay promoted the claim of William Bradford that a faculty committee at the Indiana University School of Law had voted against him for tenure. Bradford declared that two liberal professors who disliked him--because he was an Army veteran and supported the Iraq war--had led the charge.

"He fought in Desert Storm and Bosnia-Herzegovina, served as a major in the U.S. Army Special Forces and received the Silver Star," Holladay wrote then. "Now the 39-year-old legal scholar is engaged in a battle on the home front -- political correctness in academia."

Bradford even wore his Silver Star around campus. On the law school's Web site and its Viewbook, Bradford's profile said he was in the Army infantry from 1990 to 2001.

He promoted himself on radio interviews and on Bill O'Reilly's Fox TV show. He was a poster boy for liberal bias and control on campus. "David Horowitz, a champion for conservatives, took up his cause," Holladay wrote today.

Now Bradford has resigned at the university, effective Jan. 1.

The unraveling began after Holladay was contacted by retired Army Lt. Col. Keith R. Donnelly, a Gulf War veteran who was suspicious of Bradford's record and awards.
Holladay and Donnelly both requested Bradford's service record from the Army. It showed that he was in the Army Reserve from Sept. 30, 1995, to Oct 23, 2001, with no active duty or awards.

The question becomes whether Bill O'Reilly will inform his audience that this much-vaunted "real Indian" is actually a fake soldier

[Thanks are due to our reader KT for the lead on this story.]

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