The orders of nuns whose members were executed in El Salvador have spoken out against Bill O’Reilly’s claims to have witnessed their murders. And former Fox News host Eric Burns explains why Fox and O’Reilly will probably shrug off even this.
You may recall that one of Bill O’Reilly’s exaggerations was his claim to have witnessed the infamous execution of nuns in El Salvador during its civil war. Later, O’Reilly “clarified” by saying that he meant he had seen the executions on video, not in real time. (You can read more about that here.)
CNN followed up and reported this on Reliable Sources today:
Now, that story was a horrific tragedy. It was a big story at the time. You may remember it. Three American nuns and a missionary were abducted, sexually assaulted and shot execution-style on one day, one infamous day in 1980. Some of the family members of the victims are now offended that O’Reilly made himself a part of the story. And so are some Roman Catholic nuns.
We’ve been looking into this, this week, and two of the victims were members of the Maryknoll Sisters here in New York. Here’s what they told CNN.
“Maryknoll Sisters were deeply saddened when our sisters were killed in El Salvador and shocked when we learned of Mr. O’Reilly’s statement inferring he had witnessed their murder. This is, of course, not true. And we hope Mr. O’Reilly will take greater care in the public statements he makes in the future.”
The other nun was a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland. And here’s what they told us.
“The brutal murders of our sister, Dorothy Kazel, and other church women on December 2, 1980, is a sorrow forever etched in our hearts. And we hail these women as witnesses to justice and truth and call on all charged with reporting the news of the world to do so in the same spirit of integrity and honesty.”
Unfortunately, however, this latest incident is likely to get brushed aside with the other allegations. Eric Burns, the former host of Fox News Watch, Fox’s media criticism show, visited Reliable Sources to explain.
Burns described Fox News fans as “cultish,” meaning they are extremely loyal to the Fox brand because they feel it’s the only newscast for conservatives.
BURNS: O’Reilly, as the head of the cult, is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams, who was part of the media culture, the larger culture. Every time, it seems, Brian, that O’Reilly lies - and he’s lied so many times. You know, Keith Olbermann used to be on opposite him with his show “Countdown.” He later wrote a book, all the segments in his show called “The Worst Person in the World.”
… No one expects much out of O’Reilly as a Fox News host. No one expects the truth. He’s been caught in numerous lies, and those have never been a story.
…To the Fox News cult, this kind of thing doesn’t matter. It’s a lie from the liberal media. It’s - who cares what it is? The point is, it doesn’t matter.
What’s even worse is that Fox is playing the game by boasting about its ratings, rather than acting as any kind of standard bearer for truth or integrity:
BURNS: Well, they’re not addressing the controversy. …If you’re charged with lying and you say “Our ratings are up,” you’re not answering the question of whether or not you told a lie. I think it’s astonishing that that’s the way they operate. There’s not one word in there about, “Well, I did see nuns in the shot; I did see that CIA fellow commit suicide.” That’s not part of the defense. It’s all ratings.
Sadly, there’s no sign of change on the horizon.
5/30/19 Update: Video is no longer available but the transcript is here.
I’m still checking what’s fine worthy, but if Fox was accountable to the FCC, he’s up to $4.5 million in fines since the first lie was called out. This is Bill O’Reilly, by himself, with the start date being the date on Corn’s article. We’re all wondering how long it will take him to be “fined” the full $20M he makes this year, my personal bid is that he’ll slow up enough to make it almost to the end of this month.
But I’m also not done documenting what lies are fineable, and what they usually get for severity and outcome. I could come out of today with another full million packed on.
The suits, aka executives and VP’s, are 1,000 per cent responsible for what airs on this fraudulent “news” outlets. They have meetings with the foolish producers to discuss the mouthpieces’ shows. All of them are a bunch of amateurs. College students studying communications can operate this network.
Billy knows the suits will let him get away with anything.
NOTE TO FOX “NEWS” SUITS
This is the most poorly run network in television history. All of you are 4th rate amateurs.
NOTE TO BILLY
We are not surprised of your lies. And neither was your ex-wife.