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For fans of Bill O'Reilly in full red-faced "I never said what I obviously said" mode, the next couple days should be fun. No, Bill O'Reilly was not at a Kennedy assassination figure's suicide, Deep Throat's parking garage, or the moon landing.


Now that we know about his multiple lies about all the war stuff he didn't actually see during the Falklands War, the hunt for more O'Reilly whoppers is on, and it's a target-rich environment. For instance, Media Matters brings us this thorough demolition of O'Reilly's claim that, as a young reporter in 1977, he personally heard the shotgun blast with which George de Mohrenschildt, a minor figure in the investigation of JFK's assassination, blew his own brains out.

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It's a really dramatic story. De Mohrenschildt was a Russian expat who had palled around with Lee and Marina Oswald a bit in Dallas before the assassination, and he'd testified before the Warren Commission. When Congress was rehashing the Kennedy assassination in 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations contacted him; later that day, March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschild killed himself with a shotgun at his daughter's house in Florida. You'll never guess who claims he was standing right there on the doorstep trying to get an interview with de Mohrenschildt! Ace Reporter Bill O'Reilly, who'd flown out to Florida as soon as he'd found out the Committee wanted to hear from de Mohrenschildt.

In his 2012 book Killing Kennedy (part of the creatively titled "Killing Everybody with Name Recognition" series), O'Reilly tells us the exciting tale, exactly as it went down:

And now you know... the rest of the fake story.

There's just one teensy-tiny problem with O'Reilly's account, which is that there's no way O'Reilly could have been in Florida to hear that gunshot.

For one thing, there are the former colleagues at WFAA who told Media Matters they're quite certain that O'Reilly was in Dallas the day de Mohrenschildt shot himself:

"Bill O'Reilly's a phony, there's no other way to put it," said Tracy Rowlett, a former WFAA reporter and anchor who worked at the station with O'Reilly. "He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn't traveling at that time."

Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, agreed that O'Reilly had not traveled to Florida for the story and accused him of stealing his reporting on de Mohrenschildt's suicide from a newspaper.

According to Harris, O'Reilly "was in Dallas. He stole that article out of the newspaper. I guarantee Channel 8 didn't send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News."

Harris also pointed out a fairly obvious Journalism Fact: WFAA "would have reported it as some kind of exclusive -- and there was no exclusive -- if O'Reilly had been standing outside the door." Or maybe they just disliked O'Reilly so much that they withheld the exclusive he so clearly deserved.

You might also assume that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office's investigation of de Mohrenschildt's death would have mentioned the reporter who was standing at the door and heard the gunshot. Through some incredible oversight, it does not! Maybe O'Reilly just left the scene when he heard the shot because he figured de Mohrenschildt was busy with target practice.

And then there's the slightly inconvenient fact that journalist and editor Jefferson Morley pointed out in 2013 on his website JFKFacts.org: O'Reilly called another JFK assassination buff, Gaeton Fonzi, the day of the suicide. From Dallas. The Fonz even wrote about it in his 1993 memoir:

And yes, Morley also acquired the tapes of the conversation from Fonzi's widow. So there's Bill O'Reilly, on tape on March 29, 1977, asking for confirmation of the suicide of a guy that he later claims he heard blow his brains out. Morley says that O'Reilly

"certainly did not hear de Mohrenschildt's demise with his own ears. When the fatal shot rang out, O'Reilly was in his office at the WFAA studios in Dallas, Texas, more than 1,200 miles away. The confirmation comes from O'Reilly himself."

Huh. That really is quite a coincidence, though, since 1200 miles is also roughly the distance from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the Falkland Islands. You have to appreciate life's little ironies.

Billo really should have known better than to fib about anything connected with the Kennedy assassination, one of those events whose every detail has been sifted through by history enthusiasts and conspiracy buffs, who will write article-length denunciations of anyone who misidentifies the type of ammo used in a Mannlicher-Carcano bolt-action rifle.

And unlike its rather immediate statements of support for O'Reilly after the Falklands Follies, Fox News has been pretty much silent about his Kennedy oopsie. Tonight's O'Reilly Factor should be fun to watch.

[Media Matters]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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