Bill O’Reilly tells Letterman his war coverage dust-up worked out well


Bill O’Reilly stopped by “Late Show With David Letterman” on Tuesday for what’s possibly his final appearance with his sometime sparring partner. And though their chat was more amiable than it’s been in times past, Letterman still brought up a touchy subject from O’Reilly’s recent history: the controversy surrounding his reporting on the Falklands War in 1982.

Similar to the Brian Williams controversy, critics accused O’Reilly of misrepresenting his own experiences while reporting on the war for CBS News.

But as O’Reilly told Letterman, he tackled the criticisms head-on, laid out his views and viewers decided.


“It worked out OK for me,” he said. “I got even more viewers.”

For the week following the article in Mother Jones magazine that reported the inconsistencies in O’Reilly’s reporting, the audience for “The O’Reilly Factor” was up 25% with an average of 3.381 million viewers.

O’Reilly once again separated himself from Williams, describing himself as a news analyst as opposed to Williams’ more traditional news anchor role. But he still felt that Williams should be reinstated on “NBC Nightly News.”

“From the very beginning, I’ve said we have a sport in the United States called ‘Let’s destroy the famous person,’” O’Reilly said. “And I think that’s what happened to him.”

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