CBS News has released video of its coverage of the end of the 1982 Falklands War which has been at the center of a debate about whether Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been exaggerating his role in the coverage when he was a CBS News correspondent.
“CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” and a “Special Report” from June 15, 1982 are included, as well as the “CBS Morning News” (with anchor Diane Sawyer) and the “Evening News” from the following day.
In the Mother Jones story that has sparked the debate, David Corn questioned whether O’Reilly lied about being in “a combat situation” and if the FNC host’s photographer was injured during the conflict.
Dan Rather, in his anchor introduction, says “some television crew members were knocked to the ground.” Bob Schieffer, then the lead correspondent in Buenos Aires, reported on violence against the media for that night’s “Evening News.”
Several North American television crews were jostled. A Canadian crew found their car surrounded by demonstrators who kicked and rocked it. An ABC camera team’s car (above) was stoned before the crew escaped.
Another CBS News correspondent, Eric Engberg who was also assigned to cover the war, was the lead correspondent for the late-night CBS News special report and for the “Evening News” on following night. Over the weekend, Engberg was also critical of O’Reilly’s storytelling. From Engberg’s report in June, 1982:
There were arrests and beatings. Then with guns that fired tear gas and plastic bullets, the police opened fire. It is not known how many were hurt, but witnesses reported at least some serious injuries.
Interestingly, in his weekend Facebook post about O’Reilly’s embellishments, Engberg claims CBS News Buenos Aires crews were ordered not to turn on their camera lights so as not put their colleagues’ lives in jeopardy or to further instigate a riotous crowd. But when you watch Engberg’s story, you’ll see much of the video he used was lit.