Former colleagues of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly are now disputing his account of surviving a bombardment of bricks and rocks while covering the 1992 riots in Los Angeles.
The Guardian reports:
Six people who covered the riots with O’Reilly in California for Inside Edition told the Guardian they did not recall an incident in which, as O’Reilly has claimed, “concrete was raining down on us” and “we were attacked by protesters”….
Two of the team said the man was angered specifically by O’Reilly behaving disrespectfully after arriving at the smoking remains of his neighbourhood in a limousine, whose driver at one point began polishing the vehicle. O’Reilly is said to have shouted at the man and asked him: “Don’t you know who I am?”
Wait for it.
A spokeswoman for Fox News said in a statement that claims casting doubt on his statements were “nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far left advocates”.
“Bill O’Reilly has already addressed several claims levelled against him,” the spokeswoman said. “Responding to the unproven accusation du jour has become an exercise in futility. Fox News maintains its staunch support of O’Reilly, who is no stranger to calculated onslaughts.”
“They were throwing bricks and stones at us,” O’Reilly said in 2006. “Concrete was raining down on us. The cops saved our butts that time.”
Earlier this week, he told broadcaster Hugh Hewitt, “We were attacked, we were attacked by protesters, where bricks were thrown at us.”
Inside Edition colleagues from the time who were in Los Angeles with O’Reilly – reporters Bonnie Strauss, Tony Cox and Rick Kirkham, and crew members Theresa McKeown, Bob McCall and Neil Antin – told the Guardian that they did not recall such an incident.
Kirkham, the show’s lead reporter on the riots, was adamant that it did not take place. “It didn’t happen,” he said. “If it did, how come none of the rest of us remember it?”
Tonya Freeman, the head of the show’s library said: “I honestly don’t recall watching or hearing about that. I believe I probably would have remembered something like that.”
Others have said they do not recall the incident either.
The sound man recalled, “It was one person with one rock. Nobody was hit.”
“A man came out of his home,” said Antin, who was operating the camera that was struck, according to the Guardian. “He picked up a chunk of concrete, and threw it at the camera.”
After being told of O’Reilly’s version of events, Antin said: “I don’t think that’s really … No, I mean no, not where we were.”
“There was no concrete,” said another. “There was a single brick”.
According to O’Reilly’s responses to recent allegations, he’s telling the truth while everyone else that was present, is lying.
And now the Los Angeles riots.
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