Bill O'Reilly and Snopes.com (Now We Can Finally Shut Up About Hanoi Jane Edition)

|

Here's me and The O'Reilly Factor's eponymous host mixing it up a couple of nights ago over whether Hanoi Jane Fonda gave notes passed to her by American POWs to their North Vietnamese captors:

GILLESPIE: That story has been debunked.

O'REILLY: By whom?

GILLESPIE: By–if you go to Snopes.com. The urban…

O'REILLY: Who?

GILLESPIE: Snopes.com.

O'REILLY: Snope? See, look, I'm believing—I'm believing the guys who were there. I'm not going to believe Snope.com.

And here's Bill O making nice last night:

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." Setting the record straight on Jane Fonda. Now, last night I told Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine that I was not willing to give Ms. Fonda a pass on the accusation she turned over notes from American POW's to the North Vietnamese during her trip to Hanoi.

A web site called Snopes.com has investigated and debunked that accusation. They say it's not true.

Well, we decided to research it. We spent the day doing it. And the indication is that Snopes is correct! The story is bogus. So at this point, lacking any definable evidence to the contrary, Jane Fonda did not turn over any POW notes to the Vietnamese.

We're happy to clarify the record. It would be ridiculous not to do so. All right. Way to go, Snopes.com.

Both transcripts courtesy of Nexis.

Past Hit & Run stuff on same deader-than-Ho Chi Minh-topic here.

NEXT: Drop of a Hat (Or a Hoodie)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, my toupee’s off to Wild Bill. I didn’t think he had it in him.

  2. It would be ridiculous not to do so.

    lol — i love the implication that o’reilly lays down, that he *always* admits when he’s said somethign stupid because it would “be ridiculous not to do so”.

  3. That’s somewhat amusing, because in the first segment of the show, when O’Reilly was debating that grey-haired guy about the Newsweek Koran flushing mistake, grey-haired guy asked him “Bill, are you saying you’ve never made a mistake?”

    O’Reilly then obfuscated before pretty much saying “No, we don’t make mistakes.”

    (I tried to find a transcript on Fox’s website, but a cursory search didn’t turn anything up.)

    Also funny in light of his comments regarding the sunset of the ban on so-called Assault Weapons, when he was on air making some bombastic comments about machine guns. This, of course, made something of a ripple among many of his viewers who emailed him demanding a correction. The next night he didn’t retract his statement, but chastised his viewers for not getting a joke.

  4. Until I have proof to the contrary, I will maintain that aliens have kidnapped Bill O’Reilly and this is Kang or Kodos standing in.

  5. Paging climate control! Climate control? Is it just me or does it seem colder than usual down here? Who turned down the thermostat?

  6. Hey Bill, I heard crow tastes rather gamey.

  7. “Well, my toupee’s off to Wild Bill. I didn’t think he had it in him.”

    I wouldn’t get too excited, Tim. If O’Reily was a real journalist, he’d actually have checked the creditability of the story BEFORE the interview, rather than just using it to mouth off about that “treasonous” Jane Fonda. (OK, her actions don’t make her a patriot, but a “traitor?”)

    It also shows just that O’Reily hasn’t a real clue what actual news reporting is about. I mean, the idiot didn’t know what snopes.com was. Six years ago, in my Copy Editing course, we spent several classes investigating urban legends and snopes was suggested as a primary resource. Hell, I’m not even a reporter now, but I still check it out just to see what goofiness passes for news these days. Then again, what do you expect from a man who thinks “TURN OFF HIS MIC” is a valid debate tactic?

    However, I doubt it wouldn’t make much of a difference to the average, knuckle-dragging Fox News Neanderthal who religious hangs on every word that O’Reily vomits forth from his cake hole. Their righteous indignation about “Hanoi Jane” is far more important to them than a little concept called “facts.”

  8. O’Reilly came clean, on the air, about the absent WMDs.

    Apparently he’s actually a covert America hating, tyranny loving liberal, because he seemed to think they had something to do with why the Iraq War happened.

  9. That Snopes entry is quite good, and is required reading for anyone who is to excited over the fact that Snopes debunked one of three nasty allegations about Fonda – while corroborating the other two.

  10. The Snopes entry (which I could link to if I felt like it, and make it appear in pretty, convenient red hypertext any time I want) on John Kerry’s medals is worth checking out, too.

  11. Xrlq,

    Misspellings and all, your admonition about people being “too excited” is spot on. As with most Vietnam War-related discussions, there is a tendency for the most extreme, absolutist positions to dominate the debate.

    She turned in prisoners to be tortured!

    No she didn’t! That means she really is flawless in her wisdom and compassion!

  12. Oh Jane, you’re still an ignorant slut.

  13. You’ll notice that O’Reilly never actually apologized for the error…

  14. Being in love with yourself means never having to say you’re sorry.

  15. Hey, at least he admitted it. In fact, for a second there he made me feel guilty for calling him “an idiot who can’t get his facts straight” in the other thread. (It’s okay, though–I sat down for a minute, and the feeling passed.)

  16. Even if Jane didn’t pass the notes, she’s still a traitor.

    However, I won’t bring up that she was right about one thing: We should’t have gone to Vietnam in the first place.

  17. I watch Falafel Bill when I need a good laugh.

  18. Somebody must have told Mr. O’Reilly about snopes.com after the show.

    Bill O’Reilly often mixes investigative reporting and indisputable facts with opinion, hearsay, and pseudo-knowledge that most people either can’t (or don’t bother to) check out themselves. Sometimes, he even has me hooked.

    When I heard you mention snopes.com during that exchange only to have Mr. O’Reilly dismiss it, my antenna went up. Can the great Bill O’Reilly possibly be dealing in propaganda by dismissing verifiable facts?

    Well, I’m sorry that I missed the subsequent episode. Obviously, Mr. O’Reilly does not want to torpedo his credibility with something that an eight year-old can find out for himself.

    Many of us in cyberspace have been checking out snopes.com for years for both reference and entertainment. I’ll put anything that I’ve read on that site against whatever Bill O’Reilly has “heard”.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.