Monday, November 9, 2015

Bill O'Reilly - As Big A Dolt on Reagan As He Was On JFK

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As I noted in a previous post, Bill O'Reilly is no historian. He's a hack from FAUX News masquerading as one. This was exposed fully in his earlier book, 'Killing Kennedy' as it has been in his recent book, 'Killing Reagan'.  I pointed out all the lies, fictitious reporting in the first, and now George Will (realizing his forte isn't climate science) has exposed all the pretentious baloney and nonsense - make up history in the second.

Recall in my post on O'Reilly's mucking up the Kennedy assassination, e.g.

how I pointed out a major lie of O'Reilly's in his book, to wit, his claim of tracking George de Mohrenschildt (Oswald's Dallas  handler for the CIA), to his Florida home then being there to hear the gunshot that killed him.

To paraphrase investigator Jefferson Morley: "No way could O'Reilly have heard a gunshot from 1200 miles away." 

As I noted, if O'Reilly would lie about this event what would stop him from lying about any aspect of the JFK assassination?

Other gaffes of varying magnitude reported in multiple sources since publication of the JFK book:

-  O'Reilly's claim that the death of de Mohrenschildt was a "suicide" when it was a hit, to keep him quiet so he couldn't testify before the HSCA about his mentoring of Oswald for the CIA;

- Describing an argument between Oswald and Cuban consulate officer Eusebio Azcue. (p. 219). Omitted is that Azcue went to the movies two weeks after the assassination and saw a newsreel of Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby. Azcue was stunned because the man he saw being shot in the newsreel was not the man he argued with in Mexico City.

- Totally leaving out any mention at all of the Zapruder film which, despite some nominal defects, IS the real time recording of the assassination.  It can be argued that ANY author that omits this film - often called the "Rosette stone" of the assassination - can't be considered a serious contributor to body of knowledge about the Kennedy assassination.

- Unable to come to grips with the fact Oswald was a lousy shot (called "Maggie's drawers") O'Reilly and co-author Dugard simply changed the facts and wrote that “Oswald was a crack shot in the military.” (p. 15)  Total absolute nonsense. See, for example:

As author Jim DiEugenio notes: "The authors source this to the Warren Report. However, upon finding the relevant section — pages 681-82 — the reader will see that nothing even approaching this kind of description appears on those pages."

To be blunt, O'Reilly and his writing assistant Dugard were making it all up.

Now we come to the book 'Killing Reagan' in which even the title betrays a wrong-headed take since Reagan didn't die from the assassination attempt on him! But O'Reilly used the same lies and sloppy scholarship to translate wounds into a "death" - meaning he construed the wounds to Reagan were so traumatic they converted Reagan into a member of the walking dead for the next 23 years.

 George Will, in his article 'Bill O'Reilly Slanders Ronald Reagan.', delivered an initial takedown of this piece of trash in his WaPo piece. He wrote::

"The book’s pretense of scholarship involves 151 footnotes, only one of which is even remotely pertinent to the book’s lurid assertions. Almost all contain irrelevant tidbits (“Reagan’s hair was actually brown”). At the Reagan Library, where researchers must register, records show that neither O’Reilly nor Dugard, who churn out a book a year, used its resources. The book’s two and a half pages of “sources” unspecifically and implausibly refer to “FBI and CIA files,” “presidential libraries” and travel “around the world.” They also cite Kitty Kelley’s scabrous 1991 Nancy Reagan “biography,” a sewer of rumors and innuendos that probably is the source of the sexual factoids O’Reilly and Dugard recycle."

All this alone would put the book on the same level of faux history as the earlier Kennedy book. But what would you expect from a clown that works at FAUX News?

Most damning from any would-be author's perspective:

"Cox put the book’s publisher in touch with Annelise Anderson, who, with her late husband, Marty, a longtime Reagan adviser, has authored and edited serious books about Reagan. She was offered $5,000 and given just one week to evaluate the manuscript. Having read it, she declined compensation, saying mildly, “I don’t think this manuscript is ready for publication.”

Holy crap! Not ready for publication? When an author (or authors) are told this it means one or more of the following: The sources cannot be trusted, what the sources (actual) claim cannot be verified, the listed footnotes do not mesh with actual sources (one of the problems many of us uncovered in Gerald Posner's 'Case Closed'), the descriptions of the events do not match the actual historical records from many eyewitnesses, or from ballistics research.

In other words, a vicious slap in the face for any purported authenticity and credibility. It means also the authors themselves were not ready for "show time".  This is what Will is pointing out.


"The book’s perfunctory pieties about Reagan’s greatness are inundated by its flood of regurgitated slanders about his supposed lassitude and manipulability. This book is nonsensical history and execrable citizenship, and should come with a warning: “Caution — you are about to enter a no-facts zone.”

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