More than a month after Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was called out for apparently embellishing his record covering the Falklands War in the 1980s, his cameraman at the time has disputed key facts in the story.
Mother Jones, which published one of the first reports that sparked the recent investigations into O’Reilly’s work, published a statement on Monday from onetime CBS cameraman Ignacio Medrano-Carbo.
Over the years, O’Reilly had repeatedly said he’d seen people gunned down by live bullets in the streets of Buenos Aires in the 1980s when he covered “riots” there for CBS. He also said he personally rescued his cameraman, who he said had been knocked down and was bleeding from the head during the melee.
Medrano-Carbo told Mother Jones that O’Reilly’s story was news to him.
“Ninety-nine percent of the footage in that report was shot by me,” he told Mother Jones. “Does that make me his cameraman?”
“I never fell nor was I bleeding out my ear at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment. I do not even recall Mr. O’Reilly being near me when I shot all that footage nor after I left the unrest at Plaza de Mayo that evening,” Medrano-Carbo told the magazine.
Fox News provided a statement from O’Reilly to TPM on Monday.
“I never worked with Ignacio Medrano-Carbo. This is nothing more than yet another coordinated attack which predictably comes on the heels of my appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman,” O’Reilly said.
Medrano-Carbo, confirmed as O’Reilly’s cameraman by then-sound man Jim Forrest, also weighed in on the dead bodies O’Reilly claims to have seen.
“I can confirm that no one I know of who worked with me in Buenos Aires during the Falkland War ever heard of any CBS crew member getting beat or hurt,” he added.
“Nor did any demonstrators get killed that night at Plaza de Mayo,” he said, “to quote a colleague, ‘or we would’ve been following up at the morgue and interviewing family members.'”
After O’Reilly said he had “never worked” with him, Medrano-Carbo told Mother Jones that he had the footage to prove he was there.
“You can see me in the BBC report. Why would I lie?” he said. “You used 99 percent of my stuff, and I’m not your cameraman? I certainly did not get beat up. You did not help me.”
This post has been updated.