Joe Scarborough told his fellow co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday morning that he didn’t “get” the questions surrounding Bill O’Reilly’s war tales and appeared to suggest the Fox host was “in the Falklands.”
“This Bill O’Reilly thing, I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t get it,” he said.
Last week, Mother Jones magazine published an article that cast doubt on things O’Reilly has said about having covered the Falklands War for CBS News in the 1980s.
“Are we debating rubber bullets versus real bullets?” Scarborough said. “I don’t know.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski remained silent, smiling at the camera. At one point she turned away to wave at Politico’s Mike Allen.
Scarborough pressed on.
“Bill and I aren’t friends. He irritates me,” Scarborough said. “I’m just saying, I don’t get it. I think it’s much ado about nothing.”
Frequent co-host Steve Ratner tired to summarize the issue, namely that O’Reilly had made specific claims about rescuing a bloodied CBS cameraman and witnessing the Argentine military fire “real bullets” into the crowd.
At certain points O’Reilly has appeared to suggest he was “in the Falklands” in a “war zone.” (He has clarified he was in Buenos Aires the entire time, along with the rest of the CBS correspondents, and insisted his accounts of the war were accurate.)
Scarborough took on the location question directly.
“No he was in the Falklands,” Scarborough said. “There were riots!”
“He was not in the Falklands,” Ratner shot back, as other panelists began to talk over each other.
The show moved along after Brzezinski invited Mike Allen over to the table.