Reagan, O’Reilly? Reality Check

FNC’s Bill O’Reilly, host of his eponymous O’Reilly Factor, needed his own “Reality Check” last night. During a segment on drug violence in Mexico, O’Reilly asked whether President Obama should send troops to help the Mexicans fight the drug cartels (in the wake of the killings of two Americans last weekend in Juarez). In his preface, O’Reilly remarked, “I want everybody to remember that Ronald Reagan invaded Panama for this very reason…that Panama was becoming a country run by drug cartels under Noriega who’s still in prison. Okay? And, Reagan sent in U.S. troops to prevent that.”*

Unfortunately, for O’Reilly, he himself did not remember. In fact, it was George H.W. Bush, not Reagan, who ordered the invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989. During this operation dubbed Just Cause, Bush sent in almost 30,000 troops, who quickly defeated the rogue regime and captured its leader, General Manuel Noriega.

An ironic twist: Later in the program during the “E-mail” segment, O’Reilly rebuffed a reader who defended Tom Hanks’ purported “believing racism was a prime motivator in World War II.” As he did, Factor producers put up a large photo of Hanks with the chyron, “Rewriting History?”** Indeed.

*O’Reilly Factor – 03/15/10 (@8:24 p.m. ET)

**O’Reilly Factor – 03/15/10 (@8:56 p.m. ET)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: