Hugh Hewitt spent an hour of his Monday program grilling David Corn over the Bill O’ Reilly story. Folks its a long Transcript, and almost an hour long video, but its must listen to radio and Hugh Hewitt at is best. And it was David Corn at his worst.
It started with Hugh pulling the ole Alger Hiss trick, it really pisses off liberals:
Hewitt: All right, so what I want to do is ask just one question that always I ask of everyone, because the President’s best lawyer, Cass Sunstein, says it’s the most important question of our generation, and then I want to move to the story about O’Reilly, and that Sunstein question is do you, David Corn, believe Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy.
Hewitt: But do you have an opinion on it?
Corn: I actually don’t.
Hewitt: You don’t know if he was or not?
Corn: I know that it’s in contention. I know there are documents that have come out. I really never paid attention to it.
Hewitt: And so Cass Sunstein, you know who that is, right?
Corn: Oh, I know who Cass Sunstein is, sure.
Hewitt: He says it’s the most important question, and you don’t have an opinion on it?
Corn: Hugh, are we playing games here?
Oh I can answer that—yes he is
Hewitt: No, I’m just curious. I’m just curious…
Corn: I don’t care. I don’t care about Alger Hiss.
Hewitt: All right, good enough.
Corn: There are lot of things I don’t have an opinion on.
Hewitt: Now I want to…
Corn: You think it’s important then whether one should drop the atomic bomb, or what we should do about the middle class and economics for them? It’s more important than dealing with poverty? Is it more important than ending cancer or dealing with Alzheimer’s? I can name probably a thousand things that are as important as Alger Hiss, if not more so.
Hewitt: I just don’t they’re mutually exclusive. I just raised the Cass Sunstein question.
Corn: I didn’t say, you said that it was the most important question. I didn’t say that.
Hewitt: No, Cass Sunstein said that, not me.
Corn: Well, I don’t care what Cass Sunstein says about what’s most important.
Yeah but now the master has him almost prepped for interview, Hewitt now moves to turn the screws a bit more:
Hewitt: All right. Let me go to Understanding Our Generation. Now I want to go to you. You graduated from Brown in what, 1982?
Hewitt: And you were Phi Beta Kappa there?
Corn: Yes, I was.
Hewitt: Did you go to Columbia as well? I saw that in one of the bios.
Corn: Yeah, I went to Columbia for a semester, had credits transferred to Brown.
Hewitt: Now standards vary for Phi Beta Kappa. What was the rule at Brown? Did they count the Columbia courses?
Corn: I don’t know.
Hewitt: So you have no idea, what was the standard at Brown for Phi Beta Kappa?
Corn: I can’t tell you what the standard was 30 years ago, Hugh. Someone, you know, one of my teachers proposed me and I got it. I don’t think you had to apply for it.
Hewitt: You don’t recall how you got it?
Corn: I recall, you know, this is crap. What do you care?
Hewitt: I’ll, it’ll come forward. It’s about credibility. It happened 30 years ago, right?
Corn: Yeah, it happened 30 years ago.
Hewitt: And you can’t remember how you got it?
Corn: But I’ve never talked about it since then, and I’ve never told stories about how I got it.
Hewitt: It’s actually listed on your bio at Mother Jones.
Corn: Yes, it is listed. I’ve gotten the award. I also know that I got a driver’s license when I was 17. I don’t remember my driver’s test.
Oops Mr. Corn is losing his cool
Hewitt: Could you…
Corn: And I haven’t talked about it since then, and I haven’t used it, the story, of how I did it. Now listen, I know where you’re going here, Hugh, and I will hang up the phone with you if you don’t want to have an accurate description of what we wrote and what Bill O’Reilly has said, and what he has said about what he has said.
Hewitt: I am definitely…
Corn: We’re talking about statements he’s made in the last couple of years that he claims he hasn’t made, and he says that he hasn’t said, even though we have videotape of him saying it.
Hewitt: I’m getting there. We’ve got plenty of time.
Corn: Well, just get there, okay?
Hewitt: Don’t get excited. This is just a interview.
Corn: Well, I am, because this is B.S.
Actually he is getting very angry:
Hewitt: It actually isn’t.
Corn: I’ll play, I’ll do the Bill O’Reilly thing here. I’ll start insulting you and not answering your questions if you don’t play this straight.
Hewitt: I am playing it very straight.
Corn: If you want to talk about what we wrote in our article, what Bill O’Reilly says about the article, then we can do that, Hugh. You know, I was told you’d play this straight, there’d be no games, and you know, you’re starting right off.
Hewitt: No, actually, I think this goes to memory and 30 year ago events, but you don’t see the connection, so I’ll move on.
Corn: Bill O’Reilly says his memory is clear. He’s not saying there’s a memory problem.
Hewitt: All right, all right, that’s fine. Now I want to ask you…
Corn: Ask him. He’s not saying he doesn’t remember. He’s saying that everything that he said is true.
He’s beginning to sound like Humphrey Bogart in the Caine Mutinay, “They Got the Strawberries–somebody made a duplicate key”
Hewitt: Yeah, he said that on Friday. He said that on Friday. Remember, the audience doesn’t know everything that’s happened here, David, so we have to take the audience into account.
Corn: Well, the audience know what I did about Phi Beta Kappa or who I was in the back seat with 30 years ago, either.
Hewitt: I don’t want to know about that. I brought up Phi Beta Kappa, because it’s on your bio, as is this. You appeared a lot on Fox. In fact, you worked for Fox, right?
Corn: Yeah, I worked for Fox.
Hewitt: How long did you work for them?
Corn: They’re saying 7 years. I haven’t looked at the record, but that sounds right.
Hewitt: What were you paid by them?
Hewitt: What were you paid by them?
Corn: I’m contractually obligated not to say.
Hewitt: Was is a lot?
Corn: It wasn’t retirement money.
Hewitt: Was it six figures?
Corn: I’m contractually obligated not to say. How much are you paid?
Hewitt: This is an interview, not a debate. I just am curious, because…
Corn: Well, wait a second. This is a discussion.
Here comes Hugh Hewitt the prosecuting attorney
Hewitt: No, this goes to motive, David.
Corn: You know what, Hugh, I’m going to hang…I don’t…I know that…
Hewitt: No, don’t hang up on me, because…
Corn: I have other stuff to do.
Corn: I really do. If you want to have a serious discussion…
Hewitt: This goes to you and Fox, David. It goes right to the heart of it. You’re a reporter, right?
Corn: When I was on Fox…
Hewitt: This goes to your motive.
Corn: …Bill O’Reilly said good reporting, David Corn, we love having you as a guest.
Corn: Go find those transcripts and bring them into this as well. I’m here to talk about the story…
Hewitt: So were you fired by Fox?
Corn: …what we say, and you’re playing games.
Hewitt: No, were you…
Corn: If you want to defend Bill O’Reilly, you go right ahead.
Hewitt: I’m not. I’m asking you were you fired by Fox?
Corn: The contract was not renewed at a time when they told me they were generally not renewing contracts with commentators like me.
Hewitt: Are you bitter about being fired by Fox?
Corn: No, I’m actually happy.
Corn: I was so glad I was let go. I immediately had conversations with CNN and soon after that with MSNBC.
Hewitt: So you see why this might be relevant? It would go to motive as to why you were attacking Fox, but you just established that your motive isn’t that you’re bitter about being fired.
Corn: Why don’t we talk, first, about the piece?
Hewitt: Because…we’ll get there. Actually, motive and credibility go before you get to the piece, David.
Corn: No, not necessarily.
Hewitt: In the way I usually do it is…
Corn: Hugh, did you ask Bill O’Reilly how much money he makes at Fox?
Hewitt: It’s got nothing to do with why you would…
Corn: Yes, it does.
Hewitt: …attack him…
Corn: He’s trying to preserve his job. He has motive, he has motive to cover up, because he wants to preserve his job.
Hewitt: But your article…
Corn: So why did you not ask him how much money he made at Fox?
Hewitt: Your article is about Bill, it’s an attack on Bill. I’ve brought up motive and credibility about you.
Corn: It’s not an attack on Bill. Tell me where it attacks Bill.
Hewitt: Let me ask you about the George Polk award that you got. You got a George Polk award, right?
Corn: You’re getting tiresome, Hugh. You know…
Actually its getting exciting because poor David Corn doesn’t get that Hugh Hewitt is getting under his skin:
Hewitt: No, no, this goes, you’re a reporter. You got a George Polk award.
Corn: You’re getting tiresome. You didn’t ask Bill O’Reilly about the times he said he had a Peabody and it turned out not to be true.
Hewitt: I don’t know about that. But the George Polk award…
Corn: No, of course you don’t. You don’t even care to know about that.
Hewitt: You did get the…
Corn: Did you establish Bill O’Reilly’s credibility before you interviewed him? Did you ask him about the other times that people have raised issues about his credibility and go through all that, you know, every line by line?
Hewitt: David, you’re getting very excited. I just asked you if you…
Corn: You didn’t do that with Bill O’Reilly.
Hewitt: If you got the George….
Corn: Did you do that with Bill O’Reilly?
Hewitt: It’s an interview, not a debate. I asked you on to come on…
Corn: If you didn’t do that with Bill O’Reilly, why are you treating me differently?
Hewitt: I want the audience…
Corn: You did not do anything to establish his credibility.
Hewitt: David, here’s the reason. Nobody knows who you are. Almost everybody knows who O’Reilly is. I’m trying to establish that you’re a reporter. You won the George Polk award.
Corn: Excuse me, excuse me, I’m a commentator on MSNBC. I broke the 47% story on Mitt Romney. People can go Google me if they want to know who I am.
Hewitt: And that’s when you got the George Polk award, right?
Corn: They don’t have to know what I did to get my Phi Beta Kappa designation.
Hewitt: You got the George Polk award because of the 47% story, right?
Corn: Yes, I did.
Hewitt: The George Polk award is self-described as honoring intrepid journalism. Was the 47% story intrepid journalism?
Corn: Hugh, I’m going to give you one more chance. I really am.
Hewitt: Is it that hard of a question?
Corn: You asked me to come on this show and talk about the story I wrote for Mother Jones that said that Bill O’Reilly’s account of his wartime reporting was contradicted by known facts, and now by seven other CBS colleagues, by the New York Times reporter, who he quoted yesterday to try to make his case, and that when he says I was never in the Falklands, we have video of him saying the words in the Falklands. We have him writing that he was in an active war zone in the Falklands. Now you want to talk about those things, I’m happy to talk about those things. But this is a lot of gamesmanship on your part.
Hewitt: I’m going there now.
Corn: As Joe Walsh said, do the show, go play it straight, he’ll play fair. But you’re asking me questions you didn’t ask Bill O’Reilly.
Hewitt: If you…
Corn: So you know, I’m given you one more…
Hewitt: Here’s Eric Engberg…
Corn: If you want to talk about the article or not, Hugh, because I’ve got better things to do than help you fill time on the radio.
Hewitt: Eric Engberg said yesterday, “We saw what was a moderate-sized riot, what was a couple of thousand people attacking the Casa de Rosada.” But he also said nobody attacked the soldiers, nobody attacked the police. That account is now contradicted by a CNN story quoting CNN from the time saying, “A squad of teargas-armed troops and a crowd hurling coins, rocks and even bricks at police and journalists.” Is it not possible that we’ve got a different perspective thing going on here, David, just possible that some people saw different things?
Corn: The issue, okay, Hugh, now that’s a good question.
Nah David, Hugh is setting you up again
Hewitt: Oh, David…
Corn: Let’s stick to the facts of the issue.
Hewitt: David, all of my questions are good questions. You don’t want to go where your credibility gets damaged. I understand that. It’s not very courageous, and it’s not very intrepid. You’re not willing to take tough questions that expose it, but go ahead to this.
Corn: Well, no, no, if you’re going to start berating and insulting, then I’m not wasting any more time.
Hewitt: I’m not berating and insulting. You’re trying to steer the interview.
Corn: Listen to me, you asked me to come on the show. You owe me a measure of courtesy and let me have my say as well. If you want to just, you know, keep firing off things that are irrelevant, then there’s no point to go on. But I will answer your question. There’s always a question of perspective and of interpretation almost in any human event that happens. But there are sometimes, there still are facts that can be established and not established. When Bill O’Reilly says, as he has said the last few days, I never said I was in the Falklands, and there’s video from two years of Bill O’Reilly saying I was in the war zone in Argentina in the Falklands, in the Falklands, not in Buenos Aires, that is an incontrovertible fact. Now to the point that you talk about with Eric Engberg, you know, he describes the protest the way he saw it. Bill O’Reilly maybe saw it in a different way, but what Bill O’Reilly has said, repeated times, is at this protest, many people were killed, his words, many people were killed when Argentine soldiers gunned down civilians. There is no account of that that shows that. There is videotape that he shot himself, and other CBS people shot that same day, that don’t show Argentine soldiers shooting down people. All the press reporting that we have found that Erik Wemple in the Washington Post and other people have looked at, all say nothing about fatalities. And in fact, yesterday on Howie Kurtz’ show, O’Reilly read an article in which he said, this backs up my claim, backs up my claim, and he starts reading it, and he says one policeman pulled a pistol firing five shots. He ended the sentence there. In the New York Times, it continues, firing five shots over the heads of fleeing demonstrators. That’s not gunning people down. It may be bad. It may be worrisome. You may be fearful of it when you see it, but it’s not what he claimed happened. And today, just hours ago, Rich Meislin, the author, the reporter of the New York Times story that Bill O’Reilly claims backs up his story, put up a Facebook post, and he said no such thing. Bill O’Reilly cut out an important phrase when he read excerpts of my report. And then when he goes on to say as far as I know, no demonstrators were shot or killed by police in Buenos Aires that night. And he goes on to say what I saw in the streets that night was a demonstration – passionate, chaotic, and memorable. But it would be hard to confuse it with being in a war zone. Numerous, and this is me talking now, that was him. Numerous correspondents who were in Buenos Aires for the protests have said over and over again it was not a war zone. Maybe it was worrisome, maybe it was a riot that out of control, but if you covered a protest in Washington during the Vietnam War, in which there was scuffling and bottles thrown and fires set, are you allowed to say that you were a correspondent in the Vietnam War zone
Hewitt: Now let me ask you, David…
Corn: I think people would laugh you off the TV if you said that.
Hewitt: O’Reilly has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan, correct?
Corn: I know he’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan on USO-type tours, and he’s done interviews there with Petraeus, I think, in Afghanistan.
Hewitt: So that’s reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan?
Corn: Yeah, maybe not…
Hewitt: I’ve not done that. Have you done it?
Corn: What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, Hugh?
Hewitt: It goes to whether, how you and I can comment on people…I didn’t comment on the Williams thing, because I’ve never reported from a combat zone. I’m just curious if you have.
Corn: No, I’ve never been in a war zone.
Hewitt: Have you covered riots?
Corn: That’s a good question. I don’t know. Nothing comes to mind.
Uh-oh Corn doesn’t know it but I feel another Hugh Hewitt body slam coming.
Hewitt: Okay, I…
Corn: But I mean…
Hewitt: I’ve covered riots.
Hewitt: You can really imperiled.
Corn: Yes, he could say he covered a riot.
Hewitt: I’m just curious how you define…
Corn: But a war zone, if the war zone has any meaning when you say I covered the war zone in the Falklands, if it has any meaning, if words have any meaning, a war zone means where there is a war going on, where people, where war is being fought, where there are, where you have armed combatants engaging. In no sense of imagination is a riot a war zone…
Hewitt: Bill has said an M-16…
Corn: …even a riot, you know, say, I covered a war zone, and he said it, in the Falklands. He wasn’t in the Falklands. And you want to keep going with this, Hugh?
Hewitt: No, I’m just…
Corn: The protest happened after the war was over.
Hewitt: I think you’re being really defensive, David. I’m just asking you questions.
Corn: Well, you’re not asking the right questions, Hugh.
Hewitt: He said an M-16…well, that’s actually your opinion…
Corn: You’re trying to play this gotcha game. If you don’t want to speak to the issues at hand…
Gotcha game? Does he think Hewitt is going to ask Corn if he thinks Obama is a Christan?
Hewitt: Did you hear me talk to O’Reilly on Friday? Did you hear the interview?
Corn: I read the transcript.
Hewitt: The only guy who got the name of the cameraman is me. It’s Moreno. Are you going to go to Venezuela to find him?
Corn: We’ve been trying to reach him, and he says he, he’s been telling reporters that he’s not talking.
Hewitt: So who got that name, David? I got that name from O’Reilly. You didn’t get that name.
Corn: If that’s, if it’s the right name.
Hewitt: Yeah, so I did the reporting, and you didn’t do the reporting.
Corn: If that’s the right name.
Hewitt: It is the right name. It’s been confirmed by CNN this morning. So back off and just answer the questions, because I’m not defensive. I’ve got no dog in this fight.
Hewitt: I’ve never been in a combat zone. I asked O’Reilly the hard questions. He answered them. And he didn’t get all scuffed up, and he didn’t get all huffy.
Corn: Did you ask if the videotape…
Hewitt: David, I asked, my transcript is posted. I did the best job I could.
Corn: Did you ask him if there was videotape of him saying in the Falklands?
Hewitt: It’s the best job I could do. I asked him about whether he’d been in combat, because this comes down to protest v. riot v. combat. Give me your three definitions of protest, riot and combat.
Corn: A combat situation is when there are troops fighting with each other or with armed insurgents or an armed non-state party. That is combat. That is war. A protest with people getting angry and even throwing Molotov cocktails or whatever you want to call them is not combat. It’s not a war zone. It may be a violent situation. He could say I covered violence in Buenos Aires. But he wasn’t in a war zone in the Falklands.
Hewitt: Let me ask you…
Corn: And also, he keeps saying, and this is part of why it’s a combat situation in his previous descriptions that he saw, you know, that during this protest, he Argentine military killed many people. They were gunning down civilians with real bullets. That’s what he said. That is not, you know, backed up by any account. And it’s, you know, so…
Hewitt: Now I’m trying to establish a bigger, and here I want to establish a bigger, that’s fine, that’s a good definition. If you were in Mumbai the night of the al Qaeda-backed…
Corn: That’s a terrorist attack.
Corn: You were at a terrorist attack.
Hewitt: Were you in combat that night if you were covering that?
Corn: I would say you were in the middle of a terrorist attack.
Hewitt: But would you be wrong to say it was a combat zone?
Corn: A war zone?
Hewitt: No, a combat zone. I’m asking you would it be wrong to say you were in a combat zone?
Corn: No, the word that O’Reilly used is a war zone.
Hewitt: Again, but David, I’m trying to establish a standard.
Corn: I’m sticking with war zone.
Hewitt: …against which both Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly can be evaluated.
Corn: You know, you’re playing word games here.
Hewitt: No, I’m trying…I’m actually…
Corn: I’m telling you, Hugh, was Bill O’Reilly in a war zone in the Falklands?
Hewitt: You’re…it’s an interview. I’m trying to get your standard. I have no opinion on this.
Corn: Was he, I’m telling you, a war zone in the Falklands was being on or near the Falklands Island when there was fighting going on between Argentine and British forces.
Hewitt: I do not…David, I think you’re…
Corn: That, to me, is a war zone in the Falklands Island. That’s what we’re talking about.
Hewitt: I think the reason…
Corn: You want me to ask other descriptions about what happened in the Arctic or Antarctica, or South America or anyplace else, I’m sticking to the specifics at hand.
Hewitt: I’m sticking to the standard.
Corn: And if you can’t handle the specifics at hand, I don’t have to continue this.
Hewitt: …because your story began, “Bill O’Reilly has his own Brian Williams problem, right?” That’s the statement of your story. That’s the headline.
Corn: That is the headline of the story.
Hewitt: It begins, “Bill O’Reilly has a Brian Williams problem. The Fox News host has told his own dubious war stories,” right? It’s linked over at Hughhewitt.com. So my question is the Brian Williams problem suggests a standard. What I’m trying to get at is at what is David Corn’s standard? And is David Corn’s standard motivated by antipathy towards Fox, toward Bill O’Reilly, or towards an attempt to define for journalism what journalists ought to say. I’ve never been in a combat zone. I’ve barely been in a riot. I do know Dexter Filkins is a war correspondent. I know that Jake Tapper has been in a war zone. I know that John Fisher Burns lived in a war zone for a dozen years. I want to know what the standard that you operate from, David, is, because it seems like to me it’s ad hoc.
Corn: I think it shows, Hugh, what I thought a war zone in the Falklands Island would mean to any reasonable person.
Hewitt: And any reasonable person would then want to know a number of other situations which are similar but not obvious, such as Mumbai, and I’ve got a few others. Does his Northern Ireland claim…
Corn: Hugh, you’re…
Hewitt: You brought up his Northern Ireland claim.
Corn: I mean, you know what? Let’s, you know, I told you…
Hewitt: You did bring up his Northern Ireland claim, didn’t you?
Corn: Hugh, I said that he said that. I didn’t talk about it.
Hewitt: Yeah, but you brought it up in your article, so it’s obviously relevant. Is someone covering Northern Ireland in a war zone?
Corn: Oh, gosh, Hugh, I’m just going to sit here for a while until you get to a real question.
Hewitt: That’s it. You brought up Northern Ireland. Is covering Northern Ireland being in a war zone?
Corn: (no answer)
Hewitt: That’s not relevant to your article, David Corn?
Corn: It depends on what you were doing when and where. Sometimes, Northern Ireland has been at peace, sometimes it hasn’t.
Hewitt: And have you had any reporting, yet…
Corn: And where were you…but you know, you know what?
Hewitt: Have you had any reporting, yet, that contradicts his claims about Northern Ireland?
Corn: I will, can we finish with El Salvador and…
Hewitt: I’m coming back to El Salvador. That’s next. I talked to him about…
Corn: …about Argentina first?
Hewitt: No, I want to talk about Northern Ireland next, because chronologically, it follows.
Corn: Okay, Hugh, Hugh, I’m really sorry, I try not to be rude. You invited me to be on the show. I don’t think you’re being a courteous guest, or courteous host, excuse me for misspeaking. If you want to have a serious conversation, you can, we can try again. You can call me back. But this is, you’re being combative. We’re not having a real, you know, I think, balanced examination of this matter. And I just don’t want to waste my time with this. If you’re not going…
Hewitt: Are you walking away from defending your piece in detail?
Corn: No, I’m not walking.
Hewitt: Yes, you are.
Corn: My piece…no, I’m not.
Hewitt: Yes, you are. You’re walking away from defending your piece in detail.
Corn: You want to give me five minutes just to lay out my case and then construct…
Hewitt: No, I want you to defend your piece as though you were…
Corn: I don’t have to defend. I need not defend my piece.
Hewitt: You need not.
Corn: Good people can read…
Hewitt: You can put this out here and not defend it.
Corn: Good people can read my story. They can read what seven CBS correspondents can say. They can read what Rich Meislin has said at the New York Times. They can read all these things. They can read the accounts that we put in that talk about what happened and how it contradicts what Bill O’Reilly said. They can look at the video we put up of Bill O’Reilly saying he was in the Falklands. They can read, go to the links and see all the times Bill O’Reilly has mentioned I was in the war zone in the Falklands. They can also look at the times he said you know what, I was the only reporter who was brave enough from CBS to cover this protest. A lot of CBS people are, you know, take offense at that and are challenging that. They can look at all this. We have links to everything in the story. There is no need to defend this story. This story is solid through and through. You, Bill O’Reilly, nobody has pointed out one factual error.
Hewitt: Robert Thompson this morning on CNN, who is the director of media studies at the Syracuse Media Center, said, “This has played in Bill O’Reilly’s favor.” So you’ve helped him, David Corn.
Corn: That’s not for me to decide.
Hewitt: But by making allegations and refusing to defend them or set up standards…
Corn: No, no, I’m not making allegations, Hugh. I’m not making allegations. I’m reporting facts that have been fact-checked, and not a single fact has been challenged by Bill O’Reilly, by you or anybody else. You’re playing word games, Hugh, which is your right to do if this is how you want to host the show. But nothing in my story that I wrote with Dan Schulman has been controverted by any other fact. And in fact, we’ve had seven CBS news people come forward and have confirmed what we’ve said. We have Richard Meislin coming forward and giving a similar account, and saying that Bill O’Reilly, you know, presumably purposefully, misquoted his story yesterday. We have video of Bill O’Reilly saying something that he says he doesn’t say, that he never said. We have video of it. So I don’t know we have to defend anything. What, I still wonder if you asked Bill O’Reilly about that video, and the video that…
Hewitt: My transcript’s posted. Now you have, Bill O’Reilly has his, you just said you didn’t make any allegations, but your piece begins, “Bill O’Reilly has his own Brian Williams problem.”
Corn: That’s the headline.
Hewitt: Would you define for the audience what a…
Corn: That was the headline of the piece.
Hewitt: What is a Brian Williams problem?
Corn: In this instance, I think it’s pretty obvious. It’s saying something about your coverage of a war that is not, ends up not being true.
Hewitt: And so when he, you cited as evidence for his Brian Williams problem the Falklands situation, the El Salvador situation and the North Ireland…
Corn: No, I didn’t say North Ireland as part of that.
Hewitt: I thought you did. I apologize, though, if I did. I thought it was in your article. It wasn’t in your article?
Corn: No, no, it’s included in a quote when he says he was in Northern Ireland, but we say nothing about his Northern Ireland coverage. There’s nothing in the story at all about his Northern Ireland coverage. It’s just part of a quote in which he included Falklands, and I think El Savador, with Northern Ireland and the Middle East.
Hewitt: So you’re not questioning, I’m sorry, then. I thought you were questioning his Northern Ireland credibility
Corn: No, no, I’m sorry that you didn’t read it straight.
Hewitt: Well, I actually, because let me read this to you. Now you said O’Reilly has frequently represented himself as a combat-hardened journalist. I am reading from your story now.
Hewitt: He has visited troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reported from those countries. And he has referred to his assignment in Argentina to bolster this impression, right?
Hewitt: And earlier, you brought up the Northern Ireland thing. So it was obvious to me that you were…
Corn: No, no, no.
Hewitt: So you don’t challenge that? Good. El Salvador…
Corn: No, no, no.
Hewitt: Do you challenge his…
Corn: Read that quote. That’s a quote from Tucker Carlson that we put in the story, who was at a panel with Bill O’Reilly, in which Bill O’Reilly talked about his time in the Falklands, and I think in El Salvador, and in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. So it was…
Hewitt: Yeah, what…
Corn: So it was Tucker Carlson quoting Bill O’Reilly. We didn’t take issue with what he did in Northern Ireland. I don’t know the details of that. It’s not relevant to the story here.
Hewitt: Okay, good. Yeah, rather than simply answer the question, Carlson wrote, O’Reilly began by trying to establish his own bona fides as a war correspondent, and then he quoted the Falklands, Northern Ireland and the Middle East.
Hewitt: Do you question his El Salvador account?
Corn: The story notes that the way he describes that El Salvador account in his own book is at odds with the footage his own report that he filed with CBS that aired, and that we post, so you can look, and you know, no one has to listen to what I have to say or what you have to say here. All your smart listeners, all my smart readers, can go and look at what, how Bill O’Reilly described what he did in El Salvador, and then look at the video of the CBS News segment that aired, and decide if his description matches what he, you know, actually reported.
Hewitt: But Brian Williams’ problem, Brian Williams’ problem, which his in your title, is that he said he was in a helicopter that was shot down, that was not shot down, right? That’s his problem.
Corn: Bill O’Reilly said he was in a war zone he was not in, and that he acted heroically in a war zone that he was not in.
Hewitt: And so you’re equating Bill’s account of the Buenos Aires riot as the same as Brian Williams saying he was in a helicopter that was shot down?
Corn: No, what I’m saying is that when Bill O’Reilly says he was in a war zone in the Falklands, when he wasn’t in a war zone in the Falklands, it is Brian Williamsish.
Funny he doesn’t look Brian Williamsish.
Hewitt: Brian Williams, okay, now Tyler Hicks, do you know who that is? He’s a New York Times photographer. He received the Polk award this year.
Hewitt: He received it for being on the front lines in Libya in 2011. If you go to Polk awards, which that’s why I brought it up that you received it, right?
Hewitt: What year did you get yours?
Corn: Last year.
Hewitt: Last year. So Tyler Hicks got one this year for being in a war zone. The picture they show of him is on a desert road. There’s a pickup truck in the back. There may be two guys with guns. There’s smoke. Is he in a war zone there?
Corn: I don’t have it in front of me. I don’t know where he was. You know…
Hewitt: Because I think war zone is actually one of those terms, David, that people throw around.
Corn: Bill O’Reilly was not in a war zone in the Falklands.
Hewitt: You see, this is…
Corn: He wasn’t in the Falklands. How, so…
Hewitt: I think everyone knows that. I brought that up in my interview with him. No one got to the Falklands with the possible exception of one reporter.
Corn: But he said he was. The point is he said he was.
Hewitt: I understand, and a lot of people agree with you, and a lot of people say oh, come on, Corn, you’re just mad at Fox and you’re going after O’Reilly, and you’ve got a grudge. That’s what I’ve heard, is that you’ve got a grudge because you got dumped.
Corn: And Bill O’Reilly, I just told you earlier, we went through this, that I was happy to move from Fox to MSNBC.
Hewitt: And I understand that, but the audience for Fox is how many times bigger than the audience for MSNBC, David, really?
Corn: What does that have to do with anything?
Hewitt: Well, it has to do with all the monetization of the David Corn byline. I mean, they hurt you badly when they dumped you. You have a motive to go after Fox.
Corn: You know, Hugh, I think we’re, if you want to get back to that, I think I’ve made all the points I can get through with you here. I don’t think…
Hewitt: But you don’t want to…
Corn: I don’t think you’ve been fair. I don’t think you challenged Bill O’Reilly’s credibility or his motivation for telling stories about his war period over what he says now. You probably didn’t ask him, I don’t remember now if you did, if it was appropriate to say that another journalist should be put into the kill zone, which he said about me.
Hewitt: I didn’t know about that at the time. I don’t think that’s appropriate.
Corn: Excuse me?
Hewitt: And I didn’t know about that at the time, or I would have asked him.
Corn: Well, why not? It happened before Friday.
Hewitt: I didn’t know about it. I’m just the best. I’m not perfect, all right? Now David, I don’t want to end this, because I think there’s a very important point here.
Corn: Well, I think, oh, I actually kind of think I do, Hugh, because I don’t think you’re playing it as straight as you told me you would.
Hewitt: Oh, I am playing it very straight.
Corn: No, I think…
Hewitt: I said absolutely no, don’t filibuster me.
Corn: I disagree. I disagree with you.
Hewitt: I asked you not to filibuster me, which you’re doing. I’ve just got simple questions here that go to your standard, David, because people think you’re a journalist of the left who doesn’t play fair. They don’t think Mother Jones plays fair.
Corn: No, people don’t think that. Maybe some people thinks that, but other people don’t think that.
Hewitt: Yeah, some people do. Not everybody, obviously.
Corn: So you want to be accurate? You say some people think that. And some people think that Hugh Hewitt is a blowhard of the right. Some people think that.
Hewitt: I’m sure they do. Absolutely. I hear it every day. But I have a CNN report in front of me that says CNN report from Buenos Aires at the time when O’Reilly was there, said a squad of teargas-armed troops approached a crowd hurling coins, rocks and even bricks at both police and journalists. I wasn’t there. It happened 30 years ago. Like your Phi Beta Kappa, it’s all coming together now, David. You see how I set this up?
Corn: Oh, I see where…
Hewitt: Nobody can remember the specifics of 30…
Corn: It’s so cute, Hugh. This is so cute. But you know what?
Hewitt: It’s cute, because it’s effective.
Corn: Bill O’Reilly has said, Bill, no, it’s not effective, because Bill O’Reilly has said repeated times that when he was there, Argentine troops mowed down, using real bullets, gunned down civilians, and he somehow managed to survive this, and that many people were killed. All that has no backup in any factual account, and other eyewitnesses there, the story you quote, the story that he quotes from the New York Times yesterday, none of that backs him up. He is, so you tell me. You tell me.
Hewitt: I don’t know.
Corn: Is he allowed to say that you were in protest, or…
Hewitt: I don’t know if anyone was killed there.
Corn:…where civilians were shot down? Is that way a combat situation, and that’s why it’s a war zone?
Here it comes:
Hewitt: If anyone was…
Corn: Are you, does that make sense?
Hewitt: Well, let me put it this way to you, and then we’ll wrap up. If anyone was killed there, does your story fall apart?
Corn: No, it depends what the circumstances were.
Hewitt: If the military killed anyone that night…
Corn: He said people, his description is Argentine soldiers were gunning down and mowing down civilians. Okay, if all specific…
Hewitt: And if any, how many people have to be…if your story falls apart…
Corn: Hugh, I’m not going to argue hypotheticals, Hugh.
Hewitt: Because it’s not a hypothetical.
Corn: Everything that we’ve said, every eyewitness account that has come, that from then and that has come forward in the last two days, none of it backs them up.
Hewitt: But David, yes, it does. I’ve got the CNN thing right here that backs him up.
Corn: No, no, no, on the issue of mowing down…
Hewitt: Okay, on that, I agree. I haven’t seen any account. That’s why I asked the question. If someone was killed by the military that night…
Corn: I’m not answering hypotheticals. You give me facts. I’m sticking with facts here.
Hewitt: And so…
Corn: I’m sticking with what he said and what we know.
Hewitt: And I’m saying that if someone comes up with that, and no one has, because you can’t prove a negative, David, you can’t prove this story. People proved Brian Williams wasn’t in a helicopter that got shot down. That’s the problem…
Corn: You, actually, you have a protest that was widely covered by probably dozens of journalists. There were five journalists just from CBS alone or so there. But other networks, and the Latin American press as well. And nobody says, nobody says that the Argentine troops were gunning down people. So yeah, so if Bill O’Reilly says you know what, while I was there, while I was there, there was, I saw a nuclear blast…
Hewitt: I agree. It…
Corn: How do you prove that didn’t happen.
Hewitt: It strains credibility. Here’s what I’m saying, David. You don’t know and I don’t know if the Argentine military killed. There’s no evidence that they did. The Argentinian military, though, was the most ruthless in the world, and in fact, Christopher Hitchens said the evilest man he ever met was the head of that junta, the evilest man.
Hewitt: So if you’re going to go out there and say it wasn’t dangerous, that’s wrong. If you’re going to go out there and say someone wasn’t killed, you might be right, but we don’t know. In other words, all journalists embellish. He went right into the heart of that mob. He did a very dangerous thing. Would you agree with that?
Corn: He, I’m not sure. I was, listen, here we have what the New York Times reporter who was there to, who Bill O’Reilly cites as being an expert. He says his account is an accurate account, because he’s read paragraphs and paragraphs from him yesterday. What he says, what I saw in the streets that night was a demonstration – passionate, chaotic and memorable, but it would be hard to confuse it with being in a war zone. That’s what the New York Times reporter who Bill O’Reilly cited in defense…
Hewitt: Hard to confuse it with.
Hewitt: Not impossible. He didn’t call him out, and here’s why, because on the spectrum of objectivity, things that happened 30 years ago by reporters who may have, I mean, Engberg appears to have a grudge against O’Reilly, wouldn’t you agree?
Corn: I think he may have a grudge against him for O’Reilly claiming he was the only CBS reporter brave enough to cover the protest, when that also seems to be not true.
Hewitt: I know, because O’Reilly hit him hard. He called him, what, a room service reporter? Is that what O’Reilly called him?
Corn: He called him names and said he was a coward, which O’Reilly did…
Hewitt: Yeah, I know. I mean, he might have a grudge against him.
Corn: And O’Reilly has called me a liar.
Hewitt: A guttersnipe.
Corn: …without proving a single lie.
Hewitt: I know. I’m kind of stunned by that.
Corn: So O’Reilly calls people names, I think you should know this, Hugh, that has…
Hewitt: I do.
Corn: …That really doesn’t have much in terms of a factor of character.
Hewitt: Look, David, here’s my view on this. This is all a big joke. The world’s going to hell in a hand basket. ISIS is marauding, and we’re trying to figure out if someone misreported or exaggerated a riot 30 years ago? Honest to God, do you people not realize the world is going to hell and you’re covering this nonsense? That’s my point. And that’s in the Washington Examiner today.
Corn: Well, you know what, Hugh? Hugh, your false outrage here is belied by the fact that you just spent 30 minutes on this when you could have spent 30 minutes on ISIS.
Hewitt: I spent all my show on it.
Corn : And this was…
Hewitt: I spent 30 minutes…
Corn: …an additional 30 minutes on ISIS. So here you are spending time on this, too, and joining this debate. If you think it’s irrelevant, you’re best…
Hewitt: I didn’t say it’s irrelevant. It’s absolutely relevant.
Corn: …bet was not to have given it airtime.
Hewitt: I said it’s foolish. I did not say it’s irrelevant. I said it’s foolish, and that…
Corn: Okay, you think it was foolish, so your best bet is to not give it more airtime.
Hewitt: No, I want to give you more airtime, because the last time you were on, you did the same thing. And I’m beginning to wonder, David, are you insecure in your reporting?
Corn: Oh, God, I’m beginning to wonder if you can ever play anything straight, Hugh.
Hewitt: And this is your definition of playing straight, and everyone can listen.
Corn: No, it’s not. You’re playing games.
Hewitt: Every single person can listen to this. We’ll post the transcript and the audio.
Corn: I’m glad. I hope they do.
Hewitt: And now I want to finish by asking you about your Polk award, because that goes to intrepid reporting. You got that for receiving a tape, right?
Corn: You know what? If people want to know about how I broke that story, I’ve written a ebook about it, and it’s, there’s a story in Mother Jones about it.
Hewitt: What’s the name of the ebook? I’ll plug the ebook.
Corn: It’s called 47%. You can go to Amazon, and…
Hewitt: What’s the short version? You were given a tape, right?
Corn: I obtained the tape that aired.
Hewitt: Yeah, and so is that intrepid reporting? I mean, what is that? Is that reporting to obtain a tape?
Corn: Well, you know what? This is all explained, what the reporting I did, that led to that tape. Okay, if you want to be dismissive of the award…
Hewitt: I’m not. I’m asking you.
Corn: You are being dismissive.
Hewitt: No, you’re defensive about it again.
Corn: Be honest here, Hugh. Be honest. Be honest.
Hewitt: You received a tape.
Corn: You know, you’re not talking about the issue now. I’ll come back next time with all the things that people have said negative about you and ask you about every single one of those, too, and we’ll have a lovely discussion.
Hewitt: I haven’t said anything negative about you. I asked you about the Polk award, and you received it for getting a tape. That’s…
Corn: You know what? Ask the, you want a, that sounded rather dismissive. We can let listeners decide if my interpretation of your dismissiveness is accurate or not. But really, Hugh, that’s the best you got?
Hewitt: No, what I’m getting at is David Corn has an approach to journalism which ought to be understood…
Corn: Which is what?
Hewitt: …in the context of reading his story about Bill O’Reilly, which is advocacy journalism from the left, and that you are intent upon, in many instances, destroying people of the right. And that’s okay. That’s the game. You’re an advocate journalist like I’m an advocate journalist.
Corn: But you know, listen, you know, people…
Hewitt: But blowing up this incident from 1982, which by the way, I do not…
Corn: No, but it’s not, but you know, it’s not, Hugh, this is what you’re getting wrong. It’s not an incident from 1982. And you know, Bill O’Reilly…
Hewitt: Oh, you’re right about that. He’s repeated your claim. You’re absolutely right.
Corn: Because Bill O’Reilly has continue to talk about this from 1982. He has said it again after the Boston Marathon, gosh, the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, or the second day, whenever it was, he has a guy talking about how heroic the guy was, the photographer, in getting pictures from the Boston Marathon, and you know, all praise to a fellow who does that. And Bill O’Reilly says well, I’ve got a story, too. I was in a war zone in the Falklands…
Hewitt: But here’s the problem. Now we’re talking about what the problem is.
Corn: …and let me tell you how I rescued a photographer. So it’s Bill O’Reilly who keeps talking about this episode from 1982, and saying things that don’t correspond to the facts
Hewitt: This is the stolen valor problem.
Corn: Okay, so you don’t think calling out somebody who says something that’s not true, you know, is not a journalistic enterprise that you think has value? That’s fine, Hugh. That’s your perspective.
Hewitt: Here is, I didn’t say that. I said there’s a spectrum…you’re filibustering, David.
Corn: And then you tell everybody you’re beating up a blind…
Hewitt: You’re filibustering. You’re filibustering. Now here’s the stolen valor problem, and you’ve read the book, I assume, on stolen valor. When people try and borrow the dangerous experiences of others, they diminish the honor owed those who have actually done them.
Hewitt: And for example, Dexter Filkins…
Corn: I agree completely on that.
Hewitt: Dexter Filkins, John Fisher Burns, Jake Tapper, these are genuine war correspondents, and they themselves are very hesitant to describe their experiences being dangerous, because they know they’re not even remotely to the danger that real soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines put them in, that they’re being protected.
Corn: Of course. You and I agree completely on that.
Hewitt: So if you diminish what Brian Williams did or did not do, and I didn’t comment on it, because I’ve never been in a combat zone. I’m so reluctant to go there. I just think that if you go after O’Reilly for a different agenda, and conflate what he did with Williams, you are injuring the standard by which war reporters ought to be judged, by saying all exaggeration’s alike. That’s my point, David. You think he’s really as bad as Brian Williams?
Corn: Hugh, let me agree with you. Let me agree with you for a second. Maybe we’ll end on a friendly note here. I respect, I’m not saying I agree, I respect your perspective, and I think it’s a legitimate perspective. I think it’s an opinion, and you know, opinions don’t have to have factual bases, and may, but we can disagree about opinions. But I don’t think you can disagree about facts.
Hewitt: I agree with that. But I also don’t, I…
Corn: And so, you know, people can, I go back to this once again. Anybody can look at the article I wrote with Dan Schulman. There’s nothing in it that’s an opinion. I don’t put an opinion in there about whether I think this is the worst thing that ever happened or the best thing that ever happened. I don’t say whether Bill O’Reilly should be fired for this, or hauled over the coals. The only thing I say is he was going on about Brian Williams, and he’s told his own dubious stories. And then I lay out the facts, nothing but facts. Here’s what he said, here’s what happened, here’s what other people say, here’s the video, here are the other accounts. And people walk through it. There are very few adjectives in this story, Hugh, very few adverbs. And people can decide for themselves one of two things. They can decide if these contradictions are proven or not, and then they can decide if they’re serious or not. And if people, particularly people who like Bill O’Reilly and think he play a useful role in our republic, I have no doubt that a lot of people will say oh, not a big deal. People who don’t like Bill O’Reilly, they might say it’s a bigger deal, because so much of how we approach things these days is through the social construct of what side people think you’re on, and what you bring to the table for yourself, and for me, and for everybody else.
Hewitt: Of course, which is why I…David…
Corn: But respective, there are…
Hewitt: That’s why I brought, let me agree with you. That’s why, that’s why I brought up your time at Fox and your motive, and whether you’re angry with them.
Corn: Yeah, but you can question my motives. They can’t question the video…
Corn: …the quotes…
Hewitt: But let’s stay on the motive.
Corn: …the quotes from O’Reilly’s books. And then they say…
Hewitt: It is legitimate. Is it not legitimate to ask David Corn about his, the circumstances by which he left Fox and whether or not he might be bitter? Is that not legitimate to ask?
Corn: Sure, you asked, and I answered.
Hewitt: But you got very defensive about it and you threatened to hang up. I mean, why are you so defensive about…
Corn: I’m not defensive, Hugh, because the real issue here are the facts of the case.
Hewitt: No, actually, the real issue is….
Corn: No, listen, listen to me, because if even if I were bitter, it doesn’t change the video, what he’s written, what other people say. Now it goes, the facts are not changed by my motivation.
Hewitt: Now you see…
Corn: They’re not even changed by my credibility, if you want to question my credibility, because the facts…
Hewitt: I haven’t.
Corn: …everything in this piece, you know, you can go to the links. We put the links in. You can see what Bill O’Reilly said. You can see what the other reporters say. You can see what the video of his own El Salvador report is. You can see the video that appeared on CBS News the night of the protest. You can hear him say on the video I was in a war zone in the Falklands, not at a protest in Buenos Aires. So really, it’s like what happened with the 47% video, Hugh. People wanted to question my credibility. It didn’t matter, because the video had Mitt Romney saying what he said.
Hewitt: Now what I, that’s why I want to…
Corn: So listen, so you want to ask me about my credibility, you want to ask about my motives, feel free. It doesn’t change a single fact in the piece, and I go back to what I’ve said a couple of times already. Neither you nor Bill O’Reilly nor anybody else has yet pointed out a single, factual error in this story.
Hewitt: And do you understand, I’m just curious if you understand, why your refusing to have an opinion on Hiss goes to your credibility.
Corn: Oh, boy. We’re going to end up with that again?
Hewitt: Yeah, we are. Do you understand why that goes to your credibility?
Corn: Do you have an opinion on whether George W. Bush lied about the Iraq War?
Hewitt: I do. He did not.
Corn: Okay, well, that goes to your credibility with me.
Hewitt: Right. Now but you don’t have an opinion on Hiss. That goes to your credibility.
Corn: I don’t care.
Hewitt: I know you’re saying that, but you don’t have an opinion. And the reason that goes to your credibility is it’s this major event by the man who advised FDR at Yalta about which there is no doubt that he’s a communist.
Corn: Oh, yada, yada, yada. Come on.
Hewitt: Yeah, but you folks at the Nation…
Corn: You tell me, you tell me, you tell me you’re worried about ISIS, and that’s the most important thing, and instead you, now you want to spend time talking about Alger Hiss?
Hewitt: No, I’m talking about David Corn.
Corn: Stop. You know, how retro, Hugh.
Hewitt: I am talking about David Corn, not about Alger Hiss.
Corn: But you’re asking about Alger Hiss. I don’t care about Alger Hiss.
Hewitt: I’m talking about the blinders that you wear when you come to history. I’m talking about the fact it does not appear…
Hewitt: Yeah, you’ve got blinkers on.
Corn: Serious? You just said, you just give me…
Hewitt: You don’t have an opinion on Alger Hiss?
Corn: You gave me a hard time about caring about that happened 30 years ago, and now you’re droning on about Alger Hiss?
Hewitt: You don’t have an opinion on Hiss. That goes to your credibility. If you said he was a Soviet spy, I’d move on. If you said he wasn’t a Soviet spy, you’d be shattered. You can’t say the latter, because your friends at The Nation won’t talk to you anymore.
Corn: I don’t work at the Nation magazine.
Hewitt: So you say the former. Do you have any friends there?
Corn: Personal friends?
Hewitt: You have no friends at The Nation?
Corn: Personal, define friends. I don’t, they’re in New York, I’m down here. I don’t socialize with anyone from the Nation these days.
Hewitt: Okay, on the left, you know what Hiss is. I mean, everybody knows this. It’s like the Hiss question’s the easiest question.
Corn: This is ridiculous.
Hewitt: David, you might think so, but your credibility as a guy who goes out on…
Corn: Oh, you know what, Hugh? You don’t think I’m credible to begin with, so why should I care what you think about Alger Hiss and me?
Hewitt: You don’t have to.
Corn: Jesus Christ.
Hewitt: I’m doing this for the audience. I’m educating the audience why Mother Jones is not to be relied upon.
Corn: You’re educating your audience. I see. Oh, what do you think about the Tonkin Gulf? What do you think about the Tonkin Gulf? Do you think the war in Vietnam was justified?
Hewitt: No, no, absolutely not.
Corn: What do think of…
Hewitt: Lyndon Johnson and Jack Kennedy lied to the American people. You got it. Lyndon Johnson and Jack Kennedy lied to the American people. That one’s pretty good. That’s easy. Hiss is easy. The Venona, the transcript is there. The reason I bring this up, people don’t care about…
Corn: I don’t care about the Venona transcripts. I just don’t give a damn.
Hewitt: I get that.
Corn: I know that you know, and I just, the reason I don’t know is because I didn’t care.
Hewitt: I get that, and that…the David Corn brand…
Corn: Oh, God.
Hewitt: …is a brand…
Corn: Do you want to ask me anything else, because at this point, you’re wasting your time, my time, and I hate to say it, but your audience’s time.
Hewitt: I want to go back to the Phi Beta Kappa standards.
Corn: Oh, God. Okay, you know, Hugh, I’ve got to go.
Hewitt: You won’t talk to me about what you put on your resume?
Corn: I did. I talked to you about it. Asked and answered, as they say in court.
Hewitt: And so here’s what I want to know right away, and it goes to the O’Reilly story. Can you send me your transcripts?
Corn: (incredulous pause) I don’t know. I don’t have them sitting in front of me.
Hewitt: Where are they? Do you know?
Corn: Do you have your college transcripts sitting in front of you? I mean, excuse me, listening audience, how many of you out there have your college transcripts if you’re over the age of 50 sitting in front of you?
Hewitt: Because it happened 30 years ago, right?
Corn: What Bill O’Reilly said happened two years ago.
Hewitt: Yeah, but the accounts upon which you were relying are all manufactured in the present about events 30 years ago.
Corn: The video? The video?
Corn: Counting the video, yeah, I’m looking at video from 30 years ago. I’ve seen the video is true.
Hewitt: How much…
Corn: And I’m looking at accounts that were written in the real time 30 years ago.
Hewitt: And I’ve got the CNN account in the real time.
Corn: And I’ve got a New York Times story that Bill O’Reilly used from 30 years ago.
Hewitt: My CNN account in the real time…
Corn: I’m using lots of material from 30 years ago. The Venona Papers, they came out before 30 years ago. You’re citing those. So I don’t see the problem here.
Hewitt: Actually, they didn’t. The Venona transcripts…
Corn: …citing something that happened 30 years ago, Hugh.
Hewitt: The Venona transcripts did not come out 30 years ago, but I’ll leave you alone on that.
Corn: No, they’re from that long ago.
Hewitt: They’re from long ago, much longer, but they came out less than that.
Corn: Even longer. They came out ten, fifteen years ago, but they’re from a time period much longer ago than 30 years.
Hewitt: So you’re familiar with those.
Corn: This is what people do when they do history or journalism. You look at the material the best from the time, because indeed, Hugh, you are correct. Memories are imperfect. So you go back to the source material and you get first-hand accounts from what happened at the time. And so if someone now says well, 30 years ago I was in the middle of a firefight, and you go back and you look at the account from the time, and they all say something that wasn’t a firefight, then that person’s memory is the least, you know, reliable source. But if they keep insisting it’s true, and they tell those stories in pursuit of a larger goal to steal valor from someone who’s covering the Boston Marathon, as Bill O’Reilly might have done two years ago, well then you’ve got it all wrapped up, don’t you, Hugh?
Hewitt: CNN’s report from Buenos Aires at the time…
Corn: Oh, here we go, okay…
Hewitt: …described a squad of teargas…
Corn: So we’re repeating ourselves. We’re repeating ourselves, and I’ve got other things to do.
Hewitt: No, but you just made a point.
Corn: So Hugh, if you have a different question for me…
Hewitt: All right, I have a different question. You do know about the Venona Transcripts then?
Corn: Okay, Hugh, I’m going to say goodbye.
Hewitt: But you just referenced them.
Corn: I’ve got to see a man about a dog. I’ve got stories to write. I’ve got other radio interviews to do and all of that.
Hewitt: Give me two more minutes. You do know about them.
Corn: I mean, if you have a new story…
Hewitt: This is very important. You do know about them.
Corn: I’m happy to stay here. But now you’re boring me.
Hewitt: I know I’m boring you.
Hewitt: But you do know about them. You just brought them up.
Corn: Bye, Hugh. (Click)
Hewitt: A hang-up. David Corn won’t defend himself. Let’s go back to the show.