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Ex-NBC Bureau Chief Strengthens O'Reilly's Story, Recalls 'Extremely Violent, Volatile Situation


"It was a very intense situation where people got hurt..."

Former Miami NBC bureau chief Don Browne appeared on Monday night's "O'Reilly Factor" and recounted his version of events from the Falklands War which seemingly backed up the embattled Fox News host.

Browne spoke with Bill O'Reilly by phone, saying he was "surprised" by the Mother Jones article that alleged the Fox News host misled viewers about his Falklands War reporting. At the core of the issue was whether the chaotic scene in Buenos Aires constituted a "combat zone" as O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed.

"It was a very intense situation where people got hurt and there was a very serious confrontation," Browne said of the scene in Buenos Aires, adding it was "extremely violent and a volatile situation."

Browne's account of events came after CBS News released video of the stories they aired in 1982 covering the war.

In one clip, anchor Dan Rather reported that "some television crew members were knocked to the ground" as police used clubs and tear gas to disperse crowds.

An Associated Press account of the demonstration said that police officers charged a group of about 50 journalists, beating some and trampling others.

"Two news photographers were reported injured by rubber bullets fired by police," said the June 16, 1982, account by AP writer Douglas Grant Mine.

Rather's report, in conjunction with Browne's testimony and the AP story, largely contradict the version of events former CBS correspondent Eric Engberg gave to CNN on Sunday.

In an interview on "Reliable Sources," Engberg disputed O'Reilly's characterization of the situation, saying that "it wasn't a combat situation."

"What's interesting is, not only did I not hear any shots, I didn't see any ambulances, I didn't see any armored cars — all of the things you would have expected to see had people been shot," Engberg told CNN.

Media columnist Joe Concha, who writes for Mediaite, appeared on O'Reilly and commented on the discrepancies between Engberg's account of events and those of others who were on the scene.

"You say that he was called 'Room Service Eric,'" Concha told O'Reilly. "I've got to think that turkey was on the menu that night because you'd have to eat something that would make you fall asleep very heavily — you watch that video and say there was no sirens no gunshots — you watch that and it completely contradicts it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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