You’d think that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism, would appreciate a good investigative story. Last week, Mother Jones published a piece with accusations that O’Reilly had embellished key details about his reporting on the Falklands War. When a New York Times journalist started poking around the scandal, O’Reilly let him know how he felt about reporters who dig up less-than-flattering stories and, you know, report on them. (Hint: He wasn’t happy.)
“I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”
With that, O’Reilly joined the long tradition of threatening journalists trying to do their jobs. Journalists are often responsible for keeping a skeptical eye on those in the public sphere — particularly anyone with influence — and we all benefit from their diligent work. Public officials should especially be able to stand up to questioning. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Below, some of the most memorable incidents when officials let a question or two get the better of them:
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings, after allegedly “grabbing” Hastings during an interview.
“[Knocks microphone out of reporter’s hand]”
Detroit’s Deputy Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler to a FOX 2 reporter who was investigating conditions inside some of the city’s firehouses.