In "No-Spin News" segment, O'Reilly claimed former CIA officer McCarthy leaked information to NY Times

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

Bill O'Reilly asserted that The New York Times wrote a "glowing" article about Mary McCarthy, a senior intelligence officer who was recently fired by the CIA, because she "was leaking stuff to them." However, initial reports of McCarthy's dismissal from the CIA noted that she was fired because of her relationship with Washington Post staff writer Dana Priest and because she allegedly provided information to the press regarding secret CIA detention centers in Europe that was first published in the Post, not in the Times. No news reports have mentioned any relationship between McCarthy and The New York Times.

On the April 24 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly asserted that The New York Times wrote a "glowing" article about Mary O. McCarthy, a senior intelligence officer who was recently fired by the CIA, because she "was leaking stuff to them." However, initial reports of McCarthy's dismissal from the CIA noted that she was fired because of her relationship with Washington Post staff writer Dana Priest and because she allegedly provided information to the press regarding secret CIA detention centers in Europe that was first published in the Post, not in the Times. No news reports have mentioned any relationship between McCarthy and The New York Times.

During a segment of what he dubbed "No-Spin News", O'Reilly said: "[Y]ou may have heard this CIA officer, Mary McCarthy, is fired because she was leaking stuff to the press about the CIA." He then added, "And, of course, on Sunday, The New York Times had a glowing article about Mary McCarthy, what a great patriot she is, because she was leaking stuff to them."

In fact, NBC first reported on April 21 that McCarthy's dismissal was related to her relationship with Priest and the CIA secret detention articles that appeared in the Post. The following day, many other media outlets issued similar reports about the rationale for McCarthy's firing. Neither NBC's initial report nor any other media outlets mentioned any relationship between McCarthy and The New York Times.

As Newsweek first reported on April 24, McCarthy has denied that she was the source of the Post's November 2 report regarding the CIA's alleged secret detention operations. Moreover, an April 25 Post report noted that "a senior intelligence official said the agency is not asserting that McCarthy was a key source of Priest's award-winning articles last year disclosing the agency's secret prisons." As the Post further noted, the CIA has acknowledged only that McCarthy was dismissed for "knowingly and willfully shar[ing] classified intelligence," and that Priest was among the journalists McCarthy allegedly contacted.

NBC first reported McCarthy's dismissal from the CIA on April 21, claiming:

[T]he CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter.

[...]

The leak pertained to stories on the CIA's rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.

The following day, many media outlets published articles on the story and echoed NBC's report of McCarthy's dismissal. An April 22 Times article reported:

Intelligence officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the dismissal [of McCarthy] resulted from "a pattern of conduct" and not from a single leak, but that the case involved in part information about secret C.I.A. detention centers that was given to The Washington Post.

An April 22 Post article reported:

The CIA fired a long-serving intelligence officer for sharing classified information with The Washington Post and other news organizations.

[...]

The CIA's statement did not name the reporters it believes were involved, but several intelligence officials said The Post's Dana Priest was among them. This week, Priest won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting for articles about the agency, including one that revealed the existence of secret, CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Also, an April 22 Los Angeles Times article reported:

The CIA has fired a senior officer for leaking classified information to news organizations, including material for Pulitzer Prize-winning stories in the Washington Post that said the agency maintained a secret network of prison facilities overseas for high-ranking terror suspects.

From the April 24 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: All right, now, on "No-Spin News," you may have heard this CIA officer, Mary McCarthy, is fired because she was leaking stuff to the press about the CIA. And, of course, on Sunday, The New York Times had a glowing article about Mary McCarthy, what a great patriot she is, because she was leaking stuff to them. And you can decide whether this woman's a patriot or not. I don't -- you know, to me, I thought that telling CIA secrets about the "war on terror" was -- was not good.

You know, but I am a hawk in the "war on terror." And I didn't want everybody to know where the CIA is keeping the Al Qaeda captured people. I don't think that's information we all need to know. You know, call me crazy. So, I'm not a big Mary McCarthy fan. I'm sure the woman's intentions were noble, but she's fired, and the left-wing press loves her because she was doing damage to the CIA. Now, to me, the CIA is standing between us, and, you know, getting our heads cut off, but what do I know, right?

Posted In
Justice & Civil Liberties, Domestic Spying
Network/Outlet
Westwood One
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The Radio Factor
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