HuffPo Slams Bill O'Reilly for 'Massive' Errors in Lincoln Book - And Cites All of Three

The overly-caffeinated, partisan headline writers at Huffington Post are at it again, this time in response to "Killing Lincoln," a book on the Lincoln assassination co-written by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

Here's how one of the headlines at HuffPo described the book --

Bill O'Reilly's New Book Contains Massive Factual Errors

Another HuffPo headline along the same lines --

Bill O'Reilly 'Killing Lincoln' Errors: Book Contains Plethora of Factual Inaccuracies

And here's that "plethora" of "massive" errors in the 325-page book, as described in the HuffPo story that accompanied both headlines --

In one instance, the book claims Ford's Theater was burned down in 1863 when it was actually destroyed in the end of 1862. The book contains multiple references to Lincoln in the Oval Office, which wasn't built until decades after his death. It also contains the line 'He furls his brow'; furl is a nautical term, the correct word is furrows.

Gee, hope you didn't blink more than once while reading that or you might have missed 'em.

Of these, only one constitutes what I would consider a dumb mistake, O'Reilly placing Lincoln in the Oval Office. (Before this I was vaguely aware of it having been built in the early 20th century). Getting the year wrong on the fire could easily be a typo. As for "furl" being strictly a nautical term, this comes across as strikingly picayune. Google Books has 180 examples of "furl|furling|furls|furled his|her brow" and most appear in "recent publications," according to Language Log. Had Robert Frost said "he furls his brow" in his poem at Kennedy's inauguration, liberals would still swoon after hearing it.

To his credit, O'Reilly acknowledged the errors, describing them as "four minor misstatements" and two typeset errors, "one involving a date," and said they've been corrected.

Fittingly enough, the HuffPo story itself needed a correction -- "A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that both Ford's Theater bookstores banned the book. Only one of them banned it."

No matter -- a search for "O'Reilly" at HuffPo still turns up this headline -- "Bill O'Reilly Book 'Killing Lincoln' Banned at Ford's Theater." Will this get visitors' wifi access to HuffPo banned at Ford's Theater?

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts