Al Franken repeatadly lies about where Bill O’Reilly grew up, citing a comment O’Reilly’s mother (who has dimentia) alledgedly told a reporter as his only source and adds a claim about vacations the O’Reilly family alledgely took that does not appear in that source.
See, O’Reilly always likes to crow about his hardscrabble childhood in working class Levittown, Long Island. As he once told the New York Observer, “You don’t come from any lower than I came from on an economic scale.”Trouble is, an inside source (O’Reilly’s mother) tells a different story. Mrs. O’Reilly proudly told the Washington Post that the family regularly took vacations in Florida, and that little Billy attended private school, a private college, and that their home was in the affluent suburb of Westbury, not blue-collar Levittown.
[p. 77-78 Lies Paperback]
On the April 12, 2004, episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill exhibited the actual deed from his boyhood home for his audience to see. Only the street location was covered. (His mother still lives there.) The words “Levittown, New York” were clearly displayed in reference to the home’s location.
In his book, Culture Warrior, O’Reilly shows a copy of the actual deed of the house he grew up in [p. 97]. It clearly says “Levittown, New York” as the city of residence.
He even shows a family picture including a corner of the small house [p. 98], inadvertently showing it’s lack of upscale quality. He then writes about an especially personal matter,
But far worse than Franken’s deliberate lie about my upbringing was his reference to my mother. She has, tragically, been suffering from dementia for years and for that reason has round-the-clock supervision. Al Franken never talked with my mother or to anyone else who knows my background. He simply put forth absolute falsehoods in his book without the decency to check the record….
For the record, both my late father and I worked brutally hard so I could attend a Catholic high school and Marist College, which was not an expensive school back then. My dad worked a tedious, dead-end office job; I painted houses. My family did go to Florida once… on a Greyhound bus. [p. 96]
Further, the Florida vacation claim Franken attributes to O’Reilly’s mother on the bottom of page 73 (p. 77 in the paperback) of Lies, does not appear at Frankens cited source. Franken writes:
Mrs. O’Reilly proudly told the Washington Post that the family regularly took vacations in Florida.
At the back of his book, Franken lists a December 13, 2000, Post article as his source. However, nowhere in the article is there any such claim made by Mrs. O’Reilly.
Click here to read the article yourself. The article is the same one cited by Franken: Paul Farhi, “The Life of O’Reilly,” Washington Post, December 13, 2000. [Author’s note: Also, Farhi tries to besmirch O’Reilly with the Levittown issue, but as noted on this page the deed from O’Reilly’s home clearly debunks and discredits Farhi’s effort.]
The zoning of Westbury and Levittown is somewhat of a nuanced matter, which Franken spends no time investigating in his book, delivering false information to his reader in order to smear Bill O’Reilly for political purposes.
In 2005, on his now defunct radio show, Al Franken hosted a Levittown historian at a live event and asked her the question about the factual location of O’Reilly’s upbringing. Much to Franken’s surprise, his guest answered that “he’s [O’Reilly] right” and that Westbury and Levittown do indeed overlap in a way that produces what O’Reilly said was the “Westbury section of Levittown” – a claim Franken had baselessly called a “crazy lie” akin to claiming one lives in “the Manhatten section of Brooklyn.”