Last week, as of Monday, Peter Doocy had a scoop.
The Fox News Channel’s Washington correspondent, the son of longtime Fox News Channel morning show host Steve Doocy, was getting ready to name the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden in 2011.
“Never revealed,” the promo reads for the two-part news documentary that premieres Tuesday night at 10 p.m., “until now.”
More specifically, until Nov 3. That’s when Robert James O’Neill name was leaked on a website run by former special-forces operations and suddenly Doocy’s scoop, a secret so prized his Fox team had created a codename within the network for their project, was no more.
Doocy, 27, said he wasn’t heartbroken by the revelation. The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick also published a lengthy piece featuring interviews with O’Neill.
“But as far as I can tell, Rob O’Neill still hasn’t done any other sit down interviews on camera with anyone,” said Doocy. “I know we have that and nobody else has that. Yes, there is a lot of stuff out there. But nobody has got what we’ve got. I’m so confident that people are going to enjoy this special. Nothing is taken away from that so far.”
In an interview last week, Doocy didn’t reveal much about the contents of the soon-to-broadcast special. He said he met O’Neill though a private citizen – he wouldn’t name names – and they first talked at Sine, an Irish pub in Pentagon City.
The first interview took place this summer, but the project was underway for a year and a half.
Early on, Doocy felt he and his team were onto something special, even if O’Neill’s anonymous account – he was called “the shooter – featured prominently in an Esquire piece published last year.
“This project was such a big secret over the last few months, as we’ve been shooting it, the small circle inside Fox gave it a code name: Gatewood,” said Doocy.
He was the first lieutenant who convinced Geronimo to surrender. Geronimo was the codename the U.S. military used for either bin Laden or the raid operation.
Repeatedly, Doocy resisted the urge to reveal much of what’s in “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden,” other than to say that he believes any disputes over who the actual shooter may have been will be cleared up. O’Neill, he says, is clearly the guy.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the special that we’re been working on for months, but when people watch Tuesday, they’ll see this is Rob O’Neill, on camera, setting the record straight. We’ve got TV footage of some important part of his life, more than anybody else has seen. I really want to have people tune in and see and hear from him instead of hearing from me.”