On Feb. 4, 2015, NCB News anchor Brian Williams admitted he had lied about being aboard a helicopter that was shot down by an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) in Iraq in 2003. Williams retold the story as recently as last week.
This is what Williams had reported in 2003:
“During the invasion of Iraq, when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG. Our traveling NBC news team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armored mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army Third Infantry. Command Sergeant Major Tim Turpack was put in charge of our safety.”
Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces, first uncovered the fake story:
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years.
Williams himself repeated the claim Friday during NBC’s coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry.
The admission came after crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire told Stars and Stripes that the NBC anchor was nowhere near that aircraft or two other Chinooks flying in the formation that took fire. Williams arrived in the area about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three had made an emergency landing, the crew members said.
After his lie was uncovered, Williams said in a statement in to Stars and Stripes:
“Because I have no desire to fictionalize my experience (we all saw it happened the first time) and no need to dramatize events as they actually happened, I think the constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area — and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize.
Developments since his admission that he had lied include:
1. NBC executives knew Williams is a liar
Maureen Dowd of The New York Times: “NBC executives were warned a year ago that Brian Williams was constantly inflating his biography . . . to the point where it was a joke in the news division.”
2. Doubts raised about Williams’ other “inflated” CLAIMS
Writing in USA Today in 2011, Williams claimed when he was a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey, he saved a puppy from a burning house. But in an earlier version of the story which he related to Esquire in 2005, Williams boasted that he once saved “two puppies.” (Source)
Williams’ gripping accounts of Hurricane Katrina, the disaster that burnished his nightly news bona fides almost a decade ago, are also coming under scrutiny, especially his account of seeing a body float by in the French Quarter — which remained largely dry — and his claim of catching dysentery from drinking Katrina floodwaters. (Source)
3. Williams steps down as news anchor for a few days
Yesterday, Williams said he was stepping aside as anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News” for the next several days because he has become “a distraction” for his network. (Source)
Frankly, that is not enough. If NBC doesn’t fire Brian Williams, that is tantamount to the network admitting that it’s perfectly OK for reporters to lie and fake their news reports.
But then, none of that should surprise us about the Mainstream Lapdog Media.
H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV