He’s among one of the most prominent news anchors on prime time television. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is in hot water after feeding the public blatant lies in the news about his experience aboard a military helicopter during the Iraq War in 2003. Williams has claimed all these years that he and his news crew were shot down in the helicopter, then rescued and protected by the U.S. Army.
Last Friday, Williams repeated the story during a broadcast to recognize a retired soldier at a New York Rangers hockey game. It’s what the news anchor said once again that drew attention to his false claims.
“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back 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 armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”
Stars and Stripesreports Wednesday that Williams wasn’t on the aircraft that was shot down. Soldiers tell the military news source 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.”
Since military members have called him out, Brian Williams is recanting his 12-years-long story to Stars and Stripes.
“I would not have chosen to make this mistake. I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
Williams also issued an apology on his Facebook page.
“I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08, and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp. 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.”
A crew member of the helicopter Williams and his crew were on says they were aboard a Chinook, but they were behind the other three that came under fire.
The source also reports that Brian Williams made a public apology on Wednesday’s broadcast. Everything the reporter had to say recanting his claims can be read in their entirety here.
[Image via YouTube screenshot]