Brian Williams: NBC Launches Investigation Into Lead Anchor’s Iraq And Katrina Reporting

Brian Williams is now the target of an internal investigation launched by NBC on Friday. The network is investigating the lead anchor’s reporting from Iraq in 2003 and the coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Announcement of the investigation comes two days after Brian Williams admits to fabricating the story about being forced down during his reporting of the Iraq invasion, when the helicopter he was riding on came under enemy fire. The anchor’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina is now coming into question, specifically that he saw a body float by his five-star hotel room in the French Quarter.

As the Washington Post reports, Williams has not admitted to lying, but said on Wednesday that he was “mistaken” in his recollection of the events in Iraq over a decade ago.

“After a groundfire incident in the desert during the Iraq war invasion, I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago. It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the air crews who were also in that desert. I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by [rocket-propelled grenade] fire. I was instead in a following aircraft… This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and, by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not.”

After Williams issued an apology for his misremembrance of events in Iraq, his coverage of Hurricane Katrina is coming into question as bloggers and news outlets have started scrutinizing his claims about the 2005 disaster.

“When you look out of your hotel room window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh in Indonesia and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country.”

According to the New Orleans Advocate, the French Quarter was not affected by the floodwaters that covered the vast majority of New Orleans during Katrina. Williams says he had a bad bout of dysentery after accidentally ingesting floodwaters, but Dr. Brobson Lutz, who also worked and lived in the French Quarter, doubts the anchor’s claim.

“I saw a lot of people with cuts and bruises and such, but I don’t recall a single, solitary case of gastroenteritis during Katrina or in the whole month afterward. I don’t know anybody that’s tried that to see, but my dogs drank it, and they didn’t have any problems.”

Richard Esposito, the head of NBC’s investigative unit, will lead the internal investigation launched by the network.

[Image via Flickr]