Mr. Williams, do the honorable thing and resign

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Brian+Williams+and+his+wife%2C+Jane%2C+in+2009.+Mr.+Williams+faces+intense+criticism+for+statements+about+his+experiences+in+Iraq+in+2003.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Mr. Williams, do the honorable thing and resign

Brian Williams and his wife, Jane, in 2009. Mr. Williams faces intense criticism for statements about his experiences in Iraq in 2003.

Brian Williams and his wife, Jane, in 2009. Mr. Williams faces intense criticism for statements about his experiences in Iraq in 2003.

Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons license

Brian Williams and his wife, Jane, in 2009. Mr. Williams faces intense criticism for statements about his experiences in Iraq in 2003.

Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons license

Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons license

Brian Williams and his wife, Jane, in 2009. Mr. Williams faces intense criticism for statements about his experiences in Iraq in 2003.

Journalism is built upon a foundation of truth. Reporters are taught to present their stories as transparently as possible, clearing a path to the facts. Here at The AMSA Voice, our very motto translates to “the truth will set you free.”

Thus it is sad, confounding, and frustrating that, apparently, one of the most trusted television journalists in the world has misled his viewers for years.

Brian Williams, the anchor for NBC Nightly News, apologized on the air Wednesday for “conflating” a story he has repeatedly told about being in a helicopter struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2003.

That is not true.

Mr. Williams told viewers—and his broadcasts average more than nine million per night—that he was actually in a helicopter trailing another that was struck and forced to the ground.

According to The New York Times, NBC has launched an internal investigation into Mr. Williams’ reporting—not just of the helicopter incident but of his reporting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Brobson Lutz, a former city health director for New Orleans, told USA Today that Mr. Williams’ descriptions of his experiences simply don’t ring true.

Brian Williams is facing an internal investigation by NBC, not just into his reports from Iraq, but also from New Orleans.

Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons license
Brian Williams is the focus of an internal investigation by NBC, not just into his reports from Iraq, but also from New Orleans.

Mr. Williams told former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner in a 2006 interview that he saw a man floating face down in floodwater in the French Quarter and, in an interview last year with former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, he said that he suffered from dysentery after accidentally ingesting floodwater.

“There were no bodies in the [French] Quarter,” Mr. Lutz told USA Today, adding that he could not recall “a single case” of dysentery after the disaster.

Those reports notwithstanding, Mr. Williams’ admission Wednesday that he “conflated” his reporting of the Iraq helicopter incident does irreparable damage to his reputation and, more important, his credibility.

It strains credulity to “mistake” being in a helicopter that was shot by an RPG for being in a helicopter that followed behind.

Is this a matter of merely “misremembering” or is it self-glorification?

Whatever the conclusion, Mr. Williams’ story simply doesn’t add up and news reports from across the media spectrum are filled with accounts from people on those helicopter missions who contradict most elements of Mr. Williams’ version of events.

Mr. Williams is being brought down by his own disingenuousness, not an RPG.

Mr. Williams, you appear as if you are trying to be an entertainer, not a journalist. Your nine million viewers, and the Fourth Estate, would be best served if you tendered your resignation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email