The NBC News anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for mistakenly claiming he had been on a helicopter that was shot down by ground fire in Iraq in 2003.
Last week, NBC Nightly News filmed Mr. Williams taking a soldier to a New York Rangers game. The public address announcer at the game explained to the crowd that “U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Tim Terpak was responsible for the safety of Brian Williams and his NBC News team after their Chinook helicopter was hit and crippled by enemy fire” during the invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Terpak received a standing ovation, and, on Facebook, where NBC posted a video of the story, Mr. Williams was also praised. But one commenter cast doubt on the story, which Mr. Williams also told in vivid and specific detail to David Letterman in 2013.
“Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft,” wrote Lance Reynolds on Facebook. “I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened.”
“You are absolutely right and I was wrong,” [Williams] wrote, adding that he had in fact been on the helicopter behind the one that had been hit. Constant viewing of the video showing him inspecting the impact area, he said, “and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize….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,” Mr. Williams said.
The fog of memory over 12 years? Is that sort of like the fog of war? Sorry, but whether or not you were in a helicopter that got shot down is the kind of thing you tend not to forget. Even after twelve years.
And you have to love the way Williams passes off his mistake as an attempt to thank our brave military men and women veterans everywhere. (In other words, if you don't accept his explanation, you're not honoring the service of our brave vets.)
Sorry dude, nice try.
For those of you smart enough to have never listened to Williams on NBC, rest assured that he brings that same honesty and objectivity to his reporting.