More heroic tales of Brian Williams' adventures in journalism are being questioned…
Williams claimed to have gotten dysentery from drinking flood water and seeing dead bodies float past his hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter while covering Hurricane Katrina.
However the The New Orleans Advocate noted that the French Quarter was not flooded and quoted a local health expert who did not recall anyone getting such a stomach ailment.
The level of Williams' lying is now starting to sound almost sociopathic, so I looked him up on Wikipedia to see what I could find. But there was nothing about either his early background or personal life that jumped out as a red or even yellow flag for sociopathy.
That doesn't mean he's not one, of course. There are plenty of sociopaths who come from outwardly normal backgrounds, whose parents simply did not love them the way parents should. So they end up as glib liars who are good at projecting an air of sincerity.
Most of the reporters who were found to have made up their stories (Jason Blair, Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke) gave off an air of sociopathy. Will Brian Williams go down as a member of that club?
It's the skill with which Williams lies that is most disconcerting. He'll say that his own harrowing experience paled compared to what other people were going through, a falsely modest touch that lends a bit of credibility to what he's saying.
When nonsociopaths lie, they tend to give themselves away with some sort of tell: a sheepish expression on their face, a catch in their voice, a certain hesitancy. When sociopaths lie, they do so with the same full-throated, look-you-straight-in-the-eye conviction that most people use when telling the truth. Just like Williams does.
And then, it's the way they lie about their lies when caught that is most telling: to explain a lie with the poetic phrase "the fog of memory" and to say that constant viewing if war footage caused you to "conflate" the story of your helicopter with that of another helicopter is simply dishonesty piled upon dishonesty.
I'm not saying that Brian Williams is a sociopath -- yet. But the evidence seems to be headed in that direction. Stay tuned.
By the way, did I ever tell you that I won the Medal of Honor?
Oh, wait a sec, the fog of memory just caused me to conflate my story with that of Michael Murphy.